To Michael Weinstein

Dear Mr. Weinstein:

 

Your picture makes you out to be one tough SOB…a lot tougher than you really are is my guess. But, I guess rooting out God and the Bible from VA clinics takes a lot of guts as does going after someone who prayed in public while wearing the uniform of our Armed Forces! [Oh, the horror!]

 

I have read your egoistical biograph and found it to be a braggadocious piece of crap. Certainly, humility is not your forte’. But, exaggeration certainly is. Even your cutsie nickname of “Mikey” cries out for ridicule.

 

I served as an Army officer during the Vietnam War. In March of this year, I attended the services for my best buddy, who was wounded in Vietnam and who languished in a VA treatment facility from wounds and illness suffered as a result of combat until he passed away.

 

I question this statement in your CV:

“over 130 years of combined active duty military service in every major combat engagement our country has been in from World War I to the current Global War on Terror”.

Does that mean you have served in combat? If it does, and you did not, then it is an example of Stolen Honor. I know of no JAG officers who ever served in combat. If you are the exception I would like to know.

 

I served at the Secretarial level in the Federal Government as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Director of the Office of Law Enforcement of the U.S. Treasury before the law enforcement functions of Treasury were transferred in the wake of 9-11. I know something about the organization and functions of the White House. I am not going to question each and every allegation you make with respect to your government service, but I do question the sum total of your allegations of service. Simply put, I think you are, as we said in the Army, a blivet: 10 pounds of shit in a 5-pound bag.

 

One of my law professors told us that there are two categories of law-school graduates, members of the bar and lawyers. You, Sir, fall into the former class. Putting Esq. after your name does not change that. But, on the chance that you were ever in a court room, you will understand when I tell you I would love to have you on the witness stand regarding your claims of service.

 

I am not a religious man, but I do believe that a belief in God can be found at the core of the foundation of our republic. That you disagree with that is of no consequence to me. I will say, however that I believe in the saying that there are no atheists in a foxhole.

 

You have gotten more attention than you deserve, including my email to you.

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Dear (name withheld),

Your crappy little assault on Mikey’s character, complete with either a misreading or a lack of comprehension of his resumé, begs a number of questions, among them, what the hell do you care?

Eight paragraphs of self-promoting nonsense in service of an attack on someone you neither know nor understand suggest you have little with which to occupy yourself. Next time you decide to go on the attack, pick on someone about whom you know something. Or better, shut up.

Neither Mikey nor the MRFF is interested in “rooting out God and the Bible from VA clinics.” What we are interested in doing is honoring the Constitutionally protected freedom of the women and men in our military to their own belief system, which includes protecting them from inappropriate proselytizing. People are welcome to their personal belief or non-belief and all the religious books and artifacts they choose to have with them, but if those in authority at the VA choose to promote one faith over all others they are wrong in doing so. If someone in authority at the VA wants to put out a Bible for the salvation of a soul, the right thing to do is put out all the books of all the faiths so that no favoritism is demonstrated. And they might want to throw one in with blank pages for the non-believers as well. Otherwise, they should be mindful of military regulations and keep their expressions of faith to the proper time, place and manner as said regulations require.

You’re welcome, as a self-described non-religious person, to your own belief system. But when you set out full of self-importance to denounce another because you somehow feel your personal ox has been gored, you’d be better off trying to know what the hell you’re talking about before making a fool of yourself as you have here.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Response from MRFF Supporter Ed McGaa

Dear (name withheld),

– I don’t understand what your bitch is about the MRFF and Mikey’s military background but if you want to exemplify combat; here’s mine. I submit thus to exonerate the role that MRFF plays in our lives and related to our military backgrounds. I volunteered for both my combat area tours. One as an enlisted Marine in Korea and the other, I submitted my request to Headquarters Marine Corps to delay my law school appointment by a SoDak Congressman to do a combat tour first. I was a F-4 Marine Close Air Support pilot. We are ‘Tree Top level’ pilots and saw plenty of low level combat, ground fire and SAMs on the way to target or coming back- 110 missions out of Chu lai. Often we flew 2 to 3 missions a day or night  dropping one at a time- repeated passes low level and zooming up to around 10 Grand and right back down again to cover Marines and Airborne mostly. Lost an engine to a SAM once and crashed at the end of the runway once besides a few SAMs that failed to detonate close by. 8 days out of the combat cockpit I was sitting in So Dak Law School. I don’t have any issues with military men who were never directly shot at. Most never have been but are just as essential as the guy punching the bomb release button. I do have an issue with those who think and foster the unconstitutional idea that we all have to belong to one religion and moreso, proselytize that Creator is some sort of 3 in 1. The Founding Fathers were quite aware of the danger to true democracy having been much more aware of the murderous Great Inquisition which even reached our countries shores with their superstition based witch hunts. I am a Sioux Indian. Your Religion even lobbied Congress and had our Native Spirituality banned and our innocent ceremonies beseeching and acknowledging our concept of a Higher Power were unconstitutionally forbidden until MLK’s Civil Rights came along. Thankfully most of my tribe has gone back to our old concepts.  There simply exists too much Superstition in your concepts plus your horrid Track Record that lacks true humanitarianism, planet saving environmentalism and too much hate and racism compared to our Track record of far more harmony. Simply look at this ongoing election and worse: both major candidates. I find MRFF far more exemplary regarding true Ethics and Morality and deeply appreciate their attempts to safeguard the separation of Church and State protective clause as it relates to military service men and women. Ed McGaa, former Marine Major. . 

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member  John Compere, Brigadier General, Judge Advocate General Corps, US Army (Retired)
The MRFF represents veterans who request that their American constitutional freedom from religion imposed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs or its representatives be recognized & respected.
Attached is an accurate summary of the facts, history & law applicable to the Constitution, any religion & our veterans. Hopefully, you will find it informative.
Most Sincerely,
John Compere
Brigadier General, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired); disabled American veteran (Vietnam); MRFF Advisory Board Member

General Compere: 
Thank you for your email. Does this mean I won’t hear from Mr. Weinstein? 
Meaning no disrespect, but as a practitioner of Constitutional Law for over 50 years, I do not think I need your paper to inform me about the U.S. Constitution. 
But, thank you Sir, for your military service, especially if you served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Your CV says you are a “Vietnam-era” disabled veteran, thus my question. 
Regarding your service on the Army Court of Military Review, I am wondering if you knew my dear and recently-departed friend and fellow soldier, Herman “Sparky” Gierke, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, as Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court and as National Commander of the American Legion? Sparky was one helluva lawyer and soldier. I doubt that he would share your opinion that there is a clear and present danger to members of our Armed Forces from the “Religious Right” or, as you put it, “bible-belt bullies”. 
Like you, I was commissioned through the Army ROTC program. I graduated from the University of Arizona, where I served as Commander of the Army Corps of Cadets and upon graduation was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate. After completion of law school and completion of the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Ft. Benning, I had requested assignment to the 11th Air Assault Division—soon to become the 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). As a result of a death in my immediate family, however, I had to withdraw my request. and was reassigned. I have always regretted that, especially after reading the book, Vietnam Stories by Colonel/Judge Jack Crouchet, with whom I served at Ft. Bliss. I highly recommend his book.
As a lawyer I have provided legal assistance to veterans at the Carl T. Hayden Medical Center in Phoenix. I have yet to be told by any of those veterans that they feel threatened by, as you put it,” relentless attempts to establish a de facto theocracy, where Christian religious and conservative politics are intertwined and there is scant room for progressive ideas or alternative ideological or theological stances”. 
They are more concerned about the failures of the Veterans Administration to provide prompt and effective care, about which I am sure you have read. Rather, in listening to their stories of service in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, I have heard accounts of having received comfort from their belief in their God while in combat. 
 
Although, not strictly in a military context, I came to know agents of Treasury’s law enforcement agencies over which I had policy oversight, including the U.S. Secret Service, Customs Service and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Most of these agents put their lives on the line every day, particularly those in the protective details of the Secret Service. When the subject of their protection was killed or injured, these agents suffered severe emotional trauma and some did not recover from that trauma, such as Agent Clint Hill, who was the Secret Service agent who pushed Jackie Kennedy back into the Presidential Limo and then threw himself over her and President Kennedy, but some did, like Agent Jerry Parr, who has written an excellent book, “In the Secret Service-the True Story of the Man who Saved President Reagan’s Life” about his experience of being at the side of President Reagan when he was shot, and who, along with his wife found solace in their belief in God. 
 
I’m not advocating for God or any Supreme Being. What I am saying is that I believe your energies are being misspent. With a talent such as you obviously possess, your energies would, in my opinion, be better spent providing solace to the veterans about whom you profess concern.
 
With sincere regards and with appreciation for your service,
 
(name withheld)

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4 Comments

  1. [To Michael Weinstein]

    Your buddy was wounded and tragically died as a result of defending, among other things, the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” How unfortunate that the message seems to be lost on you.

  2. Tom O

    “I am not a religious man, but I do believe that a belief in God can be found at the core of the foundation of our republic.” WHERE??? The Constitution does NOT contain the word “God,” and mentions religion ONLY in the “No Religious Test Clause” of Article VI and the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment.
    I’ve repeatedly asked on these comment pages what uniquely “Christian principles” the USA was “founded on,” and have never gotten a response. See also Blake Page’s excellent refutation of the theocrats’ repeated claims that “America was founded on Christian principles” at
    http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/06/a-question-for-mikey/
    In the 7th email of the chain, the theocrat wrote that “a huge portion of our laws come from the Ten Commandments.” Page’s long response lists several ways that the
    principles in the Constitution are the OPPOSITE of the Ten Commandments.

    “I will say, however that I believe in the saying that there are no atheists in a foxhole,” and will hold onto that belief even though atheists who have been in foxholes have written to MRFF in the past.
    Classic authoritarian theocrat “thinking:” I will believe whatever I’ve been told to believe, regardless of all evidence to the contrary.

  3. G

    If many religious military people believe that God will protect them in battle, then they should not have to worry about getting killed, wounded, suffering from PTSD nor have to carry any kind of military weapon with them on the battlefield.

  4. G

    “I served at the Secretarial level in the Federal Government as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Director of the Office of Law Enforcement of the U.S. Treasury before the law enforcement functions of Treasury were transferred in the wake of 9-11. I know something about the organization and functions of the White House. I am not going to question each and every allegation you make with respect to your government service, but I do question the sum total of your allegations of service. Simply put, I think you are, as we said in the Army, a blivet: 10 pounds of shit in a 5-pound bag.

    One of my law professors told us that there are two categories of law-school graduates, members of the bar and lawyers. You, Sir, fall into the former class. Putting Esq. after your name does not change that. But, on the chance that you were ever in a court room, you will understand when I tell you I would love to have you on the witness stand regarding your claims of service.

    I am sure that Weinstein would tear you apart in a court of law.

    So what about your Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Director of the Office of Law Enforcement of the U.S. Treasury? What does have to do with the subject at hand? For your information, Weinstein served 10 years in the Air Force. How long have you work for the government and are you now a lobbyist?

    People in your position are nothing but a bunch of politicians in suits who usually lied, cheat, and left a whole bunch of dead bodies and wreck organizations in their climb to the top and never care about their organizations, the people under your command, and the country, and only care about yourself. People like you are a bunch of cow dung whether you are in a 5 lb or 10 lb bag.

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