Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) suggested that current Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), an Army veteran, was betraying her oath as a service member by joining the upcoming House panel discussing the September 2012 consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya.
“I just don’t know where her loyalties lie, for her to have been a veteran and a wounded warrior for the United States Army,” West said in audio posted by Right Wing Watch on Thursday. “She should know that this is not the right thing and hopefully she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer, and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat party.”
Duckworth, who lost both of her legs as well as the use of her right arm while serving in the Iraq War, was one of five House Democrats appointed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to serve on the panel on Wednesday, along with Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-GA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Adam Smith (D-WA).
West’s comments mark the latest attempt by conservatives to tarnish Duckworth’s record, despite her receiving a Purple Heart in December 2004 for her service. Her congressional opponent in 2012, then-incumbent Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), said her injuries were “all she talks about,” saying she was not a “true hero.”
As MediaMatters reported in 2010, West’s own military career ended after he admitted to threatening to kill an Iraqi detainee in his custody, as well as shooting a pistol near the prisoner’s head and allowing four soldiers under his command to beat the prisoner.
On Thursday, West and conservative radio host Janet Mefford criticized Democrats as a whole for even taking part in the panel after repeatedly clashing with Republicans over the GOP’s insistence that the attack was downplayed for the benefit of President Barack Obama’s administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“On one side of the mouth, they’re saying that this is something that should be dismissed,” West told Mefford. “Now all of a sudden, they’re starting to bring up individuals who they want to have on that committee.”
West went on to insult most of the other Democratic appointees, saying Sanchez had a “whiny way” about her and accusing Smith of being “one of those geeky little debaters that is going to try to micromanage every single detail.”
Listen to West’s remarks, as posted by Right Wing Watch on Thursday, below.