Marc Ambinder gets some Defense Department types on the record about the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy:
Before President Obama announced last night that he would work with Congress and the Pentagon to end the military’s ban on service by gays and lesbians, the White House consulted Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to sign off on the language he planned to use, administration officials said. They did. “The Pentagon is with us,” the official said. And Geoff Morell, Gates’s spokesman, e-mails me to say that “The Department leadership is actively working on an implementation plan and will have more to say about it next week.”
White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett said last night that the President would lay out “in the days and weeks ahead” how he would get the policy repealed.
There’s a Senate hearing on this in early February, but the real test will be the President’s budget. If repeal is included in the defense authorization bill, we’ll know that he’s serious and everybody is on board.