Allen B. West at his wife's graduation in Kansas.
West's unit was stationed in Tikrit, a stronghold for Saddam Hussein's loyalists where American soldiers face attacks almost daily. West had information about an imminent terror attack, and was interrogating a terror suspect.
Getting nowhere with him, Lt. Col West fired his pistol twice to scare the man into divulging information. The man got scared, gave up the information that West needed, and the attack was avoided.
So what's the problem, you're asking? West's firing his weapon was a violation of the Geneva Convention, and as a result, he now faces a court martial for communicating a threat and aggravated assault.
Through his lawyer, West has refused to resign from the military which would have entailed forfeiting his 20 year retirement. He now faces criminal charges which carry up to 8 years in prison.
This is wrong. I just don't believe the American people would have a problem with scaring a terrorist in order to save American lives. I do not advocate pulling out his fingernails or cutting off his toes, but I do not have any illusions that terrorists are complying with the Geneva Convention either. And that's why Lt. Col. West needs our help today.
Just ask yourself this question. You are in the military and someone you love like your daughter or son is in danger of getting killed. All you have to do is scare a terrorist to save them. Would you do it? You'd be guilty of violating the Geneva convention, but you would still do it, wouldn't you? That's what Lt. Col. West did.
Situations like these are the reason the Secretary of Defense (in this case, Rumsfeld) is given the power to intervene and stop the prosecution of Colonel West. They're also the reason the power of the pardon is given to governors and to the President.
This is not warfare in World War II or I. Remember, this is a war on terrorism, and personally, I don't think the Geneva Convention applies. I would certainly want my commander to do the very same thing as Colonel West if it was my son's life on the line. Simply put, he deserves better than this.
Please sign the petition to Sec. Rumsfeld asking him to have the charges against Lt. Col.West dropped.