Murphy 'Blindsided' by Gates, Presses On

BY Kerry Eleveld

May 03 2010 10:35 AM ET

The White House statement technically left open the possibility of
repealing the law legislatively but having a delayed implementation to
accommodate the Pentagon’s study and timeline. Do you support a
delayed implementation approach?

I know the president shares my
conviction that this is the wrong policy for our country and our
national security and that our heroes deserve better and I believe that
he’s committed to making this happen, as evidenced by his State of the
Union speech.

My bill, once we pass it whether through the
[Defense authorization] or other mechanisms, has a six-month delayed
enactment to give time to figure out implementation and the regulations,
etc. But we need to push forward and repeal it this year. Because every
single day this policy continues to hurt our national security and the
American taxpayer.

So I’m hearing you say that a delayed
implementation approach isn’t off the table for you?

No.

Have
you talked to anyone who has taken repeal off the table based on
Friday’s letter?

No.

If I could just mention one more
thing about the stress this puts on our soldiers. I got an e-mail from a
company commander in Afghanistan, who his partner broke up with him and
he had no one to turn to — he couldn’t go to his chaplain, he couldn’t
go to his superiors or to his battle buddies, and here the guy is
leading 200 of our best troops over in Afghanistan in a very tough
fight. And he cradled a 9mm weapon in his hand because he kept thinking
he had nowhere to turn to and he was about to blow his brains out.

For
that young army captain, who was doing the best he can to get by, he
should not have live life as a lie. And that’s why it’s incumbent on all
of us, the policy makers for our country, to do what’s right and to
stand by him even when there are setbacks and even when change is hard
and even when other folks may be naysayers.

It’s time to
redouble our efforts for heroes like him.














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