Weinstein Claims Credit for BRAC’d Unit
A previous article noted that Michael Weinstein likes to highlight the places that his Military Religious Freedom Foundation was mentioned in the press. One result of his “tooting his own horn” may be the perception of “impact” from his organization. Apparently, his desire to seem influential is so strong that he has digressed into fiction.
In a long article published at an independent “online magazine,” Weinstein is quoted as saying:
Our Foundation stopped the 523rd Attack F16 Squadron three years ago; the Air Force suddenly mothballed it – they were called, by the way, “The Crusaders” – their official Air Force logo emblazoned on the fuselages of their attack F16’s, (equipped to carry laser-guided nuclear and conventional weapons) – this logo was on their flight-suits as well as the aircraft… (emphasis added)
(For the record, Weinstein was a JAG, not a fighter pilot, as displayed by his lack of understanding of military weapons. There’s no such thing as a “laser guided nuclear weapon.” If one knows anything about such weapons, the mere suggestion is laughable. The descriptor sounds realistic and ominous enough to get him quoted in the press, however, which is his goal.)
Nearly four years ago, this site predicted this turn of events:
Even Mr. Michael Weinstein’s latest attack on “religion” in the Air Force will undoubtedly create misperceptions. Weinstein wrote a scathing opinion column in the Air Force Times that “demanded” the removal of “Christian symbology” from the patch and unit name of the 523rd Fighter Squadron Crusaders.
The Air Force will probably let time solve the issue; the last round of base closures slated the 523rd to be deactivated. When the unit ceases to exist within the year, Weinstein’s timing can make him seem causal; if no one rebuts that perception, the public will see yet another case of religion “rightfully” being removed from the military. (emphasis added)
As was pointed out at the time, the 2005 BRAC that closed the 523rd came out prior to Weinstein even starting his “foundation,” yet he now claims credit for the result. Despite a host of unsubstantiated claims of influencing the military toward his ends, Weinstein has faced a string of legal defeats and appears willing to take credit for things over which he had no influence whatsoever.
Despite his claim that his foundation accomplished this years ago, the 523rd symbology–which even he admits no longer exists–was still a part of his most recent lawsuit (now dismissed) against the Department of Defense. As his interview shows, too, he also cites old, invalid data as ‘proof’ of continuing ‘overt Christianity’ in the US military–apparently lacking any current events to support his cause.