“Another name is worth recognition and remembrance, especially among Somali refugees: Lawrence Freedman,” Palmer wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “Thousands of Somali refugees who now live in Ms. Omar’s district had their freedom and security paid for with the blood of American soldiers — 22 of them, including Freedman.”
Palmer cited Freedman as an example because he was Jewish-American and because, he wrote, Omar is guilty of “anti-Semitic statements” and “bigotry.” Freedman was the first American to die in the U.S.-led intervention in the Somali civil war, which included the Battle of Mogadishu.
Freedman, 51, went by the nickname ” SuperJew” among his friends in the Green Berets. Both his death and life were shrouded in secrecy. The Pentagon didn’t even disclose what his mission was in Somalia in 1992 when his vehicle hit a tank mine, killing him and injuring the other three men in the vehicle.
Freedman had retired from the Army in 1990 and joined the CIA, which sent him to Somalia.
During his storied career in the military, Freedman served in Vietnam as a Special Forces medic and received two Bronze Stars. He met his first wife in Vietnam and adopted her two children. He also was part of the army’s Delta Force as well as being an expert sniper and sniper instructor. Separately, he helped the Secret Service design the security for the presidential limousines. In his spare time, he was known for lifting weights and biking around the country.
Palmer wrote Freedman’s death “stands out” in particular because he is Jewish. He was concerned that Omar did not “nurture relationships” with the Jewish community.
“Despite calls for her removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, thus far the only consequence for her bigotry has been an anodyne resolution against hate speech, crafted by Ms. Omar’s fellow Democrats.”
He added: “Ms. Omar had a record of comments that raised grave concerns about her views toward Jews,” he said. “[A]nd what she has said since her election has only heightened those concerns.”
Omar has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for comments they allege are anti-Semitic. Omar’s latest controversy was walking back her apology after admitting her past statements were anti-Semitic.
Palmer joined both Republicans and Democrats in voting for a resolution earlier in the month aimed at Omar that condemned hate of all different types. Palmer closed his piece highlighting Freedman as an example of patriotic sacrifice. “Americans — including Ms. Omar — should remember him and those who died with him to give Somalis a chance to live in freedom.”