New Evidence Challenges Pentagon Testimony In "Christian Embassy" Video Scandal
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 11:05:45 PM EST
On Monday, researchers working for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( MRFF ) uncovered evidence calling into question the veracity of the testimony given to the Pentagon Inspector General in the investigation in the wake of MRFF's lawsuit concerning top Pentagon officials and US military officers who appeared in a promotional video, made for fund raising purposes, of an organization called "Christian Embassy", an offshoot of Campus Crusade For Christ, that evangelizes Pentagon members, foreign diplomats, and White House employees.
Last Thursday, July 26th 2007, as I subsequently reported,  the Christian Embassy video scandal broke open again in the form of a Pentagon Inspector General's report [see Truthout story linked for full PDF of report] which concluded that Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Catton, Army Brig. Gen. Bob Caslen, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, and two other officers whose names were redacted "improperly endorsed and participated with a non-Federal entity while in uniform".

The Pentagon officials who participated in the Christian Embassy video told the Pentagon Inspector General that they were confused about the status of "Christian Embassy" because the organization had been given free reign in the Pentagon for 25 years. Christian Embassy members had badges to enter the Pentagon un-escorted, with guests, and one Pentagon official who appeared in Christian Embassy's video claimed he was under the impression that Christian Embassy was a "quasi governmental"agency.

But, here is Christian Embassy's description of its mission, from its fund raising video :

"There are over 25,000 Department of Defense leaders working in the rings and corridors of the Pentagon. Through Bible studies, discipleship, prayer breakfasts, and outreach evens, Christian Embassy is mustering these men and women into an intentional relationship with Jesus Christ."

If those Pentagon members might have been tempted to claim they never actually watched the video they appeared in, claims they might make about being unaware of Christian Embassy's organizational goals have now become untenable.

MRFF determined the following, from schedules that were advertised on Christian Embassy's own website:

Bob Caslen, Lucius Morton, Cynthia Islin, along with dozens of other high ranking Pentagon officials, have led Christian Embassy's "Weekly Discipleship Study Groups", teaching out of Christian Embassy's lesson plans that have printed right at the top "Our Mission: To win, build, and send Department of Defense leaders to live for Jesus Christ."

 Jack Catton and Pete Sutton have both given Prayer Breakfast talks co-sponsored by Christian Embassy and the Pentagon Chaplain, and Catton's October 22, 2003 talk was entitled "Leadership For Christ in the Pentagon".

General Catton has had other occasions to misuse the cover of military to promote his own personal ideology, it turns out.

by DonByrd on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:18:41 PM EST

Repeat behavior - which tells me that there are probably instances that weren't caught.

I wouldn't bet money on congressional hearings (sorry, Mikey). There's an election coming up, I hear. This is not the time to offend the "blessed base"... (*snark*)

by Naomi on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:32:54 AM EST

Catton's retiring in January, I hear. I'd bet he;s going into politics.

On another note, if I can reach you in the am there's a time-sensitive project you might well be able to help with.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 02:51:30 AM EST

...the deeper we delve!

I've actually read the whole .pdf report. With its mind-numbing repetition and dry delivery, it's still possible to discern the motives and the means, once opportunity (GWB) arrived on the "scene of the crime".

I'm deeply disappointed that my diary entry on this was never posted. Is it possible that an atheist's voice can be silenced? Even here at Talk2Acition? Or are we not on the same page, with regard to theocracy's predatory practices? If we are not, I'll stop visiting here and will no longer praise Talk2Action to other atheists.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping for a "national stand-down" throughout the US Military so that this can be excised/exorcised. I see no other way to tackle this thorny issue. Of course, this will need to be pushed by a Congress that trembles when it thinks it might say or do something to offend a believer...

by Naomi on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 03:10:26 PM EST
Do you still have a copy ? I never saw it.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 12:01:36 AM EST

...but I posted it instead on one of my other blogs. You may view the post: Why letting Religion get a "foot in the door" is dangerous for Democracy, if you don't mind having it cross-posted.

I come down hard on the side of a mile-high, titanium wall between State and church. With a mile-deep moat. And nuclear landmines.

Leave my Constitution intact!

by Naomi on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 06:17:04 PM EST

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