From CNN's Carol Costello and Ronni Berke
It's a promise President Barack Obama keeps on making: “Don't Ask. Don't Tell” will go away. In February 2008, he told a crowd: "I'm going to do it by putting together a military panel made up of people like General [John Shalikashvili]."
The president said that as a candidate last year. So far no panel of any kind has been convened to discuss the best way to allow gays to serve openly. Critics say Mr. Obama hasn't even issued an executive order prohibiting the military from firing gay soldiers like Lt. David Choi, until that "panel" is born.
"I want to serve," Choi told CNN. "I want to fight, I want to serve my country but because I'm gay and nobody wants to do anything about it right now of course that's supremely frustrating."
Nobody is doing much about it right now because, despite presidential support, there is still some opposition to repealing the measure.
Some, like retired Army Lt. Colonel Robert Maginnis, oppose repealing the law. “You have forced intimate situations where you say, look, you know, you're going to room with this person, and that's an order. Then, in fact, you can begin to have the residuals, the morale issue, the whole issue about retention and recruitment come up.”
The Pentagon says they can't move on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" until Congress does first.
“This building views 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as the law of the land until Congress acts otherwise,” says Defense Department Press Secretary Geoff Morrell. “We can't willy-nilly choose which laws we wish to abide by and those we don't.”
And, despite a more liberal Congress, lawmakers aren't exactly chomping at the bit to pass Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's measure repealing "Don't Ask, Don’t Tell." Congressional observers say the reason is simple.
Josh Rogan of the Congressional Quarterly says “the bottom line is that Democrats in leadership don’t want to put their members to the test by calling for a vote on this unless they're absolutely sure and the bottom line is right now they're not absolutely sure.”
President Obama has had informal discussions with this top generals about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and he made it clear the law will eventually go away. But he did not request a formal study, so the Pentagon will continue to follow the law.