Senator John McCain, a ranking member
of the Armed Services Committee, says repeal of “don't ask, don't
tell,” the military's ban on open gay service, is unnecessary
because “it's been successful.”
The Republican senator from Arizona
appeared on ABC's This Week where he told George
Stephanopoulos that there was no need to alter or repeal “don't
ask, don't tell.”
“I've said for months, I'll be glad
to have a thorough review of the policy by the Joint Chiefs of Staff
and their recommendations,” McCain answered Stephanopoulos, who had
asked how, if at all, he would alter “don't ask, don't tell.”
“But in all due respect, right now the military is functioning
extremely well in very difficult conditions. We have to have an
assessment on recruitment, on retention and all the other aspects of
the impact of our military if we change the policy. In my view, and
I know that a lot of people don't agree with that, the policy has
been working and I think it's been working well.”
McCain's comments come on the heels of
both good news and bad for backers of repeal.
This week, the Army National Guard
Lieutenant Dan Choi for admitting he was gay on MSNBC's The
Rachel Maddow Show in March.
But Army officer Sandy Tsao, who was
relieved of her duties after telling her superiors she was a lesbian,
received a handwritten letter from President Obama in support of
“Thanks for the wonderful and
thoughtful letter,” Obama said. “It is because of outstanding
Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy.
Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs
Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment.”
National Security Advisor General James
Jones, who also appeared on the program, told Stephanopoulos that he
was uncertain whether the ban would be repealed.
“If the president is against the
policy, why not suspend prosecutions and investigations while that
review continues?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Well, maybe that's an option that
eventually we'll get to but we're not there now,” Jones answered.
“We will have long discussions about this, it will be thoughtful,
it will be deliberative. The president I know will reach out to
fully understand all sides of the issue before he makes a decision.”
“But it will be overturned?” the
“I don't know,” Jones replied.