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If "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is not repealed by this year's lame-duck session of Congress, gay and lesbian activists say they'll resort to the courts. What's the impact of a Pentagon study of the rank and file, leaked to the public in advance of scheduled debate on Capitol Hill?  Also, Congressman Charlie Rangel walks out of his hearing before the House Ethics Committee, and the Obama Administration wants to end combat in Afghanistan by 2014.

Banner image: Former gay members of the US Military participate in a vigil at the gravesite of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, at Congressional Cemetery on November 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Vietnam Veteran, who died in 1988, received both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star and was later discharged from the Air Force for being gay. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Making News Charlie Rangel Walks Out of His Ethics Hearing 7 MIN, 47 SEC

There was high personal drama today on Capitol Hill when New York's Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel walked out of a long-anticipated Ethics Committee hearing called to give him a chance to defend himself on various changes. Martin Kady is Congressional Bureau Chief for Politico.com.

Martin Kady, Politico (@mkady)

Main Topic What's the Future of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell?' 36 MIN, 27 SEC

After decades of controversy, Congress recognized the right of blacks and women to serve in the US military, perhaps making the armed services America's most thoroughly integrated institution  – except when it comes to sexual orientation. While some states have legalized same-sex marriage, federal law says gays and lesbians can serve only if they're not "out." President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates want Congress to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the political compromise signed by Bill Clinton. John McCain and others see a threat to "combat effectiveness." We hear what a crucial Pentagon survey reveals about the rank and file. If it's not repealed in Congress, what about the courts?

Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post (@edatpost)
Aaron Belkin, Palm Center / UC Hastings (@AaronBelkin)
Kieran Lalor, Founder, Iraq Vets for Congress
Matt Welch, Reason magazine (@mattwelch)

Reporter's Notebook US Plan Would End Combat in Afghanistan by 2014 6 MIN, 43 SEC

President Hamid Karzai said yesterday he wants the US military to reduce both the visibility and intensity of its presence in Afghanistan. Today a spokesman said that was not intended as a vote of "no confidence" in General David Petraeus. But at the same time, the Obama Administration is planning to transfer duties to Afghan forces and withdrawing from combat by 2014. We hear more from Peter Baker, White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Professor Christine Fair of Georgetown University.

Peter Baker, New York Times (@peterbakernyt)
Christine Fair, Georgetown University (@CChristineFair)

Obama's Wars

Bob Woodward

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