Craig Campbell's open letter to Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin concerning Forrest Dunbar - Must Read AlaskaQ
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Craig Campbell’s open letter to Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin concerning Forrest Dunbar

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By CRAIG E. CAMPBELL

Secretary Austin,

I read an article in the National Guard Association magazine concerning your orders for a military-wide stand down to address extremism in the ranks.  

While it is sad our nation’s military has reached the point where leadership believes we must stand-down to remind ourselves of the values we share as Americans and our obligation to support the Constitution of the United States, I was particularly appreciative of your focus on the military Oath of Office. 

Having served over 35 years as a member of both the United States Air Force and Alaska National Guard, I am incredibly proud of having unambiguously supported the Constitution of the United States and the Oath of Office I took as a military officer to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign or domestic. 

I was moved by your words “Because we each took an oath to obey the law, support and defend the Constitution, and to do our jobs to the best of our ability, we expect public servants to be guided in their actions by a strong moral compass.”  

These are challenging times for America. The violent riots in many of our cities across this great nation this past summer by radical groups determined to undermine our constitutional republic, coupled with the tragic occupation of the United States Capitol in January, the center of government for our great nation, has created the greatest constitutional crisis we have faced since the Civil War.  

We are a nation polarized by political extremism that is starting to infiltrate every fiber of our country.  Like you, I am concerned about the recent trend of military officers politicizing our defense services.  

This is not just an issue concerning alleged right-wing extremism.  It also includes left-wing extremists who do not believe in the fundamental basis of our Constitution and the foundation of a free and open society.

Your words that “We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we all share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies,” provides a clear commander’s intent to ensure our military remains free from political influence and that members of our uniformed services do not act or speak in any manner that may be viewed as subversive to our ideals.  

As you pursue your leadership role to purge the military of “extremism,” I trust you will be removing individuals from all political credos who may not be able to affirm their Oath of Office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without mental reservation of purpose of evasion.”   

In the Alaska National Guard we have an officer in who, in his civilian capacity as an elected official on the Anchorage Assembly, has stated his opinion that about Constitution, and I quote: “…every portion of our constitutional law is with race… All of it was tied to race.”  

Forrest Dunbar, a JAG officer in the Alaska National Guard, a local elected official, and a candidate for Mayor made that quote clarifying his  belief that the Constitution is race based, of which it is not. These publicly stated words of Forrest Dunbar place into question his commitment too, and support of, his Oath of Office.

Were this just an isolated incident, there might not be great reason for concern. However, as you have seen with the rising violence and anti-government activities of the past year, many times these are not isolated incidents. In fact, Forrest Dunbar has openly supported involvement in violent riots against United States federal facilities, as he posted the following on Twitter:

Clearly, it is troubling that a military officer publicly supports, even encourages, family members participating in the violent riots in Portland last summer, which resulted in the tragic death of our fellow citizens and destruction of U.S Federal property.  

In fact, it raises the question as to whether Forrest Dunbar violated the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, by having “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same (United States) or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof,” by publicly supporting his sister and cousin in participating in the Portland riots.

If you conclude further inquiry into this matter is warranted, I would caution against referring this to the National Guard Bureau Inspector General Office. The current NGB/IG is Major General Laurie Hummel.  MG Hummel was the previous Alaska National Guard Adjutant General, for which Forrest Dunbar worked as part of her Staff Judge Advocate Office. 

Basic conflict of interest concerns alone would create suspicion that a fair and objective inquiry would be conducted if under the jurisdiction of his former commander, not to mention that she has also donated to his political campaign for mayor. Therefore, I would recommend that, should any inquiry into this matter be initiated by your office, it should be handled by the United States Army Inspector General’s Office. 

The United States of America is the greatest nation ever created by humanity. While not perfect, it continually improves through the constitutional mechanisms written by our Founding Fathers. This constitutional republic provides the greatest freedoms and opportunities for anyone willing to make the effort to improve themselves and achieve the American dream.  

Having a non-political defense organization is critical to being able to maintain the constitutional basis of our great nation.  While everyone has the right to freedom of speech, those who join our military agree to limit their political speech when in uniform and should not express opinions that are in conflict to their Oath of Office.  

I submit to you that Forrest Dunbar’s public statements create a conflict with his Oath of Office and therefore he should be removed from military service.

As you lead our nation’s defense forces through these turbulent times, I wish you all the best and God Speed in preserving the fundamental values of the United States of America. 

Respectfully submitted,

Craig E. Campbell

Craig E. Campbell served on the Anchorage Assembly between 1986 and 1995 and later as Alaska’s Tenth Lieutenant Governor.  He was the previous Chief Executive Officer and President for Alaska Aerospace Corporation.  He retired from the Alaska National Guard as Lieutenant General (AKNG) and holds the concurrent retired Federal rank of Major General (USAF).

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Dunbar’s opinions are misguided, sycophantic and foolish.

  • Great letter, thank you!! I hope it gets results.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with this letter, having served in the U.S.Navy onboard the U.S.S.Tarawa LHA-1.

  • I hope this goes somewhere. Thanks for composing your thoughts, Craig.

  • The facts are clear: Mr./CPT Dunbar is not fit to honorably wear the uniform of the United States Army, nor perform the duties of a JAG officer. His conflict of interest is clearly shown with his comments about the US Constitution and his support of protest (attacks?) Of a federal building.

    Further, if he were to be elected as Mayor of Anchorage, his propensity to control the citizens will not end. He continually votes for restrictions in light of high recovery rates from Covid-19 and destruction of small businesses in the MOA.

    Thank you for your letter Gen. Campbell. I pray that it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

  • I hope this triggers investigation but don’t hold my breath

  • Thank you General for your service and your dedication to the principles of this great nation. Very well said.

  • Excellent!! Let’s call a spade a spade!! What comes around, goes around!! Being in military service precludes certain civilian freedoms, as it should!!

  • Dunbar has committed many actions that are questionable and a full investigation should be conducted! He should resign and pull out of the Mayoral race.

    • Ha! He is one of the self righteous [email protected]$%@*(ds with no shame whatsoever. And they believe that they must impose their righteousness upon us ignorant unwashed rabble.

  • As a veteran I’m disgusted and ashamed that someone with such low morals and ethics could wear the uniform of this great republic as Forrest Dunbar!

  • I’m not entirely sure what cancel culture means, but this screed looks like an example. Mr. Campbell, with very questionable evidence, asserts that Mr. Dunbar “has openly supported involvement in violent riots against United States federal facilities,” simply because he advocated participation in a Wall of Moms demonstration in Portland. As those who have followed Portland protests know, white supremacist groups have been infiltrating demonstrations for years in efforts to wreak havoc in the Portland community. In spite of this, the vast majority of demonstrators and demonstrations have been predominantly peaceful. Does Mr. Campbell wish to preclude Mr. Dunbar’s constitutional right peaceably to assemble or to encourage others to do so? Doesn’t that make Mr. Campbell guilty of the transgression of which he has accused Mr. Dunbar?

    Secretary Austin will undoubtedly see this letter for what it is, an attempt to discourage a citizen from exercising one of the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, and would not be remiss should he suggest to Mr. Campbell that the Constitution applies to all citizens of the nation, not just the ones with whom he agrees.

    • If you despise the constitution, how can you defend if? If you can’t defend it, what does your oath mean? If your oath means nothing, why would we want you serving?

      The article posits some legitimate questions for the incoming Sec of Defense, asked by a man who has served, and spoken on behalf of many others of us who have as well, for whom the oath, and the constitution itself, are sacred.

    • Agreed!
      So before I dusted off my righteous indignation, it occurred to me, that just a few weeks ago we were all up in arms about the vetting of National Guard troops headed for DC. The guard are people who only wear the uniform when called upon. Unlike their active duty brethren, they do not relinquish their First Amendment rights. So unless Mr. Dunbar made these statements in uniform, he can say what he likes. Does it reflect well on him, no clearly not, but that is for the voters to decide.
      As for the conflict of interest with MG Hummel: If he still works for her – that’s a problem, but that does not appear to be the case.
      The incitement charge seems just as far-fetched as the one against DJT.
      Just to be clear, I find Mr. Dunbar has an over-developed sense of self-importance and hubris and is a disgrace to the uniform, but just like all of us he has a clear right to pontificate. It is our right to ignore him.

      • As a sidebar:
        The question to ask Mr. Dunbar, is “why serve?”
        Any decent principled person would resign his commission, if he is convinced of the veracity of the statements he made. He clearly does not need to be a lawyer in the guard.
        Forest Dunbar uses the uniform as a mantle of respectability. That to me is the most despicable, as it usurps the true self-less service of all those who do go into harms way and defend our way of life. Those who leave house and home to stand watch are the only ones, who truly deserve our respect and gratitude.

    • Greg, I suspect that you’ve never served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Or. If you have, you’ve forgotten that Mr./CPT Dunbar’s actions reflect on the AK National Guard, the JAG Corps and the US Army. His oath of enlistment specifically States “I WILL support and defend the Constitution of the United States…” There are also Army Regulations that specifically forbid soldiers from participating in or encouraging riots or attacks against the United States. Dunbar voluntarily took the Oath and has signed contracts swearing his alliance to the Country and to obey the lawful orders of those appointed over him. He has failed to do do those things. The military is held to a higher standard, may I suggest you rethink your comment.

    • Wake up woke man. No white supremacists have been infiltrating demonstrations not of their own making – that is called “projection” – it is what Antifa did on Jan.6

    • you sound exactly like q anon bro when they blame everything bad that happens at trump rallies on antifa.

    • You seem to miss the point that Gen Campbell is making. Plz read again talk to another veteran that understands his premise
      Sincerely Cmsgt AF retired

    • Questionable evidence? Hardly. Forrest has taken the military Oath of Office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America at least 3 times in uniform. Add another instance when he was sworn into the Assembly as a member.

      As he has referred to the very same Constitution as a racist document, how can he possibly uphold, protect and defend it?

      Either he is lying about the Constitution as racist or he is lying about his Oath. Either way, he has forfeit his right and ability to remain in uniform. Cheers –

      • Thank you, Agimarc.
        You have boiled it down nicely.
        Whether you adore Forrest or despise him, he must be held accountable for perpetuating racism by swearing an oath to a racist document he himself describes it as,
        OR that he lied about it being racist and did NOT really swear to uphold it.
        Which is it, Forrest?
        The chickens are coming home to roost. Your words just might cook your goose.

    • Greg , you are living proof that one cannot fix stupid !

    • Undoubtedly you are not a veteran or served in the military. Perhaps you should look into the “Oath of Office,” that Dunbar took. Also, being in the military, he is subject to the Alaska Code of Military Justice or ACMJ. Which mimics the Uniformed Code of Military Justice or UCMJ. He is held to a much higher standard as a member of the military. Perhaps you should read and comprehend that before you open your mouth.

  • Very well said. I was wondering the same re Forrest Dunbar’s allegiance to the Constitution.

  • Excellent article!

  • Nicely done, Mr. Campbell. Nicely done.

  • I would say it much more succinctly: Forrest Dunbar is an anti-American traitor, and deserves the full and appropriate punishment for his repeated acts of treason to the US constitution and to the American people.

  • Something tells me a person like Mr Dunbar, who attended Yale, Harvard, and American University, served in the Peace Corp, studied in Japan, serves in the JAG , grew up in Eagle and Cordova Alaska might understand a thing or two about our founding fathers frame of mind when they wrote the Constitution that most of you armchair patriots might have missed in school while busy bullying others. We did have slaves then if you recall. Can any of you tell us how the constitution dealt with Slaves? Class? Class? Anyone? Bueller?

    Supporting A seditious “mom”protest? Ha ha ha ha ha. Count me in General.

    • I look forward to the day when our country is not judged by its past, but by its development and forward progress to a greater and better union. The issue of slavery is one of those. If we had outlawed slavery at the front end, we would have NOT had the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution.
      Instead, in your words, “their frame of mind” wrote it in such a way that we would be able to abolish this millennial old practice of one man owning another. AND WE DID. England and the US were the FIRST countries in modern history to codify into law that we would not have slavery within our borders. THAT, my friend, is legacy. Or you may focus that we once had slavery, our founding fathers and documents are evil, and nothing has changed.
      It is getting well-worn and tiresome to hear the slavery legacy being trotted out again (by you this time) as if we are still doing it and “some of my best friends are slaves…” How about protesting countries still practicing it TODAY? Many African nations, China. These all have slavery and it is NOT in their laws to NOT have it. Yet, we continue to judge the US because we once had it.
      Misplaced anger and disdain, I’d say. But perhaps because Forest went to prestigious universities, he found out something different and thus, knows more than us. Oh, Dan, by lumping those who disagree with Forest (and you, perhaps) as bullies in school is quite a stretch. If you have facts, lay them out. This ad hominem only weakens what argument you had.

    • Hmm, I wonder how 200 years from now people will view Forest Dunbar and his pronouncements and actions in 2020. Will they hail him as a spirited leader or a self-righteous zealot and despot oppressing the people? What standards will they apply? Is it fair for them judge our here and now through the lens of 200 years of progress?? Just like Forest the founders had to live in the here and now. That included the British business venture called slavery. While it was abhorrent, it was the practice of the time. The Founders struggle with this but in the end passed the buck, knowing full well that we as a nation needed to revisit this issue. Since 1776 we have rectified a great many issue, but the underlying principles endure, to allow the individual to have freedom and liberty, despite what Forest says.

    • “Armchair Potatoes””

      There, fixed that.

  • Well stated Mr. Campbell. Dunbar should NOT even be on the Anchorage Assembly. He is a sad, pathetic Moron!

  • Very nicely done sir. Thank you !

  • @rich T . Not sure to whom you refer. But letter is clearly political. Seems a bit hyperbolic to me. Would welcome a review of extremists in military. But Not, for political purposes as you evidenced.

  • I am a 70 year old retired tax paying white female retired attorney, and a former resident of Alaska. I participated in Portland’s Wall of Moms. I saw with my own eyes what was going on. Violence can never be tolerated and must be condemned, but these large protests were 99.9% peaceful. No one beat a police officer with a fire extinguisher or a flagpole. No one erected a gallows with a noose. We were loud. There was chanting. People were prepared for the nightly tear gas used by the feds to stop our exercise of our rights. This is the truth. Craig Campbell is a proponent of the Big Lies to which all too many Americans have succumbed. Equivalency is false. Peaceful protests matter. Black Lives Matter.

    • Karla,

      So you too participated in the Wall of Mom’s in Portland which provided support for the anarchists who were violently torching buildings; throwing projectiles at law enforcement; knocking down, kicking, and beating people; and terrorizing neighborhoods. For the record, Aaron Danielson was shot and killed during one of the August riots in Portland. His killer, Michael Reinoehl was later shot and killed by police. Please don’t try and obfuscate the truth in what was happening in Portland in 2020 as “peaceful.” Those peaceful demonstrations incited a full blown insurrection against government. It was violent, and it was driven by left-wing extremists. Sorry if the facts disrupt your narrative, counselor.
      Craig

      • Thanks for clarifying for Karla, the true nature of the protests…. Nobody in their right mind peacefully demonstrates for 100 days straight and expects a good outcome

    • My baby daughter and I were once tear gassed at a mostly peaceful protest too. Between that and trying to step carefully through the broken glass, it was quite an experience (we were just getting off the ferry on our way to our room).

  • Well done, Mr. Campbell, and you have said it with grace and purpose. Thank you! My son served and is now passed away. He took great pride in his country and his committed work and gave it all. I say thank you again with a grateful heart.

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