December 18, 2010

Statement from Senator Manchin Regarding the Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Sen. Joe Manchin today released the following statement regarding his decision to not support the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:
“Over the past several days, I have spoken with many passionate West Virginians who hold different views on this policy. I greatly appreciate all of the feedback that my office has received.
"As I have said before, my primary concern with repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) stems from the Armed Services Committee testimony by two Service Chiefs, Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos. Their issues are with the timing and the impact of the repeal's implementation on our front line combat troops during a time of war.
"While it may be little solace to those who disagreed with my earlier vote, over the last nine days, I’ve had sincere discussions with my fellow senators and other officials as to whether it would be possible to change the legislation to address my concerns over timing and implementation. With the legislative process nearing an end, it was simply not possible to alter the proposed DADT legislation.
"As such, while I believe the DADT policy will be repealed, and probably should be repealed in the near future, I cannot support a repeal of the policy at this time."
Additional background regarding the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:
According to the Department of Defense’s report, between 40 percent to 60 percent in the Marine Corps and various combat arms specialties predicted, in some form and to some degree, negative concerns or views about the impact of repeal.
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