BY Kerry Eleveld

February 02 2010 5:05 PM ET

DADT GATES AND MULLEN NEW 2 X390 (GETTY IMAGES) | ADVOCATE.COM

Levin added that he had not had any further
guidance from the White House about the way forward other than the
president’s proclamation in his State of the Union speech.


The results of the hearing were met with a combination of optimism and trepidation by supporters of repeal.


"We
strongly applaud Secretary Gates supporting the president's view that DADT
needs to go. It's a matter of when and how, he said, not if,” said
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense
Network.


“Admiral Mullen’s remarks went far beyond what he
needed to do in this context,” said Alex Nicholson, executive director
of Servicemembers United.


But other repeal
advocates worried about a lengthy time line for the rollout and noted
the policy has already been analyzed thoroughly for years.


“This
issue has been studied for 50 years and the Palm Center released a memo
today footnoting no less 20 studies — including the military’s own
study — which all said openly gay service works,” said Nathaniel
Frank, a senior fellow at the Palm Center, a think tank that studies
sexual minorities in the military. “But they didn’t read the studies,
they buried them, and that’s what they are going to do this time.”


Among
others, the secretary of the Navy commissioned a report in 1957 that became
known as the Crittenden Report; in 1993, Rand Corp. researchers
at the National Defense Research Institute, a think tank founded by the
Air Force, completed a study commissioned by Defense secretary Les
Aspin; a bipartisan panel of retired flag officers released a report in
1998 that Gen. John Shalikashvili called “one of the most comprehensive
evaluations” of the issue since the Rand study; and just last year the
Joint Force Quarterly, a top military journal published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, published a study titled “The
Efficacy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” written by Col. Om Prakash, an
active duty officer in the Air Force. 













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