(WASHINGTON)-- Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today after sending a letter to President Barack Obama condemning the Administration's release, to the Iraqi court system, of a known Hezbollah terrorist responsible for the murder of an Army officer and four other service members:
"It is with great disappointment and concern that I write to President Barack Obama today with regards to Ali Musa Daqduq and the decision by the Administration to release this madman to an Iraqi court, who in turn set this known terrorist free.
Ali Musa Daqduq led a well-planned and coordinated attack in Karbala, Iraq in 2007 in which one American soldier, Captain Brian Freeman, was killed and four other service members were abducted and later murdered.
The Administration mistakenly used the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which required Iraqi citizens to be handed over to Iraq before December of 2011, as a reasoning for Daqduq's release to an Iraqi court. However, since Ali Musa Daqduq was born in Lebanon, and was in fact a Lebanese citizen at the time of his capture, SOFA should not have applied to him.
As someone who served 22 years in the United States Army and served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I can tell you that true leadership means making responsible decisions, not necessarily popular ones. The President had options when dealing with this terrorist. Daqduq could have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he could have been tried in front of a military commission.
The fact that our President makes these kinds of decisions, while American soldiers like Michael Behenna, William Hunsaker, and Joseph Mayo remain imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth for incidents that occurred during the heat of battle, is pure hypocricy.
I find the release of Ali Musa Daqduq to be an utter betrayal, not only to those who perished at the hands of this terrorist, but to all men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I ask President Obama for a prompt and personal response to this decision. As the Commander-in-Chief, he owes the American people nothing less."
For a copy of the letter Rep. West sent to President Obama, click here.