July 12, 2010 at 6:53 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Sam Nunn hints at supporting 'Don't Ask' repeal

The former U.S. senator who had a significant role in instituting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has recently hinted that would supporting ending the policy, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Georgia newspaper reported on Monday that former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn suggested in a phone interview he would support changing the ban on open service if certain conditions are met within the U.S. armed forces.

“If they can mitigate the damage and make sure the military can properly administer (the repeal) in a fair way, but in a way that protects unit cohesion and the morale of our forces, then I would favor making whatever changes are necessary,” Nunn was quoted as saying.

In 1993, Nunn as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee helped to implement “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The measure at the time was seen as a compromise in lieu of President Clinton’s promise to end the ban on open service administratively.

Nunn reportedly expressed support for repeal on the condition that the Pentagon complete its review on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The group’s work is due Dec. 1. 

The former senator also reportedly emphasized he doesn’t agree with congressional efforts to move forward with repeal legislation before the study is complete.

Still, Nunn was quoted as saying he doesn’t think any policy like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” can “last forever.”

“I don’t think it was designed for that,” Nunn reportedly said. “I think it was designed for giving the military and society the chance to make sure we did not damage national security in any way before the policy was changed.”

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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