Washington (CNN) – The head of the U.S. Marine Corps will fully cooperate with a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring openly gay and lesbian soldiers from the military, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Mullen said there was "no question" that Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, an opponent of repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy at this time, would implement all necessary changes to allow openly gay Marines to serve if Congress passes a repeal measure.
Washington (CNN) - It is up to the Justice Department to determine if there will be criminal charges in the release of classified military documents by WikiLeaks, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday the website is morally guilty for putting lives at risk.
On the ABC program "This Week," Gates declared himself "mortified" and "appalled" over the public dissemination of 76,000 documents that detailed military operations in Afghanistan.
"If I'm angry it is because I believe this information puts those in Afghanistan who have helped us at risk," Gates said, citing a Taliban statement that it would seek out informants and other collaborators exposed by the documents.
He said the issue involved two areas of culpability – legal and moral.
While the Department of Justice will decide on the legal questions, "there's also a moral culpability, and that's where I think WikiLeaks is guilty," Gates said.
Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also cited the Taliban's threat to sources named in the leaked documents, saying the United States had a "moral obligation" to protect their safety.
(CNN) - Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Thursday that he was nearly "physically sick" when he read the story about Gen. Stanley McChrystal and McChrystal's staff in Rolling Stone. Mullen also said he was "stunned."
He said the story, in its totality, amounted to an unacceptable challenge to civilian authority.
Washington (CNN) - The top US military official said he backs the president's decision to remove Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his command post.
"I'm very supportive of the president's decision," Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said at a Washington event on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has tapped Gen. David Petraeus, the current commander of Central Command, to replace McChrystal as top commander in Afghanistan.
Asked if he has any individuals in mind to replace Gen. Petraeus at Centcom, Mullen said simply, "I do." and then added "but that's all I'll say."
Washington (CNN) – The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff walked a fine line Sunday as he stressed the need to complete the military’s internal review of the effects of repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy while remaining sufficiently deferential to Congress, which has taken significant steps in the past week to change the controversial policy.
Watch: Mullen on DADT
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have both expressed their personal belief that the Clinton-era military policy against gays and lesbians serving openly should be changed. But Gates, the military’s top civilian leader, and much of the military’s top brass, including Mullen, have also said that they believe the Pentagon needs time to survey its rank and file to determine how service members feel about the policy change and to identify potential obstacles and pitfalls in allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. Under Gates’ direction, the Pentagon has begun a wide-ranging survey the results of which will not be available until December.
But, in a move that seems to be driven by this November’s midterm elections, both the House and a Senate committee passed measures last week that begin the process of repealing the law that created “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The congressional moves got what can only be described, at best, as a tepid response from Gates and the service chiefs.
Asked about the hurry that the Democratically-controlled Congress now seems to be in to change the policy, Mullen said the military review still needs to be completed and factored into any decision to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“I still think – and so does the Secretary of Defense – [that] it’s really critical to understand the points of view of those it will affect the most, as we look at the implementation challenges should the law change,” Mullen said Sunday in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union.
“Ideally, I would certainly have preferred that legislation not be brought forward, in terms of the change, until we are completed with that review.,” he added.
Washington (CNN) - Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that technical challenges require the oil industry, rather than the U.S. military, to lead the effort to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.
"It really is not ours to lead right now, because of the technical challenges," Mullen said on the CNN program "State of the Union." Instead, the oil industry is leading the effort, Mullen said.
While the military has some deep-sea capability, such as deep-sea submersibles, officials have said the military has no unique technology to offer regarding offshore oil drilling. The military has undersea imagery
technology, but military officials said it would not add any capability to what the private industry is already using.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates speak at a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen will meet with other members of the Joint Chiefs Monday to discuss President Barack's Obama's plan to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gay and lesbian service members, according to two U.S. military officials.
The closed door meeting is considered exceptionally sensitive, the sources say, because the chiefs - each of whom heads a military service - are said to be concerned that changing the law would be too disruptive on military forces.
The policy, which has been in effect since 1993, prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. armed forces. The policy bans military recruiters or authorities from asking about an individual's sexual orientation, but also prohibits a service member from revealing that he or she is gay.
Obama announced his intention to repeal the policy during last week's State of the Union address.
"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," he said.
Washington (CNN) – Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized President Obama's assertion Tuesday that the Bush administration ignored requests for more troops to battle the Taliban, declaring the president's remark made during his address on Afghanistan a "bald misstatement."
Rumsfeld said Wednesday that during his time as Bush's Secretary of Defense, he was "not aware of a single request of that nature."
"The President's assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan," Rumsfeld said in a statement. "In the interest of better understanding the President's announcement last night, I suggest that the Congress review the President's assertion in the forthcoming debate and determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied."
But Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since October of 2007, said Wednesday that the former top commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, had requested more troops during the previous administration, but they were sent to Iraq instead.