Mast Shifts Hearing To Silence When Asking To Name One Fallen Soldier Who Doesn’t Justify Killing Soleimani
On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on “From Sanctions to the Soleimani Strike to Escalation: Evaluating the Administration’s Iran Policy.”
While questioning the panel, Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) demanded the name of one fallen service member whose death did not justify the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
“I want to ask a question which some people might call rhetorical, but I’m not going to ask it as rhetorical,” Rep. Brian Mast said, vowing to yield his time to any of his colleagues who could answer. “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 doesn’t justify killing Soleimani? the Florida congressman asked. “I got 2 minutes and 30 seconds, I’ll be more than happy to sit here and wait. Somebody provide me the name on the wall that does not justify his killing.”
After the room was silent for 10 seconds, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said, “The gentleman may continue.”
“I am continuing Mr. Chairman,” Rep. Mast responded. “I got 2 minutes remaining. I will sit here and wait for somebody to provide me with the name on that wall that does not justify the killing of Soleimani.”
“Thank you, Mr. Mast, I think you’ve made your point. You’re disrupting the procedures right now,” Chairman Engel said after the room was silent for about another 10 seconds.
“Mr. Chairman, I have not yielded back my time,” Rep. Mast insisted. “I will not yield back my time. “I have a 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 does not justify the killing of Solemani.”
“I think you made your point. You are out of order,” the chairman vented, to which Rep. Mast shot back to say: “I will not yield back my time. You are out of order for reclaiming this time.”
Rep. Mast was recognized again after a colleague gave the Florida congressman a minute of his allotted time. “Thank you, my colleague. I appreciate it,” he said and then returned to patiently waiting for the panel or anyone in the room to name someone on the memorial wall in Congress that doe not justify killing Soleimani.
After the room sat in silence one more time, Rep. Mast concluded by saying, “I will note that there was not one name offered that did not justify the killing of Soleimani.”