Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Christopher Downey is an American hero who has devoted 24 years of his life to serving our country and the Army he loves.
But as you’ll see, he’s the latest victim of a social agenda being imposed on the military by the White House.
He flew over 1,000 combat hours supporting our ground troops during three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army awarded him 3 bronze stars and 7 air medals, including one for his heroic actions on May 25, 2011 when, as a helicopter pilot and air commander, he saved the lives of many soldiers on the ground by initiating multiple attacks against the enemy in complete disregard for his own safety.
Brigadier General Kelly Thomas rated Lt Col Downey as “our Army’s best Aviation Squadron Commander, bar none.” The General went on to say,
“LTC Downey is the fearless, caring, and a charismatic leader that we want leading our Soldiers under our command in both combat and garrison. His professionalism, loyalty and determination to do the right thing have never failed the Army.”
Yet, the Army he so loyally and capably served threw him under the bus just to appease the White House and silence homosexual advocacy groups.
As you read on, you’ll understand why the Army turned its back on Lt Col Downey. And why we must continue the legal battle on his behalf.
Overview of the Case
Brigadier General Mark Milley found Lt Col Downey guilty of violating the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). This finding was based on Lt Col Downey’s request to two lesbian officers that they stop engaging in excessive displays of public affection while in uniform at a formal military event. As you may know, that repeal of DADT now allows open homosexuals to serve in the military. Lt Col Downey was also wrongly found guilty of assault consummated by a battery after lowering the camera of an enlisted soldier that was directed at the French-kissing female officers.
As a result, this exceptional combat leader was relieved of his command, removed from the attendance list at the National War College, effectively barred from further promotions, and placed in danger of being separated from the Army.
His conviction was not the result of a judicial trial. It was the result of an administrative hearing (commonly referred to as an Article 15 hearing) presided over by General Milley, who acted as the prosecutor, judge, and jury. General Milley considered himself above the Constitution or any standard of fairness. He controlled the appearance of witnesses and their questioning. He had two lawyers advising him. Lt Col Downey had none. His military lawyer had bailed-out on him.
It was a 5 hour farcical show trial. General Milley knowingly humiliated this American hero by forcing him to spend 30 minutes viewing a 3-ringed binder filled with photographs of men and women dancing and indicating to the General whether the behavior captured was inappropriate or not.
After his conviction and initial appeals, Lt Col Downey asked the Thomas More Law Center to represent him. We agreed.
We are now pursuing every possible legal avenue to overturn Lt Col Downey’s wrongful conviction and punishment. That’s why we’re in this legal battle. And that’s why I’m asking for your financial support.
At last! We’re finally in federal court to reverse Lt Col Downey’s career-ending conviction and punishment.
But I want you to know this is only the beginning of the process. If we’re successful at this stage, the court will order the case back to an Army administrative board to re-examine the evidence and explain in writing why it denied Lt Col Downey’s constitutional arguments. If we are unsuccessful, we will appeal the case to the federal appellate court. The Army has the same options.
Here are the Facts
On April 14, 2012, a formal military ball was held to celebrate the accomplishments of Lt Col Downey’s unit during their recent deployment. At one point in the evening, Lt Col Downey observed two of his female officers in full dress uniform, a Captain and a Lieutenant, in the middle of the dance floor engaged in prolonged French-kissing, groping each other, and removing each others’ jackets. Several enlisted personnel were taking videos and photographs of the officers’ lurid sexual conduct.
Lt Col Downey quickly moved to the dance floor and directed the lesbian officers to stop their inappropriate conduct. As he was making his way to the dance floor, he lowered the camera of one of the soldiers in his path. Unfortunately, the Soldier, who admitted having 5 or 6 drinks, lost his balance. This incident led to Lt Col Downey being charged with assault consummated by a battery. It was nothing but an unfortunate accident.
The Investigating Officer, appointed by General Milley himself, found that Lt Col Downey did not intend to injure the Soldier, and that his actions were motivated mainly by his desire to protect the privacy of the lesbian officers and his unit’s reputation.
This is important. The Soldier himself stated that he did not believe Lt Col Downey intended to assault him; that his actions were done with the intent to prevent him from taking further photos of the two lesbian officers.
The Soldier’s statement did not fit General Milley’s political narrative so he was never called to testify at the Hearing; nor did the General call the two lesbian officers to testify.
Why did Lt Col Downey tell the two lesbians officers to stop their lurid behavior?
It was his duty.
The long-standing custom of the Army and the uniform code of military justice prohibit inappropriate public displays of affection (PDA) by military personnel in uniform.
The Defense Department issued written guidance clearly stating that regardless of the repeal of DADT, the existing standards of conduct relating to public displays of affection would continue to apply to all service members regardless of their sexual orientation.
Also, shortly after the repeal, the military issued a written directive that commanders were still expected to enforce the code against PDA regardless of the sexual orientation of the offenders. And that’s what Lt Col Downey was doing when he told the lesbian officers to stop their inappropriate behavior.
General Milley’s own Investigating Officer found that the command climate in Lt Col Downey’s unit regarding the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a positive one. Clearly, Lt Col Downey had never discriminated against any of his soldiers because of their sexual orientation.
The Lesbian Captain Threatens the Army
Within hours of being confronted by Lt Col Downey on the dance floor, the lesbian Captain posted false allegations on her Facebook page and a lesbian advocacy website claiming that she was the victim of sexual discrimination in the Army. She threatened to take legal action and to publicly embarrass the Army in the media. Others on the website exhorted her to go national with her story. As a result:
She gave an interview to a Huffington Post reporter claiming she was the victim of the first instance of discrimination against gays in the military since the repeal of DADT. She ended the interview by stating that a message should be sent throughout the country that this behavior will not be tolerated in the military.
In a televised interview, she revealed for the first time that she had been contacted by the Army and assured that if she stopped speaking to the media about the incident, the Army would take care of her complaints.
A homosexual advocacy group directly contacted the Pentagon on her behalf.
But there’s more to this story.
Just weeks before the incident, the Pentagon had begun a campaign to assure the public that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had been successfully implemented. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff released a statement that he had not seen “any negative effect on good order and discipline” resulting from the repeal.
General Milley’s farcical hearing is directly attributable to his intent to silence the lesbian Captain and make sure that the Pentagon’s public relations initiative regarding DADT was not derailed. To silence her, they had to punish Lt Col Downey.
An Outstanding Officer
Lt Col Downey led his unit to achieve two national awards in a single year, a feat accomplished only once before; one for being the top combat unit of the year, and the other for flying in excess of 30,000 accident free hours in some of the most inhospitable flying terrain in the world to sustain the mission and protect the local populace.
He was selected ahead of officers from all three of the other major services to become the Presidential Airlift Coordinator for the White House in Washington, D.C. from 2008 to 2010. As the Presidential Airlift Coordinator, his superior described him as “clearly in the top 1% of the handpicked officers of the White House Military Office Operations Directorate and in all of the Lieutenant Colonels I have known in my 20 years of military service.”
As the Aviation Task Force Squadron Commander in Jalalabad, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012, his military boss stated that he “deservedly is trusted with the most kinetic and dangerous portions of our battle space, and his leadership is the crucial factor in aggressively accomplishing the mission . . .”
There’s more . . . .
“Chris is a tough and caring leader who always leads from the front. He represents the future of the US Army and will no doubt command a combat aviation brigade with distinction. His reputation is outstanding and his leadership is respected by all with whom he has served.”
General David Rodriguez
“In LTC Downey, I observed a quality leader and officer whose integrity was beyond reproach.”
Major General James L. Terry
“He always led by example, driven by and personifying the values which the Army expects of its senior leaders. I testify to the tremendous combat leadership ability and proven potential of this exceptional officer.”
Major General Daniel B. Allyn
“His motivations have always been in the best interests of his soldiers and the organization and to the accomplishment of the mission.”
Lieutenant General James O. Barclay
And the list goes on . . . .
Since 2012, the Thomas More Law Center has been defending Lt Col Downey at no charge. We have expended tens of thousands of dollars worth of attorneys’ time to his cause. We’ve been able to do this because of the generous support of patriotic donors like you.
Political correctness and a social agenda promoted by the White House are on the verge of eliminating one of America’s most effective combat officers. We have one chance left to correct this injustice — the federal courts. But I need your financial help.
Lt Col Downey has devoted his life to the defense of our country. That’s why he deserves the support of every patriotic American.
Now is the time to show him your gratitude.
Please stand with him.
Editor’s note: You can donate to the Thomas More Center and support the defense of LTC Christopher Downey by clicking HERE. Your donation is tax deductible.