Allen West: There Will Be No Apology, This Is How We Talk In The Military

Apparently, Allen West won’t be apologizing to Debbie Wassermann-Schultz after all:

Rep. West was on FOX Business Network this morning and was asked whether he’d apologize to his Florida colleague. “That is not happening,” he said. “This is a pattern I referred to in that email that goes back to 2010. Finally I think I have the right to stand up and defend my honor and make sure that this type of activity does cease. I sent her a private email, she decided to make it public by releasing it to the news media.”

(…)

On whether he would change any of the language he used in the email if he could:

No I wouldn’t. There are certain ways we speak in the military and I guess I have not learned the D.C. insider talk that these people are used to. Don’t poke me in the chest. That’s the bottom line to that exchange.”

I will leave it to James Joyner and others of you who have actually served to comment on that last part of West’s comment except to say that it’s typically been my experience that men in the military, especially officers, typically don’t act the way West did in one-on-one conversations with women. Perhaps my perception is incorrect. In any case, West’s rhetoric was inappropriate and the fact that he doesn’t believe he needs to apologize reflects very badly on him in my opinion.

Here’s the video:

H/T: Ben Smith

FILED UNDER: Congress, Military Affairs, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    I sent her a private email, she decided to make it public by releasing it to the news media.

    Private emails include cc’ing every member of both the majority and minority house leadership?

  2. Andy says:

    Well, what he wrote is pretty mild for military talk. That said, Rep. West needs to realize that he’s not in the military anymore.

  3. @Andy:

    That said, Rep. West needs to realize that he’s not in the military anymore.

    He also needs to realize he’s a very junior member of a body of 435 people.

  4. Linda says:

    Doug,

    I’ve found that military men are respectful of women, until she does something that doesn’t warrant being granted respect.

    West’s language may have been inappropriate, but she was wrong for making private email public. And let’s look at what she did to prompt him to send that email in the first place.

  5. Michael says:

    Leave it to OTB too report on this. I never see any reports on Schultz’s outrageoius comments here.
    Debbie deserved much worse as she is a lying little B_ _ _h!

  6. Linda says:

    So what if he is a junior member of that body? By that logic, it would be okay for an upperclassman to razz an underclassman, and wrong for the underclassman to stand up against it.

  7. ken says:

    West was forced out of the military for criminal behavior. He is now a member of Congress?

    Why is it that conservatives would allow such a creep to represent them? What is wrong with those people?

  8. hey norm says:

    This is like watching NASCAR…yeah the cars are pitifully slow and can only turn in one direction…but the wrecks are plentiful, and fun to watch.

  9. WR says:

    @Linda: Yes, she correctly stated that he was trying to kill Medicare and give tax cuts to rich people.

  10. @Michael:

    I never see any reports on Schultz’s outrageoius comments here.

    Then you obviously didn’t read this or this..

    Now I’m not sure if these qualify as outrageous comments, but they were written about here.

  11. Ben Wolf says:

    Yes, West’s language was inappropriate for an officer to use either with a fellow officer, a non-com or an enlistee.

    Oh, and by the way West: if seven years isn’t enough for you to adapt after leaving the military, the VA supplies psychlogical counselling to veterans with these sorts of issues. Do try to make some effort.

  12. mike says:

    been in over 12 years now and I don’t speak like this to other officers – don’t see the need to – sure tempers flare now and then but I personally still don’t speak like that – some do though

    but still he isn’t in the military – hasn’t been in a while

  13. Bob B. says:

    As a 25-year veteran military officer (and I retired in 1994), I can tell you that such language (outside of private bullsessions) would not be tolerated.

  14. legion says:

    As Neil points out at the very beginning, this was not a “private email”; West cc’d a range of other offices for maximal PR value. That right there labels West a liar. Furthermore, in the military culture, people absolutely do not address colleagues in that tone anywhere but in a private, one-on-one conversation. Let me make that perfectly clear: Any officer who put language like that into an email to a fellow soldier of any rank would hauled up in front of his CO and chewed down to the bone; possibly Article 15’d. Period. It’s unprofessional and insulting, and the fact the West thinks it’s “the military way” just underlines the fact the he was forced to retire to avoid legal action for being thin-skinned and abusive.

    He is not an honorable man. He is a liar and a punk.

  15. sam says:

    I wasn’t an officer, but I know no enlisted Marine would have spoken to a woman that way. Nor, I’m willing to bet everything, would have an officer.

  16. Beth says:

    @Neil Hudelson: That’s correct. Public, or open, letters are sent to the media instead.

  17. mantis says:

    @Linda:

    And let’s look at what she did to prompt him to send that email in the first place.

    Ok, let’s look at that. What’s your problem with it? Can’t handle the truth?

    West’s language may have been inappropriate, but she was wrong for making private email public.

    An email that cc’s all the leadership is not private.

  18. largebill says:

    @mantis:

    Problem with your retort is DWS was not telling the truth. Unless you think all Republicans are literally pushing for a return to Jim Crow laws. There is nothing for him to apologize for. He called her vile she is. He called her despicable and she is. That wretch resorted to the standard leftist garbage of accusing their opponent of being racist because she was unable to actually debate the substance of the plan being discussed.

  19. Barb Hartwell says:

    He lacks the control needed to represent people and comes across as a person who will lose it mentally if he is denied his way. He scares me.

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    ken:

    West was forced out of the military for criminal behavior. He is now a member of Congress? Why is it that conservatives would allow such a creep to represent them?

    Because they see the willingness to abuse prisoners as a feature, not a bug. Notice what FrontPageMag said about him when they named him “Man of the Year:”

    His interrogation was not nearly as vicious as the tactics of Saddam’s men in 1991

    It’s hard to imagine how anyone could think ‘less brutal than Saddam’ is an impressive endorsement.

  21. Linda says:

    You know WR, I’ve about had it with the class warfare mentality of “tax cuts for the rich”.

  22. An Interested Party says:

    Let’s examine what Wasserman Schultz actually said, shall we?

    “The gentleman from Florida. who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a Member from South Florida,” Wasserman Schultz said, saying the legislation “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas.”

    Perhaps someone would care to explain how these comments claim that “all Republicans are literally pushing for a return to Jim Crow laws” or how they are the “standard leftist garbage of accusing their opponent of being racist”…

    You know WR, I’ve about had it with the class warfare mentality of “tax cuts for the rich”.

    Oh, so you’ve had it with the truth…

  23. largebill says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I didn’t say it was in that day’s speech that DWS accused Republicans of wanting to go back to Jim Crow Laws. It was a few weeks ago.

    The ugliness of a false charge of racism is much worse than calling a vile person vile.

  24. mattb says:

    @largebill: But the issue at hand is that Allen wasn’t responding to that remark. He was responding — if you read what he wrote — her “attacks” on him. This doesn’t have to do with anything other than what he sees as a personal slight.

    And, as to the charge of why didn’t she say that to his face, one should note that he spoke on the floor immediately before her and then left. While this isn’t an entirely unheard of practice, it’s worth noting that if he had remained in the room to hear other speakers (even for a few minutes) the entire exchange would have been to Representative West’s face.

  25. WR says:

    @Linda: I have, too. That’s why I oppose Ryan’s budget plan. Or do you mean you’re tired of seeing people correctly point out that the economic policy of the last decades has been to transfer wealth from the middle class to the upper one percent? Sorry if you don’t like to hear about it — I’m sick of living it.

  26. matt says:

    @hey norm: Pitifully slow? Dude Nascar cars can hit +220 mph (f1 car speed) very very easily which is why they tend to be regulated via restrictor plate to around 200 on the super speedways. Restrictor plates keep the racing closer resulting in a more interesting race while providing enhanced safety for those on or near the track. Personally I wish they did road races more often like they used to 🙁

    As for the subject of this post I love how an email with CCs involving various people including the leaders is now somehow a private email.. Like others have stated before he is NOT doing this the “military way” like he’s claiming and I would say he needs some help..

  27. @largebill:

    Actually, things regarding Wassermann-Schultz and the “Jim Crow” quote didn’t got exactly as Town Hall reported them.

    Nonetheless as reported at the link, she did apologize. West needs to apologize now too.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I just want to get this straight…

    Allen West, a congressman from Florida, complained about something his congressperson said about what he said??? In congress???

    Only in the south can they get this incestuous….

    ps: Either way, if Allan West has problems with his veteran’s benefits, he won’t get any help from his congress critter.

  29. anjin-san says:

    Matt… Do you ever make it out to Infineon or Watkins Glen?

  30. matt says:

    @anjin-san: No sir I don’t have the disposable income to justify such a trip (although it’d be really really cool to see in person). I don’t even really watch Nascar much anymore because of the lack of road courses. I did grow up watching the races on tv with my mom and my dad so there are some very warm memories attached to the sport (I still sometimes get to watch a race with my mom). Also I am a gear head so I cannot help but defend the abilities of these cars considering the low level of mechanical tech involved.