No Democratic Party members of a committee responsible for governing the nation’s foreign affairs matters could name any deceased soldier who would justify not taking down the controversial Iranian military leader.
Democrats’ eerily silence when Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) invited all sitting members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to give one example of a deceased U.S. serviceman that would support their argument against killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
“If you walk out this hallway and take a right, another right and another right you are going to come to several beautiful walls that have the names of our fallen servicemen from the War on Terror,” Mast said on a Facebook video uploaded by “Fox and Friends.” “I would ask can any of you provide me one name on that wall that does not justify killing Soleimani?”
The room was completely silent for about 12 seconds after which House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) asked him to continue speaking. However, Mast refused to give up his question time and demanded an answer from other members.
“I am continuing Mr. chairman, I have two minutes remaining,” Mast said. “I will sit here and wait for somebody to provide me with a name on that wall that does not justify the killing of Soleimani.”
Engel waited through another seven seconds of silence before trying to move on to the next question because Mast had made his point but the congressman insisted being allowed his remaining time for committee members to answer the question.
“Mr. chairman I have not yielded back my time and I still have one minute and 45 seconds remaining,” Mast said.
The chairman did not wait for the congressman to finish his remarks before talking over him, repeatedly accusing him of being “disruptive” and “out of order.” Engel also banged his gavel and ordered the congressman to give up his time.
“I think you, I think you have made your point,” the chairman said. “You are out of order Mr. Mast, you are out of order Mr. Mast.”
Mast still refused the request, maintained his right to put the question to the committee, and even invited his fellow Republicans to answer the question.
“I will not yield my time, I will not yield back my time, I am not out of order,” Mast said. “I have one minute and 45 seconds remaining of which I would like to wait for somebody to provide me with a name of somebody on our memorial wall who justifies the killing of Soleimani … there are a number of colleagues still here. I am more than willing to yield to my colleagues that might answer this question.”
Finally Rep. Dean Phillips (R-Minn.) offered to give up some of his time for Mast to continue waiting for an answer.
“Mr. chair I will yield one minute of my time to Mr. Mast,” he said. “He has got time.”
Phillips later explained he gave up his time because he wanted to add some humanity to an issue that would otherwise be dehumanized.
“Thank you Mr. chair and thank you Mr. Mast I am grateful that you took that time because you humanized an issue that all too often is not,” he said.
Mast did not receive a response, forcing him to note there was no response to his request for one name that did not justify killing Soleimani.