Michael Weinstein seems to revel in excoriating those with whom he disagrees. His attacks are filled with ellipses and alliterative assaults questioning everything from people’s character to their patriotism.
He has equated officers in the US Army with rapists and racists. He’s stooped to gradeschool name-calling. He has even implied the threat of violence upon critics as varied as Rush Limbaugh and Gordon Klingenschmitt.
Another favored Weinstein tactic, though, is the somber and vaguely-worded legal threat. While it seems Weinstein threatens to sue someone virtually every time he opens his mouth, some have had the privilege of actually getting a letter from one set or another of Weinstein’s lawyers. One sent a letter to Trijicon for saying Trijicon’s critics were “not Christian.” Another Weinstein legal threat went out against the publishers of the Colorado Springs Gazette after it criticized his “[opposition] to the free exercise of religion.”
As previously noted, Weinstein’s lawyers also directed a threat of a lawsuit at ChristianFighterPilot.com after this site pointed out Weinstein’s substantial personal compensation from his self-founded “charity.”
It is readily apparent Michael Weinstein, the man who employs vitriolic criticism as naturally as others breathe, can’t stand a whit of criticism himself.
Even from a Jewish soccer mom.
Weinstein’s attorneys at Mathis and Donheiser recently sent a letter advising parents of two Jewish USAFA cadets to “be careful.” Why? They posted — gasp — a comment critical of Weinstein on the internet. From the MRFF lawyer’s letter:
Expression of opinion is one thing; insinuating falsehood is sometimes quite another.
The statement “…he currently is using the media to implicate a negative image of the Academy…” seems to us calculated to imply falsehood by way of misleading innuendo.
Does Weinstein seriously think the opinion of him creating a “negative image of the Academy” is misleading? Does he think demanding the removal of all senior leadership at the Academy gives them a “positive” image?
The lack of explicit expression and constant qualification in the letter — “insinuating,” “sometimes,” “seems,” “might,” “imply,” etc. — is likely carefully calculated. While saying very little explicitly, the letter is thick with implicit threat, like this somber line:
If the Academy Parents club there carries insurance and/or if you do, which has a notice of circumstance clause, we would appreciate your placing them on notice of our concern.
Now, if a law firm sent you a letter and advised you to inform not only your own insurance company, but also that of a group with whom you associate, how would you react? Does anybody really wonder why a lawyer’s letter would ask for personal (and organizational) insurance information, while simultaneously noting they’re currently seeking as much as $600,000 or more from the people they’re currently suing (a copy of which they were kind enough to enclose)?
(In correspondence over the threatened lawsuit against ChristianFighterPilot.com, Mathis and Donheiser included firm and insistent demands for insurance information in every letter. Their demands for financial information didn’t stop until a lawyer responded to their letters, William Becker in association with the Rutherford Institute.)
As with the Weinstein v Ammerman lawsuit, the legal letter expresses a concern that criticisms of Weinstein “might incite” people against him.
For security and safety reasons, Mr. Weinstein must, of necessity, be mindful of statements which by implication imply [sic] things which might incite unstable people who might read them.
Why Weinstein doesn’t think his words incite others against his targets is unclear.
It is worth noting that Weinstein’s legal letter appeared to have the intended effect: the internet comment has been removed. But if Weinstein is so concerned about “unstable people” that he has his lawyers target people who put up innocuous criticisms, why does he then re-publish those statements? The ‘dangerous’ comment is still on the internet — on Weinstein’s own website.
Why? Weinstein is actually reveling in the incident. He’s acting like a bully who texts all his friends after he pushes a kid down on the playground (“LOL”). His actions indicate that, contrary to the claims of his lawyer’s letter — he’s not “mindful” (in a concerned way) of that comment being on the internet. In fact, he apparently wants people to see how ‘powerful’ he is in his ability to shut down a critic.
The same is true of the very next sentence in the letter:
These are not imagined concerns. Mr. Weinstein’s property in the past has been damaged, his residence shot at, and he is the subject of numerous threats of violence.
There are two problems with that statement. First, the concerns are “imagined” in that no one has ever publicly connected those incidents with other peoples’ words criticizing Weinstein. That is, there is no proof that Weinstein’s house wasn’t vandalized because his own words ‘incited unstable people,’ rather than the words of others. Attacks and vandalism are reprehensible under any circumstances, but the “concern” over critics inciting people to physically attack Weinstein is unsupported by any public fact.
The second problem is that, again, Weinstein relishes his status as a sometimes-martyr. An article once noted Weinstein shows off his hate mail like some people do pictures of their grandkids. In that vein, the same “concerns” quoted above have been cited repeatedly for more than 3 years. If more than three years of criticism haven’t generated anything about which Weinstein can boast, why is there a “concern” over this internet comment?
Weinstein even once tried to connect a church arson to a talk he gave in the same town. As recently as this year his allies have repeated that connection, though none have pointed out fire investigators connected the incident to a string of arsons completely unrelated to Weinstein. There has never been any public proof of motive in any of the attacks on Weinstein — yet his lawyers write letters implying such acts are motivated by those who publicly criticize Weinstein, and implying those public criticizers will be held responsible.
What is Weinstein really concerned about? There are indications his “group” has been impacted by people finding out the truth about him and the conduct of his “religious freedom” “charity” — like finding out here about Weinstein’s prior conspiracy claims (“This country is going through — right now — a transition from [Plan] A to [Plan] B.”) or how he criticized and raised money off the religious free exercise of US troops, rather than defending it as he claims.
What was the truth he was trying to avoid people hearing this time? This was the line in the internet comment prior to the one quoted in the lawyer’s letter (as written):
If you are a jewish cadet or a parent of a jewish cadet who has had a positive experience while attending the academy please write a response to Mikey Weinstein…
Weinstein went after someone soliciting positive stories from Jewish cadets/families associated with USAFA. How dare those parents have the gall to defend the Air Force Academy? Their attempt to provide an opposing picture to Weinstein obviously didn’t fit his conspiracy theory of Christian world domination. After all, how can he claim USAFA is under an evangelical Christian tyranny if Jewish cadets and parents defend it? He apparently had to shut them down.
Note that the legal letter complains of a fairly benign statement, which Weinstein has no problem publicly repeating. However, the second order (and perhaps intended) effect was to remove the call for a Jewish defense of USAFA.
In the end, the legal threats from Weinstein are yet another form of his “litigation and agitation” — through intimidation. His actions are not those of one who defends religious freedom (in the military or anywhere else), despite the name of his charity. They are the actions of someone pushing a personal vendetta, and using every means they can think of to do it.
A person who targets an innocuous internet post, and then hangs the legal letter on their refrigerator door of a website, doesn’t establish his credibility as the leader of a “civil rights” organization defending any kind of liberty.
He shows himself to be nothing more than a playground bully.