Congressman Allen West wants us to focus.
So when we found a press release about a letter he sent to President Obama yesterday, it was probably about the economy, right? Jobs? Health care? Gas prices? Nah. It was about soldiers convicted of murdering Iraqis, and how rotten it was of Obama to make them serve the sentences handed down by military courts.
West's beef starts with a suspected insurgent named Ali Musa Daqduq, who was released by Iraqi officials
earlier this month after being turned over to them by American forces late last year. Daqduq has extensive ties with terrorist groups, but the Obama administration gave him to the Iraqi judicial system
during the wind-down of the Iraq War rather than sending him to Guantanamo Bay. It's been a contentious issue for a while, though not one that has any effect on that United States economy West says we're supposed to care so much about.
The Daqduq affair is especially troubling, West wrote to Obama, because of American soldiers who are currently in prison. "American soldiers like Michael Behenna, William Hunsaker, and Joseph Mayo remain imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth for questionable incidents that occurred during the heat of battle," West wrote.
What happened with those guys? Was it really that questionable? No. All three were convicted years ago of executing Iraqi civilians and were sentenced to prison time.
Behenna was convicted in a 2009 military trial and got a 15-year sentence for taking a prisoner he was supposed to release and instead stripping him naked
, performing a freelance interrogation, and killing him. Prosecutors said it was an execution; Behenna said he acted in self-defense and is currently appealing for a new trial
As for Hunsaker, he was involved in a scheme with three other soldiers in which they blindfolded three prisoners, cut off their plastic handcuffs and forced the men to run away as the soldiers shot them
. One of the soldiers was accused of hitting and cutting the other soldiers to make it look like there had been a struggle. Hunsaker admitted to the killings
and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Mayo was one of three soldiers accused of executing four Iraqi prisoners next to a canal after investigators determined there wasn't enough evidence to hold them. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 35 years in prison
So there we have it -- three American soldiers, eight Iraqi corpses, and one congressman -- who went through an Article 32 hearing of his own for abusing an Iraqi
-- who wants to excuse their behavior.
"Men who were sent to a distant battlefield to defend our freedom are now imprisoned with little chance of freedom anytime soon," West wrote. "If terrorists such as Daqduq walk free, then surely men who made mistakes in the fog of war such as Behenna, Hunsaker, and Mayo deserve leniency."
West also asked for a "prompt and personal response to this letter."
"Mistakes in the fog of war"? They executed people. When Obama said he supported gay marriage, West called it it "irrelevant pandering" that seeks to distract from the economy. What is it when West starts campaigning for leniency for killers? And if he's so concerned about the economy, why no mention of it when he starts spamming the Oval Office?
Here's the letter West sent. Might as well forget about the Arbitrary Capitalization, that West called the House Democratic Caucus the "Democrat Caucus," and that he misspelled "military installation." It's only correspondence with the president.