'This Week' Transcript: Don't Ask, Don't Tell


Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, he served in the U.S. Army for 24 years. He was an adviser to the 1993 military working group that examined gays in the military, and he opposes the repeal of "don't ask/don't tell."

Elaine Donnelly is founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, which is also opposed to gays serving in the military.

Clarke Cooper is active Army reservist who served in Iraq. He's also executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, which is challenging "don't ask/don't tell" in the courts.

Tammy Schultz is the director of national security and joint warfare at the Marine Corps War College. She studied the Marine Corps for 15 years and believes that "don't ask/don't tell" should be repealed.

And former Sergeant First Class Stacy Vasquez served in the Army for 12 years before being outed and discharged in 2003.

We welcome all of you to this panel to discuss this really important issue at hand.

First, if I might go to General Wesley Clark, my old sparring partner from the Balkan wars, General, let me ask you -- thank you for being here -- you have heard now what the service chiefs have said in the testimony on Capitol Hill the last couple of days. What do you make of where they stand and their -- their call that it shouldn't happen at a time of war?

CLARK: Well, actually, they didn't all say it shouldn't happen at a time of war. The basic stand -- what I got out of the testimony is, if you're going to make the decision, make the decision, get it over with, take us out of the middle of the game, and then give us six months or so to do the training and education and get ready so the leadership can handle this.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the report said this was about a 2 in terms of degree of difficulty and degree of disruption. Yes, it does add complexity, but not nearly as much complexity as the continuing uncertainty. The president said it's going to be done. I think, one way or another, what the chiefs were telling you, while they were trying to be loyal to all the people that serve under them, what they were telling you was, let's make this decision and move forward.

AMANPOUR: All right. Well, let me ask our panel members right now. You heard the poll numbers that I just reported from the "don't ask/don't tell" survey. You've heard about Americans on gays in the military. Let me show you what they say, a poll that says, should gays be allowed to serve openly in the military? Yes, say 75 percent of the people of the United States. And if you go deeper into those numbers, the poll finds that it's a majority amongst conservatives, amongst Republicans, and among seniors who believe that.

And, furthermore, when asked about the actual experience of serving in a unit with a co-worker who they believe was gay or lesbian, 92 percent of those surveyed stated that the unit's ability to work together was very good, good, or neither good nor poor.

What do you say to that, Tammy Schultz? Is it time now, even though the nation is at war and even though the Marines, by a significant minority, oppose it? Those are the tip of the spear. And you are at the Marine War College.

SCHULTZ: I am. And let me -- let me first state that I'm offering my personal opinions here and not on behalf of the Marine Corps.

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