NO COURT MARTIAL FOR LTC WEST
Hopefully, by the time you read this article, LTC Allen B. West, former battalion
commander in the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq, will be getting ready to come
home, the ordeal he has needlessly been put through, finally over.
This is a far cry from what Odierno wanted to do to West a few weeks ago. An officer of unusually high integrity, the colonel had reported himself to his chain-of-command for firing a pistol near – not at – near, the head of an Iraqi prisoner to “get him to talk.” The tactic worked, and the prisoner divulged plans for an upcoming attack that could have cost several American lives.
What was Odierno’s reaction? Apparently, on the poor advice of some very stupid JAG officers, he lowered the boom on West. The colonel was immediately relieved of command – a sure “career killer” – and given the specious “choice” of either resigning his commission just three days before qualifying for a retirement pension and benefits, or facing court martial, which could bring him up to eight years in military prison!
“POLITICAL CORRECTNESS” IN A COMBAT ZONE
That West didn’t follow “proper procedures” in questioning the prisoner is undisputed. The colonel acknowledged that, in saying he did it in order to protect his men. The outstanding career officer said at his Article 32 hearing that he would “walk through hell with a gasoline can” in his hand if it meant he could save his troops. “I am prepared to lay down my life for any one of them, if need be,” he said.
Sounds like the type of leader we need in a combat situation.
Once word of Odierno’s heavy-handed attempt to “destroy,”
not just discipline, West got out to the troops, morale plummeted.
The sheer cruelty of issuing such an ultimatum, forcing an officer to either forfeit his pension 72 hours short of qualifying – West’s wife Angela, back at Ft. Hood, is a cancer survivor – or risk going to the Leavenworth DB for such an “offense,” tells us more about Odierno than a ream of “press releases” from his boot-licking public affairs officer.
ODIERNO SHOULD BE RELIEVED OF COMMAND
We have been swamped here at MilitaryCorruption.com with messages of sympathy and support for LTC West. In one fell swoop, Odierno, the “political general,” succeeded in destroying morale, not only in the 4th Infantry Division, but throughout the U.S. military in Iraq. He embarrassed the U.S. Army, the Pentagon, and his commander-in-chief, President George Bush.
If anyone should be “punished” before this mess is over, it should be the general, who showed such an appalling lack of leadership and common sense. He needlessly let this case get out of hand and showed what a “small” man he is in the process.
We feel Odierno should be relieved of command and the moronic JAG officers who allegedly advised him to proceed with the assault against West also be cashiered.
QUESTIONS THAT MUST HAVE ANSWERS
“Why didn’t the general just let the clock run out [meaning allow three days to pass so West qualified for a retirement pension] and then send the colonel home with a letter of reprimand?” asked an Iraq-based officer who did not want his name published - for obvious reasons.
That’s a good question. And we feel there is more to this story than meets the eye. No, not that West is some terrible man that we don’t know about yet. More that there were other reasons that Odierno and his crew of sycophantic flunkies wanted to ruin this officer’s life and career.
Could if be that West’s openly-expressed Christian faith had something to do with it? Or perhaps his race, which happens to be African-American?
No slickster like the “Rev.”Al Sharpton or shakedown artist Jesse Jackson, this minority member didn’t get one ounce of support from the liberals on the editorial pages of the New York TIMES.
THOSE WHO STOOD UP FOR JUSTICE
It was primarily the “non-establishment” press and media that rallied to West’s defense. Web sites like this one, MilitaryCorruption.com, [we also went on radio talk shows across the country to expose the injustice], WorldNetDaily and Free Republic.com, The Washington TIMES, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly of FOX NEWS and Michael Savage, top-rated radio host of “THE SAVAGE NATION” (who scored a beat by putting Angela West on the air in a recent interview). We all made the difference.
West’s defense attorney, Neal Puckett, a former Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, did an excellent job for his client and deserves our congratulations.
“Thank God for the Internet,” said Glen Perry, a federal police officer at Ft. Dix, N.J. “This mugging might have taken place mainly in the dark, if it were not for our ability to get the word out to fellow Americans about what was going on.”
Like millions of Americans, Perry rejoiced at the news LTC West will not be court-martialed or denied his pension. “Our prayers have been answered,” he said.
TIME FOR “RUMMIE” TO GO!
Besides the odious Gen. Odierno, who else needs to be shown for what they are in the wake of this fiasco? Well, you can start with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In an earlier story, we reported how the wily, crocodile-smiling enigma just grinned and spoke in riddles when Brit Hume on FOX NEWS SUNDAY asked him why he didn’t pick up the phone right then – “Rummie” acknowledged he had the power – and end the ordeal for West and his family.
Showing how out-of-touch he is with the American public and good common sense, Rumsfeld allowed as to how the Army would “take its course.” Hardly a “profile in courage,” the secretary of defense was content to let West, his wife and two children, twist in the wind some more.
We mustn’t ruffle the feathers of our generals, right? The official line on “Rummie” back in his “media-friendly days” was he wasn’t afraid to bark orders and make the brass stand at attention.
Maybe it’s time for President Bush to stand Rumsfeld “at attention” and find a new defense secretary, someone who won’t be a liability to the Administration and an embarrassment to the country.
Bush’s support among his usually-friendly military base has been badly eroded by a series of missteps and outright hostile actions – such as opposing abolition of “Concurrent Receipt” [the unfair and discriminatory Disabled Veterans Tax] – that could cost him dearly at the polls next year.
If the President wants to stop his erosion of support among veterans and retirees, he needs to start cleaning house right away.
It’s time for “Rummie” to go!
MEMO TO DONALD RUMSFELD: