January 14, 2010 | by Chris Johnson
Gates, Mullen to testify on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Both the top uniformed leader and top civilian leader at the Pentagon will testify at the end of this month before Congress on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” according to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Bryan Thomas, a committee spokesperson, said Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has made arrangements for Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of Joint of Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen to testify on the issue, although an exact day for the hearing hasn’t been scheduled.

Sen. Levin said we have not yet set a date for the DADT hearing, but we are looking for a date that works in the last few days of January,” Thomas said. “He also said the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be present.”

What the officials will say on the 1993 law banning gays from serving openly in the U.S. military is unclear. Thomas said he doesn’t know how Gates and Mullen will testify on the issue and deferred comment to the Pentagon.

Cynthia Smith, a Defense Department spokesperson, said she was unaware of any commitment from Gates to testify on the issue.

If what you’re saying is true, he will … give the testimony on the Hill at that time,” she said. “I don’t have any more information.”

A spokesperson for Mullen, Capt. John Kirby, said he “will not get out ahead of the Chairman’s testimony to Congress.”

The Advocate first reported this week that Levin was working on plans to have hearings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by the end of the month.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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