New Documents: Conservative Leader Uninvited from Speaking at Andrews Air Force Base Prayer Luncheon for Opposing Obama “Issues”
OCTOBER 28, 2010
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained new documents from the United States Air Force detailing the decision to retract an invitation to Family Research Council (FRC) President and Marine Corps veteran Tony Perkins to serve as a guest speaker for a prayer breakfast held in February at Andrews Air Force Base. According to the documents, obtained pursuant to Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Air Force officials were concerned about FRC statements opposing President Obama’s policies.
The following is an excerpt from a January 29, 2010, Air Force email included among the documents:
“General [REDACTED] came by a few moments ago and asked me to go to www.frc.org. That is the website for Mr. Tony Perkins who is to speak at the National Prayer Luncheon on 25 February 2010. The webpage has numerous Obama issues to which the organization is opposed. The organization can oppose initiatives, but the Command-in-Chief is named.”
“CONCERN: Suppose the media gets a hold of this story.”
On October 2, 2009, a Chaplain for the Air Force extended an invitation to Mr. Perkins to serve as the keynote speaker at the 2010 National Prayer Luncheon scheduled for February 25, 2010, at Andrews Air Force Base: “Sir, it would be a great honor for our community if you would accept our humble invitation and share with us some of the basic principles that have guided you along the way,” the Chaplain wrote.
However, in a letter dated January 29, 2010, the Air Force rescinded the invitation. The letter cited Family Research Council website statements calling them “incompatible in our role as military members who serve our elected officials and our commander in chief.”
“It seems like this administration’s enemies list just gets longer and longer. Mr. Perkins is not only a respected national leader who has held public office but he is also a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. I find it unconscionable that the Air Force would ban Mr. Perkins from speaking to a prayer luncheon on a military base due to his organization’s opposition to some of President Obama’s ‘issues,’” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“This new scandal is bound to outrage many Americans and it raises additional questions about the Obama administration’s commitment to the First Amendment.”