Army Starts Recoupment Action against Atheist Former Cadet
According to NBC News, the US Army is starting the process to recoup the cost of atheist former Cadet Blake Page’s West Point education:
In a memorandum dated Dec. 12, the superintendent of West Point Academy, Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, did recommend to Army headquarters that Page be honorably discharged and that recoupment — in the form of money or service as an enlisted soldier — be waived.
The response, signed by Thomas R. Lamont, assistant Army secretary, approves Page for an honorable discharge, but disapproves the waivers. In the Jan. 28 memorandum, he orders the West Point superintendent “to conduct a recoupment investigation.”
The Army could demand up to $250,000 or order Page back to active duty, where he previously served enlisted before attending West Point.
As noted in December, Page quit West Point in an act he admitted was a publicity stunt — knowing full well recoupment was one possible outcome.
Michael Weinstein, who originally helped shop Page’s story to the media, said of the Pentagon’s decision:
This may be the clearest example I’ve ever seen of reprisal and retribution. It sends an extremely dangerous message to anyone who wants to stand for their constitutional rights.
Weinstein fails to say retribution for what. To the point, Page resigned voluntarily and he admitted recoupment was one possible outcome of his decision. He even used the potential magnitude as a sympathy line. To now say it was never supposed to happen undermines the original pity plea and ignores the key point: Cadets who resign after their second year are liable for recoupment, regardless of their politics.
For the third time in about a week, Weinstein made the empty threat of filing a lawsuit against the military. Because that’s what Weinstein does when he wants publicity but he’s out of ideas.