Colin Powell Comes Out for DADT Repeal. Didn’t John McCain Once Trust Powell’s Judgment on the Policy?

In 2008, after voicing his unwavering support for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, former Sec. of State Colin Powell indicated he’d relaxed his position on the policy. In 2009, Powell inched a bit further, saying he favored having the law reviewed, but was careful to note he was no longer in charge, and thus couldn’t give a more concrete answer. And now in 2010, and on the heels of Defense Sec. Robert Gates and his Joint Chiefs of Staff peer Adm. Mike Mullen coming out against the policy, Powell has given his full endorsement:

“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” the general says in a statement. “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”

Looks like John McCain, who’s flip-flopped on his support of leaving DADT’s repeal up to military leaders, is going to have to find a new crutch for his bigoted position. In 1999, McCain cited then-Sec. of State Powell’s support of the policy as a foundation for his own endorsement: “I support the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy because Gen. Colin Powell, Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf, all of the military leaders that I respect and admire came up with this policy. They thought it was the best way to address a very difficult problem within our military.”