'This Week' Transcript: Adm. Mike Mullen


AMANPOUR: Apart from the integrity issue, many of your allies -- whether it be England or Canada or France or Australia, the Israeli army -- they have openly gay servicemembers in their military with no adverse effects.

MULLEN: Certainly. I've seen that, and that is very much a part of this review, and we'll incorporate that into the review and recommendations which go up the chain.

AMANPOUR: So were you angry with the new Marine commandant when he cast his own doubts over this and criticized it?

MULLEN: He had made his position very clear in testimony. What concerned me about his most recent comments, it came at a time where we actually had the draft report in hand, and we had all agreed that we would speak to this privately until we completed the report and made our recommendations up the chain.

AMANPOUR: And if it does not get voted on in the lame-duck session, is there any chance that it will come up in any reasonable time period afterwards?

MULLEN: Well, I mean, it's very hard to predict what's going to happen. Obviously, from a legislative...

AMANPOUR: But would you think it will put it down the road?

MULLEN: ... from a legislative perspective. The other piece that is out there that's very real is the courts are very active on this. And my concern is that at some point in time the courts could change this law and in that not give us the right amount of time to implement it. I think it's much better done -- if it's going to get done, it's much better done through legislature than it is out of the courts.

AMANPOUR: Admiral Mullen, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

MULLEN: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And the roundtable is next, with George Will, Robert Reich, Donna Brazile, and Ed Luce from the Financial Times.

And also, later, a report from Haiti on the cholera outbreak. Has the country been abandoned again?



(UNKNOWN): Whoa.

(UNKNOWN): Yes. Pull. Dang it.

(UNKNOWN): Missed it.

(UNKNOWN): Bristol the Pistol, you fired a few blanks during the week, but tonight all guns blazing.

WALTERS: If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?

PALIN: I believe so.

BIDEN: She's always underestimated, so, you know, I think -- I think I shouldn't say any more.

(UNKNOWN): There you go.


AMANPOUR: A big week for Sarah Palin, one of the topics for our roundtable with George Will, Robert Reich, author of "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future," Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, and Ed Luce of the Financial Times.

And I want to start with our interview with Mike Mullen. We're clearly going to get to Sarah Palin. What do you think? Admiral Mullen could barely be constrained from saying that he thought this was political, this holdup.

REICH: I thought it was very interesting, Christiane. I mean, when you asked him that question, he was very, very tempted -- you could almost read his mind -- to say that, look, Jon Kyl is taking direction from Mitch McConnell, who says explicitly that the next two years are going to be about making sure that Barack Obama is not a two-term president. And, therefore, this is all politics, and therefore, the Republicans are putting politics above national security.

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