March 2, 2010 at 11:47 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Pentagon officials to speak at House ‘Don’t Ask’ hearing

This week’s U.S. House hearing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will feature testimony from Defense Department officials — including the two people who are heading the study of the law that’s underway at the Pentagon.

Jeh Johnson, general counsel for the Defense Department, and Gen. Carter Ham, commanding general for U.S. Army Europe, are slated to testify. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has tasked both individuals with co-chairing the working group to examine how to best implement repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Another scheduled witness is retired Marine Corps Gen. Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel readiness. Because of his position, he’d oversee the implementation of open service in the military should Congress repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The House Armed Services personnel subcommittee will hold the hearing Wednesday at 2:30 pm. It’s set to take place in Room 2118 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), chair of the subcommittee, said in a statement that the hearing would focus on the Pentagon’s process for assessing the requirements for repeal.

“This hearing will give members of Congress an opportunity to hear testimony from the Department of Defense leadership, military leadership and the senior military personnel who will be charged with carrying out any changes to the policy,” Davis said. “It’s important to understand the challenges of implementing any new policy. Hearing from these professionals will help Congress move forward.”

Davis, a proponent of overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and co-sponsor of repeal legislation, held in 2008 the first hearing on gays in the military since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was enacted in 1993. The hearing this week is set to be a follow up on the hearing that took place nearly two years ago.

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

1 Comment
  • Hopefully the House hearings on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will be more fruitful than the Senate hearings. I do believe the House can pass a repeal of DADT, that was never the problem, its the Senate we have to worry about with all their double talk and betrayel of the LGBT Community. And as for those generals who refuse to comply with a repeal of DADT, I think they should be removed from their positions, since they aren’t in a position to argue, its their job to take orders and carry them out, not decide policy.

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