Reconsider ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Cheney Says

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Feb 14, 2010 11:06am

In an exclusive interview on “This Week,” former Vice President Dick Cheney said he thinks it’s time to “reconsider” the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military.

“Twenty years ago, the military were strong advocates of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell,’ when I was secretary of defense. I think things have changed significantly since then,” Cheney said. Cheney served as the secretary of defense, from 1989 to 1993, in the Bush administration.

“I'm reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard,” Cheney said. “When the chiefs come forward and say, ‘We think we can do it,’ then it strikes me that it's — it's time to reconsider the policy.

Read full transcript HERE:

KARL:  OK, "don't ask/don't tell" — you're a former defense secretary — should this policy be repealed?

CHENEY:  Twenty years ago, the military were strong advocates of "don't ask/don't tell," when I was secretary of defense.  I think things have changed significantly since then.  I see that Don Mullen — or Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has indicated his belief that we ought to support a change in the policy. So I think — my guess is the policy will be changed.

KARL:  And do you think that's a good thing?  I mean, is it time to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military?

CHENEY:  I think the society has moved on.  I think it's partly a generational question.  I say, I'm reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard, because they're the ones that have got to make the judgment about how these policies affect the military capability of our — of our units, and that first requirement that you have to look at all the time is whether or not they're still capable of achieving their mission, and does the policy change, i.e., putting gays in the force, affect their ability to perform their mission?

When the chiefs come forward and say, "We think we can do it," then it strikes me that it's — it's time to reconsider the policy. And I think Admiral Mullen said that.

Watch full exchange HERE:

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