Col. West was stripped of his Command and forced to resign from the U.S. Army for the tactic he used to save the lives of a battle unit of American soldiers in Iraq by scaring an enemy combatant into revealing the information the Colonel needed to effect the rescue of his men. He didn’t use torture. He didn’t injure the enemy.
The enemy was sitting in a chair. According to one report, Col. West took out his service revolver, aimed it in close range at the man’s genitals and demanded an answer to his question. The combatant refused. Col. West pulled the trigger. But he intentionally missed. The bullet went harmlessly into the floor. The Colonel then aimed his revolver in a similar manner as before. He asked the question again. This time he got the information he needed. His gun went back into the holster. The other version differs only in that the pistol was held closely to his head (the one on his shoulders).
He may be the next thing to a criminal to some, but he is a hero in my book. On the battlefield an enemy can be shot and killed. But in an interrogation room the same enemy cannot even be frightened? Since when is it more acceptable to allow some of your own brothers and sisters to risk being killed than it is scare a person who tried to kill them and would would try again if given the chance?
In the wake of the incident, Col. West received more than 2,000 letters of support from many quarters, including a letter signed by 95 members of Congress. Enemy ambushes in his are of responsibility ceased. They resumed again when he was relieved of that command.
Col. West is now Rep. West, having been elected to Congress in 2010 by the people of Florida’s District 22, which includes Broward County. The man is impressive. Click the video to see him at work.