New Evidence Challenges Pentagon Testimony In "Christian Embassy" Scandal
On Monday, researchers working for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( MRFF ) uncovered evidence calling into question the veracity of the testimony given to the Pentagon Inspector General in the investigation in the wake of MRFF's lawsuit concerning top Pentagon officials and US military officers who appeared in a promotional video, made for fundraising purposes, of an organization called "Christian Embassy", an offshoot of Campus Crusade For Christ, that evangelizes Pentagon members, foreign diplomats, and White House employees.
Last Thursday, July 26th 2007, as I subsequently reported, the Christian Embassy video scandal broke open again in the form of a Pentagon Inspector General's report [see Truthout story linked for full PDF of report] which concluded that Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Catton, Army Brig. Gen. Bob Caslen, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, and two other officers whose names were redacted "improperly endorsed and participated with a non-Federal entity while in uniform".
The Pentagon officials who participated in the Christian Embassy video told the Pentagon Inspector General that they were confused about the status of "Christian Embassy" because the organization had been given free reign in the Pentagon for 25 years. Christian Embassy members had badges to enter the Pentagon un-escorted, with guests, and one Pentagon official who appeared in Christian Embassy's video claimed he was under the impression that Christian Embassy was a "quasi governmental" agency.
But, here is Christian Embassy's description of its mission, from its fund raising video :
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are over 25,000 Department of Defense leaders working in the rings and corridors of the Pentagon. Through Bible studies, discipleship, prayer breakfasts, and outreach evens, Christian Embassy is mustering these men and women into an intentional relationship with Jesus Christ.Ã¢â‚¬ÂIf those Pentagon members might have been tempted to claim they never actually watched the video they appeared in, claims they might make about being unaware of Christian Embassy's organizational goals have now become untenable.
MRFF determined the following, from schedules that were advertised on Christian Embassy's own website:
Meet your new Christian theocratic military leadership...
Bob Caslen, Lucius Morton, Cynthia Islin, along with dozens of other high ranking Pentagon officials, have led Christian EmbassyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Weekly Discipleship Study GroupsÃ¢â‚¬Â, teaching out of Christian EmbassyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lesson plans that have printed right at the top Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our Mission: To win, build, and send Department of Defense leaders to live for Jesus Christ.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jack Catton and Pete Sutton have both given Prayer Breakfast talks co-sponsored by Christian Embassy and the Pentagon Chaplain, and CattonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s October 22, 2003 talk was entitled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Leadership For Christ in the PentagonÃ¢â‚¬Â.