Saturday, May 06, 2006

Washington Post: Air Force to Examine Fundraising E-Mail Sent by a General

Air Force to Examine Fundraising E-Mail Sent by a General

Message Praised Candidate's Christianity

By Alan Cooperman

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, May 6, 2006; A03

The Air Force is investigating whether a two-star general violated military regulations by urging fellow Air Force Academy graduates to make campaign contributions to a Republican candidate for Congress in Colorado, Pentagon officials said yesterday.

Maj. Gen. Jack J. Catton Jr., who is on active duty at Langley Air Force Base, sent the fundraising appeal on Thursday from his official e-mail account to more than 200 fellow members of the academy's class of 1976, many of whom are also on active duty.

"We are certainly in need of Christian men with integrity and military experience in Congress," Catton wrote.

Defense Department rules prohibit active-duty officers from using their position to solicit campaign contributions or seek votes for a particular candidate. An Air Force spokesman said yesterday that "appropriate officials are inquiring into the facts surrounding these e-mails."

Catton's e-mail was provided to The Washington Post by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit group founded last year by Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, White House counsel in the Reagan administration.

"This is not just a small thing," said Weinstein, who is suing the Air Force to halt what he contends is pervasive proselytizing in the armed forces. "It's evidence of a continuing attack on separation of church and state by evangelicals in the military."

Catton urged his classmates to support Bentley Rayburn, a recently retired Air Force general seeking the Republican nomination for a House seat being vacated this year by Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.). Hefley's district around Colorado Springs includes the Air Force Academy, several military bases and the headquarters of Focus on the Family, James Dobson's Christian broadcasting organization.

Both Catton's e-mail and an accompanying note from Rayburn portrayed him as a candidate who would represent the military and conservative Christians.

"The lack of any Air Force presence within the Congress was particularly telling over the last few years," Rayburn wrote, referring to controversy over

proselytizing at the Air Force Academy and new Air Force regulations on religious expression. "For those of us who are Christians, there is that whole other side of the coin that recognizes that we need more Christian influence in Congress."

Rayburn, a 1975 graduate of the Air Force Academy, said yesterday that Catton's only mistake was sending the message out from his official e-mail account.

Catton said in a telephone interview that he realized after he sent the e-mail Thursday evening that it was "inappropriate" and attempted to recall it Friday morning.

"I'm traveling and I was going through e-mails last night, on the airplane, and very excited about one of my academy brothers running for Congress, and forwarded the e-mail to my classmates to share the excitement," he said.

"And when I got up this morning I had an e-mail from one of my classmates who said, 'Jack, do you realize you were on your work computer?' I went, 'Holy smokes!' And so I immediately sent out a recall of that e-mail, because I shouldn't have sent it out on my work computer, because it's inappropriate."

Pentagon lawyers declined to comment while the circumstances are under investigation. A former Air Force lawyer, retired Brig. Gen. James W. Swanson, said the use of an official e-mail address "is probably an aggravator, but it isn't the essence of the offense."

"Clearly this country wants and needs an apolitical military," he said. "It sounds like an excess of enthusiasm, but I'd be surprised if there is not some sort of disciplinary or administrative action in this case."

7 Comments:

Blogger asdfj24972 said...

Once again, the Oy Vey! crowd whines and complains over trivialities. This jew used to be an Air Force lawyer and got the e-mail because he's apparently an alumni of the Air Force Academy! This is just one more example of why filthy, hook-nosed jews should be purged from our society. They whine and complain about nearly everything. Jews are a cultural cancer. There's only one way to deal with cancer: get rid of it.

Posted on http://www.halturnershow.com

11:58 AM  
Blogger Caseymarc4 said...

I am not going to respond specifically to your comments, since I know there is nothing I will be able to say to such an ignorant person. However, I will tell you that all that this comment will do is to motivate the foundation to achieve its goals and continue to fight for relgious plurality and freedom. All you have done with comments like this is give us an example of what we are fighting, to get more people to join our fight... So, thanks!!!

11:11 AM  
Blogger musashi said...

I recently sent a lettor to Jack Catton on this issue. I read about his proselytizing in the San Antonio newspaper.Here is a copy of what I sent him.

>>>

Dear General Catton,

Recently, I have become quite disappointed in our senior military’s lack of leadership, especially in the Air Force. As you know, we have seen severe lapses in leadership, specifically, (1) the sexual escapades of our senior JAG, (2) the foolishness of Richard Hassan, an officer “wannabe” who has besmirched us all, (3) the hideous performance of the Army’s General Boykin openly proselytizing [while in uniform] and (4) our beloved academy’s failure to demonstrate command ability both in controlling sexual predators on campus and in not harnessing the multitudes of religious fanatics foisting their absurd and odious views on the unwilling. (I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture.)

Suffice to say, I was appalled when I saw the attached “blurb” in the San Antonio Express-News today. If this piece is false, please forgive me for writing you. If, however, there is a modicum of truth to the article, I wish you to know that I am ashamed and embarrassed not only for you but also for the uniform I love and served for 30 years. As a non-Christian who proudly served this Nation [as well as being the son of a 30 year Army veteran who served in two wars, the spouse of an Air Force veteran who served her country for over 32 years, the father of a (still serving) 18 year veteran and a son who served four years in the US Army, not to mention a 15 year veteran son-in-law and a granddaughter whose wish is to attend the Air Force Academy], I can not tell you how abhorrent it is to have to listen to self-righteous military officials, e.g., wing commanders, invoke the name of Jesus Christ at official functions. Apparently, it has never dawned on these people that their coerced audience is far from unanimous in acceptance of Christ as a deity. It is impossible for me to believe these military officials, who continually plead God’s indulgence (perhaps you are one of them), have sworn to protect and defend the same Constitution that I did. Perhaps the Air Force Academy should offer a mandatory course on the First Amendment to all incoming doolies since, it is obvious, many prior graduates seem to have no understanding of what the Constitution requires of them.

I truly hope the attached piece is wrong. If so, please accept my sincere apologies for this note. If, however, it is correct, I submit that you have trashed our beloved uniform in the name of religious extremism and, at a minimum, you owe all airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines an unambiguous, heartfelt apology for your odious actions. More to the point, if the article is true, you must salvage your reputation and do at least one honorable act—resign immediately! Remaining in uniform dishonors not only you but also all of us who love this country and its glorious Constitution. I suspect your father would be ashamed.

Respectfully,
{Signed}

I'll let you know if I receive an answer.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Caseymarc4 said...

musashi,
GREAT letter! Very eloquently put... Please do let us know if you receive a response. By the way, the article you are referring to is an AP bit, and it is 100% true! Keep up the fight, and keep visiting the site for more news, we have a busy summer ahead of us!

7:15 PM  
Blogger SteveP said...

It is true that General Catton made a mistake in sending this e-mail from his government computer. However, to say that he was somehow trying to use his position to influence other Air Force personnel is almost entirely false. Less than ten percent of the class of '76 is still in active duty service. Those who still are active duty are not and have not in recent history served under his command. The E-mail was not meant to try and garner votes through his military position, but to encourage friends and classmates to support a fellow classmate if they so chose to. I agree in the idea of the MRFF and what it's trying to do. However, you have missed the mark on General Catton. He has served proudly in the Air Force for thirty years. The positive impact he has made on the Air Force and his people while serving is immeasurable. The class of '76 is proud of General Catton and all his accomplishments. You could not meet a man with more integrity and more patriotism.
Once again, let me state that I agree that General Catton sending this e-mail was a mistake. He knew it too and recalled the e-mails after it was sent. Not because of what was said in the e-mail, but because of what computer it was sent from. General Catton is a Christian man and believes there should be more Christian military men in congress. As a citizen of the United States of America, he is entitled to his opinion. Had he sent this email under a non-government e-mail, i would see nothing wrong in his actions. In response to Musashi's letter to General Catton. I am deeply saddened and troubled by how quick you jump to judge this man. Maybe you should read up on his career and perhaps the opinions of those who served under him before you are so ashamed of what he has done in thirty years of service to the Air Force. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

1:12 AM  
Blogger SteveP said...

It is true that General Catton made a mistake in sending this e-mail from his government computer. However, to say that he was somehow trying to use his position to influence other Air Force personnel is almost entirely false. Less than ten percent of the class of '76 is still in active duty service. Those who still are active duty are not and have not in recent history served under his command. The E-mail was not meant to try and garner votes through his military position, but to encourage friends and classmates to support a fellow classmate if they so chose to. I agree in the idea of the MRFF and what it's trying to do. However, you have missed the mark on General Catton. He has served proudly in the Air Force for thirty years. The positive impact he has made on the Air Force and his people while serving is immeasurable. The class of '76 is proud of General Catton and all his accomplishments. You could not meet a man with more integrity and more patriotism.
Once again, let me state that I agree that General Catton sending this e-mail was a mistake. He knew it too and recalled the e-mails after it was sent. Not because of what was said in the e-mail, but because of what computer it was sent from. General Catton is a Christian man and believes there should be more Christian military men in congress. As a citizen of the United States of America, he is entitled to his opinion. Had he sent this email under a non-government e-mail, i would see nothing wrong in his actions. In response to Musashi's letter to General Catton. I am deeply saddened and troubled by how quick you jump to judge this man. Maybe you should read up on his career and perhaps the opinions of those who served under him before you are so ashamed of what he has done in thirty years of service to the Air Force. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

6:03 PM  
Blogger gertrude said...

I read the comment and see that this is not a isolated attack on those who honour the WORD of GOD [Gen. 3,12-17,Deut.18.15,Matthew Matthew 24.35].YESHUA of Nazareth[Isaiah 45.15-25,Acts 1-9,Romans 9-11]KING of Israel was born of promise to Israel[Psalm 2,22-24,52-53,Isaiah 7.14,9.6-7,Micah 5.1-2]Matthew 1-3Luke 1-3] and He gave warning to those who claim to be Jews and are not [John 8.44,Romans 9-11,Rev.3].Their hate is toward the GOD of Jacob [Deut.18.15,Isiah 9.16,Jer. 42 ]and his people ,servants heed the call to repent [Luke16,Acts 1-4] or perish in their rebellion against the love of GOD [John 1-8].What was the answer to the call of Israel to receive the love of the TRUTH [John 1-3,14-17,Romans 1-11].Just as of old the did not obey but rejected GOD [Numbers 16,Isaiah 9.16,Jer.42,Matthew 27-28,Luke19-21,24,Acts 1-9].You may charm the devils but not GOD with your vandeeta against them who bow the the GOD of TRUTH [Jer.10.10-16,Colossians 1-2.15,Heb.1-3.4,Zech 12-14,Rev.11-22],YESHUA [Acts 1.1-12,Rev.11-19] is coming in power to rescue his servant Jacob ,for he is the KING of Israel[Psalm 2,96.13,Proverbs 8,30.1-6,Jer.30.6-8,Matthew 21-24].YESHUA ,your KING, the SON of GOD and SON of DAVID may his grace extented here will bring you humble yourself to the TRUTH of YESHUA ,who is the SAVIOR ,beside Him there is no GOD [Isaiah 15.15-25,Romans 9-11].Trust is the Babyonian Talmud etc. wicked accusation against the HOLY ONE of Israel leads to etenal death[Matthew 25.41,Luke 16,Rev.20.1-21.8] ,who is filled with the LIAR den, feathering his nest found in them who are not Jews of the faith of Abraham,Issac and Jacob [Romans 9-11 ,Rev.2.9,3.9],but bastards children of Satan[John 8.44,1 Cor.1,Galatians 1.1-9,Rev.22.10-21]who reject the WORD of GOD [ Jer.2.13,10.10-16 ,John 4.14,Rev.22.10-21]. YESHUA calls you , turn from the wicked one and receive the love of the TRUTH [2 Thess.2.10 etc.],the KING of Israel [Isaiah 42,Matthew 12.17-19,Rev.22.10-21] who loves even his enemies like you Mr.Weinstein.Even so come LORD YESHUA HaMashiach .

4:37 PM  

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