The Commandant of Cadets at the US Air Force Academy, BrigGen Richard Clark, reportedly distributed a memorandum to all USAFA cadets on Wednesday. He included the memorandum from the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, as an attachment.
Of course, Weinstein is claiming “victory” about something over which he had neither control nor influence. In fact, his demands were completely ignored. To wit, Weinstein said:
MRFF has twice demanded that Gould so [sic] distribute this directive…to all Academy personnel, staff, cadets and government contractors…
For the record, an assessment:
- Did General Gould distribute the message? No.
- Did it go to all Academy personnel? No.
- Did it go to all staff? No.
- Did it go to all contractors? No.
- All cadets? Yes, sort of.
The USAFA spokesman indicated all cadets “probably” hadn’t seen it, but it appears it was made available to all cadets.
So Weinstein goes 1 for 5 (sort of), and he called it a
gigantic victory for the foundation.
Academy spokesman Lt. Col. John Bryan said the memo’s distribution occurred in the wake of a Monday meeting between Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Richard Clark and the officers and sergeants who oversee the academy’s 40 cadet squadrons…
Indeed, the memo from the Commandant — which Weinstein seems to think was bowing to his recent pressure — was dated more than a week ago. The Academy noted this wasn’t the mountain a vocal critic had made it out to be.
“Gen. Clark’s approach was similar to Gen. Gould’s a few weeks ago, when he held his weekly staff meeting w/his senior commanders and directors, passed out some copies of the CSAF memo and discussed its message with those senior USAFA commanders and directors—directing them to ensure this message got out to permanent party, staff and cadets, here,” Bryan writes in an e-mail.
“It’s what we call the Chain of Command and how we communicate quite often.”
Weinstein’s ignorance of the chain of command showed up even in his original demands, where he wanted USAFA to send out the memo that came
from the Commander of the most powerful air force on planet earth.
For those that aren’t in the military, it may not be obvious. Every new officer, however, receives training on US military history and the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which passed around the time Weinstein says he was threatening to sue the Air Force if it didn’t let him resign.
Goldwater-Nichols revamped the military chain of command, and it removed the Chiefs of the Services entirely from the combatant chain of command. The chain of command flows from the Commander in Chief, President Obama, to the Secretary of Defense, now the Honorable Leon Panetta, directly to the Combatant Commanders. (Most people remember Norman Schwarzkopf, who was the Central Command Combatant Commander when Desert Storm kicked off.) The title of “AF/CC” may occasionally be technically accurate, though you may note the Chief signed the memo with “Chief of Staff,” not “Commander.” It is misleading to portray it as Weinstein does.
Perhaps Weinstein needs to hire a military liaison or research assistant so his “charity” can avoid such embarrassment when its president speaks out of school.
He may need more help than that. Weinstein, synonymous with “hyperbole,” said in his accusation that
Gould’s willful, abject failure to do that which is clearly right here can perhaps best be characterized by the observation that I have never known a more vulgar expression of betrayal and deceit.
It’s patently ridiculous, to pair some descriptors, to assert General Gould’s decision to work with his staff in the manner he did was any kind of betrayal or deceit, never mind “vulgar.”
Its fairly evident Michael Weinstein created a controversial connection of this memo to USAFA where none actually existed, apparently in an effort to invigorate his waning notoriety. As with some of his other publicity grabs, even some who publicly agree with him in principle disagreed with his accusations against General Gould. (They read the memo. It didn’t say what he implied.) If this is what it takes for Weinstein to get in the news and claim “victory” and so little comes of it, he may be approaching his nadir.
There may be a more subtle indication of Weinstein’s fade into irrelevancy, even among his supporters. Weinstein used to be called a “watchdog.” Now, he’s merely a “critic.”