(CNN) - The Pentagon is set to certify that the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian service members, and doing so will not harm military readiness, a U.S. official told CNN on Thursday.
According to the official, who spoke on condition of not being identified, an announcement of that certification - which is required to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy - is likely to come Friday.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - A majority of U.S. service members surveyed do not care if the law banning openly gay and lesbian troops from serving is repealed, according to a source knowledgeable with the results of the Pentagon study. Members of Congress are to get an advance look at the study Tuesday.
The number opposing lifting the ban - known as "don't ask, don't tell" - fearing negative results "is very small when compared to those who say it will have positive or mixed results, or no effect at all," the source explained.
However, the source cautioned about taking the results as a true reflection of the entire force. The low number of respondents, just 28 percent of those who were sent the survey, means "the study only represents views, it doesn't mean everyone feels this way."
Washington (CNN) - The Pentagon is trying to be low-key about today's Lady Gaga rally in Maine. When asked if Pentagon officials would be watching Lady Gaga's rally to urge Senators to repeal "don't ask don't tell" a senior defense official said, "No, not really."
A second defense official says the event is clearly aimed at the political side of the argument, and isn't likely to sway the minds of military officials one way or another.
The top brass is already on record with their opinions: both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen have said publicly they support repealing "don't ask don't tell," but the defense official says troops as a whole have wildly different opinions on the issue.
Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to leave his post in the spring of 2011, a senior administration source told CNN on Monday.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that Gates wants to retire some time next year. Gates was quoted in an article in the magazine Foreign Policy published Monday saying he wanted to step down before the end of 2011.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said references in the article to Gates' desire to retire next year "accurately reflect the secretary's thoughts."