Tomorrow morning at 9AM, the Senate Armed Services Committee will commence a hearing on the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
While there has been widespread speculation that the policy will be repealed in this lame duck session, the smart money says it's going to be a fist-fight. The hearings will provide a window into the current thinking in Washington. If you want the breaking news on DADT repeal, this is the place to get it.
The hearings will be broadcast live here on Bilerico starting tomorrow morning at about 9 am. Using "CoverItLive" technology, you and I will also be able to converse, right below the video screen, about what is happening in the hearing. I will try to provide information about the witnesses, the recent report and the law, as well as commentary on what they really mean to say between the lines. While another post will go to the top of the blog at 11, we will continue to cover it, and you can find the video on the 9AM post for as long as the hearing goes.
More on the hearings after the jump.
The hearing is entitled as follows on the Committee website:
"FULL COMMITTEE - To receive testimony on the report of the Department of Defense Working Group that conducted a comprehensive review of the issues associated with a repeal of section 654 of title 10, United States Code, "Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces."
The witnesses for the first day of testimony are:
Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
Honorable Jeh C. Johnson
General Counsel, Department of Defense
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group
Admiral Michael G. Mullen, USN
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Carter F. Ham, USA
Commander, United States Army Europe
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group
On Friday, the witnesses will be:
General James E. Cartwright, USMC
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General George W. Casey, Jr., USA
Chief of Staff of the Army
Admiral Gary Roughead, USN
Chief of Naval Operations
General James F. Amos, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps
General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF
Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG
U.S. Coast Guard
You can get the full report, issued yesterday, as a PDF here from Rachel Maddow's blog. Here's what Rachel had to say about the report on the blog.
And here is a related report that also came out yesterday, also available as a PDF, the Support Plan for Implementation.
Happy reading! See you tomorrow, 9 am.
Oh, and Organizing For America sent me an interesting email today, asking that I write a letter to the editor of a local paper, and giving me a link to do it!
Here's the letter:
The Pentagon just released its report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- and we're closer than ever to ending this discriminatory policy.
The report confirms what we've long known: The military is ready to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The report found that troop readiness would not be affected by repeal, and that 70 percent of troops do not believe it would have a negative impact on morale.
With the Senate taking up the issue starting later this week and the national media coverage spotlighting the report, we need to show we have the momentum.
We're focused on the letters pages of local newspapers -- where senators and their staffers look every day to see what their constituents are thinking, especially after big news like this.
Let's fill those pages with letters from folks like you who stand with President Obama on ending this policy. We fell just two votes short of moving repeal forward in the Senate this fall -- so each letter matters.
Take three minutes now and write a letter to the editor supporting the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Using our letter-to-the-editor tool is easy. We'll provide tips and some talking points, but you already know why "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to be repealed: It punishes patriotic men and women who want nothing more than to serve our country. It discriminates against those who are trying to protect us. And it harms us, by preventing qualified and much-needed Americans from serving.
The Pentagon study is one more signal that the military is ready to end this policy.
Top military leaders across the board -- from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to former Secretary of State General Colin Powell -- have publicly voiced their support for repeal.
President Obama campaigned on ending it, and he won't be satisfied until this discriminatory policy is undone.
But to make sure it happens, the senators who will cast the crucial votes need to see their constituents' overwhelming support for repeal.
Please take three minutes to write a letter today:
Organizing for America