Lt. Col. Allen West

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by jimnyc, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I actually got this post from another board, no link was included. I'm supplying a few links to similar reading though on this story. Just curious on everyone's thoughts.
    **********
    Friday, November 07, 2003

    What Lt. Col. Allen West did may have saved American lives, but how he did it may land him in prison.

    West, a 20-year army veteran and battalion commander with the 4th Infantry Division, is facing possible court-martial for firing a pistol near the head of an Iraqi police officer while interrogating him in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. The Iraqi was refusing to talk.

    However, when West fired the gun, he scared vital intelligence information out of the officer about an ambush plot against American soldiers. The Iraqi named alleged co-conspirators who were later arrested.

    Even though the Iraqi was not injured in the incident, Army prosecutors say West committed assault under the Uniform Code of Military Conduct, which sets strict guidelines for protecting the civil rights of enemies.

    The case has sparked a debate over whether U.S. soldiers should be expected to follow the strict military regulations, even when to do so could jeopardize American lives.

    West's wife, Angela West, insists her husband did nothing wrong in light of the circumstances.

    "If you are in a situation where the enemy is not playing by the rules, isn't it the best thing to do to save American lives?" West told Fox News. "I mean, that's what a commander should do — save the lives of his men, not lose them because of a rule."

    In an e-mail to Fox News, Lt. Col. West wrote: "All I desire is reunion with my family, retirement and to live a God-centered life with my wife and two daughters. The West family solicits prayer that this can be resolved without further stress upon my family."

    West is scheduled to appear for an initial hearing in Iraq to determine whether there's sufficient evidence to warrant a trial by court-martial.

    If convicted, West could face up to eight years in prison.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35467
    http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/03/11/03/guest_turner.htm
    http://theamericanmilitaryveteran.blog-city.com/read/334743.htm
     
  2. eric
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    It is repulsive to even think about charging this man. We should give him a medal.
     
  3. NightTrain
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    This is a sticky situation.

    I personally think he did the right thing and deserves a commendation.

    However, the top brass is going to look long and hard at this because if this infraction is allowed to slide, it would set a modern precedent to ignore the rules if you believe you're in the right. Next time the captive may just be slapped around a bit, and so on, sliding down that slippery slope.

    I fear he's going to be made an example of.
     
  4. eric
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    I see your point NT, things could get out of hand. We need to strike a balance, since we are not fighting a conventional war, unconventional means are needed. While at the same time we must keep in mind that as occupiers we have a responsibility to the decent people.
     
  5. Bry
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    There are rules for this sort of thing. If the rules were broken, West should be courtmarshalled. End of story. I appreciate your reasonableness, on this matter, NT, and I agree 100%.

    Maybe they could give him a courtmarshal and a medal simultaneously? jejeje.
     
  6. leeg
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    Without a byline, this is difficult to assess. The ambush plot remains unspecified.
    How did West know what question to ask?
    Without further details the heroism of the Lt. Col. is certainly suspect as you have probably realized. My guess is that this story was put out by the Office of Global Communications. Any bets on that?
     
  7. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    As far as I am concerned, he did his job and he did it well. He used a fear tactic to get much needed information from a prisoner.

    The terrorists are performing daily suicide bombings and also blowing up our soldiers in the field. They have broken every rule that we would recognize as rules of war. I'm really not going to worry too much about a guy who shit his pants and then divulged information.

    Not directed at anyone here, but I notice a disturbing trend (which is why I reposted this here). Those that are quick to condemn the lieutenant are the very same that rarely, if ever, go out of their way to condemn the means the Iraqi's and terrorists are fighting.
     
  8. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Additionally, if this does in fact reach a court martial, I hope that he receives every pardon possible.

    Bottom line, he did what was necessary to save lives.
     
  9. leeg
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    Jim - what other tactical means do they have at their disposal than ambush? Is it a matter of international law? Does a group have a right to use all means to resist a just occupation? Would you arm them with attack helicopters to level the playing field? This is not conventional warfare, and you will not find comfortable answers here.
     
  10. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Thats the point, this is not conventional warfare. The way they made the playing field made it necessary for the lieutenant to use alternative means to get vital information. Certainly if it's ok for them to terrorize based on their limited technology, then it'll be ok for one of our soldiers to scare them into giving up information.
     

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