On Friday, President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen certified the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, setting the stage for elimination of the policy on September 20, 2011 upon the conclusion of a statutorily mandated 60-day Congressional review period. But House Republicans, and some conservative advocates, are still trying to undermine the process and are now calling on the Pentagon to release all assessments related to the decision to certify repeal:
– REP. BUCK MCKEON (R-CA): “The President’s certification culminates a flawed repeal assessment and adoption process and as such the House Armed Services Committee will continue to conduct vigorous oversight,” Rep. McKeon said. “To aid this effort, I am calling on the administration to immediately release to Congress each of the assessments performed by the services on the impact of repeal on their forces and all the regulations and policy documents that demonstrate the questions about implementation have been resolved.” [WSJ, 7/22/2011]
– REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA): “It’s a decision that stems from a campaign promise, not strategic thinking,” Hunter spokesperson Joe Kasper said. “There’s 60 days from the point of certification, so there’s still time to evaluate concerns with the change and do whatever is possible to ensure the highest level of efficiency. Mr. Hunter and others will keep a close eye on things to determine what, if any, options exist going forward.” [NC Times, 7/22/2011]
– ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND: “The reports of the chiefs of the services and combat commanders that supposedly justify this move should be released in full, allowing service members, the public, and Congress to evaluate the situation themselves. This administration cannot expect America to accept its ‘certification’ at face value.” [Christian Post, 7/23/2011]
During a press conference on Friday afternoon, Pentagon officials stressed that “there have been no distractions from unit cohesion that have been reported” as a result of the coming change in policy. They added that there was “unanimous support” from the service chiefs to certify repeal, but said the request to release documentation was “under consideration.”
Earlier in the year, Republican House members — led by Hunter — added an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would have required the service chiefs to sign off on the certification.