Friday, July 21, 2006

MRFF Board Meeting Tomorrow

Tomorrow MRFF board members will meet in Chicago to discuss our progress so far and make plans for the future. We've been hard at work educating the public about MRFF's mission but know there's much more to be done.

Since the publication of the Washington Post article last Sunday, we have been flooded with messages from supporters. We received numerous tales of Constitutional violations within our nation's armed forces - all a reminder of why continue our work. These letters are fuel for our fire. Thank you to those who have shared stories.

An update will follow after the weekend.



Blogger ol' salt said...

I just read of your suit against the AF and just wanted to share an experience I had in the Navy. I gather others have told of things happening in other services, as well, so this will come as no suprise.
In 1988, I served on the staff of a small navy tactical staff with the mission of protecting our carrier battle groups from the considerable submarine threat. A mid-grade navy P-3 pilot was assigned to our staff, primarily to act as an advisor in the empolyment of shore-based ASW aircraft, and to liaise with that community in the conduct of operations. The relevance of that is that he was hand picked for this assignment, outside his competitive community for promotion, and was a fine, professional naval officer, and unfortunately Jewish.
The commander of this small staff, which should have been tighknit, was a zealous born-again fundamentalist protestant christian, who on every social occassion conducted an enthusiastically Christian prayer to bless the meal about to be taken, which, though he never admitted it, was blatantly targeted at this Jewish officer. On deployment, he took to holding Bible studies that a majority of the staff participated in. This Christian clique formed the habit of using Bible scripture as a code they thought others would not understand to denigrate this Jewish officer, sometimes when he was present and loud enough they were sure he would hear. When this officer transfered at the end of his tour of duty, the commander showed his Christianity by writing him a fitness report that I was sure would harm his career. Since I was second in command, I provided the commander a draft 'fitrep', and saw the changes he made in the final signed report. Over my strong objection, the commander damned this officer with faint praise, and against rules requiring that officers be evaluated only with officers of the same rank and community of expertise, the commander evaluated him last among all the staff officers. In naval fitness reports, no matter what the verbiage says, being rated less than one or two of 'X' is a kiss of death. Though I counciled this officer to challenge the report, I never heard from him after he left the staff, so I assume he left the service, which would be the Navy's loss. I am sure he would do well, wherever he went.
Aside from what was done to that officer, the ultimate result was pretty severe damage to the command climate. You can appreciate that a small group of people, who deploy together in a stressful situation away from their families for six months or more need to be able to rely on one another a great deal. The factionalism caused by this commander's actions and the loss of faith and trust among the staff was devistating to morale. Fortunately that commander left the staff himself shortly after the officer I refer to, and the staff was able to heal itself over time. But, this kind of thing can not be tolerated in a military unit, not only because it is wrong, but it hurts everyone and the unit's ability to perform. I hope these points come out in your suit against the AF.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Shockwave said...

Great account ol'salt

It seems to me that whenever these "true believers" get any power they can't help themselves.

One thing that confuses me is is their aim. As an atheist (or agnostic or deist depending on the day) I understand them trying to harrass me, but why harrass a Jew? Same god, same Old Testament.

In addition, I thought most of these fundamentalist evangelicals and Southern Baptists viewed Jews and Israel favorably.

Then again, Pat Robertson was recently declared "persona non grata" by the government of Israel.

I guess they mean to convert the Jews, even using strong arm tactics. Wasn't Torquemada trying to do this?

5:28 PM  

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