"Vivacity, leadership, must be had, and we are not allowed to be nice in choosing.
I love the Army. Metcalfs have served in the Army since before we officially had one. However, I am apoplectic over the chairborne- politically correct cancer-brain flatulence, which reportedly intends to excoriate Lt. Col. Allen B. West for doing his job and saving lives.
The Army has myopically filed a criminal assault charge against an American officer who coerced an Iraqi into providing information that foiled a planned attack on U.S. soldiers. http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20031028-113335-6042r.htm.
Col. West did not torture or physically harm the Iraqi detainee. He did used psychological pressure to scare the snot out of the bad guy. And it worked! After twice firing his service weapon away from the wannabe terrorist (who was an Iraqi police officer) the detainee talked and gave up the information on a planned attack.
Lives were saved and now some uniformed bureaucrats back in the rear with the gear want to destroy the life of a combat leader. It is enough to gag maggots.
When Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan interrogates a bad guy working with terrorists by shooting him in the arms and legs we cheered. When an Army officer scares an enemy in a combat zone with a loud noise they want to nail him to a wall?
The same kind of politically correct desk jockey types who are Jonesing to put women in combat, neuter fighter jocks, and impose rules of engagement for a cricket club instead of barbaric 13th century guerrillas, now seek to destroy an exceptionally effective combat leader. What is wrong with this picture?
FM22-100 (the Army leadership manual) notes that, "Leaders are responsible for the welfare, discipline and tactical deployment of their troops."
Col. West wrote in an email, "I asked for soldiers to accompany me and told them we had to gather information and that it could get ugly…"
Unlike many politicians and corporate types with less honor and character he did not try to cover up or hide what he did. He informed his superior of his actions.
The incident resulted in the bad guy providing the location of the planned sniper attack and the names of three guerrillas.
If Col West had waited for the ambush and shot and killed the Iraqi cop, no harm/no foul. However, because he 'scared' him with an implied threat of force 'preemptively', the Army wants to destroy his life and blow off over 19 years of superior dedicated service? For what…implementing 'The Bush Doctrine' down to Battalion level?
His wife, said, "My husband is a top-of-the-line officer. My husband is an African-American. He has had to overcome a number of things to get where he is."
Col. West is prepared to "…accept being retired at the grade of major and paying whatever fine required, but resignation and prison seems an attempt to destroy me,"…BULLFEATHERS! Now, more than ever, we NEED officers like this man.
The Army's division of political correctness doesn't like West's interrogation tactic. An Article 32 hearing has been scheduled lead to the court-martial and a potential prison term of eight years. They should have given him a medal and promotion.
Some soldiers are hinky about the Army's drive to punish the officer for an interrogation technique that probably is used regularly to get information from terrorists.
There ARE consequences to what we do and don't do. For a military struggling with morale, recruiting and retention issues to do what they are to Col. West WILL exact a cost. It is a cost we cannot and should not be forced to endure.
Woodrow Wilson observed," Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise…Men of strenuous minds and high ideals come forward.... The attacks they sustain are more cruel than the collision of arms.... Friends desert and despise them.... They stand alone and oftentimes are made bitter by their isolation...."
Please don't allow Col. West to "stand alone." Spread the word. There IS an election around the corner.
Geoff Metcalf is a veteran media performer, including radio, television, magazine, newspapers, and is a published novelist. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he has hosted a radio talk show on the ABC/Disney station KSFO and in worldwide syndication. www.geoffmetcalf.com. Email comments to: email@example.com.