Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech who lost both legs in Afghanistan, made quite the statement Tuesday when he used part of his time to sit in silence during a congressional hearing, demanding witnesses name a single fallen soldier that doesn’t justify killing Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
At the beginning of his remarks, Mast likened the decision to kill Soleimani to taking out a machine gun nest.
"I look at Soleimani as a terrorist machine gun nest, really. He’s been spraying rounds at the U.S. for many years on many different fronts," he said. "You want to ask is [an attack] imminent? Well, just because this machine gun nest might be taking a moment to reload, that doesn't mean that it's not an imminent threat."
Mast said Soleimani has a long history of attacking American service members, and had more plans in the works.
“I want to ask a question which some people may call rhetorical,” Mast said. “If you walk out this hallway and you take a right and another right and another right, you are going to come to several beautiful walls that have the names of our fallen service members on the War on Terror. I would ask, can any of you provide me one name on that wall that does not justify killing Soleimani. I got 2 minutes and 30 seconds, I will be more than happy to sit here and wait. Somebody provide me the name on the wall that does not justify his killing.”
After a long silence, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said, “The gentleman may continue.”
“I am continuing Mr. Chairman,” Mast replied. “I got 2 minutes remaining, I will sit here and wait for somebody to provide me with the name on that wall that did not justify the killing of Soleimani.”
A frustrated Engel said Mast made his point.
“Mr. Chairman, I have not yielded back my time,” Mast responded. “I have a minute and 45 seconds remaining of which I would like to wait for somebody to provide me with the name.”
“I think you made your point. You are out of order,” Engel fired back.
“I will not yield back my time,” Mast insisted. “You are out of order for reclaiming my time.”
“You are out of order. You are out of order Mr. Mast. You made your point,” Engel repeated.
“I know that there was not one name offered that did not justify the killing of Soleimani," Mast finally said.
Today at the Foreign Affairs Committee, I asked a simple question: could those arguing against killing Soleimani tell me one name of one American service member killed that does not justify killing this terrorist? The answer: radio silence. pic.twitter.com/yOX6Sl7I72— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) January 14, 2020