29 January 2011

The Tools and Tactics to Re-capture the Tower of Babel

This is a longer piece dating from 2004 but is still very pertinent to the discussion at this website. For those who wish to wade through it, it's quite enlightening. It's about Dominionist Theology at work in the Church and the State, with particular attention paid to the United States Military. Some of you will already be familiar with General Boykin. I also mentioned him in a piece from December 2010 called Days in the Cult which was something of a reflection on my time in uniform.

The author of the following article gets some of the details wrong, but seems to grasp something of the overall focus and spirit of Dominionism. I wouldn't agree with her on many theological points, but that's besides the point. The article is still worth the read.

Connecting the dots can stray into the realm of speculation...the author here seems to be conscious of that.

And, circumstantial evidence is not always conclusive, but a flood of it cannot be ignored.

Sixteen years ago I might have read this, and said, "typical liberal propaganda," but if you're grasping the message I'm trying to convey...reading something like this can be eye-opening. You see it all in a different light.

So for those interested...settle in and enjoy (I'm not sure that's the right term) a good read.

Here's the link for the original with the endnotes which I did not include,


Infiltrating the U.S. Military

Gen. Boykin’s “Kingdom Warriors” On the Road to Abu Ghraib and Beyond

By Katherine Yurica

October 12, 2004

Since GOP leaders have tasted the heady stuff of unlimited power and watched the success of their bullying tactics, they seem to take pride in the fact that intimidation and coercion silences all opposition. They’ve begun to step more boldly toward the goal of taking control of the judiciary—and it appears that nothing can stop them from destroying the system of checks and balances built into our constitution. Americans don’t seem to mind. We love the swagger of the cowboys in charge.

We must love Tom DeLay’s boast, “I am the government!”[1] else voters would throw him out on his ears. So those of us who sit and observe are spectators in the GOP’s sport of dismantling American constitutional rule. The Bush administration quietly sends the names of religiously ideological judges down to the Senate for confirmation, while the House devises diabolical bills to rip the heart out of our nation’s jurisprudence. By submitting legislation that seeks to strip the Supreme Court of its jurisdictional power, the House leaders hope to delimit what cases the federal courts can or cannot review.[2] The hard right House leaders have gone so far as to introduce a bill that will grant congress the ability to overturn a Supreme Court decision that finds a law passed by congress is unconstitutional.[3] It appears that the entire constitutional structure of our nation could be hanging in the balance in the 2004 election.

How has the Republican Party been so radicalized and transformed? The consequences that flow from the fact that a secret religious infiltration of the Republican Party took place over a period of years prior to the last two elections have simply been underreported in the press. Infiltration and control of the GOP has placed the religious hard right comfortably in control of the party, which in turn places our republic in danger of being controlled by a heretical religious core that began its program of dominance in the 1980’s.[4]

It’s not the first time the religious right has succeeded. Probably the most remarkable plan to takeover an institution began in 1967, when so called “fundamentalists” laid out the strategy to take control of the sixteen million-member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). According to a chronology posted on the web,[5] Page Patterson a seminary doctoral student and Judge Paul Pressler met at Café du Monde in New Orleans and discussed a long term strategy for “fundamentalist domination of the SBC.”

By 1979, Patterson, Pressler “and others ran a ‘get out the vote’ campaign in fifteen states prior to the Convention, urging a defeat of the moderates in the SBC.”[6] Voters were actually bussed to the convention in mass numbers and left after the vote for the president of the organization.

That year, Adrian Rogers was elected president.

In 1980, Paul Pressler “publicly announced the strategy of the fundamentalist takeover, which was to elect the SBC president a sufficient number of times to gain a fundamentalist majority on the boards and agencies of the Convention.”[7] With a president who had the power of committee appointments, the fundamentalists could begin their reign of power. From 1979 to the present, fundamentalists “elected all presidents of the SBC.”[8]

As they consolidated their power and gained control of the six SBC seminaries, they ruthlessly purged the institutions of all moderates. According to Dr. Russell Dilday, a moderate who opposed the tactics of the fundamentalists in 1985, the fundamentalists operated like a “sophisticated political machine.” In an interview with Charlene Hunter Gault and Judge Pressler on the McNeal Lehrer Hour on June 11, 1985, Dr. Dilday said the fundamentalists used “surreptitious recording of conversations, secretly taping telephone calls, without the permission of the person being talked to, sharing that information with the press without permission. Using the kind of strategy, actually secular strategies, that are not at all consistent with one who claims to believe in biblical authority.” Dr. Dilday said, “If I agreed one hundred percent with his [Pressler’s] content, I think I would disagree with his cause, just by virtue of the strategy being used.” [9]

In the year 1993, the fundamentalists attempted to refuse to seat members from the church where President Clinton had his church membership.[10] In the year 2000, former President Jimmy Carter left the denomination.[11] In that same year, the SBC leadership forced all employees, professors and missionaries to sign a modern day “loyalty oath,” a new “Baptist Faith and Message” statement that many Baptists felt superceded the Bible and the personhood of Jesus requiring loyalty to the institution over loyalty to God. Over seventy missionaries either resigned because of the requirement to sign or were outright fired, when they refused to resign, with the loss of all their retirement.[12]

Clearly then, the “fundamentalist” takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention was not a disagreement over “religious” issues, at its heart, it was a “political” takeover because it used coercive means to achieve complete control of the organization.[13] The purging of moderate Baptists in the Southern Baptist Convention continues to this day as the denomination becomes ever more politically involved.

As an example of their political involvement, in June of 2004, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, fought vigorously against a bill in the Senate, which added “gender, sexual orientation or disability” to the list of those protected by law from hate crimes.[14] Prior to the passage of this bill, the classes protected by hate-crimes legislation were race, color, religion and national origin. Land, speaking for the Southern Baptist Convention said, “Making sexual preference a protected right in any federal legislation will lead to litigation that will be extremely damaging to the freedoms of Americans. The senators who voted for this ought to be ashamed of themselves.”[15]

The Manifesto of the Dominionist Movement
But are there any other institutions that are either under siege or targets of takeovers by the hard right?

According to the plan proposed by Paul Weyrich, the founder of the Free Congress Foundation, to secure the success of the hard right’s control and domination of the American culture, the subversives must “develop a network of parallel cultural institutions existing side-by-side” with the cultural institutions of America.[16] Eric Heubeck, the author of Mr. Weyrich’s manual wrote: “Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions…” [17]

The political movement has been called by many names, but none is so descriptive as “Dominionism,” the political drive cloaked with religious terms, to dominate and control American institutions, the American government, and the American culture by “Christians” of the hard right. This article will reveal how the military, as an institution, is being infiltrated with an eye at control by the dominionists. If the idea of a coup seems too absurd to some, let us not forget that it’s been thought about and written about by at least one military man in a brilliant story published in the military journal Parameters, Winter 1992-1993. Lt. Col. Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. wrote “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012.”[18]

Seymour Hersh

The next chapter of this story begins with Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh’s exposé of the American perpetrated disgrace at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Hersh has published a new book titled Chain of Command, (Harper Collins 2004). In it he wrote that the roots of the scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few army reservists, but in the reliance of George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on secret operations and the use of coercion in fighting terrorism.

In an interview September 14, 2004 with Terry Gross of NPR radio, Hersh described an impatient Donald Rumsfeld, who wanted to take not only operational control of the war, but also wanted control of intelligence. Hersh said, “After 9/11, Rumsfeld had just had it with the notion of going through the legal process” to go after people we believed were very important inside Al Quaeda.” According to Hersh, Rumsfeld said in a sense, “the hell with it!”

“So Rumsfeld set up a secret unit.” The secrecy surrounding the unit was overwhelming. Hersh said the unit is called the ‘Special Access Program.’

Hersh said, “I know there was a presidential finding for it.” In describing the unit he said, “Everybody was under cover. They had their own aircraft. They had their own helicopters. They would hear about somebody they thought was important in the war on terrorism, somebody to interrogate. They would just get into the country, get to the guy’s house and get him out without going through any formal process. They were taking these people to Thailand, later they were taken to Egypt.”

Hersh said, “Some of the prisoners who turned out to not be useful were shipped down to Guantanomo in Cuba, the prison was set up in 2002.”

By the fall of 2003 when the war in Iraq was clearly going badly, Hersh said, “At that point the decision was made to bring some elements of this secret unit into Iraq to start educating and getting the interrogating process more fine tuned.”

Hersh said that many of the White House documents contain the statement, “the gloves are off.” Hersh took that to mean, “I think there is no question this unit was given carte blanche to do whatever was necessary.” He admitted, “I can’t tell you whether the goal of the Special Unit was to get rough immediately or not. I can tell you that according to people in the unit, things deteriorated over time. We’re talking about a unit that’s now been in operation almost three years.”

More than 20,000 Iraqis had been arrested. Many of them were taken in routine sweeps of traffic. Hersh said the idea was to develop blackmail material against the young men by taking photos of them in positions where they were sexually humiliated. Then, according to Hersh, with the blackmail photos on hand the intent was to release the prisoners and ask them to join the insurgency and start telling the U.S. what was going on—otherwise the photos would be released.

Lt. General Jerry Boykin’s Secret “Warrior” Recruitment Program

As one reads or recites the facts surrounding Abu Ghraib, one is tempted to ask how the American military, with its code of ethics as reflected in the high traditions of West Point and our Naval Academy—where men and women are imbued in the tradition of honor— could have turned into such a ruthless band of sadists? The answer is: They didn’t. Someone else did it.

There is evidence the U.S. military, like the Southern Baptist Convention before it, has been targeted as an institution to be taken over and replaced with dominionists who are decidedly less educated and less honorable. These are men and women who may be willing to do anything to further the cause of world domination.

There is also evidence dominionists have infiltrated the military with willing personnel and that the military has similarly infiltrated the churches.

The next chapter of this story begins with Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the Pentagon’s senior military intelligence official. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1971. That same year, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army where he rose through the ranks to Commanding General of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Fort Bragg, N.C. and then in June 2003 to the present to Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon.[19]

There is no question that Lt. Gen. Boykin is a brave soldier and he is undoubtedly a personable man. But in searching through data available on the web, it appears that while the general has spent thirty three years in the military, he has had very little formal military education with the exception of a year at the Army War College in 1990-1991.[20]

Boykin became the focus of media reports when he spoke about his involvement in the war on terrorism at twenty-three Baptist and Pentecostal churches across the country, accompanied by two military aides. According to a 10-month internal investigation conducted by the defense department’s deputy inspector general for investigations and reported by the Washington Post, Boykin received reimbursement for his travel costs from one of the sponsoring church groups and failed to report that fact. He wore his uniform and gave the impression that he was representing the military. [21]

The investigation confirmed that Boykin said that the U.S. military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to defeat its enemy.[22] In fact, he told the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, Okla. on June 30, 2002, “What I’m here to do today is to recruit you to be warriors of God’s kingdom.”[23]

Wait a minute! He was speaking to Christians—so he was not seeking to evangelize them to become Christians. What then was he recruiting for? If Boykin is a dominionist, then those words have a concrete meaning: He was recruiting soldiers to fight a war to set up God’s Kingdom on earth![24]

After all, Ken Hemphill, the Southern Baptist’s national strategist for Empowering Kingdom Growth, (EKG) spoke to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee recently defining the role of religion for them. According to him, church is about advancing the Kingdom of God. He said, “Southern Baptists must lead in awakening the church to be on mission with God for the redemption of the nations.” Hemphill, quoting a passage from the Bible said there is one biblical sign yet to be fulfilled: “This good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in the entire world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”[25]

When we consider Boykin’s speaking and recruitment tour along with the fact he was addressing Baptists and Pentecostals who are the backbone of the religious right dominionist movement, alarm bells should go off. It may be that the Army’s Inspector General’s office is simply ignorant of the goals of the religious right, but there is far more evidence that link the hard right religious world with the U.S. Military.

Boykin not only went on a speaking tour to recruit “warriors,” but prior to the tour, he’d invited a select group of Southern Baptist pastors to meet him at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, NC on April 22-23 of 2003. According to the promotional materials sent out to the group of Southern Baptist pastors, they would be given unprecedented access to the military base while being recruited for the denomination’s “Super FAITH Force Multiplier” program. Boykin’s invitation was extended in a letter authored by the Rev. Bobby H. Welch, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla.[26]

The planned meeting was scaled back after attorneys for Americans United for Separation of Church and State complained that Boykin was “using his official position to advance the religious mission of the Southern Baptist Convention’s FAITH Force Multipliers program.”[27] But keep the Rev. Bobby H. Welch’s name in mind as he is a prominent player in this saga.

Some months later, following the “scaled back” meeting at Fort Bragg, Lt. General Boykin’s name appeared in the second controversy I mentioned above. In October of 2003, Boykin and/or his Department of Defense bosses decided if he couldn’t bring the churches to the military bases, then he could take his program to the churches. But this stirred the largest media controversy. Some organizations began calling for Boykin’s resignation.[28]

Immediately the hard right dominionist church world vigorously jumped to Boykin’s defense. Most of Boykin’s supporters are believed to be members of the secret Council on National Policy.[29] In an excellent article, Deborah Caldwell, a senior editor of Belief Net, revealed that among Boykin’s “staunchest supporters were Focus on the Family’s James Dobson; religious broadcaster Pat Robertson; the Family Research Council; the Christian Coalition and the Rev. Bobby Welch.”[30]

The Rev. Bobby Welch Rescues the General

Rev. Bobby Welch wrote a heated column in defense of his friend. “Who do these so-called ‘watchdogs’ think they are ‘barking’ at anyway?” He wrote, “Boykin…has again and again tried to give his life for this country…he has never been stabbed in the back by an American. Not until recently.”[31]

But what Bobby Welch didn’t say was that his Southern Baptist church in Daytona, Fla. was the first church in America to introduce the significant military concept of “force multiplier” into the churches. In fact, Welch and his Associate Pastor, Doug Williams coined the words, “FAITH Force Multiplier,” and “Kingdom Warriors,” conjuring up imagery of soldiers fighting for God’s “Kingdom”—the same concept Lt. General Wm. Boykin used as he brought his message to the churches.

Welch and Williams,[32] in partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources, “developed a strategy to help equip churches to fulfill the Great Commission in July, 1997.”[33] The significant thing about Welch’s partner, LifeWay Christian Resources, is that it is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention and it owns and operates 119 LifeWay Christian Stores, LifeWay’s E-commerce operation and other businesses and is one of the world’s largest publishers of Christian magazines and literature. LifeWay’s combined monthly readership ranks in the millions.[34] The publishing headquarters encompass more than one million square feet of floor space. In 1999-2000 LifeWay’s E-commerce operation handled more than 104,000 online orders via the Internet.[35]

When Bobby Welch spearheaded a drive to insert military concepts into the Southern Baptist churches, he had the backing of an enormously wealthy corporation.[36] He flew over a million miles, crisscrossing America to get his message across to the churches. Yet his “message” is essentially a secret known only to the Southern Baptists and Pentecostals recruited into the program, which now numbers more than 6,000 churches.

Like his friend Jerry Boykin, Bobby Welch started life in humble circumstances. He graduated from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Like Boykin, nationalism is important to him. He is a decorated Viet Nam veteran and he is known for his “God and Country” speaking engagements. He is author of You, the Warrior Leader.[37]

But perhaps the most important fact about the Rev. Bobby Welch is this: he was elected president of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention in June, 2004, just a few months after he penned his defense of “Jerry” Boykin.[38]

Bobby Welch stepped up to the helm of a vast communication network. The Southern Baptist Convention has at its disposal the means to communicate electronically with huge numbers of its members by utilizing its websites and by utilizing its connections to likeminded broadcasters and that is not to mention its ability to communicate through its publications through the U.S. mail. Recent news articles posted on its website inform its members how to access the politicians who are working on SBC approved bills coming up for vote in congress and in state legislative bodies.[39]

Southern Baptist churches have also apparently participated in live nationwide simulcasts, broadcast to over 2,500 churches.[40]

The latest airing occurred on September 19, 2004 and featured House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in a nationwide broadcast in a futile attempt to muster support for the so called “marriage protection amendment” that would ban same-sex marriage contracts. A BP report published on LifeWay’s web site said:

“The two-hour rally came just days before a scheduled Sept. 30 vote on the marriage amendment in the House of Representatives. The amendment, which would protect traditional marriage and ban same-sex marriage, has 130 sponsors but needs 290 votes — two-thirds of the House — to pass. If passed, it would then require passage by two-thirds of the Senate and ratification by three-quarters of the states.

“DeLay urged those watching to contact their representatives and tell them to vote for the amendment. He also encouraged amendment supporters not to give up; in July, the amendment was filibustered in the Senate.”[41]

Church members could receive the telecast either via a webcast or satellite and the DVD can now be purchased at We Vote Values. The broadcast was titled, “Battle for Marriage III.” Subsequently, the House of Representatives rejected the amendment.

Nevertheless an ambitious “Million Christians’ March” was planned for October 15, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in support of the traditional definition of marriage. Crimson-colored “Mayday for Marriage” T-shirts will be sold. The color crimson was chosen so that it would look like the blood of Christ covering the D.C. mall from a photograph taken above the event.[42]

What Do Southern Baptists Mean When They Say “Kingdom Warriors”?

Bobby Welch now has a 16 million member draft pool from which “warriors” can be drawn, enlisted, trained and sent out to fight the fight of faith. But who do they fight against? In an Agape Press article by Ed Vitagliano, titled, “In the Culture War, the Church Must Never Flee the Scene,” the enemy is described variously as the “assaults of wickedness” and “evil in this nation.”[43] But at last the truth comes out as Vitagliano writes:

“The battlefields on which Christians fight are not European hedgerows or Pacific islands, nor are they the winding, icy roads of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, or the desert sands of Iraq. Believers battle in corporate boardrooms, in university lecture halls, before community school boards, around water coolers, in political campaigns, and over coffee at family gatherings. Those battles must never cease, nor must the church ever flee from the scenes of fiercest conflict.” [44] (Emphasis mine.)

A LifeWay’s ad on the same page as Vitagliano’s article pushes itself into the piece and offers itself as a “recommended book.” It is Sean Hannity’s: Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War Over Liberalism. At last the Southern Baptist Convention has tipped its hand. They are recruiting warriors to remove all liberals from political participation!

John Kramp, the Interim Vice President of LifeWay Church Resources division, said the division attempts to “transform churches into powerful Kingdom entities” that change people and cultures.[45] (Emphasis mine.)

Ken Hemphill (the national strategist for the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Empowering Kingdom Growth” program) defined the term “Kingdom of God” to mean, “God’s rule and reign on earth—in, around and through His people.” He went further: “The Kingdom of God is about God’s right to invade our human existence with His Kingdom authority.”[46]

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines the word “kingdom” in its usual meaning as “a politically organized community, having a monarchical form of government usually headed by a king.”[47]

If the Southern Baptists intend to change American “culture” as Kramp states, by taking over and changing what is or is not taught in schools, or taking over the political institutions of this nation and the laws of this nation as a means of setting up a new “kingdom”—these are subversive goals and are not legitimate religious purposes and their tax exemption status should be voided.

It is one thing for men to humbly seek to worship God; it’s quite another thing for men to declare they are God’s representatives (or regents) on earth and therefore the rest of America must follow their edicts! This latter attitude is not freedom to worship—it is coercion! It is also the means to a national coup and it is evil and subversive to the core. Subversion under the fraudulent guise of “religious beliefs,” using the U.S. mails and communication systems, must be stopped for what it is: an unconstitutional means to destroy the United States of America by turning our nation into a theocratic dictatorship and steering the wealth of this nation into their own pockets.

Force Multiplier

One important indicator of two cultures mingling together is the common language shared by both. Indeed, religious groups are using military terms that have been converted to and co-mingled with religion. One such term is “Force Multiplier.” The infiltration is both ways—there is an infiltration of the churches to adopt not only the term, but force multiplier techniques, and there is an infiltration of the military to inject religious zealotry into the missions.

The Department of Defense (DOD) officially defines “force multiplier” as:

“A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.”[48]

Note that the words “a capability,” neutrally describe something beneficial, without moral modification. It is a significant point. Since morality and ethics are absent from the definition, it leaves the implementation of the concept up to the imagination of the doer. So the definition is an open invitation to extend military actions by employing any possible means to justify the ends, which are defined as a “successful mission accomplishment.” Machiavelli could not be happier.

Military writers have advanced the concept to include: “The Weather as a Force Multiplier,”[49] “Software as a Force Multiplier,”[50] “People as The Force Multiplier,”[51] and most importantly in a 1989 paper, “Deception” as “A Neglected Force Multiplier.”[52]

But it was Matthew S. Pape, a civilian lawyer who advanced the concept of extending the president’s power in a unique way. Pape's essay attempts to show that the president’s ability to launch a covert operation provides the legal justification for a preemptive invasion. Essentially he reasons, covert operations are preemptive in nature. Therefore, since the president has already been given authority to conduct small preemptive operations, he may force multiply the legal authority he already has to launch a major preemptive invasion. Pape boils the concept down for his military audience with this title: “Constitutional Covert Operations: A Force Multiplier for Preemption.”[53]

A Chaplain’s Use of the Concept of “Force Multiplier”

Today there are ministries all over America using the term, “Force Multiplier” just as the military uses it, as a tool of indoctrination.

In addition, military chaplains at American military bases are preaching and teaching the “FAITH Force Multiplier” methods. Of course the capitalized “FAITH” in front of the Force Multiplier may well be an acronym.[54] But I’ve read the term comes from the Bible: 1 Timothy 6:12, in a passage written by St. Paul to his young protégé, Timothy. Paul advises him to “fight the good fight of faith” where “faith” is equated with a fight! [55] And for battles and fights and warfare, we have to see how these terms are being used in the military.

Chaplain, Lt. Col. Tim Carlson wrote a Chaplain’s Column in the July 1999 Engineer Update.[56] He began, “It always amazes me how one can find spiritual lessons in the language of the military.”

Carlson pointed out that during the Cold War era the Soviet soldiers outnumbered Americans three to one. He said force multipliers were critical if we were to halt an attack and win and “multiplying our force, by any means, remains a genuine concern of leadership in the U.S. Army. The need for force multipliers and that missing factor is as old as warfare.” (Emphasis mine.)

Carlson told the story of David a shepherd boy who took on Goliath with a slingshot—which he called a “force multiplier.” He concluded his remarks by making an astonishing statement that reveals how even an army can be controlled by religious concepts:

“Is all this merely outdated religious bunk or a waste of my time? These may well be reasoned responses to the idea of faith as a force multiplier. But I suggest that the greatest force multiplier ever known to the world is faith. We must have faith that the Corps’ leaders know what they are doing, and faith that they will act with the best motives.”[57] (Emphasis mine.)

Are these homilies effective?

In our present war against Iraq, one colonel from the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at a forward-deployed location said, “The chaplain’s daily base-wide email, “Words for the Warrior,” is the first e-mail I open when I turn on my computer.” [58]

A Civilian Pastor’s Use of “FAITH Force Multiplier

Dr. Billy Compton, pastor of the Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky explains his churches’ involvement in the FAITH Force Multiplier program in his article posted on the church website:

“Join a FAITH team and become FAITH Force Multipliers”

“September 11, 2001 is a day all of America will remember. Soon after this terrorist attack, the President declared war on terrorism. The US Army sent Special Forces to enter Afghanistan to confront the enemy. The goal of these Special Forces was not to defeat the enemy alone, but to train and mobilize the local army against the Taliban enemy.

“The US Special Forces were placed alongside the local freedom fighters to equip them to achieve a victory in the war on terrorism. Their goal was to multiply themselves creating a larger and more effective force to face the enemy. This strategy of increasing the forces by multiplication resulted in these soldiers being known as ‘force multipliers.’

“….Our goal is to enlist, train, and empower a great army of believers for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Our strategy is to use this enlisting, training, and equipping process called ‘FAITH’ as ‘Faith Force Multipliers.’”[59]

Force Ministries and the Chaplains

Recently I found myself searching through the “contacts page” at the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s web site.[60] To my surprise, I found links to Navy Seals and to Lt. General Richard E. Carey of Rockwall, TX and General Richard Shaefer of Nashville, TN as well as to the Adolph Coors Evangelistic Association and Tom Cole at Headquarters of the Republican Party in Oklahoma City.

In following the link to the Navy Seals I came upon one of the blackest ministries on the web—literally—it’s called, “FORCE Ministries.” Their motto: “Equipping military personnel for Christ-centered duty.” It’s a secretive paramilitary organization. One can’t print their material out easily. One can’t print out the photos. But it’s a startling website.

The black pages highlight the stealth of men moving in the night, their eyes fixed on the scopes of their rifles aimed and ready to fire, they are frozen in a photo crossing a creek, covered by the water and by a deadly silence. The viewer has no doubt these men intend to shoot to kill. Suddenly a soldier pops up on the screen, his eyes flint cold against the blackness, his rifle ready for firing. There’s the sound of shots fired: “Mission: Christ Centered Duty” flashes. Another soldier fires: “Purpose: Impart Faith in Christ” flashes. Drums beat and music plays. And then silence again.

Force Ministries takes Matthew 11:12 as their “Defining passage:” It reads in the version quoted: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” NIV.

The web site states, “FORCE skydiving is a ministry to the military and through the military. The FORCE Ministry skydiving team is comprised of current and former Navy SEALs whose lives have been touched through FORCE.” In other words, FORCE is composed of men from the military’s “Special Operations” branch.

The website boasts a worldwide military ministry:

“Force Ministries will send and maintain military missionaries in strategic locations throughout the world. Funded through Morning Star Partnership Development, these workers will locate near military bases and campuses throughout the world. This effort will be headed by Lt. Col. Art (Raylee) Smith, USAF (Retired).”

In addition Force states that it will “provide a discipleship environment for Christian chaplains to encourage and support their efforts in the field.” The description continued: “Military Chaplains are integral to the spiritual condition of the troops when at sea or on deployment.” We are told that “Force will provide assistance (speakers, workers) to the base chaplains for services held on military installations.” (Emphasis mine.) I immediately wondered whether there was some lack in chaplains since according to Force, the chaplains need “discipleship” and apparently need outside speakers to help them. (It’s been my observation that pastors don’t like to share their pulpits with anyone—unless of course, they are not fully qualified as pastors.)

FORCE, in an astounding inconsistency, considering the deadly power of its presentation, sums up its role this way: “Our supreme desire is to know Christ and to be conformed into His image by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The FORCE home page is at: http://www.forceministries.com/

The Assemblies of God: A Recruitment Center for Chaplains

Most people know that Attorney General John Ashcroft’s church is the Assemblies of God. What they probably do not know is that the Assemblies are a Pentecostal church, which essentially means—they believe that once a person has accepted Jesus as their Savior and been baptized in water, the believer will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in an unknown language. Its technical name is “glossolalia.” Pentecostals have suffered from an inferiority complex for a century, having been the butt of jokes from the protestant church world as well as the secular. Perhaps that sense of inferiority caused them to collectively strive for power.

But in the 1970’s a new religious movement occurred within the mainline churches. Church goers in the Episcopalian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and big and small churches everywhere, began having the same spiritual experiences: many spoke in other tongues; others demonstrated gifts of healing and other “gifts of the Spirit.” With so many people experiencing the “gifts,” the word “Charismatic” came into vogue to describe the churches and congregants who either experienced the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit or believed in their efficacy. So the lines between the denominations began to fall and the Pentecostal churches were at last accepted by the greater church world.

Under the Bush administration the Pentecostals have flourished—including the United Pentecostal Church.[61] But Pentecostals still represent a tiny slice of the church world.

According to Judy Ferrington, a spokesman for the Assemblies of God (AG), the Assemblies had 12,222 churches in the year 2002, with a membership of 1.58 million and a constituency of 2.7 million. That places the Assemblies as either the sixteenth or the tenth largest church in the U.S. (depending upon which one of the different authorities does the ranking). The Assemblies are clearly considerably behind the Southern Baptist Convention, which with 16 million members, is in second place, and the Catholic Church at 65 million is in first place.[62]

But if the Assemblies are in the back of the pack in the U.S., they are running ahead of the pack worldwide. Pentecostals are the fastest growing churches in the world, especially in Africa and in South America (where they now outnumber the Catholics in churches.) There is a significant reason for their success. Catholics and the Protestant mainline churches require a formal education for anyone who feels “called” to become a priest or minister.

This means that if a Catholic or mainline Protestant missionary went to a foreign country, preached the message of salvation and turned a dozen converts into zealous believers who wanted nothing more than to preach the very Gospel they had just heard—they couldn’t. They would have to get an education, a bachelor’s degree and then enter a seminary and earn a doctorate for another three years. By the time that soul traveled through seven years of academic labor—the fire would be gone; but the truth is: most of them could never afford to pay for the education in the first place.

But it’s quite different with the Pentecostals. They simply do not require an education as a prerequisite for ordination.[63] So those zealous believers I mentioned above are able to go out and build their own church and start preaching immediately as long as they meet the other denominational requirements (like knowledge of the Bible, Assemblies of God doctrines, and please don’t be divorced!).[64] That’s how Pentecostals have outrun the Catholics in South America. And that’s how they’re overrunning institutions in America.

Pentecostals are mission oriented—they want to spread the word. So it’s not surprising the Assemblies have an impressive chaplaincy program presentation at their website.[65] According to the AG spokesman, the church has fielded 475 chaplains: 35 are women and 440 are men. Of these, 237 are in the U.S. Military and 291 are serving institutions such as prisons.

I have calculated that each chaplain has a statistical “congregation” of 403.[66] Therefore the Assemblies’ 237 chaplains represent the “statistical” power to indoctrinate 95,511 military personnel as “Kingdom Warriors” who will be recruited to help set up God’s Kingdom on earth.

If we add a group like the FORCE Ministry into the equation, where worldwide “missionary” Special Forces groups are waiting to assist chaplains at U.S. military installations, we get a disturbing picture for potential trouble. In a cultural war of ideas where the actual fate of our nation hangs in the balance, we need to consider exactly what is happening in the military. As we are about to see, the issue is enormously important. I can phrase the question this way: Is the United States of America coming perilously close to establishing a state approved religion in the military that is comparable to the old Soviet Union’s state religious ministry program where rabbis and pastors had to be state certified and were required to tout the party line?

The “party line” emerging in the U.S. military is the religion of dominionism, the concept that our men and women in uniform must become “Kingdom Warriors” to restore alleged lost morality and establish a true kingdom on earth. It is nothing less than a political drive against the Constitution.

How the U.S. Government Pays For Religious Education

If the Assemblies of God (AG) do not require a formal education for ordination, the U.S. military does. It requires a four year degree from an accredited institution,[67] plus a master’s degree to get into the chaplaincy.[68] But something happened along the way that made the military change its program.

To understand it, we have to go back to 1999. In that year, the Army had only 98 active-duty priests, a third of its alleged requirement.[69] According to the demographics, the Army required 225 more Catholic chaplains in order to meet Catholic soldiers’ religious needs. But the Catholic Church didn’t have the priests. Some believed that it was due to the fact that from 1968 to 1974 the Catholic Church suffered a 250 percent drop in seminary enrollments, causing enormous shortages on every level.[70] “What to do?” became the question (although there are aspects of the problem that raise questions).[71]

Based on the lack of Catholic priests, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) G. T. Gunhus, a Lutheran pastor, who had been appointed as the Army Chief of Chaplains in July of 1999, developed a program in which soldiers with prior military service could come back into the Army as Chaplains, be they Catholic priests or clergy from any other religious group.[72]

The idea, according to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Kenehan, a Catholic military priest and recruiting and retention specialist who worked within the Pentagon’s Office of the Army Chief of Chaplains, was to encourage the Army to “grow its own priests.”[73] The concept of the Army “growing its own priests,” should have made warning bells ring throughout the U.S. It should have raised the banner of “Separation of church and state.” It didn’t. Pentagon officials were able to assure the public that the concept was simply an innocuous method of solving a genuine problem. Eventually the Army’s “grow our own priests” program became at the very least, a way to speed up the religious educational process for candidates who desired to become military chaplains.

This is how it works: through the “Chaplain Candidate Program,” the U.S. Army Reserve pays for up to 100% of the tuition costs for the required religious seminary education, (up to $250 per credit hour with a maximum cap of $4,500 per year). That’s right; the U.S. government went into the business of providing individuals with a religious education![74] What’s more, according to the Go Army Chaplain Corp web site, “You do not need to wait until ordination to join the Army Chaplaincy. You can train to become an Army Chaplain at the same time you are training for the ministry.”[75] In fact, “some seminaries offer academic credit for your training as a Chaplain Candidate.”[76]

Since President George W. Bush became the president, Pentecostal Assembly of God chaplains are in high demand in the military. Pastor Dan Hardin, 33, was senior pastor of the Living Word Assembly of God, Baltimore. He was also a member of the Ohio National Guard. In March of 2003, he received a call from the Pentagon to become a chaplain and minister to soldiers.[77]

“When the Pentagon called, they said they needed me immediately,” Hardin said. He was invited to transfer to active duty in the Army to serve as a chaplain based at Fort Knox, Tenn. Hardin explained, “This is not an activation, rather it’s a transfer to the Army for an indefinite period. There is a three-year mandatory service. Call it a career or vocational change, if you will. I am preparing to stay for awhile, most likely until retirement.”[78]

If a candidate chose to be ordained by an Assembly of God church, he would find it easier to qualify than almost any other denomination.[79] In the end, however, “one cannot become a military chaplain without ecclesiastical endorsement.”[80] The question then becomes: Is the ecclesiastical endorsement process controlled in any way by the U.S. military?

Now follow me here: Since chaplains are appointed as the recruiting and retention specialists to work in the Pentagon, and each appointed chaplain is ordained as a minister in a particular church, one must ask whether the selection process is set up in such a way to choose only dominionist oriented candidates for certification and recruitment? That in fact, liberal clergymen are systematically excluded. For instance, if the ecclesiastical endorsing agent were a former chaplain with strong politically hard right beliefs and the Pentagon official who presides over the recruiting process were a member of the same denomination and holds the same political positions, is it more or less likely that these two agents will approve the chaplaincy of a liberal clergyman?

If you agree there would be a natural tendency for like-minded individuals to choose like-minded individuals, consider how many religious issues have been introduced in the last twenty years by the right wing dominionists, all of which, are now full fledged political issues: start with the pledge of allegiance with the words, “one nation under God”; the appropriateness of the ten commandments in the schools or prayer in the schools; a woman’s right to choose an abortion with her doctor’s advice; or the right of two people to enter into a contract of marriage even if they are of the same sex; or the affirmation of a wall between church and state. In considering this list against the backdrop of military chaplains, the founding fathers of dominionism emerge as extremely brilliant men.

We are about to see how two men from the Assemblies of God have been promoted to key positions of power that enable them to smooth the way for chaplains entering the military and to smooth the way for chaplain candidates who are seeking endorsements from churches: each process is overseen by a Pentecostal (AG) who was recently promoted.

Charles Marvin Named First Pentecostal Chairman of NCMAF

Charles Marvin spent 27 years as a chaplain with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corp before retiring in 1998. He then served as the director of the Chaplaincy Department of the Assemblies of God for four years. Then in 2002, he became the ecclesiastical endorsing agent for the Assemblies. Endorsing agents hold a unique and powerful position; they certify that a candidate who desires to become a military chaplain has met all the denominational requirements to qualify as a clergyman within their denomination. In other words, they determine exactly who will or who will not become a chaplain in the U.S. military.

But on December 27, 2002, Marvin received a singular honor. He was named chairman of the organization that’s made up of all the endorsing agents in the U.S. Its official name is the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) (pronounced Nic-Maf). Marvin said of his appointment, “The Assemblies of God is taking its appropriate place with other endorsing agents to ensure free exercise of religion for all those who don the American Armed Forces uniform.”[81]

NCMAF is a private organization that pools representatives from all major faith communities in the U.S. to serve as liaisons between the U.S. armed forces and more than 250 denominations. [82] NCMAF was started in 1982 “as a non-profit organization supported entirely by voluntary contributions from the member faith groups and other interested parties.”[83] (Emphasis mine.)

Donations are solicited in a professionally made brochure.[84] NCMAF states:

“Our unity is a demonstration to the Department of Defense and the nation of our common areas of moral and spiritual convictions.

“When the need exists to address the Department of Defense or the Congress about issues of significance to faith communities, our unity provides a significant power base from which to speak as one voice from the many voices we represent.” (Emphasis mine.)

It appears from this quote that the endorsing agents from each denomination must necessarily have similar political views on certain “issues of significance,” else how could NCMAF claim so confidently that on these issues before Congress, 250 men from 250 denominations speak with one voice? Since most churches today are composed of congregants who are politically conservative as well as politically liberal, the one voice stance suggests that hard right “kingdom warrior” dominionists, like the Southern Baptists, have managed to gain and control the position of endorsing agent within each denomination.

It also suggests that endorsing agents are carefully screened and chosen. The next question then becomes: On what issues do they address the department of defense or congress with their one voice?[85] I can think of no issues that all Christians agree on, let alone all Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other religious faiths.

The endorsing agent system is an honor system with room to fudge.[86] The churches, after all, have unlimited power to decide who has and who has not met the denomination’s requirements for ordination. Yet prudence would argue there is a need to know what mechanism, if any, exists within the churches to prevent discrimination against ministerial candidates because of their race, color, sexual orientation or political creed? The answer appears to be the churches are not subject to any test for discrimination.

Apparently, there is nothing to stop the churches from refusing to ordain politically liberal or politically moderate priests and ministers by simply stating the applicant has failed to meet a standard requirement, such as “the candidate does not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible”—the shibboleth used by the Southern Baptist Convention to root out moderate ministers. Any church can make up its own requirements and can even manufacture requirements. I remind myself—as well as my reader at this point, of Paul Weyrich’s program of creating parallel “cultural” (or religious) institutions, which are supposed to exist side-by-side.[87] Under the plan, the dominionist members of a church would split away from their original church, with the latter doomed for destruction according to Eric Heubeck.

There is in fact a movement that is splitting the churches in two, based upon dominionism versus liberalism.[88] This means the heart of Christianity is being tampered with and revised in America. The liberal mission of churches, inviting all to participate as exemplified in Jesus’ words, “whosoever will may come”—is being pushed aside for an elitist dominionism: converting churches into political entities, based upon the heretical belief that the church is to rule the nation—not the people of the United States. America has indeed lost its way.

But there lies another major problem for the department of defense: if it has gone so far as to acquiesce in a process that excludes all liberal clergy, could the department of defense also be using the chaplaincy program to insert men with particular needed strategic skills into the military as officers for certain types of operations?

Charles Marvin told an interviewer, “My signature assures a government agency that we have carefully screened the man or woman we are endorsing.”[89] The question is, what are they screening for or against?

First Pentecostal Chaplain Promoted to Brigadier General

The headline proudly declared: “Chaplains making a difference in D.C.” Following September 11’s terrorist attack on the Pentagon, an Assemblies of God article began:

“Assemblies of God military chaplains have been playing a key role in the recovery efforts at the Pentagon following September 11’s terrorist attack. Chaplain Col. Cecil R. Richardson is the command chaplain for Air Combat Command out of Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., and has overseen the assignment of chaplains at the Pentagon and other sites in the wake of the attacks…

“Richardson has command of more than 500 chaplains from all denominations at 24 military bases, including some overseas. “We are doing several different things all at the same time right now, including working at the crisis action tents outside the [Pentagon] crash scene, meeting with and providing grief counseling for the families…and praying with the workers,” Richardson said shortly after the attacks. He also sent teams of chaplains to assist in New York City.”[90] (Emphasis mine.)

Richardson explained the chaplains were mainly focusing on the recovery workers who were young, most of whom “have never seen a dead body before, let alone carnage.” Richardson added, “Many of these workers have lost people they know, and the chaplains are there to pray with them and counsel them.”[91]

On June 1, 2004, Assemby of God Chaplain Cecil R. Richardson was promoted to Brigadier General, to a key position that assists in the overseeing of the quality of the chaplain service. In this position, he also comes in contact with the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Richardson’s official title is Deputy Chief, Air Force Chaplain Service.

Richardson’s educational background should not be overlooked. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical studies at the Assemblies of God, Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri in 1973. He received his Master of Divinity degree in Hebrew studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. in 1976.[92] In 1981 he attended the Squadron Officer School by correspondence and in later years he attended the Air Command and Staff College by correspondence.[93]

He is the first Pentecostal to be promoted to a general officer as a chaplain.[94] His new job places Richardson in a position of control on the department of defense side of the equation: as Deputy Chief of the Chaplain Service, he is directly involved in directing and maintaining a trained, equipped and professional chaplain service.[95] This means he supervises more than 2,350 active duty, Guard and Reserve chaplains. According to information released by the Air Force, “As a member of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, Richardson and other members advise Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on religious, ethical and quality-of-life concerns.”[96]

However, if the selection process is loaded to accommodate only dominionists, then it follows that the United States of America is establishing a religious-political preference within the military. This crosses the constitutional line and the sworn oath each military officer recites at his commission.

The Military Officer’s Oath

Every newly appointed officer in the U. S. military takes an oath of office. That oath states:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” (Emphasis mine.) U.S. Code: Title 5, Section 3331.

I have emphasized two concepts in the oath: first the officer has sworn to defend the Constitution and secondly he has sworn to defend it against all enemies—including domestic enemies. The question is, what does it mean to support and defend the Constitution?

Take as an example the writings of Rick Erickson who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1991 and then joined the Marine Corp. He became an officer after graduating from Officer Candidate School, Basic School and Infantry School in Quantico, Virginia in 1991. Erickson left active duty in 1995 to attend law school. In 2002 he attended the Naval Justice School and received certification by the Judge Advocate General to practice military law. In 2003, Erickson was selected to attend the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Camp Pendleton where he will serve as a reservist student until graduation in 2005.[97] He is a Major in the Marine Corps (Reserve) and has served as Deputy Judge Advocate to the Commanding Officer, NORAD/USNORTHCOM.[98]

Erickson wrote a troubling article regarding the military oath administered to commissioned officers. The issue that caused him to go so far as to redefine American jurisprudence boiled down to this: “service people overwhelmingly do not want to serve with declaring homosexuals.”[99]

He singled out “groups like the ACLU” as “domestic enemies of the United States.”[100] He said:

“They deliberately distort the Constitution to promote their radical agendas. Worst of all, no court shows signs of abating this destructive influence in our civil or military law. Consequently, it is well with [sic] the officer’s oath to support and defend the Constitution’s foundation in order that no enemy directly or indirectly undoes the Constitution’s intended language to such an extreme that officers will have nothing left worthy of their pledge or of their armed service.” [101]

He tells his readers:

“I came to learn and understand, the oath applied in and out of uniform, including on-duty and off-duty exploits against anyone within or without who would challenge and distort our Constitution, its promotion of liberty and its basis in moral and just causes.”[102] (Emphasis mine.)

The question here is exactly what kind of “exploits” against American citizens does this military officer countenance? This is not an idle question. Liberal Americans are being identified as domestic “enemies of the Constitution of the United States.” Does Major Erickson advocate turning the military power of this nation against its own citizens? This question needs to be answered by military leaders and the Department of Defense.

But if we deconstruct Erickson’s article, it is revolutionary to the core. It advises ignoring directives from a “liberal” president and decisions from “liberal” judges. This is not defending the Constitution of the United States; it is in fact, a seditionist’s argument for overthrowing the Constitution!

Additionally, following the lead of Antonin Scalia in part, Erickson believes the Constitution cannot be challenged, and he says it must be interpreted in its “original” meaning. So then, let’s get an idea of what that could mean, keeping in mind the backdrop of the military officer’s oath where the penalty is military exploits against citizens—if we don’t get it right: according to the thirteenth amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude are still allowed as a punishment for crime. Readers of my earlier essay, “The Despoiling of America”[103] will know that dominionists seek to abolish the prison system and reinstate slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States as punishment for crimes. (See the text accompanying footnotes 61 and 62 of that essay.)[104] If I oppose slavery as an unacceptable form of punishment, do I become an enemy to the United States according to Major Erickson’s litmus test?

The amazing thing here is that a military officer who is serving as Deputy Judge Advocate to the Commanding Officer, at NORAD/USNORTHCOM,[105] who under the guise of defending the Constitution and “moral and just causes,” is actually seeking to disenfranchise the greater part of American citizens from political participation on the grounds that “liberals” are coercing “service people into following judicial orders over constitutional ones.”[106]

With reasoning like this, we need not wonder how the military degenerated into a group of sadistic thugs who resorted to the evil torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo.

The Road to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib is Paved with Pentecostal Chaplains

The Independent Panel’s final report on the abuse of prisoners at the prison camps in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo, reveals that about 300 allegations of abuse and torture were made, of these 66 have been substantiated. Eight cases of abuse occurred at Guantanamo, three in Afghanistan and 55 in Iraq. There were five cases of detainee deaths as a result of abuse by U.S. personnel during interrogations. There are 23 cases of detainee deaths still under investigation; twenty in Iraq and three in Afghanistan.[107]

On August 7, 2004 a New York Times report by Neil A. Lewis revealed that a Guantanamo inmate was mistreated in ways that may have violated the Geneva Conventions, “including having his life threatened, being beaten and being kept in prolonged isolation.” The affidavit of the prisoner, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a 34-year-old Yemeni, said he didn’t know how long he had been kept in isolation at Guantanamo, but he believed it was “at least eight months.”[108]

Make no mistake, abuse and torture occurred at Guantanamo!

A May 7, 2004 New York Times editorial pointed out, “The road to Abu Ghraib began, in some ways in 2002 at Guantanamo Bay,” since it was then that the Bush administration began building up a worldwide military detention system, “hidden from public view and from any judicial review.” Detainees were denied all normal legal protections. Seymour Hersh said Donald Rumsfeld set up his secret unit called the “Special Access Program,” converting a portion of the U.S. military into body-snatchers. They even had their own aircraft. Hersh said, “Everybody was under cover.” They still are under cover. Let’s look at how playing a double agent crept into the chaplaincy.

On November 4, 2002, Major General Geoffrey Miller was appointed Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo. According to the independent panel’s findings, Miller brought Military Police (MP) together with Military Intelligence (MI) and called upon them to work together cooperatively.[109] “Military police were to collect passive intelligence on detainees. They became key players, serving as the eyes and ears of the cellblocks for military intelligence personnel. This collaboration helped set conditions for successful interrogation by providing the interrogator more information about the detainee—his mood, his communications with other detainees, his receptivity to particular incentives, etc. Under the single command, the relationship between MPs and MIs became an effective operating model.”[110]

Significantly, there is another branch of the military that was used by General Miller: the U.S. military chaplains.

Assemblies of God (AG) Army Reserve Chaplain (Maj.) Daniel Odean served as chaplain for the Joint Task Force, at Guantanamo. Odean said that his job focused, “Primarily on the Joint Detention Operations Group (JDOG) that consists of service members from all branches.”[111]

Odean, explained to his AG interviewer from U.S. Missions, “The JTF conducts operations for detaining, securing, sustaining and worldwide escort operations of suspected terrorists to Camp Delta (the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Global War on Terrorism.”

Thus Odean served the men in the unit either directly connected to Donald Rumsfeld’s secret “Special Access Program” or one that supports that unit. He was their chaplain at the time of his interview. Guantanamo, according to Hersh,[112] is the final destination of those prisoners “who turned out to not be useful.” Hersh told us that the prisoners were kidnapped, put in prison without charges and without a trial and we know that there were eight cases of abuse at Guantanamo that have already been substantiated.

When asked in his interview with his Assembly of God interviewer, what his main responsibilities were, Odean said that he served as a chaplain to about 1,000 troopers. He added, “I serve as an advisor to the commander on religious, moral, ethical and morale issues.”[113]

He was then asked, “How do you respond to critics who say you, as a Christian chaplain, cannot meet the needs of Muslim captives?” Odean’s response reveals that he has become the eyes and ears for his commander and for the military intelligence units. It reveals a man who is serving two masters; one has been pushed to the background. He responded:

“I am responsible to carry out the Commander’s Religious Support Program and intent. At Camp Delta, the Commander is concerned with the Military Police’s ability to maintain a high standard of military professionalism and excellence.

“I serve the Commander by advising on issues and concerns [regarding the detainees] that have been communicated to me while I am interacting with the MPs.”

The interviewer then asked, “In what ways do the detainees turn to you for help?” Odean responded:

“I help manage detainee religious issues and promote religious sensitivity.

“I do not want to lead anyone to believe I have a counseling type relationship with the detainees. But I assist the Military Police with mission focus and by remaining firm, fair and consistent toward the detainees.”[114]

Odean was asked, “What do you say to those who say Guantanamo Bay is just another example of the United States being at war with Islam?”

The chaplain replied by rote, “U.S. Policy is that we are not at war with the religion of Islam; we are at war with terrorism. We are at war with the enemies of freedom. We are defending freedom here at Guantanamo Bay. America and the world are safer places because of missions such as this one and many others our military are involved in.”

He was asked what he would say to someone who is contemplating becoming a chaplain, “The Kingdom of God is to be advanced and freedom needs defending. It’s time to step up to the plate and allow God to use you in mighty way.”[115]

General Boykin Returns

Michael Moran, writing for MSNBC.com, on May 18, 2004, broke one of the most important stories of the year: Brigadier General Wm. “Jerry” Boykin, who was serving as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence at the time, was ordered to “Gitmoize” the Abu Ghraib prison.[116] (Guantanamo is known in the U.S. as “Gitmo” from its military abbreviation: GTMO. Boykin was to put the methods that worked at Guantanamo into effect at Abu Ghraib.[117]) The orders came from the top: Boykin was working for Stephen Cambone, a neo-con follower of Leo Strauss who was named undersecretary of intelligence, and reported directly to the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld, according to Michael Moran asked both Cambone and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy to find out why Guantanamo Bay “extracted far more useful intelligence from captives than those in Iraq.”[118]

Boykin flew to Guantanamo, where he met Major General Geoffrey Miller.[119] Miller’s success at Camp X-Ray had been duly noted by Boykin. Miller had succeeded in ‘softening’ up the detainees in his charge and he was able to get information from them quickly. This was music to Boykin’s ears. According to Los Angeles Times reporter, Richard T. Cooper, Boykin was “charged with speeding up the flow of intelligence on terrorist leaders to combat teams in the field so that they could attack top-ranking terrorist leaders.”[120]

According to Moran’s sources who asked that their names not be revealed, “Boykin ordered General Miller to fly to Iraq and extend X-Ray methods to the [Abu Ghraib] prison system on Rumsfeld’s orders.”[121]

There was a cover story. Miller’s mission appeared to be a response to a request for assistance initiated by the commander of Abu Ghraib (CJTF-7). Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez “recognized serious deficiencies at the prison and requested assistance.”[122] Miller’s team arrived in Baghdad on August 31, 2003. In response to the commander’s request for help, General Miller’s team drafted guidelines on how to fix the problems.[123] But what Miller delivered, was what Boykin had ordered.

Major General Antonio Taguba, who conducted an investigation at Abu Ghraib, reports:

“The principal focus of Major General Miller’s team was on the strategic interrogation of detainees/internees in Iraq.”[124]

Miller’s team recommended that the commander of Abu Ghraib “dedicate and train a detention guard force subordinate to the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC)—a unit that was not yet instituted.[125] In other words, the military police guards were to be subordinate to a military intelligence unit that was yet to be established. Miller’s team wrote:

“It is essential that the guard force be actively engaged in setting the conditions for successful exploitation of the internees.”[126]

So the guards’ job was to “soften” up the victims so that the interrogators could get useful information quickly. In this way, Miller delivered the recommendations that led directly to the abuses. The worst abuses at Abu Ghraib occurred after General Miller left his guidelines for improvements at the prison, between October and December of 2003 according to General Taguba’s Report.[127] Miller’s recommendations were taken to heart.

In fact, Major General George R. Fay found that twenty-seven military intelligence personnel “requested, encouraged, condoned or solicited Military Police personnel to abuse detainees and/or participated in detainee abuse and/or violated established interrogation procedures and applicable laws and regulations during interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib.”[128] Most of these necessarily occurred during the peak instances of abuse at the prison—after the arrival of a mysterious reservist who had been activated especially for his role at Abu Ghraib.

The Role of Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan

According to an Army statement, Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, worked as a reservist at the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Va.[129] He was activated for the express purpose of setting up the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib[130] which did not exist prior to his arrival.[131] As I noted above, the formation of the JIDC was recommended by Gen. Miller. This would appear to link Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan directly with General Boykin, undersecretary Cambone and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

Contradictorily, Jordan was later to claim that he was merely “a civil affairs officer by training and that his assignment was to set up a database at the interrogation center for tracking information gleaned from the prisoners.”[132] However, the record clearly shows that Jordan took control of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center on September 17, 2003 and served as the JIDC director until Col. Thomas Pappas assumed the role of commander of the forward operating base on November 19, 2003, and Jordan then became the deputy director of JIDC.[133]

Col. Pappas said in his statement to General Taguba that LTC Jordan repeatedly took part in searches of detainee cells without notifying military police commanders. Searching cells was an activity that fell outside the usual duties of an intelligence officer.[134]

Taguba’s report and witnesses place Jordan with officers hiding prisoners from the Red Cross inspection. The prisoners were called “ghost detainees,” because they were brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs), without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention.[135] An interrogator said he overheard Colonel Jordan and other officers say that the Red Cross inspectors did not need to know about those Iraqi prisoners.”[136]

From sworn testimony and interviews, Colonel Jordan emerges as a hands-on commander. According to Capt. Donald J. Reese, “Wing One was supervised mostly by LTC Steve Jordan.”[137] Capt. Donald J. Reese, commander of the 372nd Military Police Company told the Washington Post, he “was summoned one night in November to a shower room in a cellblock at the prison where he discovered the body of a bloodied detainee on the floor. A group of intelligence personnel was standing around the body. Col. Pappas was among them.” Reese said, “An Army colonel named Jordan sent a soldier to the prison mess hall for ice to preserve the body overnight.” The next day, the “body was hooked up to an intravenous drip, as if the detainee was still alive

The Fay Report concludes that “Col. Pappas committed a critical error in judgment by failing to remove LTC Jordan as soon as his shortcomings were noted, on approximately October 10, 2003.”[139] The report goes on to say, “Very shortly after LTC Jordan’s arrival at Abu Ghraib…the [military intelligence staff] began to note Jordan’s involvement in staff issues and his lack of involvement in interrogation operations.”[140]

The Fay report complains:

“The majority of HUMINT [human intelligence; human resources intelligence JP 1-02[141]] comes from interrogations and debriefings. Yet at the JIDC, which was set up to be the focal point for interrogation operations, there was only one officer, CPT Wood, with significant interrogation operations experience. There were four MI Warrant Officers but all were used for staff functions rather than directly supervising and observing interrogations. There was a shortage of trained NCOs at the E-7/E-6 level. Each Section Leader had four or five Tiger Teams, too many to closely observe, critique, counsel, consult, and supervise. One Section Leader was an E-5. Several of the interrogators were civilians and about half of those civilians lacked sufficient background and training. Those civilians were allowed to interrogate because there were no more military assets to fill the slots. Such a mixture together with constant demands for reports and documentation overwhelmed the Section Leaders.”[142]

Why was Jordan spending so much time on “staff” issues instead of interrogating detainees? I suggest that the placement of personnel was deliberate. The moving of qualified officers into staff functions rather than have them directly “supervising and observing interrogations,” was most likely not accidental. The alternative is to find that Jordan was completely incompetent. If he is, why is he still employed by Major General Barbara Fast, the top American intelligence officer in Iraq?[143]

The rationale behind his interest in staff can be explained by another possibility: If an operative were sent to Abu Ghraib for the purpose of gaining information for his bosses—at any cost including the death of the detainees—might he not in fact begin by laying the groundwork for chaos—the perfect cover—that would prevent investigating authorities from uncovering the true perpetrators of the alleged torture crimes?

I have observed at least two or three crimes in my lifetime that involved institutions and a group of people, where the perpetrators deliberately created an atmosphere of chaos in order to cover up their criminal intent. Tasks were done with obvious stupidity, ignorance and confusion. The result was chaos. Ineptness paid off: no criminal indictments were handed down. The reason? The method obscures what really happened.

As one studies the reports on Abu Ghraib, one is struck by the incompetence and complete lack of professionalism on the part of the military police and the military intelligence units. There was a lack of equipment, computers, software and even file cabinets. Soldiers resorted to using cardboard boxes to store files. Documents were lost. The Fay Report states, “Some interrogation related information was recorded on a whiteboard which was periodically erased.”[144]

Only one man was in a position to either set up a flawed system or to capitalize on its flaws once it was established to his advantage: Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan.

Additionally, we know that General Taguba reprimanded Jordan and found that Jordan made material misrepresentations of fact, and Taguba believed “there is sufficient credible information to warrant an Inquiry…to determine the extent of culpability.[145] Taguba suspected that “Col. Thomas M. Pappas, LTC Steven L. Jordan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz and Mr. John Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib…and strongly recommend immediate disciplinary action…” [146] If that were not enough, Jordan refused to testify during a secret hearing against an alleged ringleader of the abuse scandal on the grounds he might incriminate himself.[147]

We also know that Jordan made two interesting statements while being interviewed. He told General Taguba that he had worked as an intelligence analyst at the Department of Homeland Security.[148] And he told Taguba that some of the information obtained from the prisoners at Abu Ghraib had been requested by “White House staff.” [149] General Taguba asked Jordan whether it concerned “sensitive issues,” and Jordan said, “Very sensitive. Yes, sir.” Jordan said that a superior military intelligence officer told him the requested information concerned “any anti-coalition issues, foreign fighters, and terrorist issues.”[150]

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, An Army Chaplain?

Of all the things we have come to understand about Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, it is most difficult to think of him as a man of the cloth. Max Blumenthal, an excellent web writer,[151] found another significant link to Jordan in an article reprinted on the web site of the Oak Creek Assemblies of God church and on the Assembly’s chaplaincy article page.[152] A man with Jordan’s name and rank was identified as a Pentecostal chaplain mentoring an Assemblies of God chaplain candidate at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in the summer of 2003. [153] Wait a minute! One’s head snaps back. But this is really true.

There are several major possibilities. First, there could be two Lieutenant Colonels with identical names and rank in the Army, in which case the Army can produce both men. Secondly, the Steven L. Jordan of Abu Ghraib could have taken on the identity of a chaplain who subsequently died or retired, in which case the Army can resolve the mystery and explain why a chaplain’s identity was assumed. Thirdly, the Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Jordan of Abu Ghraib could actually be a Pentecostal chaplain, who was mentoring John P. Smith Jr., an Assembly of God chaplain candidate, during the six-week chaplain training course at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in the summer of 2003. If this is true, General Boykin’s “kingdom warriors” have emerged as a powerful and subversive renegade force in the Army.

The Assemblies of God article offers more than one clue to the puzzle. It reports that Jordan asked Smith to preach the Sunday morning sermon at the base auditorium, which holds over 1,000 seats and preaching wasn’t in the Army’s training course. The auditorium was full that morning. I know Pentecostal preachers very well. They can’t wait to preach. They can’t stand not to preach. Did Jordan ask Smith to preach because he didn’t know how to preach a sermon himself? If so, it suggests that an individual may have been admitted into the chaplaincy without being qualified.

Blumenthal’s discovery must be addressed by officials in the Army, by Congressional committees and by the press.

What’s Next?

On January 31, 2001, the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense released an audit report titled, “Management of National Guard, Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.” This report is posted on the Maxwell Air Force web site as well as the Yurica Report. [154] In January of 1998, the Deputy Secretary of Defense ordered the Army to establish a special unit, a unit that was tasked with integrating Army Reserve Components into the domestic Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) civil defense response. The idea was for the military to support civilian authorities within the U.S. should the nation be hit with some type of mass destruction weapon. It was a home defense measure.

The name of the unit was “Consequence Management Program Integration Office” or CoMPIO for short. CoMPIO was created and placed under the leadership of an active duty colonel. It had eight active Guard and Reserve military personnel, six Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, and five contractor personnel.[155]

One of the first jobs the unit undertook was to coordinate establishing and fielding National Guard teams—consisting of full time Guard members—who were intended to assist the emergency first responders (such as the local fire department) in an emergency involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. CoMPIO spent approximately $73 million and $70 million in procurement and operations and maintenance fund in 1999 and 2000. An audit was conducted.

The audit found that while other organizations in the department of defense were drafting doctrine for the units, “CoMPIO was writing its own doctrine, independent of the other efforts.”[156]

In other words, much like the dominionists in the churches, the audit revealed that CoMPIO was a renegade unit that was splitting itself off from the greater military body. The list is long, but step by step CoMPIO did things its own way: It developed its own training courses for personnel without coordinating with the Army and went around the original contract with a private supplier, adding to the costs, and ignored the fact that an Army Training group was still writing the individual tasks for the course.[157] CoMPIO did not use the existing expertise in the Department of Defense in making program management decisions.[158] CoMPIO took the position that “it would field a system of systems without accreditation.”[159] And one CoMPIO official said:

“…once the units are in the field being used…the bureaucrats will have a much more difficult time of stopping the train.”[160]

The same official stated that CoMPIO did not have the funding to accomplish accreditation and added:

“…we are not going to wait two years to fit it into their [the systems accreditors] schedule. If they want to do the accreditation they will need to come up with a plan, a timeline, and the funding to do so.”[161]

The attitudes are remarkably similar to the dominionists in the Bush administration and in the churches. For instance, compare this quote from Pat Robertson made on his 700 Club television show May 1, 1986 with the CoMPIO official above:

“We are not going to stand for those coercive utopians in the Supreme Court and in Washington ruling over us any more. We’re not gonna stand for it. We are going to say, ‘we want freedom in this country, and we want power…’”[162]

The Inspector General of the Department of Defense had no alternative but to recommend that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness seek disestablishment of the Consequence Management Program Integration Office (CoMPIO).[163]

We allow renegade units to exist at our peril.

Lastly, because I believe America stands in peril from within itself far more than from any outer enemy, I want to end this news analysis with this story: On August 19th 2004, Alex Jones, a colorful libertarian radio host, who broadcasts in nineteen states and can be heard on the web over the Genesis Communications Network, conducted an interview with an officer who was identified only as “David.” The officer also did not want his military unit identified. Though he spoke anonymously, he had a great deal of credibility. The officer’s military unit issued a training manual which he in turn gave to Jones. Although we attempted to obtain copies of pages from the manual from Jones, our request was not answered. The Yurica Report transcribed the interview and here is an excerpt of it. It appears that the governors of 30 states are preparing their militia for martial law in the event of an emergency.

Jones: “Why are you concerned about the military manual?”

David: “The fact the State Guard has traditionally never been armed. Yet there’s extensive fire arms training in that manual. And the use of force: the handcuffing and the prisoner transport--”

Jones: “In fact, right here, ‘Movement of Prisoners, How to Take Over City Hall.’”

David: “Yes. That is the required training for the proposed team members.”

Jones: “You told me this is a force multiplication training group to train the rest of the military, correct?”

David: “Eventually what we were told was the entire State Guard would receive this training. But as of right now, only select individuals are to receive it.”

Jones: “What do you think of this whole atmosphere?”

David: “It’s a very dangerous atmosphere, Alex. …The time it’s going to take for all these teams to be trained, outfitted and deployed is November 1, this year [2004]. And we’ve been told it’s not if, but when we are deployed. And we will be deployed after November first.”

Jones: “In America?”

David: “Yes. In the State of Texas.”

For the ENDNOTES...follow the link.-----protoprotestant  
Katherine Yurica is a news intelligence analyst. She was educated at East Los Angeles College, the University of Southern California and the USC school of law. She worked as a consultant for Los Angeles County and as a news correspondent for Christianity Today plus as a freelance investigative reporter. She is the author of three books. She is also the publisher of the Yurica Report.

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