Has anyone seen the latest outrageous claims at the Air Force Academy?
Capt Morton the AFA Chaplain who threw her lot in with Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), is now crying foul because she is being "removed" from her perch at the center of the investigation.
T.R. Reid of the WaPo is spinning the story this way (here is an excerpt...emphasis added):
An Air Force chaplain who complained that evangelical Christians were trying to "subvert the system" by winning converts among cadets at the Air Force Academy was removed from administrative duties last week, just as the Pentagon began an in-depth study of alleged religious intolerance among cadets and commanders at the school.
"They fired me," said Capt. MeLinda Morton, a Lutheran minister who was removed as executive officer of the chaplain unit on May 4. "They said I should be angry about these outside groups who reported on the strident evangelicalism at the academy. The problem is, I agreed with those reports." ...
...After several "reasonably tense" days among the academy chaplains, Morton said, she received an e-mail on May 4 from Whittington. It said a new executive officer would be named, effective immediately.
[Lt Col Laurent] Fox, the academy spokesman, said this change was made because Whittington is retiring from the Air Force in June and Morton is due for a transfer in July to Okinawa. But Morton said the normal procedure would be to keep her in the number two post until she departs, so that she could help the unit's new commanding officer settle in.
Pam Zubrick of The Gazette adds a little more detail. Here is another excerpt (emphasis added):
An Air Force Academy chaplain said she was dismissed from an executive position after pointing out religious intolerance issues and contending that evangelical Christians have too much control at the school.
Capt. Melinda Morton, a Lutheran minister, also accused academy officials of lying about faith bias issues, which arose more than a year ago but only recently have grabbed the national spotlight.
In an interview with The Gazette, Morton said Thursday that she went public because working within the academy wasn’t effective and she wanted to preserve her integrity...
...Morton said in December that she was told she would remain at the academy through summer 2006. In March, she got orders to ship out to Okinawa in July. Then, last week, she was removed as executive officer.
Now, she’s not sure what her future holds.
Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said Morton’s removal was planned and announced at a staff meeting in April as a transition to a new chief chaplain in June.
He also disputed her recent orders to Okinawa had anything to do with her advocacy of pluralism.
“Air Force policy is we can move you anytime after two years,” he said. “The needs of the Air Force drives that.”
Zubrick provides more details about the good captain (emphasis added):
Capt. Melinda Morton, Lutheran minister Age: 48 Native of Missouri Joined the Air Force in 1982, served as a missile launch officer and orbital analyst Air Force Reserve chaplain, 2001 Active-duty chaplain, Dec. 9, 2002, assigned to the Air Force Academy
First, I am not surprised the MSM/DNC is spinning things this way. However, there are other questions from the articles:
1. Why did the captain leave service as a missile launch officer? Was her tour up, didn't like missile launch duty, or was the captain's Personal Reliability Program (PRP) status yanked? In other words, did the captain become a conscientious objector (which would adversely affect PRP) and join the chaplaincy? Was the chaplaincy the only place the captain could serve? Or did the captain always want to be chaplain? I don't know...it just seems like a logical question based on what the article presents.
2. Why is reassignment to Okinawa being spun as a bad assignment? Is Okinawa a dumping ground? I doubt it. If it is, don't tell the troops stationed there.
3. Has the captain ever been stationed overseas longer than 120 days? Hmmm...as a missile launch officer, then a reservist, then a 14-year assignment to the Air Force Academy...I doubt it. Did the captain think she would never be reassigned from the Academy? Are chaplains given tenure at the Academy or something?
3. Is anyone sure what their future holds? Poor captain...yet, why should the captain be any different than the rest of us? Will I make general someday? There are no guarantees.
4. Since when is the executive officer in an Air Force unit considered the "number two" post? This isn't the Navy...an executive officer in an Air Force unit is nothing more than a glorified administrative assistant (i.e., secretary).
[NOTE: Personal comment: There are several types of Air Force executive officers. The first type are the "golden boys and girls" who can't risk screwing up in a real job because it might tube their career (they get to "learn how to be generals" instead). Another type are the "strap hangers" who keep screwing up in a real job that an executive officer job is a safe place to park their butts...the other types are "yes" men or "window dressing" and I won't go into further details...all can answer the phones, update MS Outlook, and get coffee for the boss. If you are an executive officer reading this post and are offended...tough...you can blame the generals who explained this to me during my many mentoring sessions.]
5. What did the captain expect would happen? If religious intolerance is so pervasive at the Academy, why would the investigation team need to speak to her? It seems she wants to control the outcome of the investigation...obviously biased.
I am sure there is more to the story...the questions above are just some of the things the MSM/DNC leaves out of the story.
In the mean time...expect to hear more about how the poor chaplain is being mistreated <sarcasm> (mean ole Academy zealots) </sarcasm> ...