by Pam Zubeck
A retired general and several unnamed helpers have been studying the religious climate at the Air Force Academy since last month.
The academy sent out this e-mail on March 24 to the academy faculty seeking input:
A Religious Climate Review Team, led by General Patrick K. Gamble, USAF (ret.), would like to hear from you about your impressions of and experiences with the religious climate at the Air Force Academy. This review is not an investigation or compliance inspection, but rather an independent look at the overall religious climate at USAFA. Your perspective as a faculty member will play a critical part of our understanding of the climate.
Within days, rabblerouser David Mullin, a longtime professor at the academy, issued a statement, protesting the decision by the "team" not to have a face-to-face meeting with representatives of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation; i.e., its founder Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 grad whose bite is like a chow dog's — once he clamps down, he never lets go.
Anyway, 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."
To either prove Mullin wrong or right, we asked the Air Force for a list of names of those on Gamble's "team."
No dice, the Air Force says in an e-mail from Maj. Joel Harper at the Pentagon. In fact, now the Air Force denies it was a "team" approach in the first place, even though the "team's" own e-mail called itself a "team."
Unfortunately we’re not releasing the list of personnel who assisted Gen. (ret) Gamble at this time.
This was not a team review, as this was an assessment being conducted by Gen. Gamble. Gen. Gamble and the people who assisted him were subcontractors to the Council for Logistics Research (CLR), with whom the Air Force contracted for this review. An Air Force Lt Col from the Judge Advocate General's Corps provided legal assistance for the review.
So, one might wonder whether this non-team is even doing an assessment, and if someone is, will there be a non-report as a result?