I could not help but stand up and cheer while watching this.
Unfortunately, however, Lt. Col. West was fined $5,000 in a military hearing in December of 2003 for improper interrogation tactics in Iraq.
The case stems from an incident August 20 at a military base in Taji, just north of Baghdad, when West was interrogating an Iraqi policeman, who was believed to have information about a plot to assassinate West with an ambush on a U.S. convoy.
In testimony at an Article 32 hearing — the military’s version of a grand jury or preliminary hearing — West said the policeman, Yahya Jhrodi Hamoody, was not cooperating with interrogators, so he watched four of his soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion beat the detainee on the head and body.
West said he also threatened to kill Hamoody. Military prosecutors say West followed up on that threat by taking the suspect outside, put him on the ground near a weapons clearing barrel and fired his 9 mm pistol into the barrel.
Apparently not knowing where West’s gun was aimed, Hamoody cracked and gave information about the planned ambush on West’s convoy, thwarting the attack.
West said there were no further ambushes on U.S. forces in Taji until he was relieved of his leadership post on October 4.
“I know the method I used was not right, but I wanted to take care of my soldiers,” West testified to a military courtroom of observers and some teary-eyed troops formerly under his command.
Asked if he would have act differently if under similar circumstances again, West testified, “If it’s about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.”
H/T – LauraW. at Ace of Spades