Newly Revealed Document Vindicates Army Lt. Colonel Matthew Dooley In Anti-Islam Controversy

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In December 2011, the National Defense University’s Deputy VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Brenda Roth, officially confirmed in writing to the Pentagon that all course materials at the National Defense University were vetted and approved by the University and its military command.  This official confirmation covered the content and outside guest speakers used in its course entitled Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.Nevertheless, four months later General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disregarding Dr. Roth’s official report, publicly excoriated and fired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Matthew Dooley, an instructor involved with the course, on grounds that the course was offensive to Islam and unprofessional; he also ordered LTC Dooley’s career–ending negative Officer Evaluation Report.

In the newly revealed official communication written on December 2, 2011, Dr. Roth informed the Pentagon that “The curriculum is vetted through College-level curriculum committees or academic review committees which ensure students receive a senior-level professional education (vice training) in national security strategy.”

According to Dr. Roth,“The College Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs reviews and vets proposed speakers for their subject matter expertise and academic and teaching credibility. The Commandants [Generals] have the final review of recommended speakers and issues invitations to those he approves.”

Dr. Roth’s official report was written in response to a Pentagon inquiry about the vetting process and use of outside lecturers to avoid Muslim criticism of federal agencies that present an offensive view of Islam.

Click here to read Dr. Roth’s entire Report.

The course on Islamic Radicalism was first established in 2004.  The external guest speakers used in the elective were all approved under the watch of Brigadier General Marvin Smoot, USAF, in 2009-2010, well before Dooley’s arrival.  LTC Dooley began as an instructor of the Radical Islam course in 2011.  He received the highest officer evaluations for his effectiveness as an instructor that included a recommendation that he be promoted and given a command as soon as possible.

Brigadier General Marvin Smoot, USAF, was the commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) when the various guest speakers “critical of Islam” were vetted.  Moreover, in 2011 General Smoot gave LTC Dooley an outstanding Officer Evaluation Report for his performance as an instructor. General Smoot’s replacement as JFSC commandant, Major General Joseph Ward, also thought highly of LTC Dooley, but nonetheless followed orders and wrote a negative evaluation.

Two Republican Congressmen, Representatives Duncan Hunter of California and Thomas Rooney of Florida questioned the severity of Dooley’s punishment.   Army Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, responding on behalf of General Dempsey, still blamed LTC Dooley for poor judgment but admitted “that there were institutional failures in oversight and judgment.”  Those institutional failures, therefore, must rest on the doorstep of the generals in charge of the institution, not on an instructor who received multiple accolades from his superiors for the great job he was doing.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, the public interest law firm representing LTC Dooley, commented, “Any fair-minded person would conclude that Matt Dooley was thrown under the bus to protect the generals who had institutional responsibilities over the course. I believe the Pentagon wanted to curry favor with the White House and the Muslim community, which demanded that all training materials offensive to Islam be purged and the trainers who use them punished. The fact remains that the course and guest lecturers for which LTC Dooley was publicly ridiculed and punished were all approved by senior leaders long before he ever became an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC).”

 

Muslims Offended—Soldier’s Career Destroyed—Official Army Records Show Loss to Nation

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley

Thomas More Law Center:

ANN ARBOR, MI – During a Pentagon press conference on May 10, 2012, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly excoriated Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley, a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a highly decorated combat veteran.  His reason: The course on Islamic Radicalism which LTC Dooley was teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) of the National Defense University was offensive to Muslims.

General Dempsey characterized LTC Dooley’s course as “totally objectionable,” and ordered all material offensive to Islam scrubbed from military professional education within the JFSC and elsewhere. But that’s not all.  LTC Dooley was fired from his instructor position and given an ordered negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) — the death-knell for a military career.

The actions against LTC Dooley follow a letter to the Department of Defense dated October 19, 2011 signed by 57 Muslim organizations demanding that all training materials offensive to Islam and Muslims be purged and the trainers disciplined.

A review of LTC Dooley’s OERs going back several years, including his OER as an instructor with JFSC, paint a picture of an outstanding officer with unlimited potential:

  • “LTC Matt Dooley’s performance is outstanding and he is clearly the best of our new instructors assigned to the JFSC faculty over the last six months. . . . A must select for battalion command. . . .  LTC Dooley possesses unlimited potential to serve in positions of much higher authority.”
  • “MAJ Dooley is unquestionably among the most dedicated and hard working officers I have ever known.…  Unsurpassed potential for future promotion and service.”
  • “Our soldiers deserve his leadership.”
  • “This officer possesses unlimited potential for future assignments.  He must be promoted ahead of his peers and selected for Battalion/Squadron Command at first opportunity.”
  • “Superb performance.”
  • “Matt is a consummate professional with unlimited potential;”

Click here for detailed excerpts from LTC Dooley’s Officer Evaluation Reports

The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, represents LTC Dooley. The Law Center decided to disclose excerpts from five of LTC Dooley’s previous Officer Evaluation Reports (OER) in order to give the public an idea of the loss to the Army and our Nation caused by the actions taken against LTC Dooley.

What happened to LTC Dooley is more than a personal miscarriage of justice.  When instructors are prohibited from teaching military officers about the true threat posed by Islamic Radicalism, it is a threat to our national security.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center observed, “As you read his OERs, linked here, I’m sure you will come to several conclusions about Matt Dooley.  First, he is an outstanding officer and had a brilliant career ahead of him.   Secondly, he loyally served every one of his commanders.  Third, he was respected by the men under his command.  Fourth, his superiors at the Joint Forces Staff College considered him an outstanding instructor.  And lastly, after all he has done for his country and the Army his superiors sacrificed him to the dogs of political correctness.”

OERs are required at least once a year and are normally completed by two superiors, namely, a rater and a senior rater.   The rating officer on an OER is usually the rated officer’s immediate supervisor, an officer of higher rank, who is most familiar with the rated soldier’s specific duties and performance. The senior rater is a leader who occupies the next higher duty position up from the rater and is best positioned to assess both the rated soldier’s performance in comparison to his peers, as well as the rated soldier’s future potential to serve in higher ranks and increased levels of responsibility.

The OERs clearly demonstrate that LTC Dooley’s raters and senior raters all considered him an outstanding officer and advocated his rapid promotion and advancement to the highest levels of responsibility.  Like many of his peers serving alongside him in the military, LTC Dooley has served honorably and with distinction through a number of complex operating environments. Nevertheless, he has become the latest victim of the “Great Purge” to appease the 57 Muslim groups which demanded that instructors using materials offensive to Islam be disciplined.

In fact, after General Dempsey’s public rebuke, a negative OER was ordered and prepared with direction from the Pentagon covering the period from June 2011 to June 2012.   In contrast to the inaccurate and unjust comments in the Pentagon-directed negative OER, the excerpts from earlier OERs describe LTC Dooley’s outstanding performance.

LTC Matt Dooley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Armor Branch in May 1994.  His assignments included deployment to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career.   He served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Aide-de-Camp (to three General Officers), and Instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School.  He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College as well as the Joint Forces Staff College.

 

Muslim Influence in Pentagon Prevails; Material on Radical Islam “Purged”

 

U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center announced today that it is representing U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, a 1994 Graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point.  In April 2012, LTC Dooley, a highly decorated combat veteran, was publically condemned by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and relieved of his teaching assignment because of the negative way Islam was portrayed in an elective course entitled, Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.

The actions against LTC Dooley, an instructor involved with this elective, follow a letter to the Department of Defense dated October 19, 2011 and signed by 57 Muslim organizations, demanding that all training materials that they judge to be offensive to Islam be “purged” and instructors “are effectively disciplined.”

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center commented, “We are privileged to represent Lieutenant Colonel Dooley.   He has honorably served his Nation for 18 years and effectively carried out every assigned mission with distinction.  He served as Aide-de-Camp to three different General Officers and deployed to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours.  During that time he received numerous awards and decorations. Now after a lifetime of service to his country, he is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and expediency by the Army he so loyally served . . . and loves.”

Thompson observed, “In order to appease Muslims and the White House, General Dempsey and the Department of Defense rushed to punish LTC Dooley.  In the process, they violated not only our Nation’s core principles of free speech and academic freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, but also, a number of the military’s own regulations dealing with academic freedom and non- attribution policies of the National Defense University (NDU)  to which LTC Dooley was assigned.  They violated the right to due process of law and even by-passed the University’s Provost, who under NDU’s own rules has primary responsibility for adjudication of this matter.”

Click here for a Summary of NDU regulations on Free Speech and Academic Freedom

Click here to read DOD Directive 5.00 Non –Attribution/Academic Freedom

While serving as an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) , a branch of the National Defense University established by Congress, LTC Dooley took on the herculean task of guiding students through one of its most vibrant but controversial elective courses.  In grappling with the most dangerous aspects of radical Islamist ideology, students in the elective were encouraged to debate and affirm or dismiss a number of notions regarding Radical Islam as well as confront what strategic U.S. actions were feasible or infeasible.    Dooley assumed his instructor position within the National Defense University with an understanding that years of prior-approved course content, established guest speakers, and doctrinal teaching methodologies were still safe to discuss.

The Thomas More Law Center played a pivotal role in defending LtCol. Jeffrey Chessani, USMC, another loyal military officer, who was ordered to face a court martial to appease the Iraqi government and anti-war politicians, especially Congressman John Murtha (D-PA).   A military judge dismissed the charges against Chessani on the grounds of undue command influence.

Parroting the FBI’s reason, namely, “political sensitivity” as the reason for not thoroughly investigating Army Major Nidal Hasan, which  ultimately led to the Ft. Hood Massacre, General Dempsey on 24 April 2012 ordered a review of instruction that was “disrespectful of the Islamic religion” to ensure “cultural sensitivity.”

The result is certain.  Officers and instructors see what has happened to LTC Dooley, and will refrain from telling the truth about Islam or confronting the difficult strategic challenges facing our nation for fear of jeopardizing their professional careers.  The Pentagon has still apparently not learned from the politically correct policies that led to the Ft. Hood massacre.

Our military, while conducting the difficult task of threat analysis, does not have the luxury of hiding from potentially offending those who would do us harm.  It is precisely our refusal to consider the often irrational, volatile nature of those who do not think with our western world view that has led us to this crisis of conscience.   Those people who subscribe and enforce the current environment of political correctness are the ones most often surprised by incidents like the terrorism at Ft. Hood and the uncivilized behavior currently roiling North Africa and the Middle East.

Rather than thinking and acting bravely, PC’er’s strike at our cherished First Amendment in a vain hope of buying friendship with a force we still do not understand that neither respects us nor appreciates civility.   Despite the military’s decade long effort to come to a more sophisticated level of cultural awareness, we have missed the most critical and basic lesson of this war: weakness itself is a provocation.

This is a threat to our National Security.  In effect, our own government is applying Islamic Sharia law to prevent any criticism of Islam.  The chill on instruction is already happening at the Joint Forces Command College of the National Defense University, to which LTC Dooley is assigned.

Claire M. Lopez, a former CIA agent and strategic policy and intelligence expert, recently commented on General Dempsey’s order:

“The final bastion of America’s defense against Islamic jihad and sharia, the Pentagon, fell to the enemy in April 2012, with the issuance of a letter from General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, re-issuing his earlier order that all Department of Defense (DoD) course content be scrubbed to ensure no lingering remnant of disrespect to Islam.

All U.S. military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau and Joint Staff are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated orders to ensure that henceforth, no U.S. military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive (or just too informative). To all intents and purposes, DoD Secretary Leon E. Panetta likewise has acquiesced to a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of U.S. military education.”

In an astonishing and unprecedented Pentagon News Conference on May 10, 2012 carried nationally on C-SPAN, General Dempsey, with Secretary of Defense Panetta sitting at his side, personally attacked  LTC Dooley, a subordinate Army officer who honorably served our Nation, and was subsequently prohibited from publicly defending himself.

Once LTC Dooley’s name was publicly revealed, immediate threats to him and his family prompted security measures to be taken for their protection.

The administrative disciplinary procedures against LTC Dooley included removal from his teaching assignment and withdrawal of an outstanding Officer Evaluation Report (OER) concerning the elective course he had been teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) entitled, Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism. However, the course content critical of Islam as an ideology, the guest speakers and their methods of instruction were all pre-approved by the JFSC years ago.

All of that changed when a student outside of his elective complained directly to the Secretary of Defense and touched off a media firestorm full of inaccuracies and political “blame-storming.”

LTC Dooley had received only top marks as an instructor from both students and the faculty chain of command.   He carried the highest student evaluations over the previous 18 months and the highest faculty rating among all active military instructors.  In fact, his senior rater in 2011, Brigadier General Marvin Smoot, went so far as to exclusively point out LTC Dooley as the best of his new instructors, specifically mentioning his positive contribution to the Islam elective now under attack by General Dempsey.

On April 25, 2012, a Defense Department News Release referring to LTC Dooley’s course claimed that General Dempsey felt unprofessional things are being taught to students and that the course material was not “simply objectionable” but “inflammable.” The release went on to say that such content would be scrubbed from the curriculum. Moreover, the release claimed that Defense Secretary Panetta shared General Dempsey’s concern.

Less than a month later, on May 10, 2012, during a Pentagon press conference with Defense Secretary Panetta seated next to him, General Martin Dempsey expressed negative opinions regarding the Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism elective course content, characterizing it as “totally objectionable” and “against our values.”

In this same press conference, General Dempsey personally committed to removing any similar curriculum from military professional education within the JFSC and elsewhere.  Despite a preliminary inquiry that confirmed the purely notional, conceptual, and theoretical nature of LTC Dooley’s class, General Dempsey’s implication, before the inquiry was complete, that Dooley formally advocated actions outside of U.S. policy was both premature and inaccurate.

Read more

The same thing happened to Steve Coughlin: The Implications of the Dismissal of Stephen Coughlin, Joint Staff, Pentagon (jihadwatch.org)