On Tuesday morning, Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who served served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and lost both his legs and one of his fingers after he stepped on an IED in September 2010, issued a blunt question to his Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives that left them speechless, asking them to name one name on the wall in Congress memorializing American soldiers who have died in the war on terror that did not justify the killing of the Iranian terror chief General Qassem Soleimani.
Mast began: “Some people might call this rhetorical, but I’m not going to ask it as rhetorical: there’s a number of my colleagues still remaining here. I am more than willing to yield to any of my colleagues that want to answer this question: If you walk out this hallway, and you take a right, and another right, and another right, you’re going to come to several beautiful walls that have the names of our fallen service members from the war on terror. And I would ask, can any of you provide me one name on that wall that doesn’t justify killing Soleimani? I’ve got two minutes and thirty seconds. I’ll be more than happy to sit here and wait. Somebody provide me with a name on that wall that does not justify his killing.”
After a twelve-second pause, Mast was instructed by chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), “The gentleman may continue.”
Mast replied, “I’m continuing, Mr. Chairman. I’ve got two minutes remaining. 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 tried to browbeat Mast and move on, stating, “Thank you, Mr. Mast, I think you’ve made your point. Mr. Phillips?”
Mast, unintimidated, slammed back, “Mr. Chairman, I have not yielded back my time and I still have a minute and forty-five seconds.”
Engel tried to talk over him, snapping, “You’re disrupting the procedures right now.”
Mast, undeterred, “I will not yield back my time, Mr. Chairman. I have a minute and forty-five seconds remaining —”
Engel, still browbeating, “You’re disrupting the procedures. Mr. Mast.”
Mast: “— 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 Soleimani.”
Engel: I think you’ve made your point. You’re out of order, Mr. Mast. (rapping his gavel) You’re out of order. You’re out of order, Mr. Mast.
Mast: I will not yield back my time. I will not yield back my time. I am not out of order. You are out of order, Mr. Chairman for reclaiming this time.
A colleague stated, “Mr. Chair, I’ll yield a minute of my time to Mr. Mast.”
Mast: “Thank you. Thank you, my colleague. I appreciate it.” Then he sat back and waited.
Silence. 80 seconds of silence.
Then Mast spoke as time ran out: “Thank you for yielding me your time, although I did not yield my time back. I thank you. I will note that there was no response of one time offered that did not justify the killing of Soleimani.”
.@RepBrianMast asks for name of fallen service member that doesn't justify Soleimani killing: "I will sit here and wait…"
.@RepEliotEngel: "Thank you, Mr. Mast, I think you've made you're point…"
Rep. Mast: "Mr. Chairman, I have not yielded back my time." pic.twitter.com/V5dagi54QD
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 14, 2020