The Last Word | January 24, 2013
>>> i think itsuper. the right thing to do, i support it. i want to make sure the standards are met so that the combat efficiency of the units are greater. it is time to do that. the women have proven the contributions that they have made and i support it.
>> that was senator john mccain 's response that the ban on women in combat is over.
>> senator leon panetta lifted the ban opening positions to women soldiers and marines.
>> it won't happen right away. the first plans aren't due until may of this year and special exceptions can be requested by each branch for jobs until 2016 . but more women who have served in iraq afghanistan. nearly 1,000 have been wounded in action. one of those is now a democratic congresswoman from the state of illinois . she can tell you that combat is already a reality.
>> i did lose my legs in a bar fight . i was sure i was in combat.
>> joining me now retired army general . what is your reaction to this latest development?
>> i think it is a great initiative and long overdue. and i'm kind of curious, i'm very curious about the timing of it. and the implementation. they need to make it retro active back to at least 2002 when women were already serving. there was no question about physical capabilities then as they were attaching women to these fighting units. but waiting for three years what happens in thee years that has not happened in the last 7 or 8? they need to recognize them officially that they served in combat. and move ahead from here. there are certainly men who won't pass the qualification tests as there will be women who don't pass the tests. there will be women who accell and men who accell in these situations. maybe there have been situations in placing them in combat training situations first.
>> i want to tell you about the qualifications.
>> it is another thing to be out there on a night raid against al qaeda . but the fact is that this is a -- i support this decision and i think that woman are are fully qualified to carry out that mission but i want to see the same physical standards and requirements.
>> what about that? as i said, there are men who cannot qualify. that has never been a point. mostly because it is how it was related to how the american ment uses the draft. every man that was drafted was drafted for a combat position and there were other positions that became available. but there was never a discussion about are all men qualified for combat now there is a discussion about whether women are kal fi qualified for combat positions. but in 2003 there was no discussion about deploying women to iraq for this combat situation about whether they would be physically capable because they would be physically attached. i don't think it is fair i do think there has to be an evaluation. but it must ininclude every entry at every rank in the military system.
>> general, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
>> coming up. you have seen the moment when you ask the question, how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam? he had so much to say i believe it saved thousands of hives by getting the united states out of vietnam sooner. i'll show you more of what he had to say that day and what president obama nixon said about his testimony you have got to see this in tonight's wrewrite. using