Front Page Magazine, March 10, 2004
by Andrew Whitehead and Lee Kaplan
Why has a dedicated army officer decided to quit the U.S. Army? A finger can be pointed at the director of the militant Islamic-supporting Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Based in Washington, D.C., this Saudi-funded group claims to be a defender of Muslim civil rights, yet CAIR has defended terrorists and attacked anyone who does not toe its Islamist party line as an “Islamophobe.” CAIR new headquarters in D.C. were financed with an interest-free loan from the Saudi Islamic Development Bank, and several of its officers have been indicted for terrorism-related activity. Terrorism expert Steve Emerson has stated before Congress that CAIR is a front group for Hamas…which is not surprising, since its executive director, Nihad Awad, has publicly supported Hamas. Most recently, CAIR has attempted to ruin the career of a dedicated army officer and nurse.
Captain Edwina (Tiger) McCall, U.S. Army (reserve) returned from honorable service in Landshtul, Germany, on February 10. Landstuhl is where the U.S. military treats American soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. During her year of service, Captain McCall received the highest possible marks in all categories on her evaluations and had the strongest recommendations for promotion from her superiors. She was not only a highly skilled nurse, but she also determined treatment plans for thousands of soldiers being sent stateside, only one of four such nurses in her command.
She worked with many difficult cases, including burns, gunshot wounds, missing limbs and soldiers who were blinded defending America abroad in the War on Terror. She had to deal with cleaning bloody wounds, post-operative care, and just “being there” for the wounded. She was part of an essential team that visited U.S. military hospitals prior to the first Gulf War, assessing their capability to handle large numbers of wounded. In short, this nurse embodied everything good military nurses strive to be: efficient, compassionate, caring dedication to America’s young soldiers.
But Captain McCall has decided that she will no longer volunteer for active duty with the army she loves. As she says, “It’s changed.”
Captain McCall, who never heard of CAIR or its activities before this incident, was participating in an internet discussion board where people were opposing the U.S. military in Iraq and supporting militant Islamic goals. She bristled at remarks deriding her service as a U.S. Army nurse and attacking the United States with statements accusing Christians of abusing American Blacks and Indians. Many of those with whom she chatted called her “ignorant” for believing the U.S. was trying to help the people of Iraq. During her exchange she alluded to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and foreign nationals during World War II, however offensive, as having a purpose. She asked if doing the same to militant Muslims in the U.S. might be a necessity to prevent another 9/11. She also made the mistake of using her military e-mail return address.
On December 4, 2003, Ibrahim Hooper faxed a letter to the office of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, writing, “It is my unfortunate duty to bring to your attention bigoted anti-Muslim comments sent to our office by an officer in the U.S. military.” Hooper then listed several comments by Captain McCall he felt were “Islamophobic.” He closed the fax by writing: “I respectfully request that the extremist and Islamophobic views of this officer be investigated and appropriate action be taken. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.” These were ridiculous comments from a man who has refused to denounce terrorism. Nonetheless, they got the Army’s attention.
On December 15, 2003, the U.S. Army sprang into action. Captain McCall was escorted to headquarters at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to be informed that she could be facing three charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The nurse was facing charges of violating:
1. Article 92 – Failure to Obey Order or Regulation.
2. Article 133 – Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman.
3. Article 134 – General Article (This article – sometimes called the “catch all” article – is used to punish military personnel when a more specific violation is not covered by any other article.)
The Army then denied Captain McCall “all access to government-owned computers, to include official business.” This affected her ability to make daily submission reports to the Pentagon, a key component to her job at Landshtul.
In addition, junior personnel under her were called into the office and allowed to read the comments made by CAIR. They were then asked if this officer had made any comments about Islam. Many of the junior personnel refused to read CAIR’s comments on the ground that “it was none of their business.” They knew Captain McCall personally and none had ever heard her making “anti-Muslim statements.” Yet on December 19, the nurse was subjected to a command-directed Mental Health Evaluation, the results of which have never been made known to her. Two of her superior officers told her off the record they were asked to “soften” her Officer Evaluation
Reports to make her look incompetent, but they refused.
In her statement to the Army, the nurse included the following:
“I was led to believe the people involved were students. The statements in the letter to Secretary Rumsfeld were taken out of the context of the entire text. CAIR had many subjects (on the discussion board) and they were encouraging responses. They had many subjects that I considered anti-Christian and anti-American. I had no idea that using this forum was against any law. I was encouraged to participate and speak freely by those involved in the conversations.”
She was never interviewed by the Army for what she was accused of writing, just presented a “transcript” of what CAIR claimed she said. “The transcript looked like things had been cut and pasted to say things out of context and was full of spelling and grammatical mistakes as might be made by someone who speaks a foreign language.”
To date, CAIR refuses to make public all of the exchanges that occurred on the discussion board prior to Captain McCall’s “offense to Islam.”
The United States is fighting a “War on Terror.” The enemy is militant Islam. Why did the Secretary of Defense listen to the lies and distortions of a group that has a history of supporting this ideology? What message is the Army sending to its troops when it will not stand up for them against the militant Islamists at CAIR? Why didn’t Brigadier General Elder Granger, the Commanding Officer of Europe’s Regional Medical Command, stand up for his nurse and tell the authorities that his unit does not entertain complaints from extremists?
Word had it back in Germany that Captain McCall was due for a highest commendation medal for her service. That has been scrapped by the Pentagon because of this incident. The Captain also believes her fate would have been much worse had not the CBS show 60 Minutes contacted her superior officers seeking to know the story. It was only then that the Army began to back down.
She has since returned to the U.S. disgusted.
Ibrahim Hooper has not responded to an e-mail request to provide a comment and a full transcript of the internet forum in question.
The U.S. military has lost a fine officer during wartime. Meanwhile, CAIR is still lobbying in Washington and lending verbal support to terrorist groups such as Hamas. This miscarriage of justice should be corrected.