Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and
Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are
among the military leaders who'll testify next week before the Senate
Armed Services Committee before senators vote on “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell,” the 17-year-old law that bans gay and bisexual troops from
serving openly, the Washington Post reported.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin
(D-Michigan) has scheduled two days of hearings after the release of
the Pentagon's report on repeal of the military ban. The report,
is expected to show that a majority of troops are okay serving
alongside openly gay service members, will be released on November
30, a day earlier than planned.
Gates, Mullen, and the co-chairmen of
the Pentagon Working Group, which drafted the report, Defense
Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army General Carter Ham,
will appear before the committee on Thursday, December 2.
Arizona Senator John McCain, a staunch
opponent of repeal, is the committee's highest-ranking Republican.
has already dismissed the report and has said he's following the
advice of the service chiefs.
The leaders of the armed forces, along
with General James E. Cartwright, the vice-chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, will testify before the committee on Friday.
The addition of the service chiefs
appears to be a concession to McCain, who
has been fighting to keep the policy in place.
hearings might be the first opportunity to gauge whether the report's
findings will influence an upcoming Senate vote on repeal.