Colin Powell Backs Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Architect of military's gay ban says times have changed By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Feb 3, 2010 4:11 PM CST 61 comments Comments Former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks at the American Pakistan Foundation's Inaugural Gala Benefit in New York, Friday, Dec. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin) (Newser) – Colin Powell says he supports efforts to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Powell, who proposed the policy as a compromise in 1993 while serving as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says he "fully" backs the plan outlined by defense chief Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, who seek to allow gays to serve freely. "Attitudes and circumstances have changed," said Powell, noting that he has for 2 years encouraged a review of the policy. His clout in military circles could be a big factor in swaying opinions, notes the Washington Post.