After calling Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) “vile, unprofessional, and despicable” and “not a lady;” after refusing to apologize for his crude remarks and after using these very same insults for fundraising purposes (below), Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) now blames his boorish conduct on his military service.
Appearing on Fox Business Network,
West said an apology is “not happening,” and then tried to blame his poor etiquette on the military. West, a veteran who was discharged from the Army for abusing an Iraqi, said “there are certain ways we talk in the military. I guess I haven’t learned the DC-insider talk.” As if basic civility is something only practiced inside the Beltway.
Mr. West, please do not use the military to justify your appalling lack of manners.
Mr. West’s fundraising e-mail:
From: Allen West For Congress Date: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM Subject: Vile, Despicable, and Unprofessional
Those three words sum up my feelings about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
By now, you’ve probably heard the story. But I wanted you to hear it from me.
Yesterday, on the floor of the House, I publicly expressed my support for “Cut, Cap, and Balance” — the leading conservative proposal to help us get our spiraling debt and spending under control.
Once I left the floor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DNC Chair) — who it seems does little except act as an attack dog for the “vast left wing conspiracy” — attacked me personally for supporting the legislation.
It’s not a coincidence that she is the Chairwoman of the DNC and that the Democrats are making me target #1 for defeat.
In a discussion of grave importance to this nation’s future, she somehow finds time to try to score political points. And she doesn’t have the guts to do it to my face!
Episodes like these show that her agenda isn’t to improve the lives of Floridians or to stand on principle. She’s an attack dog for the liberal, progressive wing of the Democratic Party — plain and simple.
And it’s times like this that I need friends with me.
Please make a donation of $25 or more at my website right now. And join thousands of other patriotic Americans in standing up against the vicious attack from the Democratic National Party.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B. West LTC(R)
Member of Congress
Steadfastly Boorish would be a better closing
The ThinkProgress quote on West’s “discharge” needs clarification.
While serving in Taji, Iraq, West received information from an intelligence specialist about a reported plot to ambush him and his men. The alleged plot reportedly involved Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi, a civilian Iraqi police officer. West, who was not responsible for conducting interrogations in Iraq and had never conducted or witnessed one, had his men detain Hamoodi. In the process of detaining Mr. Hamoodi, soldiers testified that Mr. Hamoodi appeared to reach for his weapon and needed to be subdued. Hamoodi was beaten by four soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion on the head and body. West then fired his pistol near Hamoodi’s head, after which Hamoodi provided West with names and information, which Hamoodi later described as “meaningless information induced by fear and pain.” At least one of these suspects was arrested as a result, but no plans for attacks or weapons were found. West said “At the time I had to base my decision on the intelligence I received. It’s possible that I was wrong about Mr. Hamoodi.”
West was charged with violating articles 128 (assault) and 134 (general article) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. During a hearing held as part of an Article 32 investigation in November 2003, West stated, “I know the method I used was not right, but I wanted to take care of my soldiers.” The charges were ultimately referred to an Article 15 proceeding rather than court-martial, at which West was fined $5,000. LTC West accepted the judgment and retired with full benefits in the summer of 2004.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.