In a new post on his “Christian Fighter Pilot” blog titled “BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Dowty has accused BGen (Select) Goodwin, who has been nominated to be the Air Force Academy’s next commandant of cadets, of being a liar. Dowty’s basis for this accusation? Goodwin graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1993, but the policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) wasn’t implemented until 1994. Therefore, according to LtCol Dowty, Goodwin, who is a lesbian, must have lied about her sexual orientation in order to join the Air Force, asking in his blog post: “How did Col Goodwin — an open homosexual — enter the Air Force without lying?”
So who is LtCol Jonathan Dowty, and why does what he writes on his “Christian Fighter Pilot” blog matter? As for the first part of that question — who is LtCol Jonathan Dowty? — MRFF has been busy fielding questions about that since Dowty’s post about BGen(S) Goodwin came out, with some emails putting it as bluntly as asking: “Who is this Dowty asshole?”
Well, LtCol Dowty is an active duty Air Force officer, a former fighter pilot who is now an Air Force paper pusher, after his unsuccessful attempt a number of years ago to get a position as an instructor at his alma mater, the Air Force Academy. But what LtCol Dowty appears to spend most of his time doing is writing blog posts, and there are two subjects with which he is particularly and disturbingly obsessed — the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and homosexuality. So obsessed with these two subjects is LtCol Dowty that he has written nearly 1,000 posts tagged with the name of MRFF’s founder and president Mikey Weinstein, and nearly 500 posts tagged with the word “homosexual.” This fine Christian officer has also targeted me, not only with lies on his blog, but even going as far as having a package delivered to my home to send me a message, but being cowardly enough to have the package sent in his wife’s name. (For much more about LtCol Dowty’s obsessive blogging and the depths to which he stoops, see this post that I wrote back in 2012).
As for the second part of the question – why does what LtCol Dowty writes on his “Christian Fighter Pilot” blog matter? — his audience includes the likes of FOX News’s Todd Starnes and some of the big fundamentalist Christian organizations, who use Dowty’s blog as a resource and take his lies and run with them. So, while Dowty’s blog itself doesn’t have a large audience and might at first seem insignificant, his lies and unfounded accusations have a far reach via the media outlets and large organizations who repeat what they read there to a much larger audience.
But the biggest issue with LtCol Dowty’s incessant stream of blog posts, in which he not only keeps up his constant screeds of odious homophobic rhetoric but has often denigrated superior officers in the process, is the Air Force’s almost complete lack of taking any action to rein him in. In only one case out of his hundreds of gay-bashing posts was he forced to take one of his posts down — a particularly vile post blaming an incident of bestiality in the Marines on the repeal of DADT.
LtCol Dowty’s post publicly accusing BGen(S) Kristin Goodwin of being a liar is not only just the latest in his non-stop attacks against LGBTQ members of our military, but is, among other potential breaches, an apparently brazen violation of Article 89 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) — Disrespect toward superior commissioned officer.
On behalf of numerous LGBTQ clients who have come to MRFF since LtCol Dowty’s blog post appeared, MRFF’s lawyers will be sending an official demand for an investigation and the punishment of LtCol Dowty to the DoD and Air Force Inspectors General, as well as the Secretary of Defense, Air Force Chief of Staff, and Acting Secretary of the Air Force.
UPDATE (APRIL 3, 2017): The official demand for an investigation into LtCol Jonathan “The Christian Fighter Pilot” Dowty’s publicly accusing BGEN(S) Goodwin of being a liar has been sent by MRFF’s attorneys to the Deputy Inspector General for Administrative Investigations and can be read in its entirety here.
Will this be the blog post that finally does LtCol Jonathan Dowty in? That remains to be seen. If the Air Force leadership lets such a blatantly perceivable violation of Article 89 and other regulatory and/or criminal violations slide, our military might as well just chuck out the Uniform Code of Military Justice right now and replace it with the “Uniform Code of Military Jesus.”