Yesterday I did a blog on Alan West, who is a black conservative candidate running in Florida’s 22nd District for the US Congress. West has raised a lot of money – most of it from donors out side the district as the only viable black Republican candidate for the past 10 years for a seat in the US Congress or Senate.
West was trash talking about demanding that Pelosi give up the gavel if he is elected.
According to an emerging series of stories, Alan West is very tough on folks who can’t fight back – in his fantasy case a woman, Speaker Pelosi.
So tough in fact, his Military career ended when he was offered the “broken sword” choice – retirement…
Or a Court Martial for torturing an Iraqi prisoner. Like everything dealing with “conservative heroes” there are two stories – the first from a conservative site –
…around August 8, another member of the Fourth I.D. — an artillery officer and a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War — was assigned as a civil military-affairs officer in a hot zone in the Sunni Triangle. His job placed him in daily contact with local leaders, and his responsibility was to help them help the army, to run local elections, and stamp out the insurgents. The officer was told by the intel people that they had solid information, from three sources, about a plot to assassinate him. He wasn’t very concerned, his attention focused on a scheduled local election only a few weeks away. His boss told him to stay off the streets for a few days, and he did. Readying to go back out on patrol on August 16, the lieutenant colonel was stopped at the gate by some locals who wanted to talk to him. The patrol went on without him, and was ambushed. No Americans were hurt, but the officer was convinced of the plot.
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.
“If you’re a bad guy, don’t ever get between me and the safety and the lives of the American people,” West says of the incident. “As a commander, your moral responsibility is to take care of your troops.”
In August 2003, Colonel Allen West – commanding a US unit in Baghdad – heard a rumour that one of the Iraqi policeman he was working with was a secret insurgent. He ordered his officers to go and seize Yehiya Hamoodi, a thin, bespectacled 31-year-old, from his home. They dragged him into a Humvee, beat him, and then handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded him. In a dank interrogation room, they told him he had better start talking.
Perplexed and terrified, Yehiya explained he didn’t know what they were talking about: why was he here? So West was called in. He told Yehiya he was going to be killed. While his men beat him again, he explained he had one last chance to save his life – by talking.
Yehiya protested: I am innocent! What are you talking about? So West took him outside, had him pinned down, and began to shoot. First he fired into the air. Then he ordered his men to ram Yehiya’s head into a barrel used for cleaning weapons – and fired right next to his head. Then he began to count down from five. Finally Yehiya began to scream out names – any name he could think of, just to make it stop.
The men he named were seized and roughed up in turn. No evidence was found of any plot, and after another 45 days of terror, Yehiya was released. Today, he is severely traumatised, and collapses when he sees a Humvee approaching. The story only came to light after one of West’s soldiers began to protest against these practices, and the Pentagon launched an investigation. At a pre-trial hearing, West was fined $5,000, and now concedes grudgingly: “It’s possible I was wrong about Mr Hamoodi.” But he says he would do it again, and again, and again.
West has even taken to joking about it, gaining applause for telling Republican audiences: “It wasn’t torture. Seeing Rosie O’Donnell naked would be torture.” But the 1994 Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, is explicit: “Threat of imminent death” is the third form of torture it outlaws. There are reams of studies showing it can traumatise a person for life.
Two months later, however, the Army told West he had a choice: Retire or face a court-martial. West retired and moved to Florida, where he spent the next year teaching high school in Broward County.
At the time, even some Republicans had heartburn with the hue and cry by platic patriots over Col West. Former Congressman Bob Barr had this to say –
“It may be an interrogation technique that worked in this instance, but that’s not an heroic act,” Barr told WorldNetDaily. “This man apparently has a very distinguished military career and much of what he’s done may be heroic, but I don’t think this is an heroic act.”
In most states, felons can’t vote or hold political office…