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Levin Asks Gates for Clarification

Levin Asks Gates for Clarification

The Senate Armed Services Committee Friday released a correspondence between Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and Defense secretary Robert Gates in which Levin asks Gates to clarify the purpose of the Pentagon's working group study of "don't ask, don't tell" repeal, due out in early December.

"Is the purpose of this comprehensive review to determine 'whether' to repeal the statue or is it to assess the issues related to 'how' to implement a repeal of the statute?" wrote Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a letter dated May 3.

In a May 6 letter, Gates responded by revisiting his testimony from the February 2 hearing on "don't ask, don't tell" in which he said, "The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change but how we ... best prepare for it." Gates said the statement continues to be his position and that of the department's.

But he added, "The outcome of this review is also intended to fully inform both Presidential and Congressional decision making to ensure a change in this law properly and fully addresses the various and complex considerations involved."

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