Defense Secretary Robert Gates has
launched an investigation into who leaked a Pentagon study on the
effects of ending “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans
gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
Citing two unidentified sources
familiar with the report, the Washington Post published
details of the study's findings on Thursday, nearly three weeks
before its planned release.
“The secretary strongly condemns the
unauthorized release of information related to this report and has
directed an investigation to establish who communicated with the
Washington Post or
any other news organization without authorization and in violation of
Department policy and his specific instructions,” Pentagon Press
Secretary Geoff Morrell said in a statement on Friday.
Morrell added that Gates “is very
concerned and extremely disappointed that unnamed sources within the
Department of Defense have selectively revealed aspects of the draft
findings” of the report.
The Post reported that the
report will show that most troops are not concerned about serving and
living alongside openly gay troops. More than 70 percent of
respondents to a questionnaire sent to more than 40,000 active-duty
and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of lifting the gay
ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent. Forty
percent of Marines objected to the change, the highest rate among the
Congress is debating whether to attempt
a second effort at repealing the law over the lame-duck session that
begins Monday, and Morrell suggested the leak was designed to ease
the objections of some lawmakers.
The leak was designed “presumably to
shape perceptions of the report prior to its release,” he said.