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PolitiFact checks character attacks in the Allen West vs. Patrick Murphy race

Years before Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West of South Florida was famous for calling about 80 members of Congress "communists", he was famous for something else far away from the partisan wars in Washington D.C.


Lt. Col. West initially became famous for his treatment of an Iraqi detainee, when he fired his gun over his head trying to extract information from him in 2003. West was ultimately fined and retired from the Army. While he said his methods weren’t right, he also defended himself:

"If it's about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," he testified.

He moved to South Florida, started to speak to locals about his Army experience and the brash-talking black Republican launched his Congressional bid. His campaign drew scant attention in 2008, but two years later, amid a tea party spirit and anger about the economy, a well-financed West ousted U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton.

In 2012, redistricting transformed the Broward/Palm Beach Congressional District 22 from a swing district to left-leaning, so West moved his campaign to safer conservative territory, specifically the newly drawn District 18, which spans parts of Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties. Based on voter performance, this could be close: These voters narrowly went for George W. Bush in 2004 and narrowly for Obama in 2008.

West is now far ahead in an expensive campaign war with a 29-year-old political newcomer and Democrat, Patrick Murphy, whose wealthy family owns a successful construction business. PolitiFact checks two dueling character ads  in this race -- one about Murphy's drunken arrest when he was 19 and the other about the end of West's military career. The ads are biting, but are they true? Read PolitiFact's  analysis.

Comments

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naplesbob

As a retired Soldier with knowledge and training on treatment of "detainees" (prisoners of War; the problem West had was people around him at the time said, not to do what he did; as the "detainee", couldn't have the information that was being sought.He acted against the interests of his "Troops" by doing what he did. Winning Hearts and Minds, does not occur when one violates Army regulations as well as the Geneva Convention!!! I think West suffers horribly from PTSD; and needs to have that treated. If not he is lible to put a gun to his own head and end his life. I pray he seeks the treatment he needs.

FidFed

Napleshob,

Why did you not finish the rest of the Story about the
detainee? The Terrorist was one of the thugs that was
captured after attacking LTC West's company and kidnapping 4 of his men.

He refused to talk, Knowing that the Terrorists at that time was beheading captured soldiers LTC West by firing his pistol over the Terrorist head LTC West got the information and was able to rescue his men from the Terrorists.

The Terrorist should be thank full that it was not me that captured him. And I don't think for one minute that you ever served in any military combat unit. You are a PC person that has no common sense that God gave you.

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