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  • Introduction: Implementation of ’’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell‘‘ Repeal

    The story really does begin with the president’s campaign position. President Obama campaigned on the position that he would seek repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but he said he would do so in close collaboration with the military, with the Joint Chiefs.4 In other words, the Obama administration very much did not want to repeat the experience of 1993 when the issue of gays in the military really did get out of hand, compared to where the Clinton administration really wanted it be. As some of you may have seen in the recent HBO documentary on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” early on in his presidency, Bill Clinton was met with political forces in opposition to what he wanted to do—opposition that the Clinton administration really did not anticipate. The Obama administration really did want to spend some time with the issue; we wanted to consider repeal in collaboration with the military after careful study.

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