March 24, 2010 at 10:32 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Pentagon to give update on new 'Don't Ask' guidelines

Defense Secretary Robert Gates may this week give an update on new Pentagon guidelines for implementing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a “more humane” way, according to a spokesperson.

During a press conference Tuesday, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell said Gates will hopefully appear before reporters this week to offer a new way to implement “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” under existing law.

“He is prepared to offer a way ahead on that subject this week,” Morrell said. “So stay tuned. Hopefully you’ll be seeing him later this week and can address the changes that he is going to be making to the — to the department’s policy to provide for a more humane enforcement and application of the law.”

After asking last year for a preliminary assessment for what he called a potentially “more humane” policy, Gates announced before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 2 the review would be complete in 45 days.

It’s unknown what changes the Defense Department will make to the implementation of the existing statute, but Gates said during the testimony last month one possibility would be reducing the instances in which a service member is outed by a third party under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” 

Gates also said the Pentagon could raise the level of the officer who initiates or conducts inquiries, as well as what constitutes a credible source to start an investigation.

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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