Pressure from a military veterans group unhappy with his stance on Islam and the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States has prompted retired Army Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin (photo) to cancel his appearance as a speaker at West Point’s upcoming prayer breakfast February 8.
After discovering that Boykin, a noted terrorism expert and Christian speaker, had been asked to address cadets at the military academy, the liberal VoteVets.org teamed up with two like-minded groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the secularist Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to pressure the Army’s Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno, to dis-invite Boykin from the event.
The groups made their move after West Point’s superintendent, Lieutenant General David Huntoon, refused to bow to their pressure, telling them that the invitation to Boykin would stand. In a letter to Odierno, VoteVets officers Jon Soltz and Richard Smith called Huntoon’s refusal to obey them “unconscionable.”
What was their beef with Boykin? Following the 2001 terrorist attack in New York City, Boykin, a former intelligence officer and an original member of the Delta Force, had declared in various talks before churches that the conflict in which the nation found itself was, ultimately, a fight against Satan and the powers of darkness. While Boykin later apologized to enraged Muslim-Americans who accused him of insulting their faith, the VoteVets group nonetheless decided the comments outweighed Boykin’s exemplary record of military leadership and that he was not qualified to speak to the future officers.
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