TRUTHOUT – Blow the Whistle on the Air Force Academy and Your Dog May Get Poisoned

Prof. Mullin at Eagle's Peak, above U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO (06/18/05)

Caleb after labored breathing had been noticed (04/23/11)


Selected Article Excerpts:

  • On Saturday, April 23, 2011, David Mullin, an associate professor of economics at the United States Air Force Academy, and his wife went to the Woodmen Valley Chapel to worship to avoid the Easter rush the next morning. During the service, Mullin noticed his service dog Caleb, a two-year-old black Labrador retriever, acting strangely.
  • Two hours later, Caleb was suffering from massive internal bleeding… Mullin immediately suspected foul play. But Mullin doesn’t believe Caleb’s poisoning was the random act of some dog hater; he believes it was a deliberate act of retaliation for blowing the whistle one too many times at his place of employment: the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA).
  • In late January 2011, Mullin and four anonymous USAFA instructors, with the help of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), filed a complaint with the US District Court of Colorado in an attempt to suspend a National Prayer Luncheon at the Academy because the command structure allegedly organized it.
  • Allegations of persistent violations of the no-establishment clause of the First Amendment have dogged the Academy since 2005, largely due to complaints brought by MRFF on behalf of cadets and staff.
  • Religious intolerance has been a problem for [USAFA Dean of Faculty Brig. Gen. Dana] Born as well, according to Mullin. In an email to the HLC, he alleged that Born passed out Bibles during mandatory faculty meetings and published a full-page signed statement of faith in the USAFA newspaper declaring Jesus Christ as her lord and savior.
  • The most damning allegation, however, is that Born told a subordinate to wage “counterinsurgency” against MRFF for its civil rights activism at the Academy. MRFF alleges that Born directed Col. Thomas Drohan, permanent professor and head of the Department of Military Strategic Studies, to conduct “COIN,” or counterinsurgency, against MRFF and its clients in his mid-term performance appraisal. On February 1, 2012, MRFF’s attorney sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley demanding an investigation into the organization’s allegations and a copy of Drohan’s mid-term performance appraisal, in an attempt to determine “whether there is a relationship between counterinsurgency ordered by Brig. Gen. Born and the poisoning of Dr. Mullin’s service dog that occurred in his USAFA office in April, 2011.”

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