Lt. Col. Allen West has thrown his hat in the ring and will run for Congress this fall despite his behavior in Iraq which led to punitive action by his superiors. West held a gun next to the head of a detainee and fired a shot which led the man to reveal the names of three associates and helped break up a terrorist group. West was found guilty in a nonhjudicial hearing on three counts of aggravated asault He paid a fine and then left behind his grief stricken men who admired his behavior. West tuaght high school for a year befoegetting wij as a defebse contractor.
It is difficult sitting in judgement about a member of the military who makes instinctive reactions in the full fury of battle. Those of us who have not walked in his shoes musty hesitate for a moment before commenting. Colonel West was also an officer who was expected to set an example for his men. In violating rules and regulations, he told his men that was permissible if the circumstances warranted. The problem is which rules are to be violated and is the situation always to give permission for such behavior.