Today, we honor Allen West. He has a bad haircut but a badass background. He was an Army dude and is now a politician and such. Let’s all learn more about this man using that encyclopedia thingie…
Allen Bernard West (born February 7, 1961) is an American political commentator, former member of the United States House of Representatives, and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. A member of the Republican Party, he represented Florida’s 22nd congressional district in the House from 2011 to 2013.
Lieutenant colonel is pretty good I think. I bet I’d be happy with that medal.
Redistricting due to the 2010 census resulted in West switching to Florida’s 18th congressional district for the 2012 House elections. He lost by 2,146 votes to Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy in what would turn out to be the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history to date
I guess that’s something. Money! What awesome military awards does he have?
West’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device); Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Valorous Unit Award; Air Assault Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge.
More than I have!
While serving in Taji, Iraq, West received information from an intelligence specialist about a plot to ambush his unit. The alleged plot involved Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi, an Iraqi police officer. West had his men detain Hamoodi. Soldiers testified that in the process of detaining Hamoodi, he appeared to reach for his weapon and needed to be subdued. Hamoodi was beaten by four soldiers from the 2/20th 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. West accepted the judgment and retired with full benefits as a lieutenant colonel in the summer of 2004. Asked if he would act differently under similar circumstances, West testified, “If it’s about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.” At his hearing, West said that there were no ambushes against American forces in Taji until he was relieved of his leadership post a month later. After West’s retirement he received more than 2,000 letters and e-mails offering him moral support. A letter supporting West was signed by 95 members of the U.S. Congress and sent to the Secretary of the Army.
… No one’s perfect. (Yikes.)
On July 19, 2011, West sent an email to Democratic representative and Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in response to comments directed at him in a speech the congresswoman made on the floor of the House of Representatives after West had departed the chamber. West’s email, which he copied to members of House Democratic and Republican leadership, characterized Wasserman as “the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives”, said that she was “not a lady” and asked that she focus, instead, on her own congressional district. This is a long-standing dispute that West says “dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign headquarters, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.”
I feel like you shouldn’t get in a pissing contest with a dude who shoots guns.