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GOP plan threatens efforts to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'

Sen. John McCain disagrees with how the Pentagon reviews the issue and wants a new study.
Sen. John McCain disagrees with how the Pentagon reviews the issue and wants a new study. (Altaf Qadri)

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"Obviously, I take the judgment of all the joint chiefs, but coming from the Navy I particularly place weight on what the CNO says," Kirk said.

The White House would not say Wednesday whether President Obama has called undecided senators to discuss the report, but the president's campaign supporters received e-mails asking them to sign an online petition in support of repealing the law.

The report released Tuesday concluded that there is a "low risk" to ending the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly so long as the Pentagon can prepare and has enough time to train military leaders about any changes.

"Having enough time to do that is critically important as we would look at implementation," Mullen said Tuesday. "That's what really mitigates any risk that's out there."

Gates and Mullen have not said how long the Defense Department would need to implement any changes, but Ham said Tuesday that the military has already drawn up a "three-phase approach" for changing the policy.

Ham and Johnson's report recommends that service members who were discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" be allowed to reenlist. The military should not establish separate showering or sleeping facilities for openly gay troops, because the process would be too confusing and expensive, the report said.

ed.okeefe@washingtonpost.com ben.pershing@wpost.com

Staff writer Craig Whitlock contributed to this report.


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