The general joins the chorus:
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” General Powell said in a statement issued by his office. He added: “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”
Steve Benen says Powell’s endorsement should help seal the deal:
For those keeping score at home, there are now three chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — the current chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, along with retired Gens. John Shalikashvili and Powell — who agree that it’s time to end this absurd policy. Two of the three were appointed by Republican presidents. They’re joined by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was originally brought on to head the Pentagon by the Bush/Cheney administration.
I’ve never forgiven Powell his comments like this one from the January 25, 1993, Nightline:
JEFF GREENFIELD: [voice-over] Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, flatly rejects any comparison between the racial segregation of the past and the current ban on gays.
Gen. COLIN POWELL: Homosexuality is not a benign sex- benign behavioral characteristic such as skin color or whether you’re Hispanic or Oriental. It goes to one of the most fundamental aspects of human behavior, and I think it does make a difference. I think it’d be very, very difficult to accommodate that into the armed forces.
Maybe now the healing can begin. Comments sure proved that wrong. And not a one makes mention of that old Nightline quote I dug up…