As I wrote earlier today, on NBC’s Meet The Press today, Senator John McCain disputed the validity of the preliminary findings from the DADT survey, and stated his opposition to a vote on repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Congress’ lame duck session.
Additionally, as you can see on the video below (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discussion starts 2:30 into segment,) McCain calls for new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” studies to determine how repeal will impact the military (there have already been over twenty studies on this,) and then demands Congressional hearings after the studies to, well, study the studies.
John “no earmarks” McCain wants to spend millions more of your tax dollars to fund dozens of studies that all will say the same thing that twenty two or more studies have already said, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” hurts our military, and hurts all servicemembers, not just the gay and lesbian servicemembers, but all of them.
Here’s a partial transcript, via The Washington Blade‘s Chris Johnson.
Gregory: Are you going to stand in the way — you personally — in the way of this ban being lifted?
McCain: I will stand that I want a thorough and complete study of the effect on morale and battle effectiveness of the United States military. I will listen — as I’ve said for years — to our military leaders and not a study that is leaked as we know…
Gregory: …that said seven in ten members of the military think it would be just fine to have it lifted.
McCain: I have not seen that study, and this study was directed at how to implement the repeal, not whether the repeal should take place or not.
But very importantly, we have people like the commandant of the Marine Corps, the three other — all four service chiefs are saying we need a thorough and complete study of the effects — not how to implement a repeal — but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness. That’s what I want, and once we get this study, we need to have hearings and we need to examine it, and we need to look at whether it’s the kind of study that we wanted.
It isn’t in my view because I wanted a study to determine the effects of the repeal on battle effectiveness and morale. What this study is designed to do is to find out how the repeal could be implemented. Those are two very different aspects of this issue.
Gregory: In a lot of households, this is a subject of debate, including your own apparently. Your wife, Cindy McCain, has put up an ad, a public service announcement with NOH8, a group that promotes lesbian, gay and transgender rights, and this is portion of it.
[Plays clip with Cindy McCain saying gays "can't serve our country openly."]
Gregory: …referring to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She did clarify this on her Twitter page. You’re both so active on Twitter. She said this. She said, “I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be part of it. But I stand by my husband’s stance on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
McCain: …which is, a complete and thorough study and review of the effect on battle readiness and morale, and by the way, I respect the First Amendment rights of every member of my family.
Gregory: But, you know, what’s interesting about this, I mean, a debate in family, is there is kind of — you talk about waiting for the study — there is an appeal to honor, I mean, to your honor. You have the chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying, ‘Look, it’s just not right to have people lying about who they are just to be able to protect fellow citizens.”
McCain: You have the commandant of the Marine Corps who says — whose people he’s directly responsible for — is saying this could hurt our ability to win.
Transcript via Chris Johnson
Gregory: Do you believe that?
McCain: I’m paying attention to the commandant of the Marine Corps. I’m paying attention to the chief of staff of the Air Force.
Gregory: You’re so close to the military, senator. You know these people. You know the issue. Do you have a sense of it in your gut about what should happen?
McCain: I have a sense that I respect and admire these four service chiefs who have expressed either outright opposition or deep reservation about the repeal. They’re the ones who are in charge. Now the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I agree, the president and the secretary of defense, have all come out for repeal.
But I really would — I was in an outpost in Kandahar. An Army master sergeant – 19 years in, fifth deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan – says to me, “Sen. McCain we live eat, sleep and fight together in close proximity. I’m concerned about the repeal. I’d like to know more about it.”
That’s the view that I’ve got from chief petty officers and sergeants all over Afghanistan.
Gregory: The ban’s not going to be lifted in the lame duck session. Is that fair to say?
McCain: I think that we should at least — I don’t think it should be because I think once the study comes out in the beginning of December, we should at least have a chance to review it and maybe have hearings on it.
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