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Pentagon Report On DADT Repeal To Be Released Early

Well, one day early at least:

Signaling the growing seriousness of the Obama administration’s commitment this year to ending the military’s ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, the Defense Department said Sunday that it will release a long-awaited report on the matter earlier than planned because senators are eager to vote on whether to repeal the policy.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered the report to be released on Nov. 30, one day earlier than planned, “to support Congress’s wish to consider repeal before they adjourn,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Sunday.

The Senate is slated to vote again on a defense policy bill that includes language that would repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy after the Thanksgiving recess. The measure did not advance in September. Several senators asked Gates last week to release the report early so the Senate Armed Services Committee could hold hearings on it before the full Senate votes. Several moderate senators have said they will not decide how to vote until they read the report.

Gates “has instructed his staff, without cutting any corners, to have everything ready a day sooner because he wants to ensure members of the Armed Services Committee are able to read and consider the complex, lengthy report before holding hearings with its authors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Morrell said in a statement.

Gates; Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the report’s co-chairmen, Army Gen. Carter Ham and Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson, could testify before the committee, aides said.

The report is expected to conclude that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to sources who shared details of the report with The Washington Post.

So, it looks like December will be taken up with a debate over DADT repeal, and another one over extending the Bush tax cuts.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook