I knew Allen West would stoop as low as he needs to go in order to try to win a second term in the US Congress. Make no mistake, this man should be in a military brig, not on Capitol Hill.
His latest despicable act comes in the form of an attack ad against his opponent, Patrick Murphy, which pits an arrest for underage drinking when Murphy was 19 against Allen West getting deployment orders on that same day in 2003.
If we’re going to hold teenage stunts against candidates, perhaps we should revisit Mitt Romney’s homophobic antics in prep school. But I prefer to focus on actions from adults who supposedly know what they’re doing.
Let’s start with what West did while he was deployed in Iraq. There have been many accounts of his “interrogation” of an Iraqi police officer whom West suspected of having information about a planned ambush on he and his men. (The police officer had no such information, it was later revealed.)
As the NY Times reported in 2004:
“Colonel West presided over what he considered a time-sensitive interrogation that grew steadily more abusive until he himself fired a pistol beside Mr. Hamoodi’s head….Colonel West deliberately disregarded Army rules and regulations, gambling — and eventually losing — a successful 22-year military career that seemed destined for further advancement….Expressing concern that his behavior could send the signal that abuse was acceptable as a means to an end, the Army relieved Colonel West of his command and contemplated court-martialing him on assault charges….Eventually, the colonel and his soldiers moved Mr. Hamoodi outside, and threatened him with death. Colonel West said he fired a warning shot in the air and began counting down from five. He asked his soldiers to put Mr. Hamoodi’s head in a sand-filled barrel usually used for clearing weapons. At the end of his count, Colonel West fired a shot into the barrel, angling his gun away from the Iraqi’s head, he testified…
At least one man named by Mr. Hamoodi was taken into custody, according to testimony, and his home was searched. No plans for attacks on Americans or weapons were found. Colonel West testified that he did not know whether ”any corroboration” of a plot was ever found, adding: ”At the time I had to base my decision on the intelligence I received. It’s possible that I was wrong about Mr. Hamoodi.”
For some inexplicable reason, the people of Florida’s 22nd Congressional district elected this war criminal to Congress. With polls showing he had no shot to win re-election from that district, West moved to a newly redrawn 16th district, in which he thought he stood a better chance of smearing his way back into office.
West is a tea-party darling, and is a master at fundraising through hate speech. Think Progress did a great job of assembling West’s 15 Most Outrageous Statements. There are many more, but let’s focus on these 15 reasons why Allen West is an embarrassment to not only Congress, but the entire nation.
(1) “YOU ARE NOT A LADY”: In July 2011, West responded to a perceived slight from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (R-FL) with a fiery letter in which he threatened her and scolded, “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” West later said he had apologized, but Wasserman-Schultz said she had not received one.
(2) JOSEPH GOEBBELS WOULD “BE VERY PROUD” OF DEMOCRATS: In December, West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” The link to Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, drew criticism from several members of Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and others.
(3) LIBERALS “GET THE HELL OUT”: Speaking at the Palm Beach County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner in last month, West said of liberals, “Take your message of equality of achievement. … You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.” West later tried to walk back the statement, claiming he was only referring to “the message” and not liberals themselves.
(4) “A THREAT TO THE GENE POOL”: In a July 2011 post on the website Red Country, West wrote, “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”
(5) “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU”: Before running for Congress, West had a 22-year career in the military, but left after he abused an Iraqi detainee: “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.” He then fired a shot “a foot” over the detainee’s head.
(6) “NUTS!”: West has often clashed with opponents over the issue of Islam. In August 2011, a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked West to sever ties with anti-Muslim activists. In response, West sent a letter which read only, “I am writing to you with regard