The heroic story of Lt. Col. West is brought to our attention via the worthy blog Weasel Zippers:
Allen B. West is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel and a Republican Party candidate for the United States Congress in Florida's 22nd district. He served in Iraq and as a civilian adviser in Afghanistan.
IRAQ INTERROGATION CONTROVERSY AND RETIREMENT:
While serving in Taji, Iraq, on August 20, 2003, as commander of the 2d Battalion 20th Field Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel West was in charge of an interrogation of a civilian Iraqi police officer who was suspected of having pertinent information regarding attacks on American soldiers. According to the Military Investigation, soldiers under West's supervision assaulted the civilian Iraqi police officer in an attempt to get him to talk. West admittedly fired a pistol near the policeman's head, threatened his life, and allowed his troops to physically assault the man.
West, who at the time was just short of having 20 years of service, was charged with violating articles 128 (assault) and 134 (general article) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. West was processed through an Article 32 hearing in November 2003, where he admitted wrongdoing, was fined $5,000 over two months for misconduct and assault. He then submitted his resignation, and was allowed to retire with full benefits in the summer of 2004.
At a hearing, West was asked by his defense attorney if he would do it again. "If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," he said. Apparently not knowing West's gun was aimed into a barrel, Hamoodi cracked and gave information about the planned ambush on West's convoy, thwarting the attack. West said there were no further ambushes on U.S. forces in Taji until he was relieved of his leadership post on October 4. Hamoodi was detained for 45 days, then released without having been charged.
After West's resignation was brought to public attention the next fall, he received over two thousand letters and e-mails from the American public offering him moral support. In addition, a letter was drafted to the Secretary of the Army, its signatories being ninety-five members of Congress in West's support.
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You can say whatever you want about what he did with that Iraqi prisoner and in the end you'll just be another armchair quarterback; Alan West was in the heat of battle and while Mock executions are specifically forbidden under the Law of Land Warfare, what he did produced actionable results. My take on it is that I am sure this was not a mock execution - this was the intro to a REAL execution, which of course would have been murder. More to the point, Lt. Col. West was forthright and willing to face the consequences of his actions. - Sean Linnane
STORMBRINGER fully endorses Lt. Col. Alan West for Congress. We need more vets like him in Washington.
Click HERE if you wish to support Lt. Col. West's run for Congress.