Air Force Investigation: Is it a Whitewash?

May 2005

The task force investigating claims of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy finished its week-long investigation with three curious omissions.

Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate who has a son at the academy, said Saturday the only contact he has had with the task force was a phone call asking him to stop criticizing it. Weinstein, who is Jewish, has said his son has been called a "Christ killer" by evangelical Christian cadets. Weinstein said he has heard from 117 people complaining of religious intolerance at the academy. Kristen Leslie, a Yale theology professor, said Saturday that no one from the task force had contacted her. Leslie attended a basic training exercise at the academy last year and reported observing an academy chaplain tell cadets to warn their colleagues who are not born again that they will burn in hell. Jennifer Stephens, Air Force spokeswoman on the task force, said Saturday the task force also did not meet with Capt. Melinda Morton, an Air Force chaplain who has said she was fired for exposing the influence of evangelical Christians at the academy. Stephens said Morton was on leave when the task force spent four days at the academy. Morton said the task force did speak with her by telephone Friday, asking her to cite examples of religious intolerance.

Who did they contact? Evangelicals who denied being intolerant? Some investigation. It sounds like they took a page out of the sex scandal investigation handbook. Can you say whitewash?