California Think Tank Issues Letter from ‘Current and Former Military University Faculty Members Alarmed by’ Mark Green Nomination as Army Secretary

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“In response to President Donald Trump’s recent nomination of Tennessee State Senator Mark Green as Secretary of the Army, 21 current and former Faculty Members at Service Academies, War Colleges, and other Military Universities released a statement today warning that the appointment represents a ‘serious threat’ to the military’s core values and ability to draw on the best talent to accomplish critical military missions,” the Palm Center said in a statement released on Friday.

Green, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and medical doctor, served honorably in the Army. His service included a tour of duty in Iraq.

Green’s “military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service. He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others,” according to the website Dr. Mark Green for Tennessee.

Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer. From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division. He later commanded in US Army Recruiting Command. . .

Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment. There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations. His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein. Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them. During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year

 

Four of the 21 signators  on the Palm Center letter are currently professors at service academies–three at the U.S. Naval Academy and one at the U.S. Air Force Academy–though no current professor at Green’s alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy, is a signator:

Dr. Allyson Booth, Professor, US Naval Academy

Dr. Barry S. Fagin, Professor, US Air Force Academy

Dr. Clementine Fujimura, Professor, US Naval Academy

Dr. Todd S. Garth, Professor, US Naval Academy

It is not clear if these four have violated their terms of employment by publicly objecting to the President’s nominee.

The current U.S. Naval Academy Faculty Handbook states on page 30 that “faculty members and media representatives must keep in mind–and keep clear–the perspective from which members of the faculty are speaking when talking with the press.”

As federal civil servants, they should make clear when they are speaking from their professional academic perspective, or their personal perspective as an American citizen; they should refrain from speaking as a representative of the Naval Academy, the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government, except when specifically authorized to do so.

The Naval Academy Public Affairs Office is available to assist in clarifying these perspectives with media representatives – and following up if necessary – in order to avoid incorrect impressions in public media. Before speaking with the media, call the Public Affairs Office so that they are aware of likely media coverage and can provide possible assistance.

It is not clear if the signature of these three professors at the Naval Academy on a letter released to the press constitutes “talking with the press.”

Nor is it clear if these three professors at the Naval Academy sought or received guidance from the Naval Academy Public Affairs Office prior to attaching their signatures to the Palm Center letter released to the press on Friday.

Dr. Allyson Booth is a Professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to the academy’s website.

A Yale graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, her research interests include “Modern and Contemporary British Literature, Poetry.”

Dr. Clementine Fujimura is a Professor and German Language Curriculum Coordinator at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to the academy’s website.

A graduate of Bowdoin College with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, her research interests include “Cultural anthropology; Intercultural Communication; Russian language and culture; German language and culture.”

She “also teaches: German, Anthropology,” and is Chair of the Languages ond Culture Department at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to another website that appears to be affiliated with the academy.

“Dr. Fujimura is the only Anthropologist at USNA and, as such, has been a leader in supporting efforts to develop adaptable midshipman both as a professor and administrator,” according to that second website:

As Chair she has lead one of the largest and most diverse departments, the Languages and Cultures Department and continues to be active in her scholarship on marginalized communities. For her teaching she was awarded the USNA Teaching Award in 2006. She currently manages the German Program having expanded the Russian program in the past. Dr. Fujimura is a mother of two teenage sons. On the side, Dr. Fujimura is working on a book in Anthrozoology and volunteers at hospice and Search and Rescue with her canine companions.

Professor Todd Garth is “Associate Professor, Languages and Cultures, USNA,” according to the U.S. Naval Academy’s website:

Associate Professor Todd S. Garth. BA Haverford College, MA University of Maryland, College Park; MA and Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University. Teaches Spanish language, Spanish culture and Latin American literature and culture. Research interests include Southern Cone and Brazilian literature from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, literary theory and philosophy, Classical antecedents in literature, ethics in literature and the history of ideas. Professor Garth also serves as the coordinator for FLAS.

Dr. Barry Fagin, is the lone signator on the letter currently employed by the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he is a professor of Computer Science.

“Dr [Barry] Fagin graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1982, and received the PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. He is currently Professor of Computer Science at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs,” according to his personal website:

Dr Fagin has maintained a lifelong interest in connecting the world of ideas to the world of politics. He is the founder of Families Against Internet Censorship, a successful plaintiff in the Supreme Court case of Reno v. ACLU et. al. He has appeared on Montel Williams, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, MS/NBC and the Colorado PBS show “Independent Thinking”. His columns have appeared in national papers, including the Christian Science Monitor and Newsday, as well as every major newspaper in his home state of Colorado, where he has testified before the General Assembly. Dr. Fagin is currently a featured columnist in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

In addition to numerous columns for the popular media, Dr Fagin is the author of over thirty scholarly papers covering areas of computer science and public policy. He is the co-inventor of the Crandall-Fagin multiplication algorithm, used to discover the world’s largest prime numbers. He is also a former Information Director for ACM/SIGCAS, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and an Adjunct Scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. His current research involves improving internet security through the development of software with mathematically provable security properties.

Dr Fagin is a committed scientist and critical thinker. He is a contributing writer for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a member of the Rocky Mountain Skeptics, Sigma Xi, the MAA and AAAS. He is a National Civil Liberties Award recipient, a Research Associate at the Independence Institute, and lay Torah reader at Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs. A Fulbright Scholar and a fluent Russian speaker, he has translated pages for the web site of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater and Kirov Ballet. Dr. Fagin is a member of Who’s Who in America, and is a 2009 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In 2012, he was named the Colorado Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in Washington DC.

In 2007, Dr. Fagin was one of “three faculty members from United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado . . . [who went] public .. .with their criticisms of evangelical Christian proselytizing at the USAFA.”

The left wing background of the four letter signators currently employed by service academies reflects the ideological perspective of the Palm Center, “an independent research institute” based in California, which, according to its website, is “committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial public policy issues. Our research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals.”

It is named after Michael D. Palm, “a gifted educator, musician, athlete, and business person, and dear friend to all who knew him.”

“A successful financier and philanthropist, among many notable business ventures, Michael was founder and partner of the Zurich Centre Group. Michael, who died of complications from AIDS in Telluride in August 1998, served on the Board of Directors of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and was a strong supporter of civil rights,” according to the Palm Center website.

“As current and former Faculty Members at Service Academies, War Colleges and other Military Universities, we are alarmed by Army Secretary nominee Mark Green’s history of extreme statements and actions, and by the prospect of his becoming the next Secretary of the Army,” the letter from the 21 academics began:

His repeated attacks against the LGBT community include (1) Sponsoring ‘license to discriminate’ legislation including a bill to allow mental health practitioners to refuse to treat LGBT patients; (2) Claiming that ‘transgender is a disease,’ a belief that is contrary to global medical consensus; (3) Urging state officials to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses, in clear violation of the U.S. Supreme Court; and (4) Supporting a bill that would effectively bar transgender high school and college students from using public bathrooms.

Beyond the LGBT community, he has insulted and disrespected Latinos, women, Muslims, and members of the Armed Forces including (5) Speculating that a rise in Latinos registering to vote in Tennessee is because they are ‘being bussed here probably’; (6) Acknowledging that as a physician, he ​has ​refused​ to prescribe birth control to women; (7) Agreeing that we must ‘take a stand on the indoctrination of Islam in our public schools’; (8) Claiming that the U.S. military’s General Officers are “afraid of their shadow”; and (9) Declining to divest from a corporation whose owner defrauded TRICARE, the military health care program for service members, retirees and their families.

“Mark Green would undermine good order and discipline by fostering dissension within the ranks and sowing confusion about what the military stands for. All who wear the uniform and risk their lives to defend our freedom deserve the respect and dignity they have earned, including LGBT members, Latinos, women and religious minorities, but Green has a history of creating exceptions for those who don’t want to treat others equally and respectfully. We cannot afford leaders whose priorities are inconsistent with military values. Mark Green is a serious threat to what makes our military great,” the letter concluded.

The letter was signed by these 21 current and former “military school professors.”

Dr. Frank J. Barrett, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School
LTC Allen B. Bishop, USA (ret.), former Assistant Professor, US Military Academy
Dr. Allyson Booth, Professor, US Naval Academy
Lt Col Edith A. Disler, PhD, USAF (ret.), former Professor, US Air Force Academy
Dr. Mark J. Eitelberg, professor emeritus, Naval Postgraduate School
Dr. Barry S. Fagin, Professor, US Air Force Academy
Dr. J. Carl Ficarrotta, USAF (ret.), former Professor, US Air Force Academy
Dr. Clementine Fujimura, Professor, US Naval Academy
Dr. Todd S. Garth, Professor, US Naval Academy
Dr. Mark R. Grandstaff, former Professor, US Army War College
Dr. David Kaiser, Professor Emeritus, US Naval War College
BG Thomas A. Kolditz, PhD, USA (Ret.), former Professor, US Military Academy
Dr. Janice H. Laurence, former Associate Research Professor, Naval Postgraduate School
MAJ Charlie Law, USAF (sep.), former Assistant Professor, U.S. Air Force Academy
Dr. George R. Lucas, Professor, US Naval War College
Col. Mark V. Mayer, USAF (ret.), Professor, US Air Force Academy
Lt Col James E. Parco, PhD, USAF (ret.), former Professor, Air University
Dr. Tammy S. Schultz, Professor, US Marine Corps War College
CAPT David Smith, PhD, USN, Associate Professor, US Naval Academy
Dr. Georgia Sorenson, former Chair and Professor, Army War College
Dr. Marc J. Ventresca, former Research Associate Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

 

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