Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral
Mike Mullen is insisting that the Marines will follow orders if
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” is repealed.
Commandant General James Amos' public objections to repeal of the law
that forbids gay and bisexual troops from serving openly “surprised”
Mullen. But in an interview Sunday on CNN's State of the
Union, Mullen insisted that there is “no question” that Amos
would fully cooperate if Congress lifted the ban.
“He said, 'if this law changes, we
are going to implement it and we are going to implement it better
than anyone else,'” Mullen said of Amos.
Amos told the Los Angeles Times
two weeks ago that repeal involved “risk.”
“There's a risk involved,” Amos,
who recently assumed the helm from retiring General James Conway,
said. “I'm trying to determine how to measure that risk. This is
not a social thing. This is combat effectiveness.”
Conway also strongly objects to repeal
of the 17-year-old law. “90 to 95 percent of the Marines” are
against repeal, he told Fox News, citing impromptu surveys he had
conducted by a “show of hands” at town hall meetings.
Democratic leaders have pledged to put
repeal up for a vote after the Thanksgiving break. Senator Joseph
Lieberman (I-Conn.) said last week that he has more than the 60 votes
needed for repeal. GOP
Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Ensign of Nevada have
signaled that they're leaning toward a “yes” vote on repeal of
the law that has ended the military careers of more than 13,000