Ad Watch: Challenger attacks Allen West on Iraq interrogation

Patrick Murphy, "2003"

What it says: "West was criminally charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault and relieved of his command."

What it means: This south Florida House race is quickly becoming one of the nastiest in the country. This ad is a clear response to Rep. Allen West's recent ad, which points out that the Florida Republican was shipping off to Iraq while Democrat Patrick Murphy was a drunk college kid. Murphy's ad even starts with a clip from West's spot, quickly covered up by an attack on the congressman's military record.

What happened: West admitted to assaulting an Iraqi detainee. The Army considered court-martialing him (which could, as Patrick's ad says, have resulted in a prison sentence, had West been found guilty). But West also got substantial support from soldiers and congressmen in D.C. He was relieved of his command and retired with a fine. "I stand by the actions I took to protect the lives of my men in Iraq in 2003," Allen West said in a statement. "If put in that situation, it is obvious Patrick Murphy would risk neither his life nor endanger his career for those he was entrusted to lead."

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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