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Powell backs Mullen, Gates on DADT

From NBC's Andrea Mitchell
Colin Powell has just issued a statement supporting Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen's and Defense Secretary Gates' effort to review -- and likely repeal -- the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy toward gays in the military.

Of course, it was Powell -- as Joint Chiefs chairman -- who persuaded the Clinton White House to adopt the DADT policy 17 years ago, because of Powell's opposition to gays in the military.

Powell's statement:

In the almost seventeen years since the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed. The principal issue has always been the effectiveness of the Armed Forces and order and discipline in the ranks. I strongly believe that this is a judgment to be made by the current military leadership and the Commander in Chief. It is also a judgment Congress must make. For the past two years, I have expressed the view that it was time for the law to be reviewed by Congress. I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I will be closely following future hearings, the views of the Service Chiefs and the implementation work being done by the Department of Defense.