Gov. Tim Pawlenty told Meet the Press on Sunday that he supports keeping “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as the policy on gays and lesbians serving in the military, saying “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

MR. GREGORY: What about “don’t ask, don’t tell”? Should it be repealed?

GOV. PAWLENTY: I support “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And, you know anecdotally–I saw the general’s comments in response to that. Anecdotally, I know there’s still a great number, a great portion of the military community that is concerned about that. They believe “don’t ask, don’t tell” worked. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it–or if it’s not, it’s not in need of fixing, you don’t need to repair it. So I’d leave it alone.

Whether it is broken or not is at the heart of the current debate on repealing the law. Certainly, the 13,000 men and women who defended the United States whose career was cut short because they are gay or lesbian probably have a different take than Pawlenty.

And the military has lost a lot of talent because of the ban:

between 1998-2003, the military discharged 49 nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare specialists, 90 nuclear power engineers, 52 missile guidance and control operators, 150 rocket, missile and other artillery specialists, and 340 infantrymen.

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