One day after leaked portions of the Pentagon's Working Group report on the effects of ending "don't ask, don't tell" revealed that "the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts," and that "more than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect ... would be positive, mixed or nonexistent," Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
... is condemning Thursday’s leak to the Washington Post of the results of the Pentagon’s review of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military and has ordered an investigation to find out who leaked details to the paper. [...]
The final report still will be presented to Gates on Dec. 1 as originally intended.
According to tonight’s statement, the full report will be made public shortly thereafter.
“Until then, no one at the Pentagon will comment on its contents,” said Morrell.
Of course all of this is good news for opponents of the repeal who feigned outrage, with accusations that the leak was designed to "manage perceptions," or that it "gravely undermine[d]" the findings, because there's now an excuse to hold onto the report until the last possible minute, making sure that the as many as ten Senators who have said the report would help determine their vote on repealing the ban won't see it before debate on the Defense Authorization bill begins.
It seems that public confirmation of what we've known all along -- that gays serving openly won't impact military effectiveness -- may have just become the latest excuse to "push that one down the road." Again.