Fox hosts GOP candidate who assaulted detainee to criticize Obama's handling of bombing suspect

››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade hosted Lt. Col. Allen West, a Republican congressional candidate in Florida, to criticize the Obama administration for its handling of Northwest Airlines bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab without noting that West is a Republican candidate. Moreover, despite noting that West's "personal enhanced interrogation tactic" got him "essentially a forced retirement" from the Army, Kilmeade did not report that West's resignation came after he admitted that he "threatened to kill" an Iraqi detainee in his custody, that "four of his soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion beat the detainee on the head and body," and that, according to military prosecutors, he "followed up on that threat" to kill the detainee by shooting a pistol near his head.

Fox & Friends hosts West to criticize Obama administration without noting he's a GOP congressional candidate

Kilmeade introduced West as a congressional candidate in Florida, did not note he is a Republican. Introducing West, Kilmeade said that West is "running for Congress in the 22nd congressional district here in Florida." At no point during the segment did Kilmeade note that West is a Republican congressional candidate.

West criticized Obama administration's handling of Christmas Day bombing attempt. During the segment, West said, "When I look at what's going on right now with the Nigerian terrorist, it's almost like a Greek tragedy of epic proportion." West further stated that the Obama administration has "established a very dangerous paradigm with this Mirandizing" of terror suspects, "because now they're going to continue to come with more and more attacks, because we're -- they're coming here, and we're giving them lawyers."

Kilmeade did not note that West reportedly resigned from the Army "after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation"

Kilmeade did not note circumstances of West's "forced retirement." Introducing the segment, Kilmeade said of West: "One of the reasons you're such a great guest is because your personal enhanced interrogation tactic got you essentially a forced retirement and saved a lot of lives in Iraq."

West reportedly resigned "after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation."According to a December 13, 2003, CNN.com report, West admitted that he "threatened to kill" an Iraqi detainee in his custody, that he watched as "four of his soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion beat the detainee on the head and body," and that, according to military prosecutors, he "followed up on that threat" to kill the detainee by shooting a pistol near his head. A December 14, 2003, Boston Globe article further noted that a "disciplinary proceeding found that the actions by ... West were serious enough to 'merit a court-martial.' " From the Globe article:

An American officer has been stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation, the military announced yesterday. A disciplinary proceeding found that the actions by Lieutenant Colonel Allen West were serious enough to "merit a court-martial." But the military said in a statement that mitigating circumstances -- specifically, the "stressful environment" of combat -- and West's distinguished service record prompted the Army to instead relieve West of his command, fine him $5,000, and order him back to the United States, where he will be allowed to retire.

"Frustration and anger overcame his professional ethics and personal values, and he performed what he knew to be illegal and immoral acts," said the statement issued by the Army's Fourth Infantry Division.

During a closed-door tribunal Friday in the town of Tikrit, West was found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault and a single count of communicating a threat. The ruling was issued after West pleaded guilty to misconduct.

He is the most senior officer to receive disciplinary action since the start of the war. West served as a battalion commander with the Fourth Infantry Division and was in charge of about 800 soldiers operating in one of the most dangerous regions in Iraq. For the past few months, he has been confined to the division's base in Tikrit.

The military said that during an interrogation of an Iraqi police officer Aug. 20 near the village of Taji, north of Baghdad, West fired his pistol near the head of the prisoner, threatened to kill him, and allowed his troops to beat the man. The detainee, Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi, was suspected of having knowledge of a planned attack on US troops in the Sunni Triangle, the region north and west of Baghdad that has been a hotbed of anti-US resistance. Scores of soldiers have been killed or wounded in bomb, rocket, and small-arms ambushes in the area.

West acknowledged last month before a military tribunal that his actions were wrong, but said that at the time of the incident he believed he was protecting the lives of his troops. "If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," West said during the earlier proceeding.

The disciplinary action against West was ordered by General Raymond Odierno, commander of the Fourth Infantry Division.
The military said that through his actions against the detainee, West "disobeyed laws, ignored orders ... and mortgaged future discipline in his unit. Without discipline, there is no trust, no cohesion, and no higher purpose for which we fight."

But the military also stated, "while his crimes merit a court-martial, mitigating factors were considered, including the stressful environment ... and Lieutenant Colonel West's record as an officer and commander."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brian Kilmeade
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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