Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West--U.S. Congressman and wingnut Tea Party hero many of whom revere as the Anti-Obama--resigned from the Army to avoid being court martialed. But in true Allen West fashion he's using his disgraced Army career as a way to claim he's more honorable than his Democratic opponent, who was arrested as a teen for drunk and disorderly conduct.
West is running against Patrick Murphy to represent Florida's 18th Congressional District. The race is so ugly that Talking Points Memo.Com is running an article about it by Eric Kleefeld titled, Is Allen West In The Dirtiest House Campaign Of 2012? http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/...
Here's an excerpt:
On Friday, West launched an ad attacking Murphy, a construction and environmental clean-up executive, for being arrested in a drunken bar-fight in 2003. And West’s campaign made sure to splash Murphy’s mugshot on the screen.West would have people believe that his time in the Army makes him more trustworthy and honorable than Murphy. Hold up. Wait a minute. That's not necessarily so.
“Feb. 16, 2003, Fort Hood, Texas: Lt. Col. Allen West had just received deployment orders, and prepares his men to go to war,” the announcer says. “That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol, and unable to stand. Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer. Patrick Murphy was arrested and taken to jail. Two men, a country in crisis — you decide.”
While West was allowed to retire from the Army, he did so under very questionable circumstances in 2003. In fact, an article from CNN.Com tells why West had to get out of the Army. Here's a part of that story:
U.S. officer fined for harsh interrogation tacticsPlainly speaking, West's actions amounted to torture. I can't see how anybody (even West) can compare torturing another human being with being drunk and disorderly with a straight face. West participated in the TORTURE of another human being. Is the type of extremist who deserves a seat in Congress? I certainly don't think so and hopefully the citizens in Florida's 18th District won't think so either.
Saturday, December 13, 2003 Posted: 6:16 AM EST (1116 GMT)
TIKRIT, Iraq (CNN) -- The commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division on Friday accepted a U.S. military investigator's recommendation and ordered administrative action against Lt. Col. Allen West, who was accused of using improper methods to force information out of an Iraqi detainee.
Following a military hearing, West was fined $5,000 over two months, according to West's civillian attorney, Neal Puckett.
The punishment does not affect West's eligibility for retirement and pension, Puckett said in a statement.
West, 42, will be assigned to the rear detachment of the 4th Infantry Division awaiting the processing of his retirement request, the statement said.
Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the 4th Infantry's top general in Tikrit, could have rejected the recommendation and ordered a court martial. If he were to be found guilty at a court martial of the two articles against him, West could have faced 11 years in prison, a military prosecutor told CNN.
The case stems from an incident August 20 at a military base in Taji, just north of Baghdad, when West was interrogating an Iraqi policeman, who was believed to have information about a plot to assassinate West with an ambush on a U.S. convoy.
In testimony at an Article 32 hearing -- the military's version of a grand jury or preliminary hearing -- West said the policeman, Yahya Jhrodi Hamoody, was not cooperating with interrogators, so he watched four of his soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion beat the detainee on the head and body.
West said he also threatened to kill Hamoody. Military prosecutors say West followed up on that threat by taking the suspect outside, put him on the ground near a weapons clearing barrel and fired his 9 mm pistol into the barrel.
George Zornick, of The Nation.Com, recently wrote a revealing piece about West's misconduct in the Army titled, So Allen West Wants to Talk About His Military Record...http://www.thenation.com/...
Check out this excerpt:
The voters of Florida’s 18th District will have to decide if they want to hold Murphy’s run-in with the law against him. But it’s odd that West trumpets “duty, honor and service” in comparison to the transgression, while touting his military career—because his record there is, by almost any measure, more ignominious than an arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct.Allen West's repugnant misconduct while serving in the U.S. Army is even more reprehensible than his embarrassing misconduct as a first-term U.S. Congressman. His failures on both of these jobs revealed him as an extremist opportunist, who doesn't deserve the privilege or prestige of serving a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
West resigned from the military in 2004, following an incident involving his unit’s treatment of an Iraqi man. West himself was charged with two violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including one against assault, and agreed to retire after an Article 15 hearing in order to avoid a court martial.
According to a 2004 account in The New York Times, West let the soldiers under his command beat the Iraqi man, whom West believed was involved in an attempt on his life. (No evidence was ever found implicating the man).
It's bad enough that someone who helped torture somebody was allowed to retire from the Army with a lifetime pension. West is as equally unfit to serve in Congress as he was unfit to serve in the U.S. Army.
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