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Cheney: I'm cool with repealing 'don't ask'

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Big time: Gays in the military? Whatever.             (ap photo)

In case you missed it, former Vice President Dick Cheney says scrapping the Clinton-era policy on gays in the military is no biggie. Just do it.

"I think society has moved on," he told ABC News' "This Week."

Cheney, a former secretary of defense, never served himself (five deferments). But he said times have changed, and if military leaders aren't bothered by a repeal, then go for it.

"I’m reluctant to second guess the military in this regard because they’re the ones that have got to make the judgment about how these policies affect the military capability," Cheney said. "When the chiefs come forward and say, ‘We think we can do it,’ then that strikes me that it’s time to reconsider the policy."

It would be hard to imagine him saying as much back when he was in office, but Cheney -- who has a gay daughter -- can still surprise on the issue, from time to time. He's also cool with gay marriage -- a big issue from the 2004 presidential campaign.

A Washington Post poll last week found 75 percent support allowing gays to serve openly in the military. A New York Times poll found the responses changed with the wording -- 70 percent said they favor allowing "gay men and lesbians" to serve openly in the military, but just 59 percent said they support allowing "homosexuals" to serve openly.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for a study of implementing a repeal of the policy. President Obama campaigned on a promise to repeal it, and mentioned it in his recent State of the Union.