Mikey Weinstein’s Friends and Allies in Military High Places, Part 3

Despite his claims the US military is overrun by Christians trying to take over the world, Michael Weinstein seems to have more public allies in military leadership positions than he has public enemies. In addition, Michael Weinstein seems to have some very well-placed friends in the US military, despite his claims he is a David fighting an institutional Goliath.

Weinstein’s “close personal…relationship” with an Air Force base’s commanding general has already been discussed, as has his unusual access to an Air Force Colonel’s non-releasable records.  It turns out Weinstein also counts the recently retired JAG of the Air Force as a cheerleader for his cause.

In fact, Weinstein’s apparently unfettered access to military leadership is so unusual Congress has been asked to investigate it.

The most interesting example of Weinstein’s friends in high places was made public on Weinstein’s new book, which was endorsed by Jack Rives. That’s USAF Lieutenant General (Retired) Jack Rives, who was the Air Force’s top lawyer (The Judge Advocate General of the Air Force) from 2006 until he retired in 2010. He also performed the duties for the scandal-plagued TJAG for the two prior years, 2004-2006.

What were LtGen Rives duties as TJAG?

The Judge Advocate General…is the legal adviser of the Secretary of the Air Force and of all officers and agencies of the Department of the Air Force, [including the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.]

This is what LtGen Rives had to say about Weinstein’s book [emphasis added]:

Mikey Weinstein is a true American Patriot, doing the hard things and doing them well! No Snowflake is a tremendous read, a real page-turner.

It expertly chronicles Mikey’s tireless civil rights fight against fundamentalist religious predators in our nation’s armed forces.

This powerful book shows the incredible time, the painful costs, and the exceptional energy he, his family, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation have expended to protect our vulnerable service members who face discrimination because of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

His efforts support a critical Constitutional guarantee for all Americans. Keep it up, Mikey!

—JACK RIVES, Lt. Gen., USAF (Retired) and The Judge Advocate General of the United States Air Force, 2006-2010

In truth, the blurb was probably written by Weinstein, given the large number of hyperbolic adjectives characteristic of Weinstein’s language. Still, as written, LtGen Rives endorses not only the book, but also Michael Weinstein’s entire political advocacy — the very thing he was charged with helping defend the Air Force against just 18 months ago.

Until he retired in 2010, LtGen Rives had been the lawyer who, from the very beginning of Weinstein’s campaign, advised Air Force leadership as Weinstein waged a “war” of “litigation and agitation” against religious freedom in the Air Force — which included threats of lawsuits and a virtual campaign of harassment against members of the Air Force.  LtGen Rives is now advocating for Weinstein’s agenda.

This is not insignificant. For example, in October 2010, just after Rives retired, Weinstein filed a complaint with the Air Force with a notable phrase about ChristianFighterPilot.com:

The specifics of this individual’s extensive internet activities and his Christian supremacy website are available by contacting Lt. Gen. Richard Harding, The Judge Advocate General of the USAF in the Pentagon.

As was asked at the time: Why would the Air Force JAG even care about this website?

It appears Michael Weinstein may have been providing LtGen Rives — the man who is now his friend and political ally, and the man who advised the Chief of Staff of the Air Force on how to deal with complaints from people like Weinstein — with “specifics” about ChristianFighterPilot.com. 

That same (retired) General officer now says “Keep it up, Mikey!”

To his credit, then-MajGen Rives toed the military line in 2006 when he responded to the news Michael Weinstein’s lawsuit against the Air Force Academy had been dismissed:

“We believe Academy officials performed properly and that this litigation is one important step in the direction in judicial recognition of that,” said Maj. Gen. Jack Rives, Air Force Judge Advocate General, in a prepared statement.

That was likely his first interaction with Weinstein’s personal vendetta against the Air Force. There do not appear to be any similar public statements by the Air Force JAG about Weinstein since then, despite Weinstein’s ongoing complaints.

Ironically, had LtGen Rives been a Christian, he likely would have been targeted by Michael Weinstein, because LtGen Rives said his Jewish faith informed his military officership, and his upbringing in Judaism gave him “the fortitude to speak truth to power:”

“I’m sure my religious background, training and experience … told me what’s right and what’s wrong. In this case, I was convinced; it’s really that simple…”

“I’ve stepped back, and probably what I do is give more credibility to someone’s complaints than people who would says this is a black-and-white issue,” he said. “I think because of my religious background, I’m more likely to say, these are honestly held beliefs and there is a way to accommodate it.”

It is no small irony that for years Michael Weinstein blasted the Christian corruption he claimed was running the military and attempting to take over the world — while the highest ranking military leader in the Air Force, and his highest ranking military legal advisor, were both Jewish.

Still, this may not be the end of the story. A coalition of military chaplains has asked Congress to investigate Michael Weinstein’s uniquely free access to US military leadership, particularly in the Air Force.

Looks like they have a place to start.