BrigGen Dana Born, Dean of the US Air Force Academy, has announced her intention to retire in the summer of 2013.
Ordinarily, such a move wouldn’t be newsworthy. However, Gen Born has been under constant attack by Michael Weinstein — aided by his veritable PR arm, Pam Zubeck of the Colorado Springs Independent — for several years. Zubeck, who has long had sources on the USAFA faculty eager to undermine their own institution, “scooped” even the official US military announcement of Born’s retirement, and she did so without attempting to hide her bias:
Brig. Gen. Dana Born, one of the most controversial figures Read more…
Categories: Military Academy dana born, david mullin, fort hood, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, nidal malik hasan, pam zubeck, richard fullerton, rick baker, USAFA
The Air Force Inspector General has determined two US Air Force Academy officials were “negligent” when they made “absolute statements” about the Academy. The IG’s conclusions:
- Col [Richard] Fullerton was negligent in making an absolute statement concerning the academic credentials of [USAFA] faculty members while authoring the Academy’s 2009 Institutional Self-Study Report to the [HLC] of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Brig Gen [Dana] Born was negligent in making an absolute statement to a local newspaper regarding the military faculty’s specific academic credentials as they related to teaching disciplines without first confirming the accuracy of the supporting data.
The investigation was the result of a complaint lodged by MRFF-associate R. David Mullin, an Academy instructor who apparently lost his teaching position (apparently due to “performance issues“) around the same time he went public with various criticisms of the Academy. That has led to speculation on both sides — that Mullin has been targeted for mistreatment, and that Mullin is trying to exact revenge Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion air force, csi, dana born, david mullin, inspector general, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, pam zubeck, Religion, religious freedom, richard fullerton, USAFA
The Associated Press notes the Blue Alliance, a “gay and lesbian alumni group” of “almost 100” US Air Force Academy graduates, will host a tailgate party at the Air Force-Army football game next month. They will also have their annual dinner on the USAFA campus. Despite their small size, they will have some interesting guests: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion adis vila, air force, army, blue alliance, dadt, dana born, david mullin, homosexual, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, patrick gamble, USAFA
The Associated Press has distributed an article indicating the military is “investigating” the US Air Force Academy for issues with its accreditation.
A document obtained by AP says the Air Force inspector general ordered a formal investigation into complaints that the academy’s dean and vice dean of faculty gave incorrect information to the Higher Education Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The document says the vice dean was accused of making “a false official statement” and the dean was accused of “inaccurately portraying” faculty credentials.
“The document” appears to be the response by the Inspector General to the two complainants. The two are reportedly anonymous, though one self-identifies as an Air Force officer, faculty member, and Academy graduate.
In the Inspector General’s letter Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion accreditation, air force, court-martial, dana born, david mullin, dean, foreign language, ig, inspector general, john taylor, masters degree, mike gould, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, pam zubeck, religious freedom, richard fullerton, USAFA
Religious freedom is uniquely valued and protected by the US military. The US Air Force Academy has done a generally admirable, if sometimes imperfect, job of defending religious freedom from those who would demand the government restrict it, like perennial USAFA critic Michael Weinstein. Though there’s been a quiet interlude with regard to Weinstein and the Academy for a little while, Weinstein has indicated he isn’t done with USAFA yet.
But it looks like USAFA is done with him.
Michael Weinstein apparently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Air Force Academy in November of last year, which was finally completed in July of this year. He then provided the information to his apparent ally-reporter at the Colorado Springs Independent, Pam Zubeck, who started her article in the CSIndy this way:
Leaders at the Air Force Academy seem to think that dealing with some complaints about religious bias isn’t worth their time.
That’s the most obvious takeaway from several of the 2,516 pages of documents, mostly e-mails, the academy recently turned over to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation…
The first sentence out of the chute is a mischaracterization of USAFA’s Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion dana born, david mullin, foia, michael gould, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, pam zubeck, Religion, religious freedom, USAFA
It should take no one by surprise to hear Michael Weinstein say he plans to sue the US Air Force Academy. His latest:
Weinstein…said [his] organization will bring suit against the academy for the latest survey under a statute that permits citizens to sue on behalf of the government for waste and fraud.
Weinstein said MRFF will demand the removal of the academy’s superintendent, dean and commandant over the Gamble survey.
The “survey” referenced was the assessment by retired General Gamble. In his typical method of “ready, fire, aim,” Weinstein seems to willfully ignore Read more…
The Air Force Times reports that the recent team led by General (ret) Patrick Gamble to assess the religious climate at the Air Force Academy found cadets were actually more fed up with bad press than they were at issue with their religious freedoms:
Air Force Academy cadets are happy overall with their level of religious freedom there but are distressed by the “constant negative press” the academy receives…
The AFTimes cited the MRFF as the source of the report, as it has not been publicly released; however, the AFTimes appears to have come to quite a different conclusion Read more…
USAFA economics instructor R. David Mullin released a letter through the MRFF criticizing the most recent religious climate assessment. Pam Zubeck of the Colorado Springs Independent tried to get the Air Force to corraborate the MRFF ally’s description of the Religious Climate Review Team led by USAF General (Ret) Patrick Gamble:
In the statement, Mullin notes, “To my knowledge, none (of those in contact with the MRFF) will come forward with their stories of victimization by the establishmentarianists. Why? Because of what the Religious Climate Review Team is not. You are a former USAFA Commandant, another member is a former USAFA Dean of Faculty, and another was a USAFA Permanent Professor for over 30 years. Therefore, you cannot credibly claim that the team is disinterested.”
(Oddly, despite his criticism, it seems Mullin did “come forward” and speak to Gamble’s group.)
According to the CSIndy, the Air Force declined: Read more…
The prior article on the upcoming religious climate review at USAFA noted most major news repeats of the CSIndy story missed some of the more interesting details.
The Associated Press article closed with a single sentence on a related topic:
The Independent reported that the Air Force also plans to review questions raised by an academy faculty member about the qualifications of some of the faculty.
While the statement may seem unrelated to religion at USAFA, it’s actually an integral piece to the puzzle. Here’s what the Independent said:
A second inquiry…involves alleged accreditation violations, religious discrimination and cronyism in hiring civilian faculty.
“I am very concerned that [USAFA] may have committed persistent, gross violations of allowing inadequate academic credentials of many military instructors,” R. David Mullin, associate professor of economics, writes in his complaint to the Higher Learning Commission, Chicago, which accredits the academy.
“Also there have been violations of First Amendment rights and academic freedom by Brigadier General Dana Born, Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion accreditation, chris rodda, Constitution, dana born, david mullin, inspector general, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, richard fullerton, USAFA
Yesterday, a Denver judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation against the US Air Force Academy.
U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello dismissed the suit, saying neither associate professor of economics David Mullin nor the Military Religious Freedom Foundation had shown the prospect of retribution was real and imminent.
In fact, despite having just filed the lawsuit, Mullin reportedly admitted he had not suffered retribution from skipping prior prayer luncheons, and he wasn’t sure he’d face retribution at all:
In a telephone interview after the ruling, Mullin acknowledged he couldn’t say with certainty that he would face retribution for not attending.
Interestingly, the hearing was reported as an opportunity to hear arguments “on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.” Arguello appears to have gone a step further and not only denied the injunction, but also dismissed the suit altogether.
Michael Weinstein now stands at a record of 0 and 4. In the past 6 years he has sued the US military 4 times. Each has been dismissed. While it is not unforgivable Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Chaplain, chris rodda, christine arguello, Church and State, clebe mcclary, Constitution, david mullin, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Prayer, Religion, USAFA
Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has reportedly sued the US Air Force Academy over its decision to invite a Christian to a Prayer Luncheon. In an increasingly common scene, even the Air Force Times was able to accurately summarize the self-contradictory nature of the “religious freedom” group’s actions:
Five Air Force Academy instructors and an advocacy group are suing to stop the school from holding a religious event. (emphasis added)
One Academy faculty member, David Mullin of the Economics Department, is listed by name; four others are listed as “John Doe.” Counsel appears to be David Lane, of Killmer, Lane & Newman in Denver. Lane appears to have previously represented Ward Churchill, the “Balloon Boy” parents, and a student suing her school over a canceled William Ayers speech.
Contrary to his prior demands, the complaint indicates Weinstein no longer simply wants US Marine Corps (Ret) Lt Clebe McClary disinvited. He wants the entire event canceled.
It is contended in this law suit [sic] that for the command structure of the AFA to undertake a purely religious activity such as this is a violation Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion cecil richardson, Chaplain, Church and State, clebe mcclary, conspiracy, Constitution, david lane, david mullin, joan slish, michael gould, mike gould, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Prayer, Public Expression, Religion, religious freedom, USAFA, ward churchill