Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Allen West for Congress in Florida
That's LtCol (Ret) Allen West, who is running for Congress in the 22nd District (Broward County) in Florida. He ran for the seat in 2008, and barely lost to the incumbent. He's running against the same incumbent in 2010, and this time it's looking good.
His name might be familiar to you, and this clip from a December 4, 2003 piece by Jed Babin on National Review Online should refresh your memory.
Between August 16 and 20, intelligence identified an Iraqi policeman who was allegedly involved in the assassination plot, and the man was arrested on Aug. 20. According to the officer's defense attorney, this is what happened.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West was told the policeman was uncooperative, so he took a few of his men to the interrogation area to see for himself, where he found the prisoner being questioned by two female officers. They told him the man was belligerent, and wasn't giving them any information. (Surprise, surprise. The idiocy of having women question male Arab prisoners is apparent to everyone except the army commanders.) West entered the room, sat across from the man, drew his pistol, and placed it in his lap. West told him he had come to either get information, or to kill him. The prisoner responded by smiling and saying, "I love you." The interrogation continued, and one of West's troops lost his temper and started slapping the man. West then had his men take the prisoner outside, where he again threatened the man, telling him that he would kill him on the count of five if he didn't tell what he knew. The prisoner refused, and West fired his pistol into the air.
The interrogation continued, but not the beating. After about 20 more minutes of useless questioning, West grabbed the man, held him down near a box full of sand used to discharge jammed weapons, and said something like, "This is it. I'm going to count to five again, and if you don't give me what I want, I'm going to kill you." West held the man down, counted to five, and then fired his pistol into the discharging box about a foot from the Iraqi's head. He began talking. Over the next few minutes, the prisoner gave very specific information about the plot. He named the conspirators, gave times and dates of the assassination plan, and even described how attacks would be made.
West and his men went back to their base camp. The lieutenant colonel immediately went to his boss, woke him up, and told him what he had done, and about the information he'd gotten from the Iraqi. West didn't say anything about what his troops had done. The boss — Col. Kevin Stramara — responded only by saying something like, "Alan, we need to take the high road." Leaving Stramara, West went to the medics' area, and ordered one of the doctors to examine and treat the prisoner. The doctor found the man bruised and scared, but not injured in any significant way. The next day, West briefed his own staff about the incident, and told them he took full responsibility. And that, West thought, was that. Apparently so did Stramara, who never even reported the incident.
The local election was postponed, the ambushes were avoided, and all was quiet until a disgruntled sergeant wrote a long, rambling letter to the commanding general of the Fourth I.D., Gen. Ray Odierno. The letter complains about harassment by Stramara, inconsistent uniform discipline, disrespect of officers by enlisted men, and mentions the West incident only in passing. The lawyers ended up with the letter, and that's where the PC Police took over.
LtCol West, thanks to a small, but influential number of Congressmen who rallied to his defense (and a groundswell of support from the citizenry), was finally allowed to retire after paying a $5,000 fine. He moved his family from Texas to Florida, where he taught school for a year, and then decided to enter the political arena. Sounds like just the kind of guy we need to bring (pardon the expression) CHANGE to Capitol Hill.
For more information on Allen West from his website, go HERE.