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FL-22: Tea Party Favorite Allen West Outraising Rep. Ron Klein

In the gerrymandered Florida Twenty-Second Congressional District that runs up the coastline of South Florida from northern Broward County to the northern end of Palm Beach County dashing inland to include pockets of Boca Raton, Oakland Park and Cooper City, the race in the Fall pits two term Democratic Congressman Ron Klein in a rematch against Lt. Colonel Allen West, who resigned from the Army in 2003 after he plead guilty to violating articles 128 (assault) and 134 (general article) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in the interrogation of Yehiya Kadoori Hamoodi, an Iraqi police officer.

According to the official investigation and by West's own admission, he walked into an interrogation room brandishing a weapon. If Yehiya Kadoori Hamoodi didn't talk, West told him, then West would have to kill him. The detainee insisted he knew nothing about an assassination plot against him and other US troops. Lt. Colonel West then allowed two of the men under his command to beat the man. The detainee was then dragged outside, supposedly for his execution. But West fired over the detainee's head. At that point, the detainee gave West information that may or may not have been helpful -- the detainee told the New York Times that he made something up just to save his life. Colonel West also testified that he did not know whether "any corroboration" of a plot was ever found, adding: "At the time I had to base my decision on the intelligence I received. It's possible that I was wrong about Mr. Hamoodi."

In the eyes of the American right, such brutality is to be glorified and Lt. Colonel West quickly became an "American hero" celebrated on Fox News, the National Review, Town Hall, Free Republic, Atlas Shrug and other right wing outlets. In 2008, West who moved to Deerfield Beach after leaving the Army ran for Congress against Rep. Ron Klein. Klein easily defend the seat winning 54.7 percent of the vote to West's 45.3 percent.

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