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Allen West

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Allen West has a higher security clearance than you, so shut up!
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If you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.[1]
—Allen West

Col. Allen West (1961–) is an American retired Lieutenant Colonel and the former Republican Representative from Florida's 22nd district. He is also a batshit crazy Teabagger and a raging islamophobe who is most often invoked by 'baggers to handwave any accusations of racism in the movement, which, according to West, is an invention of the liberal media. He was elected in the 'bagger wave of 2010, being the first black Congressman from Florida since the 19th century (which proves 'baggers are definitely not racist). He was defeated in his 2012 reelection bid and is currently making his career as a second-rate pundit in an effort to stay relevant.

Military service and sketchy background[edit]

West served in the first Gulf War as well as Dubya's War in Iraq. His decorations include the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal. West was touted as a war hero during his campaign for an incident that occurred in the second Iraq War.

In 2003, West's unit picked up an Iraqi detainee. West restrained the detainee and fired a bullet near his head, causing the detainee to give up "essential" information that led to the arrest of another Iraqi insurgent involved in a bomb plot. Glenn Beck did a show memorializing West's excellent service to the nation, calling him "a man of integrity." Though he forgot to play some clips of Jack Bauer interrogations this time around. Nevertheless, West is remembered as one of the great heroes of the Iraq War and an example of a true American, a role model for us all.

For those not living in an alternate universe[edit]

Beck failed to mention the rest of the story. West allowed four of his troops to beat the detainee senseless. The "tip" the detainee gave West did lead to the arrest of another Iraqi (supposedly) involved in a bomb plot...except no evidence was found that the second detainee was guilty of anything at all. West was found in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, relieved of his post, and fined $5,000. He subsequently retired.[2][3]

West has ties with a gang called the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. He has given speeches at events organized by affiliates of the "club" and used "club" members as personal guards on one occasion. Many of the "club's" former members have been convicted of violent crimes, attempted murder, and racketeering.[4] West also has a paper trail of unpaid debts and an IRS lien has been placed on him.[5]

Teabagging career/General wingnuttery[edit]

West's 2010 campaign attracted the attention of wingnuts and the morbidly curious across the nation. He received the Sarah Palin stamp of approval early in the campaign season, greatly helping his chances in the primary. West no doubt relied on the crazification factor of his district's voters to bullshit his way through the 2010 campaign, as his checkered past came back to bite him in the ass multiple times:

  • The most infamous moment of West's campaign came when a reporter asked him about the IRS lien placed on him. He responded by saying that the IRS document was "faked" and that he would provide documentation to prove this. After he failed to produce said documentation, he was asked again about the lien. West then invented a new logical fallacy to bullshit his way out of this called the "appeal to security clearance," or the "West argument," by claiming that he had an even higher security clearing than the president, so shut up. Christine O'Donnell is also a proponent of the West argument, claiming she knew about a secret Chinese plot because of her security clearance.[6]
  • In July, West selected some wingnut local talk radio host named Joyce Kaufman as his chief of staff. She made some controversial statements at a 'bagger rally, endorsing Second Amendment remedies:
I don't care how this gets painted in the mainstream media. I don't care if this shows up on YouTube. Because I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers gave me to insure me my First Amendment rights was that they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don't work, bullets will.[7]

Apparently, these "gaffes" weren't a liability to West's first campaign, as he took out incumbent Ron Klein by a fairly wide margin. Shortly after the election, Kaufman resigned due to butthurt over the "liberal media's' "attacks" on her and the "electronic lynching" she was receiving on the internets. West accused the media of racism and sexism in their "attack" on Kaufman, defending her as a "brilliant political mind."[13]

So far, West's political achievements consist of being a keynote speaker at CPAC 2011. After he lost his seat in the 2012 general election to newcomer Patrick Murphy, he had a simple explanation. It wasn't that he ever came off as a crazy person due to his previous track record, of course: he was cheated out of it.[14] Judging by the length of time it took him to finally concede, he may actually believe it.[15] Furthermore, other terminally strange members of the House (including the likes of Paul Broun and Louie Gohmert) endorsed him for Speaker despite the fact that he no longer held a seat.[16]

Post-congressional activities[edit]

West has continued to remain busy after leaving Congress. He currently hosts his own podcast, called The Old School Patriot, and is a regular contributor for Fox News. He's also a columnist/pundit-for-hire for various right-wing websites, including Townhall.com, RedState, National Review Online, and CNSNews.com, among others. He mostly spends his time whining about how the "Progressive Socialist Left" (the man can barely go five seconds without saying those exact words) is supposedly destroying society as we know it. He is also active as a public speaker and is a frequent guest on conservative talk radio shows.

West is currently a board member and prominent spokesman of the National Rifle Association. He also served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a think tank based in Dallas, Texas, from 2016 until it ceased operations in 2017.

West is a strong supporter of Donald Trump. Shortly after Trump's election victory, West met with him and his transition team at Trump Tower several times, and it was rumored that Trump was considering giving West a role within his administration, possibly as a national security advisor. West himself expressed enthusiasm for possibly serving in the Trump Administration.[17] Ultimately West did not get an official position in the administration, but he informally advised Trump on a few occasions since then and is one of his most prominent defenders.

Governor[edit]

In 2021, West announced that he would be running for Texas governor in the 2022 race,[18] apparently because the current Republican governor (Greg Abbott) isn't Trumpy enough. West had criticized Abbott in 2020 for using "executive orders, mandates, decrees, and edicts" during the COVID pandemic rather than first getting legislative approval.[19] West, who was unvaccinated, came down with COVID in October 2021 and was taking unapproved hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin for it.[20]

Adventures in sports medicine[edit]

He apparently blames football injuries on the separation of church and state, instead of the more obvious cause of actually playing football.[21]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Security Clearance Factcheck
  2. Struggle for Iraq, NY Times
  3. Media Matters on Beck episode
  4. NBC News scrutinizes Allen West's ties to Outlaws motorcycle club by Anthony Man (October 18, 2010) NBC News (archived from June 30, 2021).
  5. Lien on Me: Allen West Calls for "Personal Responsibility" Undermined by Personal Financial Record; Will Tea Party Protest Him? by Thomas Francis (Aug. 26 2010 @ 8:02PM) New Times Blogs (archived from October 28, 2010).
  6. O'Donnell's appeal to security clearance
  7. Joyce Kaufman Second Amendment rant
  8. Kaufman endorses hanging
  9. https://thinkprogress.org/rep-allen-wests-15-most-outrageous-statements-5eab1b70d7f4/
  10. Transcripts of NBC report I, II
  11. Allen West: I've 'Heard' 80 House Democrats Are Communist Party Members, Huffington Post
  12. Allen West, GLAAD
  13. West on Kaufman
  14. Allen West Thinks He Was Cheated, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
  15. Allen West finally concedes, Daily Kos
  16. Wingnuts Vote for Allen West as Speaker, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
  17. Allen West meets with Donald Trump's team, TCPalm
  18. Allen West announces he is running against Gov. Greg Abbott in Republican primary by Patrick Svitek (July 4, 2021) The Texas Tribuine.
  19. Texas GOP Chair Allen West Slams Gov. Abbott’s COVID Response: ‘We’re not a monarchy’ (September 21, 2020) WBAP.
  20. 1/ After taking COVID and flu shots, Angela West tested positive for COVID yesterday, Friday. Col. West is experiencing a low grade fever and light body aches. Out of concern for public health, Col. West is suspending in-person events until receiving an all-clear indication. 2/ Col. West will be available through virtual means to do events until his family's health issue is rectified. He is already taking Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin protocols. The West family thanks y'all for your prayers. "God's blessings and Texas First!" 3/ CLARIFICATION: In reading the comments, it appears there is some misunderstanding: Dr. Angela West received the vaccine. LTC West did not. LTC West has publicly stated he supports individual choice and this is reflected in his own family. by @AllenWest (6:00 AM - 9 Oct 2021) Twitter (archived from 10 Oct 2021 00:03:57 UTC).
  21. Allen West Blames Football Injuries On Church-State Separation, Right Wing Watch