Republicans Run Torturer For Congress

1 comment October 30th, 2008at 07:17am Posted by Eli

Yes, that’s right – Republicans still don’t know the difference between 24 and the real world, so they think torturers are actually war heroes:

In August 2003, Colonel Allen West – commanding a US unit in Baghdad – heard a rumour that one of the Iraqi policeman he was working with was a secret insurgent. He ordered his officers to go and seize Yehiya Hamoodi, a thin, bespectacled 31-year-old, from his home. They dragged him into a Humvee, beat him, and then handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded him. In a dank interrogation room, they told him he had better start talking.

Perplexed and terrified, Yehiya explained he didn’t know what they were talking about: why was he here? So West was called in. He told Yehiya he was going to be killed. While his men beat him again, he explained he had one last chance to save his life – by talking.

Yehiya protested: I am innocent! What are you talking about? So West took him outside, had him pinned down, and began to shoot. First he fired into the air. Then he ordered his men to ram Yehiya’s head into a barrel used for cleaning weapons – and fired right next to his head. Then he began to count down from five. Finally Yehiya began to scream out names – any name he could think of, just to make it stop.

The men he named were seized and roughed up in turn. No evidence was found of any plot, and after another 45 days of terror, Yehiya was released. Today, he is severely traumatised, and collapses when he sees a Humvee approaching. The story only came to light after one of West’s soldiers began to protest against these practices, and the Pentagon launched an investigation. At a pre-trial hearing, West was fined $5,000, and now concedes grudgingly: “It’s possible I was wrong about Mr Hamoodi.” But he says he would do it again, and again, and again.

West has even taken to joking about it, gaining applause for telling Republican audiences: “It wasn’t torture. Seeing Rosie O’Donnell naked would be torture.” But the 1994 Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, is explicit: “Threat of imminent death” is the third form of torture it outlaws. There are reams of studies showing it can traumatise a person for life.


West’s “toughness” is fawned over; one leading conservative magazine has even named him its Man of the Year. And Sarah Palin, the Party’s darling, mocks Barack Obama’s opposition to torture. She complains: “Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America [and] he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights.”…


The gap between the Republican and Democratic Parties is too narrow, but on this issue it is hefty. The Republicans have curdled into the Party of Torture, bullying their torture-victim nominee into backing their barbarism, and proudly picking a torturer as their candidate for Congress. That sound of screaming from inside the Palin-drome isn’t just from fawning Republicans – it’s from men like Yehiya.

That last paragraph says it all.  It’s pretty hard to deny being the party of torturers when you actually run one for Congress.

For those who are wondering, West is running against first-term Democratic incumbent Ron Klein in FL-22.  It’s a district Kerry won in ’04, and Klein is favored, so hopefully we won’t actually end up with a torturer in Congress.  But again, it’s telling that the Republicans would not only field a torturer for major public office, but actually believe that his background is a selling point.

(h/t Eureka Springs, AR and Stephen Soldz)

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Elections,Politics,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism

1 Comment

  • 1. Eric Dondero  |  November 3rd, 2008 at 5:49 am

    And Democrats run Girlie men who hate the Military and hate America.

    Go back to Afghanistan or Pakistan Al Qaeda boy. You’re no different than Adam Gadahn. And you support a “Hussein” for President.

    You won’t be laughing so hard when the Radical Islamists force us all into the gas chambers, ala Adolf Hitler’s 1930s.

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