Video: Jim Webb at "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Hearing

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sen. Webb starts speaking at about 3:23. Webb points out that this is "quite an emotional issue but...also a legislative issue." He "salutes" Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullens for "very careful statements" and "for the courage for what you said" on this issue. He emphasizes the importance of hearing "from people who are serving" and of having a "full and open input from all of those who are serving, not just combatants." And he stresses the need to "understand the impact of this on operating units, to raise the level of understanding of the complexity of this issue among the American people and up here, as well as attempting to deal fairly with this issue."

My reaction: that's all fine, go ahead and have "full and open input", etc. Having said that, though, it's time stop delaying a change in this outdated policy. The fact is we've had many years to examine the effect of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," as well as to "understand the impact of this on operating units," etc. We have the experience of other countries' militaries, including allies like Britain and Israel, where they allow gays to serve openly yet are doing just fine, thank you. At this point, there's on good reason to keep "Don't Ask Don't Tell," only bad reasons. Let's get rid of it and move on to other pressing matters.