Mental illness is a serious and challenging subject not to be taken lightly. No one should be embarrassed if they suffer from a metal disorder, just as no one should be embarrassed if they suffer from cancer or diabetes. In fact, the more awareness about mental disorders and mental health, the more people would seek treatment. I’m a firm believer that mental health should be treated equally as physical health, including by our insurance companies.
Service in the U.S. Congress is also a serious and challenging subject not to be taken lightly. At some point, a person’s actions, statements, and overall behavior have to be examined if they consistently fall into what can easily be perceived as, well, possibly irrational.
If a Congressman is making decisions and voting on issues that affect the country, shouldn’t we be concerned if their comments and actions are seemingly not rational? Shouldn’t at least the question be raised, in a respectful and supportive manner, by that public servant’s loved ones and colleagues?
It’s entirely possible the mental health of Congressman Allen West (R-FL) is excellent, that he is totally sane and not suffering from any mental disorder that would make him unable to serve as a Congressman.
And there are certainly plenty of psychological disorders that do not preclude service. In fact:
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over a third of people in most countries report problems at some time in their life which meet criteria for diagnosis of one or more of the common types of mental disorder.”
The U.S. govenrment’s own National Institutes of Mental Health note:
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
So, let’s be clear, there should be no stigma or loss of respect for anyone suffering from mental health disorders.
But it’s time to ask the question, isn’t it entirely possible, given his comments, not only yesterday, but over the past few years as a U.S. Congressman, that Rep. West is suffering from some form of mental illness? Again, I’m not a mental health professional, I’m just posing the question. Ultimately, it is up to the Congressman, his colleagues, his family, and voters to decide if he is fit to serve.
Yesterday, however, Rep. Allen West posted this statement on his Facebook page:
In his speech today to the United Nations, President Obama stated six times that the attacks across the Islamic world are attributed to a silly video. Furthermore, he refused to use the words terrorist attack in referring to what occurred in Benghazi Libya at our US Consulate on the 11th anniversary of 9-11. He continues to offer up apologies instead of defending our hard earned First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. There is no message to this silly video trailer, and it is beneath the dignity and esteem of the Office of the President of the United States to mention it at all. When tolerance becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide. I shall not be tolerant of the intolerant. I know about the UN Resolution 1618 which would make any statement deemed by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) “offensive’ to Islam a crime…..NOT ON MY WATCH FELLAS!
My statement to the United Nations would have been, “The future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors. The Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle will visit you and wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence”
West, a Tea Party Republican, serves on the House Committee on Armed Services in the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Surely a U.S. Congressman threatening to “wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence,” and threatening to unleash the “Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle” could be viewed by foreign nations, as an elected member of Congress, as the making of a legitimate threat?
Irresponsible, but also, frankly, embarrassingly ludicrous and, as Noah Rothman, an editor at Mediaite put it, “cartoonish, juvenile and amateurish.”
There is little credulity to [Congressman West's] threats – not because anyone does not believe he would carry through with them. I would imagine few doubt West’s sincerity. But his pronouncements take on the tone of amateurish chest-thumping. They detract from the Congressman’s credibility and show that he is unclear on the complexities of foreign relations. They lack the sobriety and conviction that a statesman sending young men and women into war is possessed with. They reek of insecurity and rage, not confidence.
By the way, since no other news outlet has bothered to explain West’s comment, “I know about the UN Resolution 1618 which would make any statement deemed by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) “offensive’ to Islam a crime…..NOT ON MY WATCH FELLAS!,” allow me.
West wrongly referred to “UN Resolution 1618,” which is actually a 2005 UN Security Council Resolution that “condemned terrorist attacks that had taken place in Iraq, particularly those that had taken place in recent weeks, and the kidnapping and attacks on foreign diplomats.” (Wikipedia)
What West most likely is talking about is UN Resolution 16/18, which, according to the non-partisan Human Rights First NGO, “urges states to train government officials to address religious tensions, to harmonize actions at local and national level, to raise awareness of negative stereotyping of persons, to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, to foster religious freedom and to speak out against intolerance (among other recommendations. The only limitation on speech that is in the operative part of the resolution is incitement to ‘imminent violence’, which is in accordance with US law.”
But, perhaps yesterday was just a bad day for West?
There is a rather lengthy list of strange comments and outright lies Congressman West has made, including, infamously “China is in control of the Panama Canal,” and:
“There is a huge threat coming up out of South America through Central America, through Mexico, and into the United States. Iran is in South America. Hezbollah is in South America. I already talked about how China is in control of the Panama Canal. And even about 50 miles away from here in the Bahamas, building a port there.”
A few other examples.
On Monday, Catholic Online reported that West believes “abortion threatens the future of the black Americans.”
Two weeks ago, Congressman West blamed President Obama for the attacks in Libya. Two days before that, the Huffington Post reported “West claimed President Barack Obama’s ‘Forward’ campaign slogan was designed to push a ‘Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme’,” and noted:
In 2011, West called Obama a “low-level socialist agitator” well-versed in “Marxist” rhetoric.
In February, West suggested the Obama Administration was lying about positive unemployment numbers.
In January, West claimed he did not tell President Obama and others to “get the hell out of the United States,” even though there’s video of him saying just that. Also in January, Rep. West told military generals they should defy their Commander-In-Chief, and, they should consider quitting the armed forces because of Obama.
This past December, Rep. Allen West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.”
Last August, West described himself as a “modern-day Harriet Tubman,” who will guide Democrats via an underground railroad to the promised land of the Republican Party.
Last year West will hosted a screening of an anti-Islam film about 9/11 and the efforts of the anti-Muslim community to stop the building of the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
Lat year in July, West, on the Tea Party blog Red State, wrote “when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”
Then there were his strange attacks on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Also last year, Rep. West said of homosexuality and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, “Unless I’m Michael Jackson I can’t change my color. But people can change behavior.”
Finally, last year, The New Civil Rights Movement posted a litany of West’s lies, fibs, falsehoods, and utter nuttiness. Here’s an excerpt:
“West is certainly no stranger to outlandish statements. He made a name for himself over the past year with comments like endorsing the censorship of news agencies that “enabled” Wikileaks, arguing that nobody is getting laid off in Washington D.C., saying that liberal women are “neutering American men,” and calling President Obama a “low level Socialist agitator,” writes Scott Keyes at Think Progress.
“I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,” said West on April 27 at the same Florida town hall.
Last month, West, who recently accused President Obama of acting with ‘”third world dictator-like arrogance,” made a statement that earned him the ire of a great many groups. He began to talk about America through the lens of Ancient Sparta, the much-heralded Greek city-state that inspired the bloody movie, “300.”
“We need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to fight for you. To let these other women know on the other side — these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient.”
That statement prompted a local Florida paper to write, “Congressman Allen West Not Getting Any Less Crazy,” asking, “Be more like Sparta, eh, Mr. West?”
“Do you know who else praised Sparta and told his people to be more like them?
“Yes, of course it was Adolf Hitler, who likened his Nazi soldiers to Spartans and the Russians as the Helots. But then, what warmonger wouldn’t look to the Spartans as a shining example of what a society should look like?
“Hitler also admired the Spartans’ ‘racial superiority’ and another practice of strong Spartan women — the systematic murder of its weak and deformed children.”
West, 50, has some other disturbing events in his past. In 2004 he retired from the military after violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including the article on assault, and was fined $5,000.
“And if ballots don’t work, bullets will,” is the statement made in 2010 by Joyce Kaufman, a controversial Florida radio host who had advocated for the hanging of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. West hired Kaufman to be his chief of staff, but she was essentially forced to resign after public outrage became too great. West reportedly blamed the Left of racism and misogyny as reasons for Kaufman’s resignation.
West, 50, despite being on the House Committee on Armed Services, last year said of gay men and lesbians in the military, “unfortunately, they are serving.” He delivered the keynote speech at this year’s CPAC.
West, who had said, “[t]he truth is not subjective,” as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a candidate forum, ”I had a Top Secret/Security Compartmented Information classification, that is the highest you can have in the United States Army. You don’t get a security classification like that if you have financial issues like that. I still retain a Secret security clearance. And I tell you, if you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.”
Who knows the true condition of Congressman Allen West’s mind? What we do know are his comments.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.