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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006. -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2005)

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, briefly I would note that what we have been objecting to is precisely the denial to some cadets at the Air Force Academy of the very freedom that the previous speaker proclaimed.

No one has criticized anyone's profession of his or her religion. The animus here, the gravimen of this charge is, that other people have been penalized for it, and the Superintendent to the Air Force Academy himself acknowledged it.

Now, I apologize for prolonging this, and I would say that when the chairman of the subcommittee, the former chairman of the full committee, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) appealed for an end to the debate, he got acquiescence on this side.

Two Members on his side decided to prolong it. I wish that others had followed our example. But since they have not, I do think that things have to be answered.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey).

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, in closing, I would repeat what has been said before, but apparently with sufficient clarity, I guess. The one person, who more than any other, was penalized for speaking out in this matter, in defense of the principles that the previous speaker articulated was a chaplain, the chaplain who was sent to Okinawa in a punitive transfer, and I know people have said that the Air Force gave different reasons for that. I do not think anyone really believes that.

It is clear that she was transferred for punitive reasons, because she spoke out against what she thought was an inappropriate set of actions against people's freedom of religion. She was, as we said and is, a chaplain.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to my friend, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey).

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