On Hannity, Allen West Recalls Heroic Entry Into Military, Not the Unceremonious Exit

In an excerpt Fox showed from the video of Allen West's speech last year in Fort Lauderdale, the congressional candidate talks about how he joined the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel "not because the government came down and tried to make the rules to change it for me; it's because I realized I was an American and I had the freedom and the ability to do that."

That's one way to look at it. But you can also argue that America is "exceptional" -- a word West uses later in the interview -- based on the story of how West left the military. Namely, under pressure, following his abuse of an Iraqi detainee. For a civilized nation that holds itself out as the leader of the Free World, there is no place in the military for someone who would allow soldiers to beat a detainee, then threaten that detainee's life with a mock execution.

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