Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an appearance on the CBS
talk show Late Show with David Letterman that certification of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” repeal is close.
Congress approved and President Barack
Obama signed into law repeal of the law last December. The policy,
enacted in 1993, bars gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
Top Pentagon officials, including
Mullen, and the president must certify that the military is prepared
to end the ban before it's lifted.
Mullen told Letterman: “I testified
in front of Congress a year ago February that I personally couldn’t
reconcile an institution like the military, which values integrity in
everything that we do, yet asking people to come to work every single
day and lie about who they are. That is how I felt then. That’s
how I feel now. The law has been changed. We’re right now in the
middle of conducting training prior to certification. Certification
will take place … certainly in the next couple of months.” (The
video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
On Monday, Defense Secretary Robert
Gates, who'll retire from his post on June 30, told the AP that he
doesn't foresee any impediments to repeal, and, if the top officers
of each service agree, he's
prepared to endorse certification this month.