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


COOPER: I'm a combat veteran, for starters. And all my men and the women that I went to war with, that I got shot at with during the Mahdi uprising, would go back to war with me any day. And they would say so on this program. And these include combat-hardened veterans.

SCHULTZ: And the survey shows that 84 percent of Marine combat veterans who worked with somebody who were gay or lesbian said it did not affect their ability to get the job done.


COOPER: You're mission-focused. The last thing you're worried about, you're wanting to stay alive and keep your comrades alive.

SCHULTZ: You don't care if somebody's straight. You care if they can shoot straight.

AMANPOUR: All right. But 40 percent to 60 percent of the Marines -- 58 percent, basically, of those at the tip of the spear -- said that it would have a negative impact. And I've obviously been in the field, have reported on Marines. I've seen what they do. Why do you think they are so particularly upset about this, then? Because they are.

COOPER: About a particular branch? Well, I would look -- I would look at what the Joint Chiefs have talked about, is that uniform behavior -- we're almost saying that we don't trust our servicemembers, regardless of branch, that they're going to be able to get in line.

For starters, there are cyclical, annual briefs that take place -- in fact, my unit's doing them this weekend -- about nondiscrimination briefs, suicide prevention and awareness, awareness of PTSD.

What's going to happen is, when repeal is instituted, it will be essentially, probably, either a bullet point or there will be training guidance as to leadership to say it is no longer OK to discriminate or to have an arbitrary discharge based on one's orientation.

It doesn't take -- it doesn't allow for bad behavior. And it may -- but everyone's still responsible under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And everyone still has to follow uniform conduct.


AMANPOUR: Isn't that right, Bob Maginnis, lieutenant colonel? There is a code of conduct for all serving in the military, whether heterosexual or homosexual or gay.

MAGINNIS: There's no question about it. And we do abide by the rules that civilians set for us. And, you know -- and, ultimately, you know, those -- those admirals and generals are going to take orders and do their absolute best.

The question comes up with what General Casey said the other day in testimony. Are we putting too much of a burden on our young people at a time of war?

And he said, look, something's not going to get done. And General -- or Senator Levin was very angry about that.

But going back to your original question, you know, on all-volunteers. This is a volunteer force. You know, we have to be sensitive to those that we recruit. Who do we recruit? We recruit people that come from multigenerational military families. That's the vast majority.

Then you recruit from people that come out of certain sections of the South or the Mountain West.

And then you tend to recruit conservatives. Now, not all conservatives, as Chuck indicates, are of this persuasion. However, you know, if you alienate that particular group, guess what? Congress has a much more difficult problem to resolve.

AMANPOUR: But getting back to the actual context and the issue at hand, the poll shows that, in America at large, there is a majority who believe that they should...

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