The U.S. Army has further punished a highly respected and decorated officer in the wake of Muslim groups complaining about the approved course he taught on radical Islam at National Defense University.
In October, WND reported Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley was fired from his position at the school for the way he conducted a class on how to respond to a variety of scenarios instigated by radical Muslims. A visitor to the class found the discussions offensive to Muslims and informed some 57 Islamic organizations, which then complained to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition to the firing, Gen. Dempsey promptly orchestrated a negative Officer Evaluation Report against Dooley that deeply tarnished a career that had received only sterling reviews from West Point through nearly 20 years in the service. Dempsey never discussed the incident with Dooley.
On Sunday, the Washington Times reported Dooley has been punished again, this time as he pursued the role of battalion commander. According to the Times, an Army command selection board studied Dooley's record and candidacy for a command assignment. The five-member panel agreed to keep Dooley under consideration. Shortly thereafter, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who at the time was Army vice chief and subsequently became head of U.S. Central Command, overruled the board in a brief memo. His actions could effectively spell the end of Dooley's career.
"There was no reason given, and that's also a very disturbing aspect of it," said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, who is representing Dooley in his original appeal of his firing and negative review. "The way they're treating him now is not only a total miscarriage of justice on a personal level, but it also is really removing an effective combat leader from the Army, and it ultimately effects the national security of the United States."
Thompson told WND he doesn't believe this order originated with Gen. Austin. Instead, he believes Gen. Dempsey gave the order and Austin chose to follow so as not to impair his own career. However it happened, he said Lt. Col. Dooley is the victim of a dangerous policy.
"Instead of being loyal to the people that are loyal to you, they would rather throw Lt. Col. Dooley under the bus for their own advancement or to appease the Muslims, which ultimately could lead to the destruction of the United States internally. If we cannot accurately describe who the enemy is, how can we win a war?" asked Thompson.
Dooley's appeal of his initial punishment is still processing through the military bureaucracy. Thompson said Dooley will file a federal suit to defend his constitutional rights if the Army appeal is denied.