POLITICS
07/18/2013 10:04 am ET

Allen West: Military Sexual Assault Bill Is 'A Slap In The Face' To Servicemembers

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Count former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) out of the list of Republicans supporting Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and her bill to remove military sexual assault cases from the chain of command.

One day after Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) backed the sweeping change, West railed against the idea on Wednesday, telling the Weekly Standard that it was "slap in the face to those who have served in the military."

"You're really talking about stripping the command authority of men and women that we have put on the front lines and entrusted to support and defend this great constitution and this great country," West said. "You are basically saying that we don't think you're capable of doing it."

Paul felt differently at a Tuesday press conference, saying the "status quo" is standing in the way of helping military victims report sexual assaults.

"I see no reason why conservatives shouldn't support this ... If it appears as if there is some deterrence to victims reporting the crime, why don't we fix it?" he asked.

Back in June, West expressed his belief that women have no place in elite military units altogether, saying "there is no equality in close combat."

"The goal is simple: you physically overpower the enemy and kill them," he added. "Don’t tell me about technology, war is about fighting and fighting is about killing, mano y mano."

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