Following President Obama’s call in his State of the Union address to end the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, Congress has taken up the issue and is debating legislation that would repeal it. Last June, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — a leading critic of ending DADT — cited Colin Powell as justification for his position:
MCCAIN: My opinion is shaped by the view of the leaders of the military. The reason why I supported the policy to start with is because General Colin Powell, who was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the one that strongly recommended we adopt this policy in the Clinton administration. I have not heard General Powell or any of the other military leaders reverse their position, just like when on other issues, that people are expert and knowledgeable of, I rely on their opinion. But this is unique. These military leaders are responsible for the very lives of the men and women under their command, and that’s why I am especially guided, to a large degree, by their views.
Today, in a statement released from his office, Powell officially announced that he now opposes the continuation of DADT because “attitudes and circumstances have changed.” Now that Powell no longer supports the DADT policy, what other excuses will McCain offer? (HT: Andrew Sullivan)