[Boca Raton, FL] Seems that U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-22/West Palm Beach) – the sort-of still a Tea Party fave who’s running for re-election in a different district (18) this time out – doesn’t want to really talk about the incident which caused him to “retire” from the military.
Or was he kicked out (albeit gently)?
The outspoken member of Congress, when pressed about the outcome of that incident at a recent Boca Raton speaking engagement, instead suggested that those assembled discuss President Obama‘s drug use back when he was a teenager and college student.
Here’s the exchange, as reported by Think Progress:
QUESTIONER: Please release your Article 15 conviction.
WEST: I was not convicted of anything. I think everyone knows what happened. I mean if you guys have a problem with the fact that people were out there planning to kill my soldiers and I found a guy, I put a pistol, shot over his head, and they weren’t killing my soldiers anymore. If you guys have a problem with that, you need to go talk to someone else, because if I’m in that exact same situation, I’m making the same decision for those men and women. [...] So if you guys want to go back and talk about what happened nine years ago for me, let’s talk about the president doing blow, and smoking dope.
VIDEO OF ALLEN WEST BEING INTERROGATED BY A CONSTITUENT:
Wow. First of all, let’s review Allen West’s war crimes. Yes, he was convicted – the military version of convicted – of falsely imprisoning two men, torturing a suspect and not following proper Army procedure. He was hit with an Article 15, which is just below a court martial, and fined $5,000.
West was allowed to retire in 2004 with full benefits.
Yet his telling of the incident sounds so patriotic, doesn’t it? When, in fact, West violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a very serious offense.
As reported previously in Sunshine Slate, the story goes like this: While serving in Taji, Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel West got some information that there may be a plot to ambush him and his men possibly involving civilian Iraqi policeman Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi.
West had his men in his command detain Hamoodi for questioning. Problem was that West, despite being a lieutenant colonel, had never conducted – or even witnessed – an interrogation before. He was not authorized to conduct one.
As you can see in the recounting below, West would have been better off if he had just said no to interrogation:
Arriving at the interrogation room, West approached Hamoodi, took out his gun, and chambered a round. He placed it in his lap with the gun barrel facing Hamoodi. “I had drawn out my pistol as a means of conveying a threat to him for the seriousness of wanting the information,” West told investigators. Hamoodi said that after West’s arrival, “a soldier pulled his shirt over his head, and numerous others began to punch him in the chest.” The beating bruised his ribs, said Hamoodi, but those bruises had healed in the month that passed before he met with investigators.
Said West: “Yes, there had been sporadic body punches and shoving to the individual, which I witnessed but did not allow to get too brutal.”
Hamoodi still didn’t give West or the soldiers the information they wanted, either because he wasn’t part of the assassination plot or because he was being an uncooperative witness.
West ordered Hamoodi out of the interrogation room and took him outside the facility, where Hamoodi says West pointed to six soldiers who were standing in line with their weapons in hand. Through the Egyptian translator, West told Hamoodi: “If you don’t talk, they will kill you.”
When that didn’t work, West admitted to pushing Hamoodi’s head into a clearing barrel full of sand, which is typically used for clearing weapons. West then put his gun into the same barrel, near Hamoodi’s head and fired.
“In my anger I do not know if I fired two shots in to the barrel or one into the air and another into the barrel,” said West in his sworn statement.
Now how does that compare to President Obama doing drugs 30 years ago as a teen and/or as a college student? It doesn’t. Tens of millions of people did drugs in their youth – very few gave illegal torturous interrogations and committed war crimes before being booted from the Army.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate