Friday, July 22, 2011
resident Obama is scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen Friday afternoon (July 22) and reports are circulating that the meeting could be to discuss certification of military readiness to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
The Los Angeles Times and other media reported late Thursday that two Pentagon officials said Panetta and Mullen would announced Friday that the two can certify military readiness to Congress –one of the stipulations for enacting repeal of the federal law banning openly gay people from service. The repeal law passed in December also requires the president to submit written certification to Congress of military readiness.
After all three submit their certifications, a 60-day clock must tick down before repeal is actually implemented.
The Washington Post noted that Panetta is to be sworn in as Defense secretary, replacing retired Secretary Robert Gates, on Friday at the Pentagon in northern Virginia. ABC News reported that the certification announcement will take place at the Pentagon shortly after Panetta is sworn in.
The White House official schedules indicate that Vice President Joe Biden will swear in Panetta at 11 a.m. and that President Obama will meet with Panetta and Mullen at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
The White House schedule does not indicate the topic of the afternoon meeting and notes the meeting is closed to the press.