"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is working "effectively" and there is "no" need to seek the opinions of gay servicemembers, says Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). The former Republican presidential nominee, who is in the middle of a hotly contested primary re-election battle, made the comments during a lengthy editorial meeting with the Arizona Star. Excerpts were printed in the newspaper and its digital edition today:
McCAIN: I make that determination by retention and recruitment is at an all-time high, the highest in the history of the all-volunteer force. I get that opinion because I visit with the troops all the time. I go to Iraq, I go to Afghanistan, I run into them everywhere. And of course I don't seek out someone who is gay. Why should I? These are all men and women who are serving. Why should I, that would be nuts. I go up to men and women and I say thanks for serving. I say thank you for serving, you are great Americans, God bless you.
McCain continues to parse the testimony given by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mullen was speaking personally he said DADT should end, McCain says. The service chiefs opposed to repealing "Don't Ask Don'T Tell" were "speaking professionally."
McCAIN: [Mullen] said it was his personal opinion.
STAR: Well, he did. But he also appeared in uniform. And it's a little hard to parse when the joint chiefs appear in front of the United States Senate committee and says "It's my personal opinion that."
McCAIN: What about when the commandant of the Marine Corps said he is opposed to it? What about when the chief of staff of the Army said we've got to go slow on this? What about when the chief of staff of the Air Force said I'm very worried about an abrupt change in policy and that we have to have a thorough review? What about all of those people?
STAR: Well maybe that was just their personal opinion.
McCAIN: No, no. It wasn't their personal opinion. It was their professional opinion. It was Admiral Mullen's personal opinion. All these other guys I just mentioned, that was their professional opinion.
McCain isn't the only one who think it's unnecessary to ask gay soldiers their opinions on "Don't Ask Don't Tell". At least the Administration and Democrats are working toward repeal. In John McCain's world, DADT is working as effectively as the vetting process for Sarah Palin.
McCain also recycles Gen. Colin Powell's 17-year-old statements on gay troops. Powell has since changed his position and supports repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Read the full interview at the Star ....