Bill Clinton, Colin Powell ignore DADT repeal on Sunday circuit

Sun. September 19, 2010 5:15 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Washington, D.C. - Former President Bill Clinton and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell ignored Tuesday's upcoming vote on repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly, during television appearances on Sunday.

Both men say they've had a change of heart and support repeal of the law that prescribes discharge for gay and lesbian service members who do not remain celibate or closeted.

The policy was considered a compromise to Clinton's campaign promise that he would repeal an outright ban on gay service. Instead, he signed "Don't Ask" into law, and blamed the political environment for blocking him from completing his promise.

Powell, who served as national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan and later as secretary of state under President George W. Bush, was instrumental in getting the policy approved.

In appearances on CBS' Face the Nation and NBC's Meet the Press, the men talked about the growing influence of the tea party movement and the role of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in American politics, but neither was questioned on "Don't Ask."
Powell "should be questioned about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell," blogger Joe Sudbay wrote at "Powell helped create that policy in 1993. Now, he thinks times have changed and the policy has changed."

With a critical vote on repeal scheduled in the Senate for Tuesday, Sudbay lamented the fact that President Barack Obama and Powell had shied away from talking about the issue.

"Instead, [pop star] Lady Gaga has become a fierce advocate for repeal – and she speaks to a big audience. Fortunately, she's been willing to use her bully pulpit."

"At least someone has," he added.

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