Archives for December 13, 2003

LCOL West hearing result – U.S. officer fined for harsh interrogation tactics

TIKRIT, Iraq (CNN) — The commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division’s [sic] on Friday accepted a U.S. military investigator’s recommendation and ordered administrative action against Lt. Col. Allen West, who was accused of using improper methods to force information out of an Iraqi detainee.

Following a military hearing, West was fined $5,000 over two months, according to West’s civillian attorney, Neal Puckett.

The punishment does not affect West’s eligibility for retirement and pension, Puckett said in a statement.

West, 42, will be assigned to the rear detachment of the 4th Infantry Division awaiting the processing of his retirement request, the statement said.

I think justice was done in this case, and that everyone concerned can declare victory.

First, the rule of law is preserved. There is no open season declared on Iraqis, and a commander who decides to break the rules gets punished.

Second, the punishment is painful but not excessive. His potential punishments ranged up to a GCM and 11 years in military prison, in addition to losing his rank and retirement. Five thousand dollars, about a months’ pay, is a managable fine. His family may well feel the pinch more than he will, which will make it a real punishment.

And the worst punishment of all: he’s being reassigned to a rear area command while awaiting retirement.

I don’t have any personal knowledge of LCOL West, but he seems to be the kind of commander I’d want to serve with. The Army is losing a good man. I hope someone on the Army side of the world is starting a collection to help LCOL West with this fine.

12-13 Update: Yes, there is a Defense Fund:

Allen West Defense Fund
c/o Angela West
6823 Coleman Dr.
Ft. Hood, TX 76544

Many thanks to Jessicas’ Well for the steer.

“a crisis in personal morality”

Via Overlawyered comes this excellent article about MedMal. Calvin College – Spark – Fall 2003

It’s an excerpt from a book I’m going to have to get, Delta Doctor, by Dr. Peter Bolens. It’s too good for me to abstract, and when you read it, I’d ask that you not think this is isolated to Mississippi. It isn’t.