This is major. Former General Colin Powell, who as the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman opposed fully integrating gays in the military, now says it's time to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
When Mr. Clinton tried to end the ban on gay soldiers, General Powell was the Joint Chiefs chairman and opposed the move on the grounds that it would undermine discipline and order in the military but he supported the "don’t ask" compromise. In his statement on Wednesday, General Powell said "the principal issue has always been the effectiveness of the Armed Forces and order and discipline in the ranks." He noted that he has said for the past two years that it was "time for the law to be reviewed," but his new statement of unequivocal support for the effort by Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen could be an important factor as the debate moves forward this year.
Powell said during the 2008 elections that it was time to "review" the 1993 the to repeal the 1993 law that bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates Joints Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told lawmakers they supported President Obama’s proposal. Mullen became the first sitting JCS chairman to endorse the repeal.