by Pam Zubeck
Air Force Maj. Jonathan Dowty, an F-22 pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in California, has a lot of opinions, especially about religion in the military — he's for it — but he keeps a low profile. In fact, his name appears nowhere on his blog.
So let us name him here, as often as we can.
Dowty's blog, God and Country, has a long history of Bible-banging of the evangelical kind and caterwauling over Mikey Weinstein's fight against government establishment of religion in the military. Weinstein has been hog-wrestling with the Air Force Academy for years through his Military Religious Freedom Foundation over the allegation that evangelical Christianity is the religion of choice among commanders there.
Dowty's latest diatribe takes aim at people who filed complaints with the Air Force Inspector General's Office about potentially misleading statements made by two top Air Force Academy officers about faculty credentials.
We've written about the faculty issue twice, first in December last year, and again more recently when we reported the IG's Office will take a closer look at the allegations, having first conducted a preliminary complaint analysis and found the case worthy of further investigation.
This doesn't sit well with Dowty, who thinks he knows best how higher ranking officers in the IG's office should react to such complaints. Here's what Dowty says on his blog:
Given the relative unimportance of the factors in the investigation, the obscurity of the details, as well as the fact the investigation’s results will have no (positive) impact to USAFA’s mission, it is somewhat surprising an investigation was launched at all. It is highly unlikely a reasonable observer would conclude the two officers were attempting to deceive with their statements.
What's interesting about Maj. Dowty is that he spouts off but doesn't own up to it by putting his name to it. So, while Dowty is blasting away at Weinstein, this publication and me, among others, all of whom are named, while Dowty himself hides behind anonymity.
"He goes out of his way to make sure people don't know it's his," Weinstein says of the website. "We've known it's him for years. We've written innumerable letters to generals about him. We believe he's being protected by a fundamental Christian cabal."
Possibly. Comments that appear on Dowty's website have been carried in Falcon Clips, a daily compilation of news about the academy and the Air Force that's e-mailed to academy personnel.
Well, now Dowty is being outed by one of his targets, former academy professor David Mullin, who recently filed a complaint about Dowty with the Air Force Inspector General over a scream-out on Dowty's website about the faculty credential complaints.
Mullin shipped the following letter off to HQ. We'll follow up when there's something new to report.
To Lt. Gen. Rogers, Inspector General, United States Air Force:
I bring to your attention a 5 October 2011, public internet posting by Major Jonathan C. Dowty on his own "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog (http://christianfighterpilot.com/blog/2011/10/05/usafa-staff-investigated-for-mrff-complaint/#more-13374). Dowty is an active duty F-22 pilot assigned to the Fight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. He is also a United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) graduate.
On his web site, christianfighterpilot.com, he has perpetrated a long history of abuses against Air Force personnel, including subordinate enlisted members of the Air Force and other services, who do not share his particular religious beliefs.
His tactics include ad hominem internet attacks by publicly denigrating others’ religious views and deliberate falsification of facts to smear those whom he opposes.
On 5 October 2011, he applied those tactics against me as a part of your formal investigation of Brig. Gen. Dana Born and Col Richard Fullerton of USAFA.
I am a conservative, evangelical Christian, and I believe that U.S. military personnel should uphold the U.S. Uniformed Services Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution. I feel that those positions are not contradictory.
But some others would disagree. And I count Major Dowty as one of them.
As evidence please examine this portion of his 5 October 2011 posting:
“Given the relative unimportance of the factors in the investigation, the obscurity of the details, as well as the fact the investigation’s results will have no (positive) impact to USAFA’s mission, it is somewhat surprising an investigation was launched at all. It is highly unlikely a reasonable observer would conclude the two officers were attempting to deceive with their statements.”
Alleged violations of “punitive” Uniformed Military Code of Justice (UCMJ) Articles 92 (Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation) and 107 (False Statements) are not unimportant. Major Dowty has permission to fly an F-22, but he does not have any command authority to "conclude" anything about this investigation especially before any findings have been reached!
Ignorant and dismissive of the underlying facts, uncaring and disrespectful of the investigation, Major Dowty has again abused his position as an Air Force officer; in this instance he made a deliberately public judgment that Brig. Gen. Born and Col. Fullerton are innocent of the allegations now actively being investigated by the Office of the Secretary of the United States Air Force Inspector General (SAF/IG).
Therefore, an Air Force officer who blatantly trivializes the process of enforcing the UCMJ by the SAF/IG is, in my opinion, derelict in his duty.
As a U.S. citizen I am deeply concerned that a person with such openly callous disregard for the Uniformed Oath of Office would be entrusted to solely control such a devastating weapon system as the F-22.
As the only public client out of 342 currently being represented by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation from USAFA, I oppose anyone who undermines the Oath to the Constitution by using the U.S. military chain of command to establish one religion, even my own, over any other.
And I have been retaliated against for my stance. While working at USAFA, my service dog, Caleb, was maliciously poisoned with a blood thinner. Only after three emergency blood transfusions did Caleb recover.
Such criminal acts do not deter me from seeking justice against religious persecution. As as consequence, I seek to make an immediate formal complaint against Major Jonathan C. Dowty for his contumelious statements.
R. David Mullin
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq., Founder and President, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Robert Eye, Esq., Partner, Kauffman & Eye
Randel Mathis, Esq., Partner, Mathis & Donheiser
Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force
Gen. Donald Hoffman, Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
Lt. Gen. Richard Harding, The Judge Advocate of the United States Air Force
Lt. Gen. William Lord, Chief Information Officer, United States Air Force
Brig. Gen. Robert Nolan, Commander, Air Force Flight Test Center