On Jan 2, 2004, Front Page Magazine, in order (I assume) to make a point, named Lt. Colonel Allen West it's 2003 Man of the Year:
West commanded the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, near Tikrit. [...] West was responsible for the lives and safety of 700 men and women....
The 42-year-old was no stranger to the battlefield, having received the Bronze Star and having been decorated for valor.
In late August, Colonel West received news that his men had been targeted by a group of thugs associated with an Iraqi policeman named Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi. Allied forces quickly apprehended Hamoodi in Saba al Boor, a tiny town near Tikrit. Four interrogation specialists worked late into the evening of August 20, desperately trying to pry the attack plans out of him. Growing frustrated, the interrogators resorted to physical force, punching Hamoodi – without success. (Hamoodi was not seriously injured at any point during the interrogation.) It was then that Col. Allen West intervened.
Seeing that even physical violence had proven ineffective, Colonel West took the next logical step: He took the intransigent suspect outside, shoved Hamoodi’s head into a sandbox and threatened to kill him. The Colonel then pulled out his sidearm and fired a warning shot into the sky. Then West carefully held Hamoodi’s head aside as he fired a shot over Hamoodi’s shoulder, into the warm Iraqi sand burying his visage.
That near-scrape with death did the trick. Hamoodi began singing, telling West the identities of two men planning the attacks and revealing their attack plans, including the site of the intended ambush. The two men were arrested, and Colonel West ordered his men away from the site as they continued to serve the liberated Iraqi people. Upon turning Hamoodi over, he admitted his unorthodox tactics. For protecting the 700 soldiers in his care and cracking Hamoodi where professional interrogators had failed, Colonel West was immediately stripped of his command and threatened with jail time.
In October, the armed forces offered Colonel West an ultimatum: resign the military and lose his pension and benefits, or face trial for violating standard interrogation procedure. If convicted, West could have received up to eight years in jail – for saving his men’s lives. On the other hand, West, who had just qualified to retire with 20 years service, needed his benefits to care for his wife, Angela, a cancer victim.
West chose to make his case to his military colleagues [via trial]. Publicly choking back tears, West acknowledged his actions in interrogating Hamoodi; he merely denied that what he had done was criminal, knowing his troops had been targeted for extermination in the midst of a war. His great heart showed during his trial, as he said, "If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through Hell with a gasoline can . . . There is not a person in this room I would not sacrifice my life for."
On December 11, West escaped court martial. Major General Raymond Odierno ordered West to pay a $5,000 fine and allowed him to retire as a Lieutenant Colonel. The ordeal caused by his desire to save his troops a violent death in a desert land had finally ended. He was free to return to Ft. Hood, Texas, to his wife Angela, with his reputation essentially cleared.
I saw an excerpt of the video below when I was channel surfing through Sean Hannity's show. After the excerpt, Dem Party activist Bob Beckel was dismissive. I quote Beckel's sneer from memory:
Who is THAT guy? 'I'm going to take Pelosi's gavel.' Is he supposed to be some tough guy or something? This is the kind of statement which incites violence.
Which set me to laughing. Why, yes, Mr. Beckel: he is, in fact, a tough guy. An actual tough guy. One of the most manly men, in the truest sense, whom anyone could ever hope to meet. Sometimes I feel alone in the things I think are funny. I thought that Bob Beckel moment was very funny.
The good part of this video begins 55 seconds in:
Dems love to skew meaning any time Repubs use metaphorical language. That's what Beckel does here: Beckel intentionally skews West's clearly metaphorical language; pretends West was speaking literally. Beckel's a pro, and he used a tactic.
Conservatives have to begin fighting back: have to call the left out on this deviousness, on this lack of honorable behavior. I wish Hannity had said something like:
Bob Beckel, is that really what you are going to stand for: that Lt. Col. West was speaking literally, as opposed to metaphorically? Is that really the message you are willing to stand behind and send out to the American people?
Reading Sarah Palin's autobiography, I noticed one of the tactics the left used to slander Sarah Palin: they would not allow her any metaphorical language. They consistently pretended her metaphorical language was literal, they used this pretense to call her a liar, then they disseminated the accusation through the media/blog echo chamber until everyone thought they knew the accusation was true.
Example: Palin said, metaphorically and entertainingly: "Putin flies right over Alaska!" It was exactly the kind of quip which JFK, for instance, used to such entertaining effect. CBS News then "fact checked" a Putin flight plan and announced that Palin was a liar. In a fair world, CBS News would have been excoriated for either sloppiness or dishonesty. In this world, the media/blog echo chamber spread the lie all over.
Lt. Col. West and Gov. Palin are not the only persons who are slandered. This is standard operating procedure for the left. We must call the left out on their blatant dishonesty; on the dishonorability of their standard operating procedure.