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David Petraeus: "Time Has Come to Consider" Don't Ask Repeal


In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Gen. David Petraeus said "the time has come to consider a change" to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bars openly gay men and women from serving in the military.

Petraeus had much more to say on the issue, but he didn't have the opportunity to say it: He was denied the opportunity to read an eight-minute statement outlining his position, AOL News reports. Sen. Carl Levin, who is leading the charge in the Senate for repeal, elected to enforce a "six-minute rule" on statements at the hearing.

Petraeus turned down the opportunity to submit the statement in writing for the record or distribute it to reporters; AOL reports that an aide said Petraeus wants to read it aloud.

The head of Central Command did answer some questions on the issue, saying he wants to see the results of the military's study on the impact of repeal. Petraeus testified that he wants to know whether changing the policy could make a difference when it comes to recruiting, retention and morale.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified last month that repealing the policy "would be the right thing to do."

"For me, personally, it comes down to integrity -- theirs as individuals and ours as an institution," he said.

At that hearing, Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates formally announced the review to "thoroughly, methodically and objectively" examine the impact of repeal. The study is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 1st.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold an informal hearing on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Thursday.

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