There just never seems to be a dearth of topics for reflection in this newsletter. The themes for this week: moral courage and conscience.
My first duty station in the U.S. Army was at Fort Sill just south of Moore, so we feel a special bond with those of you in that community. Angela, Aubrey, Austen, Lin and I send up prayers to our heavenly Father that you will be consoled in this time of heavy emotional stress and despair. We also ask that God welcome your loved ones into His loving arms, where you all shall be with them again one day.
After those events, I flew back to Los Angeles to attend the American Freedom Alliance’s Heroes of Conscience awards banquet. It was truly humbling to receive the 2013 “Heroes of Conscience” award from this organization because the alliance seeks to promote the principles and values that strengthen western civilization. Its president, Avi Davis, is an ardent warrior for liberty, freedom and the free market.
Sadly, Davis told the audience that the group’s tax-exempt status has been revoked. The tornado that hit Moore, Okla., demonstrates nature’s power to destroy lives. But the news about AFA demonstrates that the man-caused disaster from government’s misuse of power can be far more destructive to our great constitutional republic.
Virginian Thomas Jefferson, once stated: “When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” I do not believe anyone in the Obama administration is worthy to be recognized as a hero of conscience.
But as I watched the movie, I recalled how former President Bill Clinton, through then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin, denied support to our men in combat there. That memory made me reflect upon how the other Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more recently abandoned Americans engaged in combat with Islamic terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.
The words of Gen. William Garrison, the U.S. forces commander in Somalia, symbolized the creed of warriors: “No one gets left behind.” I wonder if Gen. Carter Ham issued the same order the night terrorists attacked the U.S. embassy in Benghazi and killed four Americans but heard a different order from Washington?
Howard Dean called Benghazi a laughable joke.
This week we learned that it was not just reporters at the Associated Press targeted by the Obama administration. Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen and CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson have, too.
The last time I checked, America had “freedom of the press,” but these intimidation tactics are far from displaying the foundations of our constitutional republic. How much deeper does this go?
This week we also learned what many of us with a military background already knew: Maj. Nidal Hasan has been getting pay since he fired upon soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. Hasan has received some $278,000 and benefits as he awaits trial for his heinous and treasonous action. He shot 45 of our brave soldiers, killing 13 of them, all the while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
Of course, our government officially declared his terrorist attack as “workplace violence,” so the victims have been denied proper recognition and benefits. Why? Well, according to the U.S. Army, declaring what Hasan did to be a terrorist attack would unfairly impact his trial. He will be paid until proven guilty.
That was sadly obvious again this week when Islamic jihadists attacked and beheaded a British soldier in broad daylight. Even more despicable, disgusting and savage, one of the barbarians with blood-soaked hands made a video describing the attack and promising more of them.
I pray the British have learned a lesson from us here in America and will not call this attack workplace violence, especially because these bastards also were shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they brutally killed the soldier. Have we lost our sense of moral courage and conscience, not just in America but also across Western civilization?
The next generation must have men and women of conscience to ensure that we pass on the blessings of liberty, freedom and democracy – our American birthright. Part of our DNA, the American genome, is threatened.
We need men like the two brave Americans who lost their lives this week, FBI special agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw. They were part of the hostage rescue team in the Critical Incident Response Group and lost their lives during a fast-rope training exercise from a helicopter onto a ship when they plunged into the Atlantic Ocean amid rough weather and ocean conditions.
Lorek is survived by his wife and two daughters, and Shaw is survived by his wife, daughter and son. America will persevere as long as we continue to raise such men and women of conscience, not cowardice.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B. West