Coughlin Agonistes—Hope Springs Eternal?

Bill Gertz in his weekly “Inside the Ring” column today (1/11/08) is reporting that “Pentagon and military leaders, along with lots of working-level officials, are quietly rallying” in support of Major Stephen Coughlin (USAR), whose plight I have discussed here. Gertz (who after all would know!) also makes clear in no uncertain terms, dismissing some rumor mongering, that Coughlin was being accused “falsely” of talking “out of school to the press.” As is his wont, Gertz gets to the heart of the matter: “But defense and military officials supportive of Mr. Coughlin said the real reason is that critics, like Mr. Islam. want him sidelined because they oppose his hard-to-refute views on the relationship between Islamic law and Islamist jihad doctrine. Those views have triggered a harsh debate challenging the widespread and politically correct view of Islam as a religion of peace hijacked by extremists.” 

Testimonials from both retired military, such as Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, and perhaps even more importantly, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland, who currently commands the 1st Marine Expeditionary Corps have confirmed the unique value of Coughlin’s presentations. Lt. Gen. Helland proclaimed in a letter that Coughlin’s briefing for Marines bound for Iraq “..hit the mark in explaining how jihadists use the Koran to justify their actions.Your presentation has armed service men and women with more intellectual ammunition to take the fight to the enemy.”  Gen. Helland said in a letter.

Hope springs eternal that the Pentagon will retain and promote the man whom Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) assessed (rightly) as perhaps, “…the most knowledgeable person in the U.S. government on Islamic law.” McInerney, for one insisted that, “The secretary of defense should ensure that he stays at DOD.” Diana West,  in her inimitable way, (also published today) captures the obscene warping of DOD priorities, and how Congressional oversight may be in order:

 This high-level effort to, in effect, deny the connection between Islamic law and what the military calls the “enemy threat doctrine” should ring bells, not just in the military, but in Congress, which obviously has Pentagon oversightresponsibilities. When such advice brings the military’s woefully belated education on jihad to a halt, it becomes shockingly clear that the Pentagon is more concerned with political correctness than protecting the nation.

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