A 24 Carat Jerk

Congressman Jack Murtha (D PA.) is a 24 carat jerk.

Veteran or no veteran,decorated hero or not,he has tried and convicted the Marines who allegedly killed civilians in Iraq earlier this year before the investigation is completed or a trial takes place.

Doesn't this dolt know about the concept of presumption of innocence?

No,instead he jumps out in front of every television camera he can find and has these marines both vilified and crucified even before the military has completed its investigation.

If these marines have in fact killed innocent civilians,then the Uniform Code of Military Justice has an appropriate procedure...called a court marshall...and an appropriate remedy...called a stockade and dishonorable discharge upon release if they are in fact guilty as charged.

However they are entitled to their day in court.

At this very minute,every jihadist web site is downloading images of both Murtha and of the alleged "massacre" and posting it on every web site they can find,further inflaming a tenuous situation.

Does this guy have a brain or what?

Doesn't he realize that he has been already once exploited and now becomes the official jihadist poster boy du jour?
I am sick of him and the harm that he has done to our military.

I am doubly sad that this weekend,Memorial Day Weekend, is the weekend that this nitwit chooses to make the rounds on television further compounding the situation.

What a jerk....A 24 CARAT JERK!

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at May 28, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #152117


You might want to link to the original story so we all can read it and make our own judgement.

Posted by: Rocky at May 28, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #152122

Try this one. If it doesn’t link, the associated press and yahoo has lead stories on him today.


Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #152123


Start your post by calling a decorated veteran a jerk. Classy, real classy. And it takes one to know one, Eagle.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 28, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #152124

Try this one.If it doesn’t link,the associated press and yahoo has klead stories on him today.


Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #152126

Elliot Bay

If the shoe fits….

His being a vet isn’t going to shield him from me anymore.

Gloves off this time.

He is what he is.

Posted by: sicilain eagle at May 28, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #152128


Typical Republican bait and switch. Talk about the “unpatriotism” and “unsupport of troops” by Murtha. DON’T talk about the massive pressures the Marines are under. NEVER mention that these particular Marines are on their THIRD Tour in Iraq. Forget that part. Its Murtha that’s the problem.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #152129

And you are what you are.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 28, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #152130

This one doesn’t look good at all. If these allegations are true, they make these Marines look like an SS death squad. In summation, their convoy was hit by an IED which killed one and wounded two others. Witnesses say that the Marines in question then systematically went through three houses and killed the occupants, then fired on a taxi full of college students. 24 Iraq civilians, including several women and six children, were killed

I saw a quote from Congressman Murtha saying this is worse than Abu Graib. That doesn’t go nearly far enough. I realize that I’ve been a bit harsh before and went farther than I meant to out of anger when describing my feelings , but if these allegations, which are supported by eyewitness testimony, are true they are a stunning departure from all codes of civilized conduct. Only My Lai comes to mind as an appropriate comparison in the history of the American military.

Even worse, it would seem that the NCO in charge of the Marines falsified a report and made it seem that the Marines were acting to defend themselves from a follow-up attack by insurgents. I agree that these Marines deserve thier day in court, but if found guilty, the stockade is nowhere near adequate. These are death penalty offenses and should be treated as such.

Perhaps the worst part of this is that the insurgents had placed the bomb as far from the houses as possible to rry and avoid inflaming the residents against them. This will be far worse than Abu Graib in terms of inflamming the anger of Iraqis and all Muslims against us. Life in Baghdad just got a lot more complicated.

Posted by: 1LT B at May 28, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #152131

Quite Republican of you to attack a decorated war veteran ON MEMEORIAL DAY WEEKEND.


btw, Murtha would wipe the floor with you if the gloves ever came off.

Posted by: darren159 at May 28, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #152133


when someone starts out a post with obsenities and pesonal attacks,it reflects on you (collectively)
Since this is a quote from you, I presume you admit that you are admitting that your post reflects badly on the wrong wing in general, eh?

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 28, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #152134

Murtha just seems to have lost his grip. We can acknowlege his previous service and still recognize what he has become. I don’t know if he is jerk, but he is clearly wrong. My guess would be that it is more 14 carrat.

The sitation is being properly investigated. He does not need to jump to conclusions or speculate in detail about things nobody yet knows about.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 12:24 PM
Comment #152135

No,I am talking about him opening his big fat mouth …again….this time before charges are brought and a trial is held.

Right now,web savy insurgents are smirking…again ….thanks to Murtha.

His pre-emptively going public before due process has even had a chance to be played out serves no purpose other than to send a bad message out there ..nothing else..

Elliot Bay

Thank you.You can call me a jerk so long as I can call Murtha a jerk.No problem.

Note I didn’t call you a jerk though.

How about defending the guy,so we can discuss what he did?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #152144

We all know that there is no honor is military service unless you agree with Bush and ignore what’s massively wrong with Iraq. Anyone who doesn’t see Iraq through Bush’s rose colored glasses is obviously in bed with the terrorists.

SE - when you can show dedication and heroics beyond that of Murtha, then your comments will carry weight. Until then - you’re basically a chicken-hawk.

BTW - this had gone for 6 months without movement… and Murtha saw this as a symptom of stress on our soldiers, and if we wanted to avoid more of the same, we had better do something now - and not wait “they get their day in court.”

( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12838343/ )

IMO - you REPs who will lynch-mob every war hero who disagrees with Bush - YOU HAVE NO HONOR. YOU ARE ANTI-AMERICAN.

Posted by: tony at May 28, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #152146

Iraq is a battle for hearts and minds. The Haditha massacre has been common knowledge for a while. The Iraqis already knew about it, and the pictures were already out there. I knew about it. I am surprised so many people were unaware of this.

You are upset because Murtha made Americans aware of the massacre.

I wish this were not a topic on this particular weekend.

Like so much of the situation surrounding Iraq, the Bush administration fails to consider Iraqi perspectives, and treats Iraq as if it were purely a matter of US needs, of winning domestic hearts and minds here at home.

We held elections to make the nation of Iraq a democracy. Repubicans waved purple thumbs in the air. Great for domestic consumption, great for US hearts and minds-

But those elections were unspeakably stupid.

I wrote about it then, here on Watchblog, as it happened. We never considered what it would take to win the hearts and minds of people in the region.

Iraq was a colonial construction put together by Winston Churchill to facilitate oil companies in the 1920’s. No one bothered to ask the Iraqis if they wanted to be together in a country in the first place.

And now, here we are. Let it be. The ethnic cleansing is proceeding apace, the Death Squads are busy. Give them enough time, and the Sunnis & Shias & Kurds will seperate into their own enclaves.

Because another way to win hearts and minds is to reduce the number of hearts and minds.

Were I implementing the UCMJ, I would be extremely reluctant to impose the death penalty or even a prison sentence on the soldiers who committed the massacre… perhaps a sentence for the NCO, and certainly for the officer in charge. Ok, maybe for the soldiers. This was pretty horrifying. But even then, I would prefer to see any punishment commuted. Symbolic action would be preferable, followed by a quiet discharge and lots of lots of psychiatric counseling.

Posted by: phx8 at May 28, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #152147



How would you like it if one of your sons was in that marine unit and you see on TV a Congressman trying and convicting him BEFORE either an investigation was completed OR charges were brought?

I don’t care who the congressman is…dem or republic…it’s just plain stupid to do so.

As far as me being anti-american and a chicken hawk..that’s your opinion.

We can at least agree to disagree can’t we?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #152151


You are correct…why this weekend of all weekends except as a cheap politicial shot?

That’s the point of my post…no charges yet…no trial…and yet on Memorial Day weekend he’s on the Sunday morning talk shows.

As far as your other comments you my be correct ….but I am willing to see how the new government plays out a bit,and I think that ultimately it will play out.

Again,an “Iraqi” form of democracy will emerge which will not be like ours but given the culture may prove to have been worth the effort,money and blood.

Posted by: sicilianegale at May 28, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #152153

Interesting post, by ignoring what Mr. Murtha said,and by mischaracterizing his statements, you convict him of being a jerk.
Kettle meet the pot.
I’m glad you’ve discovered jurisprudence. When are you going to discover common sense?
Up to your usual standards. Thanks for the blather.

Posted by: gergle at May 28, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #152157

Sissy Eagle- its obvious that you were not in any branch of the service,or you would know that it is called a court martial.
Do atrocities happen? Yes,sadly.
Do misinformed idiots,fan the flames of hate,by blindly jumping up and down shouting “Look,look,he is evil”.
Do us all a favor,don’t throw wood into an already badly smelling blaze.
Anyone remember Lt. Calley in the Mi Lai incident?
Justice will prevail,no matter which way it turns out.

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #152158

I read thru these comment and find the same glaring statements that are prevalent in the mainstream media….”Murtha is decorated hero”…And for some reason this entitles him to some special consideration as to what he has to say…

I too am a decorated combat Veteran (“hero”), not unlike many of my brothers who have served….Does this give us the same “consideration” and Murtha?..I certainly hope not as what happened in a moment years ago doesn’t make EVERY WORD WE UTTER to be above reproach…

I would hope that many would think of this the next time you hear someone who’s primary credential is being a “decorated Veteran”..

As to the ‘alleged” murders, I think EVERYONE should reserve judgement until ALL THE FACTS have been revealed…..Seems there are a lot of “ass-umptions” being made without them….

Posted by: Firstteam1 at May 28, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #152161

jblym, your name calling and implications that others here at WB are idiots won’t be tolerated. Critique the Message, Not the Messenger, or lose your privilege to comment here.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at May 28, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #152164

gergle, discuss the content of the messages, NOT the author’s of them. That is the meaning of Critique the Message, Not the Messenger. This will be your only warning before losing comment priviliges on this site.

When are you going to discover common sense? Up to your usual standards.
Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at May 28, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #152165


Gotta disagree about the light sentance. Based on the story of what happened so far, these Marines basically committed war crimes more commonly associated with gangs in Darfur or Somalia than with the US military. All the evidence says that they didn’t just overreact. They deliberately massacred unarmed women and children along with men in a systematic way and then attempted to cover it up. I don’t deny that they were under a lot of stress, but the nature of what is alleged to have happened precludes anything but a strong prosecution. This isn’t something debatable, like when the Marine shot an insurgent who was playing dead, this was a deliberate and systematic series of murders in three seperate houses. There is no way to whitewash this, we probably just suffered our worst setback to date.

Posted by: 1LT B at May 28, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #152167

Dear Watchblog Managing Editor:
First,I must apologize for my apparent misspelling of Sicilian. I did not realize in my zeal to respond that I had inadvertantly insulted my fellow American. In regards to calling others at the WB idiots,I beg to differ. I cut a garment that was for general wear,if someone felt that it was a custom fit item,that sounds like a personal problem.
Please believe that I have no animosity towards any one in particular,and wish only to ridicule the ill-advised idea that any of us is above reproach. Or that we help ourselves by pre-judging others. This is a time for careful contemplation and reasoned action,not yellow journalism.

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #152169


Well,I am happy that me post provoked zeal on your part!

Please answer this question:Is it correct that a sitting congressman disclose to the world the fact that an alleged atrocity occured and that marines were guilty of doing it PRIOR to an investigation and a court proceeding?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #152171

You may be right about the need for a severe sentence. One of the victims was a three year old girl. Another was a 76 year old man. Innocent people were killed in their own homes.

I would need to hear the evidence.

Depressing. Another example of why resorting to violence or going to war should be a last resort.

I suspect most Iraqis have already reached their own conclusions about American troops in Iraq, so I doubt the Haditha massacre will make much difference.

Here in the US, I suspect it will not matter that much either. The corporate owned MSM usually avoids this kind of news. The media are in it for profits, not to inform, and issues like this are bad for ratings. Advertisers want everyone to be in the mood to buy a new SUV, you know.

Posted by: phx8 at May 28, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #152172

jblym, but this is a site in which tossing around the word idiots as a fishnet for other WB visitors is not tolerated. Call Kerry or Bush idiots if you wish, that is fair game. But, to imply that their supporters (which includes a third of WB’s visitors) are idiots for supporting them, is a breach of our policy.

Please comply with the policy, Critique the Message, Not the Messengers at WB.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at May 28, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #152174

Aldous —

By your comments re: Murtha being a hero I must assume that you are also a defender of the greatest detractor of — and liar about — the American serviceman this country has ever seen: one John Kerry.

/s/ Proud Vietnam Veteran

Posted by: Ray Clary at May 28, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #152176


Considering what happened to Pat Tillman and on Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and NSA Wiretapping and the Canadian Soldiers and everything else, Murtha was probably afraid of a cover-up.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #152177

I’m first inclined to answer”I take the fifth”.
But I am not a Republican in Congress and therefore by definition have nothing to hide. To answer your question directly,I would say the following. It probably was not smart that the Congressman brought the cart before the horse,but even so He was offering his opinion. Reasoning people realize that he is neither judge nor jury.
Any attempt by him to capitalize on this information will most likely come back to bite him in the ass.
Since your asking my specific opinions,I will also add that I find it almost incomprehensible that you not only feel the need to show glee in regards to this,but actually seem to be encouraging its use by terrorists.

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #152180

Ray Clary:

Kerry was lying? That’s wonderfull news!!!

I am so glad Mai Lai never happened and soldiers fragging their own officers are just fictions. To think that I spent all these years believing that the B-52 carpet-bombing killed civilians accidentally!!!

I am also so glad the Gulf of Tolkin Incident really took place. And here I thought Vietnam happened because idiots in the White House and military command made a mistake…


Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #152181

Dear watcblog managing editor.
I do sincerly appreciate the fact of your quick response. Being relatively new to the watchblog,perhaps you would indulge me in a bit more definition. For example,If I was to call anyone who disagreed with my calling them foolish an idiot,that would be improper,yes?
However,if in a general statement,I was to encourage the use of the word idiot in describing anyone in political power,that would be o.k.?
Does this mean that while its all right to call people at the federal level of government idiots,this does not apply to state and local legislatures? I admit to some confusion,and I,for one am no idiot.

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #152182


Ah…finally some debate…my response to your post:

“To answer your question directly,I would say the following. It probably was not smart that the Congressman brought the cart before the horse,but even so He was offering his opinion.”

It is one thing for you or I to make scandoulous accucations,but it is completely another for a Congressman,who has access to millions both here and abroad to make such accusations prior to an investigation being concluded.For your information,not only is Marines investigating,but also the Army…who wasn’t involved…just to make sure what the facts are.Him opening his mouth prematurely is the problem.See?

“Since your asking my specific opinions,I will also add that I find it almost incomprehensible that you not only feel the need to show glee in regards to this,but actually seem to be encouraging its use by terrorists. “

Glee?I am out of my mind with anger,not glee.Plus this story has been picked up my all the wire services…just as Murtha intended.
AFTER the investigation was completed,Murtha could have been free to say whatever he wished….the nub here is the pre-emptive manner of him doing so.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #152184
AFTER the investigation was completed,Murtha could have been free to say whatever he wished…the nub here is the pre-emptive manner of him doing so.
You just demonstrated why the idea of a pre-emptive strike is so reprehensible. I’m glad you agree they should never be used.
Posted by: Revelations at May 28, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #152190

Considering how many cover-ups we had lately, Murtha was probably afraid it would be classified as a State Secret.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #152191

“AFTER the investigation was completed,Murtha could have been free to say whatever he wished….the nub here is the pre-emptive manner of him doing so.”

So - as I to assume that you value presentation over prevention? Style over substance?

Do you really think that this has added fuel to anti-American feeling? What do you think the rumors are in Iraq? “Did you hear what teh Americans did, and their comanders did nothing about it.”

The last part is what Murtha did something about. Also, did you read the article I linked to? The fact that Murtha has been proven right doesn’t impact your views on this?

Americans: Evil at heart, but at least we look good. Is this statement OK with you?

Posted by: tony at May 28, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #152192

Jihadist poster boy ? Who are you kidding?
Inflammatory rhetoric! Yellow journalism!
You wrap yourself in undeserved righteous anger and fan the flames !
(Sorry,watchblog editor,but he did ask me)
This is the worst kind of nonsense. Unless you are a political neophyte,you must realize that all congressmen are walking talking advertisements for re-election.
Take the information as given,try to ascertain the facts,but don’t even pretend that you are doubly sad about anything except the fact that you couldnt blast the congressman even more.

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #152195


Your statement is an oxymoron. You know about all these thing that you say were covered up, right? And how did Murtha find out. He didn’t tell us anything new. I really do wonder why he felt the need to do what he did.

Yes, Americans are held to a higher standard than most others. But we don’t need to immediately emphasize every accusation before we know that facts.


Why does Murtha consider it a good thing to make a preemptive strike against the U.S. Marine Corps?


I don’t know about this. We always tell ourselves and others tell us that they respect the fact that we face up to our mistakes. Yet the counter examples seem to disprove this. Consider the Chinese. They have failed to acknowledge the horrors of the Cultural Revolution for 40 years. More people died as a direct or indirect results of Chinese policies during this time than in ALL the wars the U.S. has ever fought in more than 200 years. Yet the Chinese reputation, according to some polls, is much higher than America’s. The Iranians have killed more Muslims that Americans ever could. Or consider the Sudan, where Muslims are being murdered every day and no Muslim (besides the ones being killed) seems to care.

I am not trying to justify U.S. actions. I agree that we live at a higher standard, but I am honestly perplexed as to why others get a free pass.

And if America is evil at heart, who (besides maybe Scandinavians) would qualify as good given their behaviors in the last half century?

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #152197


Actually, Murtha was the first official to confirm it. The reports in Time were just rumors.

Do you think Time Magazine is unamerican, Jack?

Maybe you think its better for the media to speculate instead.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #152198

Here’s the latest


Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #152200

Already,as the article in al jazzra above shows,America is guilty as charged.

The cat is out of the bag now…

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #152202


In America we have a free media. Nobody is afraid to criticize their government. Although lots of people stand up on their hind legs and CLAIM they are being silence. The cacophony from the silenced critics is deafening.

In fact criticism of the government is usually very well rewarded.

Critics of the U.S. have a great time. They get the radical status without any risk. It takes real courage to speak truth to power in China or Russia. In Muslim countries you can be murdered for drawing a picture. In the U.S. you get a lucrative book or movie contract.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #152203

Every jihadist is reading this sentence:

“He also said that the U.S. troops killed those civilians “in cold blood.”
Jack Murtha


Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #152205

no glee huh?

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #152207

Under even the best conditions, war puts stress on the characters of those involved. A poorly executed war, can do far worse. Murderous frustrations and firearms are not a good combination. This war, with it’s multiple tours of duty and frustrating and constantly dangerous environment, is putting our young soldiers under intense psychological stress.

The Bush administration is asleep at its post on getting these people counselling for the PTSD, which is a very real, neurologically based stressed disorder. This war is actually damaging the parts of their brain within the limbic system that deal with memory and emotion.

We want to protect our soldiers from losing face with the rest of the world, but we can’t do that by denying the truth. If we really want to make a difference here, we must face the truth, and then change what’s going on in truth to deal with the problem. Loyalty to our soldiers should not be confused with a code of silence that protects the guilty, both in the field and in Washington.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #152208

“Already,as the article in al jazzra above shows,America is guilty as charged.

The cat is out of the bag now…”

… and you think keeping quite until the “cat is out of the bag” from someone at www.aljazeera.com is a better move? Let’s all worry about how we look and forget trying to solve the problem at hand.

“I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened,” Murtha said. “This investigation should have been over two or three weeks afterward and it should have been made public and people should have been held responsible for it.”

These are issues we MUST face, and sweeping it under the rug will only add fuel to their fire.

SE - why are you so fired up on shooting the messenger? And not one word against the people who carried out this slaughter?

Posted by: tony at May 28, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #152210

As far as presumed innocence… or assumed guilt…

Right now, the soldiers that were there are assumed guilty, and that is bad.

If this story had remained un-covered, The US Military would’ve been assumed guilty.

Which would you choose?

Posted by: tony at May 28, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #152211


There is something between a code of silence and shouting every charge from the rooftops.

In a reasonably large number of cases, bad things will happen. We can recognize that and let the courts do their work.

We do our best to save civilian lives, while are enemies seek to maximize them. A dozen civilians killed is an everyday goal (not error) among the jihadis. Let’s not pretend than anyone among them is scandalized. Let’s also recognize that if these guys had their way, killing civilians would be routine.

In fact, they regularly threaten, beat and murder anyone who doesn’t toe their line. It is how they operate. When it happens among us we recognize it as a crime.

So I will accept criticism of the U.S. ONLY if we first stipuate that the standard for us is higher AND we are far superior to the alternative.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #152212

Let me see if I get your point. Murtha was briefed on the issue, saw the video, and, would seem to have been pretty much convinced by what he heard and saw to feel there’s basis to the reports. He reported to the American public what he perceived as a scandal worse than Abu Ghraib. This is irresponsible? He is irate at the attempt to cover up this issue?

Did George Bush say Hussein ALLEDGEDLY killed hundreds of innocent people when an assassination attempt failed? I’m fairly sure he has already jailed, tried, and convicted Hussein. Are the hundreds of detainees at Gitmo guilty? Or has Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld jailed, tried, and convicted them without trial? Is the NSA surveillance program an example of the administrations’ adherence to due process, innocent until proven guilty, or are they accusing every American of being guilty until proven innocent? Was Bush ALLEDGING Iraq might have had WMDs? Or was he adamant that they did have WMDs?

Murtha forgot to be politically correct and preface his remarks with “alledgedly”. If he were not fairly convinced the issue is provable, I think he would not have been quite so strong in his convictions. The jihadists don’t need Murtha to support their belief that Americans can be hippocrites or that atrocities may be happening in the Iraq War. If they needed an American politician to support their cause, then 9/11 would have never happened. They have plenty of motivation for their actions without anyone in this country affirming their agenda. Video is a strong impetus for extending hatred, however. The Watts riots presented a prime example of the power of pictures.

I am a veteran and proud of it. But I also have enough sense to know that being a veteran doesn’t automatically relegate one to sainthood. Perhaps Murtha will prove to be a 24-karat jerk, but for now you are a nickle-plated rebel rouser who has a personal problem with Murtha. If the truth bothers you, stick with Bush. He has plenty of wool for your eyes.

Posted by: KDTEXAS at May 28, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #152214


The point is that Murtha went public and buried these marines BEFORE the investigation was complete and BEFORE they are tried.

If they are guilty,so be it:throw the book at them.

However Murtha has no reason other than to exploit an already explosive situation.

The point of the piece is to critize a sitting congressman for opening his mouth prior tothe completion of a criminal investigation and prior to a military court proceeding.

That’s is.

It served no useful purpose other than inflame the situation.None.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #152215

Its funny noone mentions that this is the Marine’s third tour of duty in Iraq.

I guess WHY is not as important as appearance.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #152216


Only profound sadness actually.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #152217


As an attorney I would use that in building my defense in order to attempt to mitigate the crime.

Again,that’s not the point of my piece:

A congressman went public about an alleged atrocity prior to an investigation being completed and a trial on the merits held.

That’s it.

Limit the discussion to that narrow point.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #152218

You think I’m that naive about who these people we’re fighting are? It is precisely that sociopathic opportunism that I want to short circuit.

The thing about it is, they cannot make up their atrocities out of thin air. They either have to fictionalize something plausible, or come up with something real and tell it their own way.

We cannot avoid mistakes, or occasional atrocities on account of people going haywire, but we can put together policy that drops the risk factors for these events, gets them out in the open, and publically resolves them in a way that shows people by fact and deed that we are better than our opponents.

We’d better do so, because an image and a reputation supported by bullshit cannot long stand assault by the facts. You can assert all you want to that our standards are higher, but if that is not true in fact and deed, it will do us little good to say so.

There’s something more in your responses than just some procedural complaint about him going public. There’s a resistance here to the notion that we could actually go so wrong.

It’s an understandable resistance. I was shocked to learn of many of the things I hear about our government and these soldiers are doing. I wish things were done better. Fact of the matter is, though We mustn’t block out unpleasant facts. Murtha evidently felt that there was enough evidence to stick his neck out and say these things. He could still be wrong, but the likelihood is, something really did go terribly wrong that day.

There might have been one or two bad apples, but its likely many of those involved were no different than you or I, aside from the choice they made.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #152220

“Limit the discussion to that narrow point.”

Why? If you limit the discussion far enough, and idea is valid. You attack a war hero who came out to force this atrocity to be delt with… up till he came forward, this investigation was stalled. Seems to be “ignore it and it will go away.” Same approach by this Administration… it’s failed before, it has failed now.

So, let’s attack the messenger and ignore what happened. Why no word about the crime that was committed? Yea, I know, prosecute first and then discuss it. But we’re not talking about individual names or individual crimes… we’re talking about war crimes that happened, and it’s been proven. Let’s leave conviction of individuals to the courts… So far, I’ve not heard a single name mentioned yet… so I can’t see any issue with what’s been uncovered.

Posted by: tony at May 28, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #152221

“Limit the discussion to that narrow point.”

Heh. I think we limiting to narrow points is what got us into this mess.

As for making it public, it already was public. Don’t you read Time?

The ISSUE here is WHY it happened. Something SE obviously doesn’t want to talk about. The fact the marines would do this reflects the massive psychological strain repeated deployments has wrecked upon them. ANd Bush The Decider wants to keep them there indefinitely?

Ofcourse, SE doesn’t want to talk about that.

I wonder when it happens again, what spin SE will post.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #152223

Aldous and Stephen
I will post an appropriate response tonite after I take my girlfriend to see the Da VCinci Code.

While Opus Dei is doing whatever they do,O will ponder an answer for the ages.

Stay tuned.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #152226

People the point that most are missing in their haste to vilify the war, president, or whatever else is that no matter who you are and no matter what titles or awards you have receive gives you the right to slander another American.

“Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood,”

We is his proof. Is he the prosecuting attorney? Is this statement based on any actual evidence that he has looked over? If they are guilty treat them like scum after it proven. An apology to an innocent man after dragging his name through the mud is worthless. Try them in court not in the media. Give them their due process and they are innocent until proven guilty. This is not about Bush, being a rep., or conser. It is about supporting kids far from home facing death everyday and watching friends go home maimed or in boxes.

This country did a great disservice to its Veitnam vets. Lets not repeat the mistakes of our past

Posted by: lllplus2 at May 28, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #152228

It appears to me that neither you nor most your opponents actually read the article you linked too. The emphasis of the article was on whether there was a cover-up. Yes, I agree that Murtha spoke out of turn, but apparently had he not gotten involved, no one would have taken this incident as seriously as it should have been taken.

On May 17, Murtha is quoted as saying

The shootings last November at Haditha, …
Marines justifying their action by implying that the incident occurred because
… Iraq has been plagued by insurgents, were
…was in fact a
covered up, said Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa.

“Who covered it up, why did they cover it up, why did they wait so long?” Murtha said on “This Week” on ABC. “We don’t know how far it goes. It goes right up the chain of command.”

Apparently,Time Magazine broke a story regarding the incident at Haditha, after having received a video showing what appears to be the actually events.

Murtha then tried to bring the story to the for-front, when he stated that he believed the massacre was brought on by

“Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood,” John Murtha told reporters. The November 19 incident occurred in Haditha, Iraq.

The incident at Haditha has sparked two investigations: one into the deadly encounter itself and another into whether it was the subject of a cover-up.

Had Murtha kept his mouth shut, it is entirely possible that the new investigation that started in March might have ended the same way the original investigation did - no where.

Murtha, who said he based his assertions on briefings he received from high-level military officials, added: “There was an investigation right afterward, but then it was stifled.”
He said he did not know how far up the chain of command responsibility for the alleged cover-up goes.
“But we cannot allow something like this to fester,” said Murtha, who warned that the Haditha killings would undermine the war effort in Iraq and be used as propaganda by radical Islamists fighting the United States. “We’re set back every time something like this happens,” he said.

Murtha is not alone in his desire for an investigation be done regarding how Marine officials handled the incident.

Senator John Warner told ABC news the Senate committee he heads would probe “what happened and when it happened and what was the immediate reaction of the senior officers in the Marine Corps when they began to gain knowledge of it.”

I honestly believe Murtha is more concerned with the apparent ‘cover-up’ than the deaths. While I think that the deaths are atrocious, Murtha maybe be right, I too find myself more concerned about the potential possibility of an other “mistake” (Bush did admit there were a few), better known as playing with the facts, or more easily called a ‘cover-up’. If there is one, there is likely to be others… at least that is my belief.


Posted by: Linda H. at May 28, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #152229


You would think Murtha would be on our side. That’s all. Why jump to the worst possible conclusions about your own people before you know all the facts?


They CAN make up atrocities out of thin air. When they get some real ones, they use it to bolster the others. During the old Soviet Union days, they had a whole organization to make up disinformation. It didn’t have to be true if they could make it plausible.

Murtha type comments play into this. It becomes the FLOOR for their lies. You can imagine how they sell it. The Americans admit to this, it must be much worse. When Murtha and others extrapolate, they do their country a disservice.

We should and do go through the legal proceedings. We don’t need the speculation. The bad guys will do that by themselves.

I think we have taken this self criticism too far. We have allowed others to hold us to an absolute theoretical standard. Meanwhile, our adversaries carry on an active disinformation campaign. They murder civilians and blame us and we investigate, as we should. The insurgents specifically fight among civilians hoping some will be killed. And when insurgents are killed they claim they are civilians.

My father landed at D-Day and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He told me stories about the war and I suppose some of them were true. Had we fought that war with the same scrutiny we pay now, we never would have won.

And Aldous

War is all about fighting and when there is fighting people get killed. Insurgents fight among and pose as civilians. That violates the Geneva Convention BTW and disqualifies them as legitimate fighters. When we have excesses, we investigate. When we find people guilty, we punish them. I regret any situation where American troops behave poorly, but I see no reason to apologize for the GENERAL behavior of American troops. At no time in the history of the world have troops generally behaved better in a war zone. You guys can point all the fingers you want.

I will always counter with the truth. And you know I am right about the U.S. otherwise you would not dare write about the U.S. as you do.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #152244

we must be careful cutting garments for general wear as the tailor has only themselves as models and the mirror to reflect the fit.

Posted by: lm at May 28, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #152245

Linda H.

Terrific post.Now I want to focus on just one thing in your post:

“Yes, I agree that Murtha spoke out of turn, but apparently had he not gotten involved, no one would have taken this incident as seriously as it should have been taken.”

So we both agree that he spoke out of turn.That is precisely my point.

Now for the rest of your sentence:Jack Murtha is a powerful guy.He could have forced a thourough investigation internally…as a matter of fact two,WERE going on.One by the Marines and one by the Army,who was not involved to make damn sure they git it right.He knew that.Yet instead of waiting for the investigation to be complete,he went public.If in fact he had gone to the defense secretary and Rummy stonewalled it,Murtha would have been the first to say so.He would have screamed that point to high heaven.He didn’t say that though,did he?

Tonite ABC broke video of a 12 year old survivor…her entire family was wiped out.Somebody intentionially killed somebody it appears.Note I said “it appears”.If these marines did in fact kill somebody,they must be severly punished.Severly.However,due process must take its course.

That is why I am steamed.

Now to respond to both Stephen and Aldous.

In the American Revolution,The American Civil War,The Spanish American war,WWI,WWII,Korea,Vietnam,the Gulf war,I am sure atrocities were committed by our forces somewhere.Nobody fights by the Marquis di Queensbury rules in war,and the human spirit,when faced with shocking and tumultous events reacts in many many ways.

Some with fear,some with valor.The fog of war its called.

The “why this happened” here,in an unjust war as you claim,is precisicely the same as say,”why this happened” in WWII.

In and of itself,the justness or unjustness of a war does not compel soldiers to commit murder.

Rather,each individual has his breaking point…weak ones supposedely are vetted out in basic training and psychologial tests,but this is an imperfect science.

If there was in fact a cover-up(and I am not saying there was) but if that was so,every officer in the chain of command culpable should be disciplined,and severly as well.

However,this is getting the cart before the horse.

My beef is with Murtha and his going public,that’s it.

If you agree with that issue,then point taken by me.

All other issues,I haven’t championed.


Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #152247

The best defense for libel is the truth. If it is in fact true, and it seems they caught this on videotape, then calling it slander is inaccurate.

The support our people over there need is leadership that does not let problems like these multiply and become grist for the propaganda mills of our enemies. Nothing will hurt us so much as a disturbing truth that we refuse to face.

Murtha’s seen the video. Have you? If it shows U.S. Soldiers doing what they said they didn’t do it, that would be pretty conclusive. The worst possible conclusion may be the only one the evidence really supports. Are you willing to come to that conclusion, or will you jump to the conclusion that Murtha’s a traitor because the conclusion reflects so darkly on us?

We can’t fight their propaganda by simply denying anything that reflects negatively on us. It may seem like the easy way out, the one that saves face, but an ugly fact kept secret is more valuable to them than one we admit to and do something about.

The facts of our actions will set the floor for what lies will work. If we cover up atrocities instead of preventing them, we will set that floor uncomfortably high. Take care of the reality, and that will by accumulation of evidence and experience among the people we’re trying to help take care of the impact that their insurgent’s lies would have on us.

This has been my point all along. The best way to protect this army’s reputation is to give people less real world cause to doubt it.

Yes, we’ll fall short. That’s what apology is for. But if we build up a reputations for honesty, we’ll be able to tell folks what we did and did not do with more credibility lent to what we report.

The alternative is a never ending struggle to prop up a bright shining lie. We’ve had experience with that before. We should have learned our lesson.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #152250
“I am sick of him and the harm that he has done to our military.”

The harm Murtha has done to the military is nothing next to the harm the military has done to its own image by these actions.

Your post is analogous to a convict blaming the justice system for his incarceration, instead of his own actions. Grow up.

Posted by: pianofan at May 28, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #152252

I love the smell of roasted chicken hawk in the morning.

Posted by: OZ at May 28, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #152253


Don’t straw man me. I never call anyone a traitor (except maybe Benedict Arnold or Tokyo Rose. Jane Fonda could have been if she had the brains to understand what she was doing at the time,)

But it is certainly not useful to extrapolate. I saw Murtha on TV. I am sure he is sincere. But I think he has gone off the deep edge. We don’t generally do this sort of thing.

Recognize this. The possibility of an American masacre is new BECAUSE IT IS RARE. Murtha knows this. Some others are trying to make it seem not so rare. Americans should not do this. I know some people think it is political against Bush. Our enemies don’t see it that way. They just use it against America.

Google Kosovo,Clinton and Chinese Embassy and read what they said then.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #152254

The fog of war is the complexity of war and the real world defeating our ability to understand it all at once and get plans to go according to our wishes.It means that some idiot might send their column of soldiers into the field where you just ordered your artillery to fire, because he made the snap decision to make a charge.
It means that sometimes well-meaning people will end up doing things that turn out to be stupid or disastrous, simply for the lack of knowledge of anything and everything about the situation. That said, the fog can be rolled back with improved procedures, communications and training. It’s not some immovable barrier to knowing what the hell you’re doing.

It is not some haze of moral equivalency in which we can hide atrocities like this, where women and Children were part of the body count. Your point strikes me as bureaucratic in it’s quality. It ignores the ethical problems that a coverup poses in its broad sweep to condemn the breach of protocol.

As far as I know, Murtha has not named names of anybody he considers guilty. He has simply said that the evidence indicates a massacre has likely occured, and has been covered up. Under such conditions, allowing the cover-up to continue is likely to let the problem fester and embolden others to misbehave similarly to the soldiers. That is not a precedent it pays to set in a war like this.

I don’t care what the motive of the soldiers were. I care about what their actions were, and what effect they’ve had, both on reputations and battlefield realities. You presume that this is just anti-war B.S. the truth is more complex. I hate this kind of thing because it makes wars like the one we’re fighting more difficult to win.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #152257


OJ got his day in court too. Innocent as hell he was. Will you be having him over for dinner? Why can’t conservatives admit mistakes, especially the military’s mistakes. Is denial what passes for patriotism where you come from? What happened to calling these men to task for bringing shame on the country they represent?? You know personal acountability.They asked for the privilege, responsibility and honor of defending our country.

Posted by: 037 at May 28, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #152259

“You would think Murtha would be on our side”, you said, more or less. Whose side would he be on if he weren’t on ours? Perhaps that’s just a poor word choice on your part, but since you and others seem to be questioning whether he’s being loyal to those serving in Iraq, I’m inclined to believe it’s deliberate. The implication to me is clear, and my disagreement with the insinuation is not lacking in its clarity.

I think your biased towards thinking this is just a few rotten apples, rather than symptomatic of something more, even if it is rare. I think you want to believe that Murtha is just doing this for some political or misguided sentimental reason, instead of making and informed competent decision on the matter.

I think he knows what he’s speaking of.

Personally, I think denial just makes things worse. It’s usually just closing the barndoors after the cows have gotten out, which makes us look like con artists playing at being moral leaders.

I’d just as soon we played the role of virtuous hero in reality, instead of trying to create that role piecemeal from a bunch of bullshit spin. That means taking responsibility for mistakes and atrocities, and making public amends for them. That means punishing the people who did these things, so as to set the example that we are indeed a civilized nation.

To maintain an image without reality behind it is an exercise in mental torture. I recommend we put our brainpower to better use figuring out how to solve our problems in the real world.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #152261


Not a single Conservative will answer the WHY question I posed.

What caused a large group of GIs to go berserk?

What can we do to prevent it?

Why won’t the Red Column face this?

Considering how desperately the Reds here are avoiding the PTSD issue, is Murtha right in bringing the stress the GIs face front and center?

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #152265


It is in the nature of war. Your question cannot be answered in the simple way you pose it. My father and uncles fought in Europe and the Pacific. We called that a good war. They told some interesting stories.

You are looking for machine like perfection in a human system that causes great stress. YOu can minimize such incidents - as we have - you cannot prevent all of them.

War is hell. That is why we should avoid it. But those who refuse to prepare for war and occasionally fight, end up dead or with bigger wars to fight later.

Life is not one of your video games. there are more variables.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #152268

I sense a lot of love on this thread. I think all you murthas should have a group hug and validate each other. then we could all touchy feely good again.

Posted by: lm at May 28, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #152271

According to Murtha, there was an attempted cover-up. Do you support a cover-up?

“Murtha said high-level reports he received indicated that no one fired upon the Marines or that there was any military action against the U.S. forces after the initial explosion. Yet the deaths were not seriously investigated until March because an early probe was stifled within days of the incident, he said.

“I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened,” Murtha said. “This investigation should have been over two or three weeks afterward and it should have been made public and people should have been held responsible for it.” “

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #152273

John Murtha, D-Pa., a former Marine, stated earlier this month that he was told by Corps officials that the death toll in the Haditha attack was far worse than originally reported by the U.S. military and mainstream media.

He also said that the U.S. troops killed those civilians “in cold blood.”

This statement by any US citizen, much less an official and a previous military person is despicable! How could one that loves this country turn his back on our military at a time of war. I am sure he would say he is not turning his back, then the press and statements he made could only be for his hopeful political gain! Whether what happened is fact or not, it was not his place to charge the Marines and try them in the press. Murtha was not there and cannot possibly know what really happened or why. Why wasn’t he as outraged when the so called insurgent’s were beheading innocent people in front of cameras? Having been in the military himself he is aware that many things have been and are done by military personal of various countries that their countrymen would not be proud of, and will bring shame upon them creating a burden they must bare forever.

This is reality folks. It has been going on forever during wars, in peace times and in our own country by our own citizens, just as it goes on in other countries. Is it considered acceptable, not by me, not by most people who are humane and moral, but it has and does happen. The difference is, we allow freedom of press and the media will print anything no matter how damaging it may be to people or it’s country in order to sell, obtain viewers, and often to reflect their own personal feelings. World wide coverage in minutes..showing how we Americans are disgusted with our own leaders and military. Soon we could be viewed as oppressed county ruled by tyrants.

I think it is shameful the way politicians throw dirt and slander each other. It is even more shameful when politicians slander and condemn their own country, it’s leaders and their military all in hopes of getting elected and gaining notoriety.

I am angry and sadden by such remarks and people as Murtha. Ask any man or woman serving in Iraq or Afganistan and you will find they are proud, they feel they are doing the right thing for fellow human beings. Remember they were not drafted they volunteered, they are not avoiding prison and are educated, and to humiliate and further put our military at risk like Murtha has is horrible!
I agree with you Sicilian Eagle, only he is worse than a jerk and I hope there are enough angry people out here and in our country that will see through his charade and it will bring his polical career future to an end with the people’s vote.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 28, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #152277


Interesting you mention OJ.That tape is often viewed in law schools as a lesson on what NOT to to do while prosecuting a homicide.

Getting back to Murtha…This isn’t an anti-war thing,nor should it be used as one.Had Dick Cheney said what Murtha said,I’d be all over him too.

Murtha doesn’t realize the fallout his words have.Several months back his words empowered the insurrency.

Today they will do the same.

At this point I agree with Stephen…we have to do a thorough investigation and punish those responsible if cupable and then fix the problem.

Professionial military men aren’t cold blooded killers.They are heros.They defend this nation.If guilty,these peoplewho did murder are an abberation and that’s it.

Can we agree that there may have been a better way for Murtha to act?Like thru channels first,for instance?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #152282

Jack, said it right: “It is in the nature of war” as horrible as it may be. This is reality.

Eagle, I agree: “In the American Revolution,The American Civil War,The Spanish American war,WWI,WWII,Korea,Vietnam,the Gulf war,I am sure atrocities were committed by our forces somewhere.Nobody fights by the Marquis di Queensbury rules in war,and the human spirit,when faced with shocking and tumultous events reacts in many many ways.”

Posted by: Bobbie at May 28, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #152285


Start your post by calling a decorated veteran a jerk. Classy, real classy. And it takes one to know one, Eagle.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 28, 2006 12:09 PM

OK I’m a decorated veteran and I’m calling Murtha a jerk. Of course there ain’t but one metal that has any real value. And I don’t have it and don’t want it.
Anyway the only thing this guy is doing is trying to bring discredit on the Military and this country. And with him being an elected official that makes the matter even worse.
These marines deserve the same right of presumption of innocents as anyone else. And all Murtha is usurping that right.
If accusation alone was grounds to convict then all of would be in jail. Fortunately we have a system of law that requires that a person be found guilty, by a preponderance of the evidence, beyond ALL reasonable doubt. This is why if I was sitting on the juries that heard the Wayne Williams, and OJ Simpson, I would have had to vote not guilty, even though I personally believe both are guilty.
I find it interesting that the only folks that the Democrats think are innocent and have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty are themselves.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 28, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #152286

You missed my point entirely. I know you only want to discuss part of what Murtha said, but you really shouldn’t just pick and choose one or two lines from an article, taken somewhat out of context, and not be prepared to discuss the actually focus of the entire article.

I don’t believe there would be any investigations going on if Murtha hadn’t open his mouth. I had never heard of the incident prior to Murtha’s comments. I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t hear anything until AFTER MURTHA SPOKE.

I may not like what appears to have happened, but I am not a judge, or on the jury.I may even believe that Murtha opened his mouth and said some stupid things. I doubt he has done near the damage to the US cause in Iraq as the Marines envoled MAY have done.
I DO AGREE THAT SOMEONE had to say something to get some action.

Posted by: Linda H. at May 28, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #152295

S.E. Jack Murtha did not break this story. It was on one of the cable news stations several days ago. The story I saw said that the incident happened pretty much the way it was reported today. The story also said that while there was a squad of marines, only two allegedly did the killings. After the incident supposedly happened in Nov., it was covered up. The story also said that a nco and 1 or 2 others were being investigated for the alleged crime and 3 officers were being investigated for the alleged coverup.

Some think this is very shocking, find it hard to believe. and want swift justice. But, this kind of thing happens often in combat situations, thats why they call it war. Sometimes incidents like this are hidden, covered up or ignored. In these days it is getting harder to hide insidents like this when they occur.

Others seem to think this is new news and how dare Murtha critize our troops in a time of war,especially on Memorial day. And, what gives hime the right to reveal this to the Iraqis and the insurgents when we are in a war. The truth is, that the Iraq people have known this for quite a while now. And, they know of other incidents, some we know about and some we don’t, some that are true and some that are not true. So who do we blame for this, the troops, all of us, none of us, or the messenger may be. How about The Buck Stops Here.

Everything still keeps coming down to not enough troops to get the job done. The troops are over worked and over streached. Many are on second or third tours. animosity between the troops and the Iraqis is continuing to grow. People and our troops are continuing to die. While by far most of the deaths are being perpatrated by the insurgents of each faction, many Iraqis can’t help but think that none of this might be happening if we weren’t there.

Posted by: jlw at May 28, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #152302

Murtha’s service doesn’t make him immune from criticism. He’s a fool and makes stupid political statements that are DANGEROUS to the US. It’s not just recently either.

He is the one that convinced Clinton to cut and run from Somalia. That retreat emboldened Bin Laden and the other islamofascists by displaying that we would not stand up to them when we have military casualties.

Thanks Bill Clinton and John Murtha, for nothing. You are as pathtetic as Jimmy Carter in his inactions over the takeover of a US embassy and kidnapping our diplomats for 444 days.

That is way the vast majority of Americans will never trust the Dems with the security of our country. Too many Murthas, Carters, and Clintons with supporters like Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, and the rest of the looney left.

Posted by: kch at May 28, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #152305

Yea those damn,democrats,could’nt even save us if we went to war, like I dont know FDR?
And let us not forget that it was Reagan who was so busy making deals with the Iranian terrorists who held our people,they had no incentive to deal with Pres. Carter. I love a foreign policy that includes selling drugs to americans to pay for arms. Good thinking Republicans.
And for domestic policy there is always the very popular Whip Inflation Now of Jerry Ford,That went up like a lead balloon.
Yeah, I sure am glad for the terrific leadership the republicans have shown over the years. Maybe if we are lucky we can get some future Republican President to allow the British to impress American seaman.

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #152307


I remember the shock at Abu Ghraib—those graphic pictures that made their way into the media. Remember the Cons response? Rush said it was no more than “hazing.” Others (in Congress, no less) even suggested that it was deserved by these “enemy combatants” and that we should have no sympathy for them.

Now on this board many of you Cons are writing that it’s an inevitability of the “fog of war;” that the killing of women and children is a reality in a war situation that we have to suck it in and come to grips with.

Well, y’all may be right. When we learn to kill we learn to dehumanize our enemy. It strikes me that many people commenting here seem to value American lives more than Iraqi lives. If that’s the case for you, then you have learned to dehumanize them, too. To kill someone, or torture them, you have to believe that they are not as human as your mother, brother, or best friend. And this happens time and time again in wars throughout history.

Which is why we have to be especially careful to avoid them unless there are no other options. Personally, I am filled with sorrow to see our young men and women sent into these situations borne of falsehood and deceit.

This memorial day, I’m going to keep a vigil for the lost American soul that is no longer a beacon of moral high ground in the world, but instead a country with people asked to accept a mass killing of civilians as “reality” and to regard torture as sometimes acceptable.

Murtha has undoubtedly seen the results of war, and has the courage and patriotism to try to save what we have left of our honor. We will continue to see more reports like these, and coverups, until enough Jack Murthas come forward.

Posted by: DavidL at May 28, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #152309

Sic, It seems to me that kch and jblym are a bit off track. What do you think?

Posted by: Linda H. at May 28, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #152317

SE; I think you are off base in your critism of Rep. Murtha for a couple of reasons.

First, the story was already making news once it was reported that Time was going to publish the story in its current issue. I think I first heard about it on Thursday on CNN. Murtha saw a copy in the waiting room at ABC while waiting to go on this morning’s show. So, he didn’t break the news; it was out already.

If I was George Stephanopoulas and I wanted to get a response to this breaking story on my show, the first person I would call would be Jack Murtha because of his track record for being candid on his views about the war. Murtha has been as consistant in his opposition to the war as he has been in his unwavering support for the troops fighting it.

This story was going to be on the show regardless of whether Murtha appeared or not.

Second; you said he should have waited until the investigation was completed before speaking out. But, for all intents and purposes, the investigation WAS over until Time’s information (the video) prompted a further look into the facts of the case.

It’s interesting that you used the Al-Jazera story as a reference. They had access to the same videos as Time, yet their story didn’t come out until it had been all over the news here.

Posted by: Tim at May 29, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #152319

Cong. Murtha made his declarations in behalf of political expediency. He just as well could and should have waited for the complete report to be released and then make an ass out of himself.
As for Time magazine, can one even believe the page numbers in Time?

Posted by: tomh at May 29, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #152322

David -
If you were shocked by the pictures of Abu Ghraib you are either very young or choose not to face reality. Yes it is better not to go to war unless there is no other way and it is truly warranted, but the fact is, there have been wars and will continue to be wars. Greed and Power will see to this as well as some religious fanatics. And it may be true that when the military of any nation is taught to kill, that after awhile some may dehumanize their enemy, but if this were a fact, we would not have so many people stressed and losing control. And we would not have so many coming home with post traumatic stress syndrome as it is called.

We have always been a country of Honor, defending and helping those in need, and we will continue to stay that way as long as we are all proud Americans and stand by our Country, our Constitution, its Military, our elected leaders and remain One Nation Under God.

It is one thing to disagree among ourselves, (using the proper procedures and channels) about things that have happened or may happen, but to degrade our selves and condemn our military, putting it out there before the world like this was, only gives the impression to others that our country is weak, untruthful, dishonorable and divided.

Murtha’s statements to the press and media were abomination of our country and it military. We must stand United or we will fall.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 29, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #152326

Why does Murtha automatically believe the worst about our military? He never waits until all the facts are in, just brands them murderers of innocent women and children before the entire world as soon as the cameras begin to roll. Wake up, Mr. Murtha, and remember WHO the enemy is! It is NOT the Military of the United States, or have you truly forgotten that minor detail? For heaven’s sake, give these young Marines their chance to tell their side of the event, and prove or disprove their innocence, but stop this screaming their guilt before they have had a trial!

Posted by: Sue at May 29, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #152327


Compared to what the insurgents are doing, Abu Graib was hazing. The main complaint of Muslims was that the inmates there were “humiliated.” If you find those pictures shocking, I suggest you look up some of the videos of Westerners having thier heads cut off by the insurgents.

What makes scandals like Abu Graib and this alleged massacre so newsworthy is that they are the EXCEPTION. Insurgents regularly kill more Iraqi civilians than this using suicide bombers. In thier case, brutality is the NORM. Furthermore, they plan to murder civilians. These Marines overreacted in a brutal fashion, but did not go to Haditha looking to kill civilians.

The insurgent forces we are fighting are brutal murderers who openly trumpet massacring civilians. In order to seperate ourselves from them, we need to fully investigate these accusations. If they are proven, those responsible should be punished to the maximum extent of the law, to include the death penalty.

One note on this war being founded in deceit. It was, but it was the deceit of Saddam. Last month, Stars and Stripes ran a short story discussing the state of WMDs in Iraq. It showed that Saddam did indeed order them destroyed, starting about a month before the invasion began. They were destroyed by the time we moved, and we intercepted the orders from Saddam to destroy them, but based on 12 years of his lies, regarded this as deliberate misinformation on his part to try and stop us from attacking.

The point of all this is that Bush was right about Iraq having WMDs, at least until a week or two before the war kicked off. Saddam lied to the U.N. for 12 years and every charge Bush made against him was true. Had Saddam simply let the inspectors witness these weapons being destroyed, this wouldn’t have happened. Another interesting point. The realistic threat of an American invasion did in a few months what 12 years of sanctions and empty threats could not do: forced Saddam to destroy his WMDs.

As for Murtha, being a veteran does not automatically make one immune to criticism, as John Kerry found out to his sorrow. I don’t always agree with him, but if people actually listened to what he had to say, he’s actually usually right. He didn’t say we should cut and run, he said that the conflict in Iraq was turning into a civil war and our presence isn’t helping. He didn’t say these Marines are guilty, he said that there should be an investigation to determine not only what happened but if there was a cover up. We owe it to the murdered Iraqis, as well as ourselves, to find out and prosecute those responsible. Everyone knows the insurgents kill innocent people. What they need to know is that America is serious when we say we don’t and that those who do will be punished.

Posted by: 1LT B at May 29, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #152332

Ron Brown,

“I find it interesting that the only folks that the Democrats think are innocent and have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty are themselves.”

Ron you forgot about anyone who commits atrocities from other countries and anyone the ACLU will defend.

Posted by: lllplus2 at May 29, 2006 1:04 AM
Comment #152333

1LT B -
Well put.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 29, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #152334

Posted by: 1LT B at May 29, 2006 12:43 AM

1LT B, I think you’re 100% on the mark except for the two paragraphs about the WMDs. But that’s for another post…

Great perspective on the troops and Rep. Murtha.

Posted by: Tim at May 29, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #152349


Well,I am happy that me post provoked zeal on your part!

Please answer this question:Is it correct that a sitting congressman disclose to the world the fact that an alleged atrocity occured and that marines were guilty of doing it PRIOR to an investigation and a court proceeding?
Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 28, 2006 02:23 PM

Eagle, it may be that the details of this incident are sub judice, nevertherless, what is undisputed is that there was an attack on the Marines. In the aftermath of that, civilians were killed in their homes, and students were taken from a taxi and gunned down. It is also known, (globally) that the Marines issued reports of what happened which were totally at variance with the evidence on the ground and that of eye witnesses. There is a powerfully stong prima facie case to answer here, and, it seems to me, whereas the guilt of individual marines has yet to be established, the facts of this appaling massacre are well established.

As for phx calling for symbolic sentences, I have to strongly disagree. In the event that culpability for murder is proved, there is a moral obligation to show that those who have committed atrocities are not above the law, and will suffer the appropriate penalties if convicted. Those soldiers who committed these acts, have not only disgraced and betrayed the country they serve, they have also betrayed their comrades in arms, making their mission even more dangerous and potentially more futile.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at May 29, 2006 5:51 AM
Comment #152352

Dear Watchblog manager:

I did discuss the content. The content does lack the common sense of evaluating a situation in reality and IS up to the usual standards of invective in several of his posts. I don’t know SE and made no comment on him personally. Removing a line and characterizing it as personal attack is, well, just a bizarre interpretation of Watchblog rules. Much worse things have been said about my comments. Interesting interpretation. Very telling. Please explain further this interpretation, if you possibly can.

Posted by: gergle at May 29, 2006 6:55 AM
Comment #152354


I wasnt to compliment each and every one of you.

For 98 posts now,a very emotional topic has been discussed (for the most part) with dignity and intelligence.

I think that is why Watchblog was founded.

I applaud each and every one of you.

I am sure that no whitewash will happen.And in the event that an atrocity was committed,severe punishments will be metted out,absent mitigation.

I have every confidence in the military investigators and the Military Court System to accomplish this end.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 29, 2006 7:04 AM
Comment #152364

Murtha was just throwing more red meat to the rabidly anti-war, anti-American copperheads here in this country. Just like he has done many times before. Political pandering. When is the guy up for re-election?

Posted by: nikkolai at May 29, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #152373

“War is hell. That is why we should avoid it. But those who refuse to prepare for war and occasionally fight, end up dead or with bigger wars to fight later.”

This argument works for the terrorists as well as for us. The true dividing line is how we act in these situation vs the terrorists. (Remember, they declared a jihad - holy war - against us long before they attacked on 9/11.) Why should we consider their actions so horrible and yet want to wait until the trial is over to discuss what our soldiers have done? None of the terrorists have had their day in court either.

Or does the flag a person flies decide what is moral and right and what isn’t? If this is the case, then are the anti-American sentiments correct?

Fact 1: This atrocity occurred and was carried out by US soldiers. That is known, had been proven and has been acknowledged publicly.

Fact 2: Innocent until proven guilty applies to individuals - not to a particular crime scene or crime. I have not seen Murtha or anyone else refer to or publicly “convict” any individual soldier.

Murtha is a decorated war hero - who here attacking him has any military experience, much less a comparable heroic past? A lot here sounds like the crowing of chicken-hawks.

Have you ever meet a Marine? Would you classify them as a life-long brotherhood? Not exactly the kind of person who would turn on his fellow soldiers for “political” gain. I would expect those who say as much offer up proof to avoid being seen as so anti-American.

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #152374

I don’t think many people on here have been capable of staying on topic.

I believe the topic started out as a outrage regrading the fact that a decorated war hero would take it upon himself to act as judge and jury on an action that is still under investigation.

The points against Murtha’s verbosity are the fact that he is clearly damaging our efforts in Iraq and that he has ruined the lives of a few young marines.

The points for Murtha’s outbursts are that he re-energized an investigation that for all appearances had “died”.

My questions are:

1. Could Murtha have done this without doing so much damage to our military? For instance, requested that they re-open the investigation based on stories he had heard?

2. Isn’t EVERYONE innocent until proven guilty? My biggest problem with Murtha isn’t that he is bringing this to light. It’s that he seems to be making statements of fact for his adoring public (i.e., every card-carrying anti-war liberal).

My OPINION - Murtha has lost his mind. Honestly, I believe something happened to him. He doesn’t seem to be filled with logical thought to me, but again, that is JMHO.

If this is true, I don’t think we have “death squads”, as suggested by 1LT. We might have scared soldiers that are sick and tired of watching the best friends get blown to pieces before their very eyes. Their sick of the jihadists hiding behind churchers, mosques, families, schools, daycares, etc. When the terrorists hide in residences with children after blowing up a soldier, they are in my opinion murdering the innocent (or not) civilians they are using as a shield. Can you imagine an American soldier doing that? I can’t. I really can’t.

Posted by: Bruce at May 29, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #152375

Wow, SE. What is it with Republicans hating our soldiers?

Aldous is right. It’s Murtha’s job to make sure this doesn’t get covered up. It’s the coverup that makes America look bad, not the actions of a few soldiers dealing with the pressures of successive back-to-back tours in Iraq fighting an insurgency where the enemy blends in with the civilians.

SE, you can try to argue that the incident never took place, but you’re wrong to make a personal attack on Murtha for making sure the world knows we take these problems seriously and we will deal with them justly, promptly and transparently.

BTW, why aren’t the young Republicans mobbing recruiting stations to help out in Iraq? It’d sure help if the young Republicans could relieve these guys and make sure they’re not doing back-to-back deployments in Iraq for the next ten years.

Or at least stop trying to cut their hazardous duty pay.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 29, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #152376

American Pundit…

Can any of you figure out a different way to set up your diatribe? Bringing to light the fact that Murtha is hurting our soldiers in a very direct and obvious way does not make us had soldiers. There are some really bad soldiers out there, but knowing that doesn’t mean that we are “hating our soldiers”. That is a ridiculous argument. I suppose it is your way of getting back at the same people that say YOU hate our soldiers because you don’t support the action in Iraq. Both are silly. But two wrongs don’t make a right.

Posted by: Bruce at May 29, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #152378

Again with the “presumption of innocence” nonsense. That applies to putting someone in jail, not talking about them.

If you guys really take this seriously, you should never say that Ted Kennedy did anything appropriate in Chappaquiddick, because he was never convicted of a crime. You can’t talk about Kerry shooting someone in the back, because he was never court-martialed. You can’t say that Bill Clinton committed perjury, because he was never charged with perjury, much less convicted. You can’t say anything about Al Gore’s fundraising. Hell, you can’t say that OJ was guilty, because the jury said he was innocent…

Well, you get the idea. If you really want to use “innocent until proven guilty” as a rule for discussion, then you are really going to have to radically change how you talk about the Democrats you dislike.

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 29, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #152380

Why does everyone think that because of Murtha that this iccident was known? Does anyone here think that the rumors have not been growing wild in Iraq since the day this occured? The only people who Murtha’s comments informed were Americans…

Still no discussion from the people attacking Murtha as to how to deal with these problems occuring and how to prevent future atrocities? Ignoring them? Don’t think that’ll work. No one cured cancer by taking a couple of asprin.

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #152381

Everything we cover up serves to do two things to harm our reputation. The first thing is that these cover-ups give impunity to those who misbehave, who then proceed to commit the same kind of B.S. again. The second thing this does is that it sets up nasty surprises that reflect worse on us than the incident would if we immediately dealt with these things.

You guys rationalize it with two arguments: These Things Happen, and We’re Better Than The Enemy. Both arguments have at their foundations a kind of moral cowardice. It’s not my fault, there’s a war going on, and besides, our enemies do worse.

Our opponents in WWII were much more vicious and heartless than us. Did we sink to their level in the treatment of civilians and prisoners? No. We surpassed them, choosing to act deliberately in a more civilized manner. When we won the war, we had not only defeated the enemy, we had also impressed them with our humanity, and that made a difference in what happened afterwards.

As for Political careers, I think your comments would be valid if his district wasn’t such a conservative, hawkish one. As it is, he’s taking a risk, and that figures against this being a politically calculated move. I mean, who would he be trying to impress?

Cut and run from Somalia? We stayed there six more months, then handed it to the UN, who were the ones who were supposed to be handling it in the first place.

Moreover, ours was a humanitarian mission. Exactly how would whatever campaign of reprisal you could imagine work towards accomplishing that mission? As Richard Clarke put it, we would have had to flatten Mogadishu to impress Bin Laden, and what point would there have been to doing that, given our mission there?

As for the Embassy takeover, Carter did send in troops to help our people out. Unfortunately, an accident with the choppers knocked that plan out of commission. As for the length, it might have been shorter if people working for Reagan had not bargained with the Iranians to keep the people there until after the elections.

As for trusting the Dems with the security of our nation, they may very well end up doing that, after all the Republicans have done for them!

What political expedience? Do you know what kind of district he’s running in? It’s not Berkeley, let me tell you. As for Time magazine, what were the facts they got wrong? At least start with how they got the page numbers wrong.

1LT B-
I don’t want to compare my behavior to theirs before figuring out what’s right and wrong. I want to be the good guy without having to consult the horror stories of what they’ve done to figure out where the limits of decent behavior are for me.

If you really think about it, the “We’re no worse than them” thinking is likely what made bloody beasts of these insurgents and terrorists in the first place. I think we do better when we watch our own selves. Let the terrorists and insurgents be the bastards they are. We’ll do things our way, and still beat them.

The thing we have to understand here is that there is clear evidence that many of these people were not combatants, did not pose a threat to the soldiers, and that Marines at the scene and higher in the chain of command deliberately lied about this, presenting the civilian casualties as a result of the IED that killed the marine.

If we rationalize this sort of behavior, we encourage it, and if we encourage atrocities, we do our soldiers a disservice, and we confirm our enemies worst propaganda. If we a good reputation in terms of our image, we have to have good behavior in fact, or it doesn’t work.

Fix the problems, not the coverage.

Just by the facts alone, this is ugly. The deaths of the civilians were deliberately covered up as the result of a IED explosion. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that the people were not presenting any real threat to the soldiers. Out of all the people killed, only one body was found with a weapon.

Murtha is not the only one coming out with questions about this. Jack Warner, a Republican is on this as is another GOP rep named Cline. As for what Murtha has to gain by doing this, it’s not much. His district is conservative, patriotic and hawkish. He has little to gain from slandering soldiers. This is a GOP canard meant to score points for their elections efforts, while distracting from the fact that this incident demonstrates that our Army is literally snapping under the pressures of this war. Long deployments like those under Bush’s stop-loss program put our soldiers in a psychological pressure cooker. Leave them in long enough, and incidents like this will take place.

We shouldn’t be shooting the messenger here. The people whose actions are reflecting negatively on our country and our armed forces are the ones who went about massacreing civilians. Why are we not blaming the ones who committed these crimes and who covered them up for the shame we’re facing now? Why are we not blaming the folks who made this war such a desperate situation? Why is some elderly, well-respected Representative from Swing-Voter territory suddenly being treated like a pot-smoking peacenik, just for discussing a story that was already coming out?

Sort that out for yourself, but consider the facts before coming to your opinion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #152383

Hey Murtha, Kerry, Dean, etc: Please stop already with all the support. You’re killing us out here.


The Troops

Posted by: nikkolai at May 29, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #152385

Hey troops! Stop with the death-stuff already! You’re embarrasing us. How can I make Iraq look like a good thing if you guys keep on killing and dying?!

W. Bush

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #152386

Could someone tell me who Murtha has publicly convicted? Names please…

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #152388

Murtha has been against this military action for some time now. To pass judgement before an investigation is completed is absolutely wrong and un-American. Murtha knows that if the Marines were wrong, punishment will follow, but right now it plays into exactly what he wants—bad PR for Bush and the war in general.

Posted by: livsafe at May 29, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #152389

Given the choice of believing a professional politician who happened to be an ex-Marine or a group of active-duty Jarheads, I’d opt for the latter every time. I’m also just a bit suspicious of the glee with which the left has pounced on this story. There is definitely an element in this country that longs to recreate what they regard as the glory days of Viet Nam. Another Mai Lai! Perfect! It means regaining control of Congress in November.

Just from the aspect of the law of probability: is it more likely that a unit of U.S. Marines - arguably the most highly-trained and tightly disciplined group in our military - would run amok and slaughter children in response to an attack, or that bloodthirsty jihadists would manufacture a massacre in order to win in the American press what they cannot accomplish on the ground? Shades of Viet Nam again. The jihadists cannot possibly defeat the U.S. military. But the U.S. press and venal American politicians can - they did it in Viet Nam and consider the accomplishment their proudest moment.

Unless and until a court martial supplies proof beyond a reasonable doubt that these Marines are quilty, I will assume a slander campaign waged by the “usual suspects”.

Posted by: Tom Schofiel at May 29, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #152390
Im also just a bit suspicious of the glee with which the left has pounced on this story.

Speaking of slander, where is your evidence of “glee”?

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 29, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #152391

Tom S - livsafe -

You’re the only ones I see trying to turn this into a political discussion… afraid it might hurt your precious leader? Do you think Murtha made all this up? Do you think this is better left in the dark - maybe ignore it and it’ll go away?

Please show me where Murtha has attacked or defamed any soldier. 24 innocent civilians were murdered - that has been proven. Is a flag enough to separate Americans from terrorists, or should we try to act differently as well?

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #152395


Excellent summation of my article.You hit the nail on the head.Completely on point.


You,however, musta put the nail IN your head when you make downright humorous statements like Republicans hating the military.

In the last election,they pretty much voted the president’s way,no?

This post was about going public preemptively.

Spin it all you want,but that was the point I was making.

Glad to see you’ve recovered from last week’s beating on the other side though.

Woody Mena

Ted Kennedy?The guy who got thrown out of Harvard for cheating?That guy?The “liberal lion” who doesn’t want a wind mill that would power the Cape because it would ruin his view?That guy?

By the way,he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident.

Clinton,by the way,lied during a deposition.His licence was suspended.

Get the facts straight.

Next you’ll be telling me that Phelps was a Republician and the Rove got indicted last week.

You guys better huddle up.

Then again,you guys don’t seem to let the facts get in the way in order for you to prove a point,right?

The military has Rules of Engagement.

Answer the question:Should Murtha have gone publich PRIOR TO the investigation being completed?


Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 29, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #152397

“You,however, musta put the nail IN your head when you make downright humorous statements like Republicans hating the military.

In the last election,they pretty much voted the president’s way,no?”

Are you saying that because they voted the President’s way, that they obviously can not be against the military? That’s pretty weak.

“This post was about going public preemptively.”

I’m curious - why do you think it was pre-emptive?

The military has Rules of Engagement.”

What exactly does this point have to do with my posts? They obviously broke the rules of engagement - that’s the problem… right?

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #152407

Yes. To put it simply, something was deliberately covered up. The killing of 24 unarmed civilians was passed off as an IED explosion. This wasn’t kept under wraps to protect our soldiers from adverse public opinion here and abroad. This was kept secret to protect the guilty from punishment. That it’s so painful a revelation now comes from the fact that it wasn’t revealed until this point. The fault in this being such a black mark on our military’s reputation lies with those who betrayed their fellow soldiers by taking innocent lives and then lying about it to avoid responsibility.

Are we so depraved as a culture that the revelation of bad deeds is a worse sin than the commission of those deeds?

We aren’t protecting the soldiers by lying and covering up things on behalf of those who break discipline and fail to lead our soldiers properly. We only serve to let a problem fester which will bring even more shame on us and them later. This is not an image problem. It’s a reality problem. If we don’t take care of the reality, all the bluster and bluff in the world won’t keep our image from sliding and our war from going in the toilet.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #152415

I’ve often wondered why anyone would listen to anything that Dubya has to say and then believe it. Many of you have answered that question.

He says what you want to hear.

Soldiers are people. If they reacted to the deaths of fellow soldiers in a war zone by slaughtering civilians nearby, you don’t want to know about it, so Congressman Murtha (who I admire) must be the culprit.

In the world of Dubyaites, makes sense.

Posted by: Clearheaded at May 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #152417


Why does Murtha automatically believe the worst about our military? He never waits until all the facts are in, just brands them murderers of innocent women and children before the entire world as soon as the cameras begin to roll.

Because he hates the military and this country. Just like a lot of other, not all, but like a lot of other liberals.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 29, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #152419

I’m just curious - do “you guys” ever get tired of shooting the messenger? Maybe, if you shoot enough of them, the bad news will stop?

Again - I don’t hear condemnation for the killing of the 24 civilians… for the cover up and lying… just attacks on the person who has brought this to light.

I hate that this has pu another black mark on our military’s image - but once and atrocity like this has occured and a cover-up attempted, there is no way to make this anything other than it is.

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #152421

“Because he hates the military and this country. Just like a lot of other, not all, but like a lot of other liberals.”

Statements like this are an embarrassment to all soldiers and Americans. Murtha served this country and his military with honor and heroics. I’m curious, what have you done for this country?

Murtha has proven his love for this country. Your political sour grapes can not change that - and your statements like this show your true anti-American colors.

I think the chicken-hawks spend a bit too much time preening their own feathers.

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #152423

Ron Brown-
Do you have any evidence to back up your assessment, or is the mere fact that he disagreed with the war proof enough for you? From looking at Murtha’s record, I’d say he believes nothing of the sort. I’d say he’s a patriot who loves the military, loves his country, and cares about what this administration is doing to them both. I think you could find plenty of evidence for that point of view, what about yours?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #152426


I can’t help but wonder what snap judgements you yourself perhaps made with respect to O.J. for instance. If innocence until proven guilt is as valueable as you say, then how far do you take it? I agree with you about innocence until proven guilt. It is a value that I consider essential to America, to our sense of what is right and wrong and to the very fabric of a just society. It is merely the context I wonder about here. Do you value innocence until proven guilt always?

I remember a man I knew in Austin who snapped to the conclusion that Coby Bryant was guilty of rape when that case made the press. I suggested that he was perhaps wrong considering some of the other facts that had surfaced regarding the case. He suggested I was hopelessly misguided. Look who turned out to be right.

Although I agreee with you about how wrong it is for Murtha to go off half cocked like this, I understand the context. He is a veteran who is concerned about what he clearly sees as a running down of American military standards and honor. He is viewing these events with the eyes of a veteran, not a lawyer. I don’t like it. I think it is wrong. But, I understand it. Perhaps in the scheme of things, his efforts will result in a deeper look into the facts than what might otherwise have been the taken place. We can only hope. I am not willing to sit idly by and watch political hay get made here just because you don’t like what Murtha has stood up for in the past. Niether am I willing to let Murtha succeed in some kind of conviction without trial by use of the press. All of this means it is necessary to watch, wait and keep an open mind as the information surfaces…to the extent that it does. Trials always look different to the public getting its info from the media than it does to the jury sifting through all the evidence.

What I am really trying to get you to see, is that we could easily ‘try’ Murtha ourselves without keeping a sufficiently open mind as to what the pushes and pulls of his reactions are really all about. Let’s allow ourselves to learn about the facts before we commit the same wrong against Murtha, don’t you think?

I will say this for you SE, I sincerely hope you take jury duty seriously. I think American jurys need more people who think the way do here. The next time you are called, GO.


Posted by: RGF at May 29, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #152427

Stephen D.

I read your post, and I appreciate your point of view. However, your statement “The people whose actions are reflecting negatively …are the ones who went about massacreing (sic) civilians” is very telling, and is exactly what this thread started out discussing. You have made a statement of fact that our military “went about massacreing civilians”. That in and of itself is a big problem because Al Jazeera and his friends (ha ha) use statements JUST LIKE THAT to generate hatred against us. If, after a proper investigation, the allegations are true, then our legal system will take the necessary steps. This is 180 degrees from the “necessary steps” that the jihadists would do if (when) they slaughter innocent americans (e.g., beheading them). The fine people in Club Al Queda would make a video, play it for their friends, edit it properly, and send it to al Jazeera for everyone to see. The perpetrators would become heroes to the common extremist muslim.

So how do you justify Murtha’s process? I can’t. I don’t want to shoot the messenger, I just want to ask him to follow proper procedures.

Lastly, I’d like to paint a little picture. We’ll call it food for thought.

An IED explodes, killing a few soldiers. The soldiers who are still alive and aware see some possible militants run into a house nearby. Some shots are traded. A video is started. The soldiers, reacting to the IED and the death of their friends, start shooting into the house. The spray it very well, making certain that nobody survives. The video is rolling. The shooting stops. The soldiers enter the residence to verify the success of their attack. The video stops.

Possible? Very much so. How is that so many of you believe the most negative information, but doubt the words of your very own soldiers? A story about soldiers killing a 3 year old in cold blood? PUT IT ON THE FRONT PAGE!!! It’s FACT.

I tend to believe our men in the field. If innocents were killed, I believe there was a reason for it (not that there is every a GOOD reason for the death of an innocent). But I submit that militants using the innocent as shields are the culprits, not the soldier who is trying to stop those militants from striking again.

Posted by: Bruce at May 29, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #152430

Rob Brown,

the only thing this guy [Murtha] is doing is trying to bring discredit on the Military and this country
Prove it. You made this despicable accusation, now prove it.

hey nikkolai,
Stop putting words in our mouths. You don’t speak for us.
- the troops


the fact that Murtha is hurting our soldiers
Name ONE soldier who has been physically harmed by Murtha’s statement. I dare you. Name ONE.

Ahhh, the “everyone else is doing it” excuse. C’mon, would you let a 9 year old get away with a lame excuse like that?

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 29, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #152431

Sense Murtha is a decorated veteran I will take it he was in combat. That being the case he should know what two things that anyone that’s been there knows.
1. People die.
2. Those folks ain’t always military.
Civilians have been known to wonder onto a battle field. Sometimes they’re in the wrong place when the shooting starts. And sometimes those ‘civilians’ aren’t.

Proud Vietnam Veteran

Posted by: Ray Clary at May 28, 2006 02:32 PM

Thank you for your service and welcome home.

Ron you forgot about anyone who commits atrocities from other countries and anyone the ACLU will defend.

Oops, my bad.

Hey Murtha, Kerry, Dean, etc: Please stop already with all the support. You’re killing us out here.


The Troops

Posted by: nikkolai at May 29, 2006 10:19 AM


Posted by: Ron Brown at May 29, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #152432

None of you were there to see what happened. None of you knows any or all of the facts about what happened. None of you know if the tape “purportedly recorded right after the incident” was staged, true or totally false. In short, none of you posting various and sundry diatribes against one another, know anything on this topic except what you are served by the “objective” meida outlets. Is it possible that the Marines murdered innocent Iraqis? Yes. Is it probable? Possibly. Has it been proven under the proper auspices (military investigation, charges filed and courts-martial convictions? No. I see very little here debating the original SE point that some Marines have been accused, tried and convicted by the media and at least one member of congress. Mostly useless opinions on D vs R and bush haters vs bush supporters. Most of you know nothing to little about the military legal/justice system (I do, 20 yrs Navy) that is going to render justice in this matter. It is a sad day in our country when so much obvious hatred is vented back and forth on a story that (so far) is based on anonymous “officials” and a congressman with strong partisan dislike for the current administration. SE, I liked your post and a few of the reasonable pro and con replies. The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves and your political responses to a criminal accusation.

Posted by: Beak at May 29, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #152434
Murtha knows that if the Marines were wrong, punishment will follow

livsafe, that’s the problem. It was being covered up. If it gets covered up, no one is punished and America looks bad. I think people understand these things happen in a war, but a coverup makes it look like America condones that kind of action.

You don’t sanction cold-blooded murder, do you livsafe?

How about you, SE? Why do you want to see this incident covered up?

You,however, musta put the nail IN your head when you make downright humorous statements like Republicans hating the military.

Please, SE. You badmouth every military man who disagrees with President Bush. You and your fellow Republicans do it all the time.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 29, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #152435

“Hey Murtha, Kerry, Dean, etc: Please stop already with all the support. You�re killing us out here.


The Troops

Posted by: nikkolai at May 29, 2006 10:19 AM


Wow - OK - I thought this was about the military… but since it’s all about politics… then you guys go ahead and have your fun. I’m sure our soldiers don’t mind being used for political fodder.

Posted by: tony at May 29, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #152438
Ted Kennedy?The guy who got thrown out of Harvard for cheating?That guy?The liberal lion who doesnt want a wind mill that would power the Cape because it would ruin his view?That guy?

By the way,he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident.

Your response pretty much illustrates my point. You are just spewing out a bunch of crap about Ted Kennedy which is mostly irrelevant to my point.

He did pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, not murder as he is often accused. But if you want to call him an accident leaver, be my guest.

As I said, Bill Clinton has never been charged with any crime (that I am aware of, at least). Apparently his life has been spotless…

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 29, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #152445

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about all of this is that so many ostensibly intelligent and well-educated Americans are prepared to accept, at face value, accusations that American Marines gunned down women and children and then proceeded to cover up the horror. Do these folks think that our Marines are mercenaries from Mars rather than the product of American homes and American values? Do they assume that a military can be that distinct from the nation that supports it? The late historian Stephen Ambrose made the point, in writing of WWII, that throughout history conquering armines have raped, pillaged, and burned: GI Joe, on the other hand, went around Europe handing out chocolate bars and cigarettes. I reiterate my earlier point: this is much more likely a murderous ploy on the part of the jihadists to enlist the willing support of the “blame America first” crowd than it is an atrocity committed by U.S. Marines. And, mirable dictu, it is working all to well.

Posted by: Tom Schofield at May 29, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #152446

Mr. Eagle, can we please turn down the invective? Yes, the Marines should have their day in court. But does that make the Congressman a “jerk?” You may, or course, call him what you will, and you may point out the obvious that the Marines deserve fair treatment. I couldn’t agree more.

Now, might the detainees at Guantanamo and those others who have been “rendered” to unknown prisons have their day in court? Or do we operate with a double standard? As Noam Chomsky insists, and I agree, elementary morality requires equivalence of treatment, don’t you think? Or what are we fighting for?

If the Congressman is correct in his allegations. what will your response be at that point?

Peace, cml

Posted by: cml at May 29, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #152452

1LT B and Bobbie:

Wow, there are a lot of responses here since last night. I feel like I’m responding to comments from a week ago.

But here’s what I want to say.

The best way to honor our country and the men and women who have served it is to hold our military, our government, and ourselves up to the highest moral standards. For you to compare our actions to terrorists, even for a moment (“what we did wasn’t as bad as what the terrorists do”) shows that you don’t understand what we are supposedly fighting for. It is not enough to simply be “better.”

How sad a day it is when we permit ourselves to accept torture because it’s “better” than videotaped beheadings. When you compare our actions favorably against those of terrorists, you’re not saying much.

How can you not see that???

Posted by: davidL at May 29, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #152467


By “torture” you refer, I assume, to Abu Ghraib and possibly Gitmo. The former was no more torture than the hazing that goes on at some college fraternities. In the latter case, the treatment of prisoners is vastly better than that in any Arab prison.

You are obviously right when you say we must hold ourselves to a higher moral standard than the murderous barbarians who attacked us. But how much higher? Must we be saints? Award the Gitmo prisoners a full scholarship to Harvard? Accept torture! Is there not a good deal of ‘moral equivalence’ in your position? Are you not really maintaining that the ovo-lactarian vegetarian has no moral right to question the diet of the cannibal?

Are those whose natural sympathies are with the Marines saying that “all is fair in love and war” or that “the only good Isamo-fascist is a dead Islamo-fascits?” I haven’t detected a position that extreme. But it is my impression that ‘the other side’ is maintaining that the allegations must be true because they are made against the American military.

As far as standards go, the Marine Corps holds itself to the highest standards of honor and duty - so much so that the bulk of our “if it feels good, do it” populace finds the standard to be utterly alien.

Posted by: Tom Schofield at May 29, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #152471


Posted by: JEB at May 29, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #152479

SE, I have been watching today the riots in Afghanistan. It seems a convoy of soldiers had a little accident and ran over some Afghanies who got in their way. They as they decided to drive off people began throwing stones. In measured response, the soldiers fired live ammo into the crowd.

I don’t need Murtha to tell me that we’ve worn out our welcome there, that young kids exhausted and inurred to the death and destruction around them overeacted and acted with callousness. It isn’t their fault that they are in this situation, as Murtha pointed out, and you failed to bother to mention. It is the political leadership, that is trying to avoid anhilation in the fall with the revelation of their complete botchery of this “war against terror”, that put these kids in an immpossible situation like Clinton in Somalia and Johnson in Vietnam.

How about some good old common sense here, and recognize the problem rather than blather about jurisprudence?

Posted by: gergle at May 29, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #152484

The Time article on this indicates direct documentary evidence of the massacre. It also indicates that there were two sets of evidence produced in this, one set that presented a sanitized picture of the event, and another set, either official evidence that was removed, or photography from the soldiers themselves which showed the real events. This wasn’t somebody blindly shooting into a house. Your hypothetical is discountable on already released facts, including the fact that it was more than one house and also included a car full of students.

Moreover, we’re not doubting the word of our soldiers based on this nonexistant evil propaganda plot. We’re doubting them because an investigation has already conclusively proved that these marines lied in their initial report. Our own investigators have found this out.

The trouble is that the Republican party has gotten in the habit of excusing all bad news by alleging that it is the work of terrorist propaganda accepted by a predatory, biased media. Unfortunately, this is not bad press at its core. Murtha, far from condemning these troops has publically stated that while he doesn’t excuse their actions, he knows the pressures of war that lead to this happening, the stress of combat, of dealing with the unending attacks these troops are assaulted with.

Go and familiarize yourself with the facts of the case and Murtha’s actual position, before you start believing that we’re all just al-Qaeda dupes. Go and see for yourself.

Ron Brown-
Nobody’s disputing war is messy. The trouble here is that the picture painted by the actual facts is one of execution style killings in these people’s homes. Women and children were among the dead. Tell me, how does one make that mistake, especially having already deliberately pacified these people?

You’re failing to face up to the fact that there are some lines not worth crossing, especially when you’re trying to come across as sympathetic to the locals.

The trouble is, you won’t trust people if they don’t come stamped with a party seal of approval. Why are you so intent on believing that these people are trying to deceive you on this matter, short of the facts falling through in the case?

You folks are hiding in the uncertainties where ever you can find them, sometimes where they don’t really exist and your own party members are agreeing with Murtha on the facts.

If we’re talking about irrational hatred, why are we being doubted without any serious consideration of the facts? How is it that you guys believe the SwiftVets with contradictory documentations in hand, while a consistent case like this is challenged every way from Sunday?

The Legal standards of proof you’re demanding are far beyond the standards of proof that suit things when you’re not trying to put somebody away. Denying strong dccumentary evidence at this point for lack of formal proceedings is nothing more than a stall tactic.

I am not ashamed of myself, and nor should anyone else be who reads this story from sources reputable among the general public, and comes to the conclusion that something did indeed happen. Something evil happened that day, and American soldiers are at fault. Those soldiers submitted false reports, and a number of them have already been relieved of duty.

We should confront this, not shy away from it. Our reputation depends on more than what happens when everything’s hunk-dory. We must respond in these dark times as if we really are better than this, and we must publically make it known that we reject this. I mean, somebody hears what some of you are saying about this, and that will be grist for the propaganda mill of our enemies (Yes, they really do make excuses for killing people like you!)

Tom Schofield-
Why not? It’s happened before. The truth is, though, that this is the last thing many of us Americans want to hear. However, many of us know that a problem like this, unconfronted, unresolved, will hurt America, and hurt America’s soldiers. War puts the character of even the best men to the test, and not everybody passes that test. Taken long enough, practically no-one will. The stress of daily battle can actually create changes in the brain and the body, causing people to become more unstable, more unhealthy. This is why in a typical war, troops are rotated in and out of combat. The alternative is having events like this occur. That, by the way is what Murtha believes happened. He believes the stress got to our soldiers after seeing one of their own killed. He says, however that this is no excuse for what happened, and I agree.

Don’t accuse us liberals of being moral equivocators here, not so long as you’re taking the position that war absolves the sin of taking innocent lives.

And where do my natural sympathies lie? you can find out easily. I have been a tireless advocated of giving our soldiers what they need to win- everything our Adminstration has held back, because it can’t break it to itself that it’s not doing a good enough job. The American people aren’t coming to hate this war because they’re doves or anything, they’re coming to hate it because somebody lied to get them into it, then proceeded to screw it up and stall on policy changes. They hate what this government is doing with the war because their stubbornness is costing us what should have been a damn easy victory, and for a cause no one can rightly say applies anymore.

The Democrat position is one that is defined by the clearest moral positions. It’s time for the Republicans to admit that the way this wary has been waged is wrong, and that changes need to be made and made quickly if anything is to be salvaged.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #152485

Tom Schofield:

Stephen has eloquently stated his feelings on this, and they echo my own sentiments. I would add the following:

There is no equivalency between “college hazing” and the actual documented torture we have committed. Unless the hazing on these campuses is itself torture, which is possible.

But again, it’s clear that you are amongst those who don’t get it. We are indeed in troubled times when we compare our own prisons and incarceration practices to those of totalitarian regimes in the Middle East as you do. It shouldn’t even be on the table at all, you see…

And unilaterally disavowing torture does not make us “saints.” Actually, that should really be the starting point. If you disagree with that, then you should also admit that you value the lives of Iraqis less than that of Americans. Some will instinctively answer “of course” to that, but then, that’s where the problem begins, I guess…

Posted by: DavidL at May 29, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #152488


Again,let me compliment everyone for being able to intelligently discuss the pros and cons of this horrible event.

The issue is really two-fold.

Number 1:Should Murtha have preemptively “gone”public prior to a complete investigation?
Number 2:Should he have found guilt with these marines prior to an adjuciation of a trial on the merits?

I think now everyone says “no”

The third question,which I didn’t put forth but nonetheless HAS been put forth is this:

Has a cover-up occurred?

Murtha says yes.My position is that it is vastly premature to say that as well until an investigation OF THAT SOLE ISSUE ultimately takes place.

IF a coverup has in fact taken place,after a seperate investigation establishes that one in fact did occur,then that sub-set of individuals should like wise be punished over and above those who purpetrated the alleged crime.

I disagree with lumping these three issues together,that’s all.

My intelligent educator!Thanks for weighing in.If you looks at the defination of “jerk” that I posted,it means “behaving foolishly”.I think Murtha behaved foolishly,therefore he is a jerk.I pondered a choice of words to use,and this one has ellicited a terrific response both pro and con,so while it may be offense to some,it did the trick.

On a posting of this sort,it’s called a “hook” something that will compel a blogger to read the article and post a response.

It seemed to have done the trick.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 29, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #152497

Bruce, You wrote:

2. Isn’t EVERYONE innocent until proven guilty?.

If you truly believe this, how can you judge Murtha?
My OPINION - Murtha has lost his mind. Honestly, I believe something happened to him. He doesn’t seem to be filled with logical thought to me, but again, that is JMHO.

JMHO, I believe saying his has lost his mind just might fall into the

Isn’t EVERYONE innocent until proven guilty?
My biggest problem with Murtha isn’t that he is bringing this to light. It’s that he seems to be making statements of fact for his adoring public (I.e., every card-carrying anti-war liberal).

For what it’s worth, I very much doubt that Murtha has harmed as many of our troops or our image in the World’s eye as much the people who put them there. We would certainly have had fewer injuries and less deaths if we hadn’t gone there in the first place. Anyone care to mention those names?

nikkolai, You wrote:

Hey Murtha, Kerry,Dean, etc: Please stop already with all the support. You’re killing us out here.
The Troops

Ron Brown you posted: “HOW TRUE” regarding nikkolai’s post.

I maybe wrong, but if memory serves me right, none of the above actually sent OUR troops to War in Iraq. I think it was some strange dudes in Washington that actually did that.As for support, I’ll bet that having the proper equipment might have offered far more support than anything anyone could actually SAY. JMHO, you know.

Let me see,I think it works this way: American Troops invade Iraq, (needlessly)—-> leads to Iraqis fighting back for their country,== equals death and injury, +plus mental and emotional stress, of ALL TOGETHER NOW: our AMERICAN TROOPS who really shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Once our troops are out of there, I’ll wager that their injuries and deaths will decline rather rapidly. As well as incidents like the one that has brought this entire issue to the forefront.

Posted by: Linda H. at May 29, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #152499

A coverup has occured. Somebody submitted a false report to cover for the killing of civilians by the Marines who were there that day. It strains credibility to think that they would cover up for Terrorist, or for a legitimate firefight. Things may be more complex than is being let on, but that could mean any number of things.

Have the marines been prematurely judged? Well, nobody’s been singled out. Nobody’s saying this and this person committed this crime. You’re right in that a Court Martial, a Jury and a Judge will have to establish what laws were broken.

The media doesn’t require such stringent standards to report that something happened. The local nightly news would go out of business if that were the case, since you couldn’t report a murder until the investigation or the trial was over.

This is the journalistic equivalent of saying that a number of policemen were involved in a coverup in a case where several people died under suspicious circumstances.

Murtha, in relating this, is merely pointing out something equivalent to a City Councilman saying that corruption above, low manpower on the streets, lacking equipment is making the enforcement of the law so difficult that these people end up doing these things out of desperation.

It’s easy to claim that Murtha is bashing the troops. If you listen to what he’s actually saying, he’s blaming the leadership for the conditions that made these Marines snap, as he believes they did. He is passionately sympathetic to the troops. Unfortunately, Republicans measure sympathy to the troops first and foremost in sympathy to the war and to this president, which Murtha says he doesn’t have much of. So, you folks aren’t getting past your own partisan understandings of this war to truly understand where he’s coming from.

It’s the most frustrating thing. I should know, because for two years I have unequivocally supported the troops, and gotten treatment similar to Murtha’s because I do not support Bush and the way he’s waging this war.

So, please, do everybody a favor and actually listen to what we say. You’ll be calling fewer people names, to be sure.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #152504

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 29, 2006 12:43 PM Ahhh, the “everyone else is doing it” excuse. C’mon, would you let a 9 year old get away with a lame excuse like that?

I honestly feel that your responses to everyone in this post was quite immature and reflects your desire of just wanting to continue a debate. In response to your remarks about my post, you are not discussing the issue that was presented.
**Veteran or no veteran,decorated hero or not,he has tried and convicted the Marines who allegedly killed civilians in Iraq earlier this year before the investigation is completed or a trial takes place. If these marines have in fact killed innocent civilians,then the Uniform Code of Military Justice has an appropriate procedure…called a court marshall…and an appropriate remedy…called a stockade and dishonorable discharge upon release if they are in fact guilty as charged.** SE
Elliot I never said or indicated that our military was using that type of excuse nor did I try and make that excuse for them . What I said was:
Murtha was not there and cannot possibly know what really happened or why. Why wasn’t he as outraged when the so called insurgents were beheading innocent people in front of cameras? Having been in the military himself he is aware that many things have been and are done by military personal of various countries that their countrymen would not be proud of, and will bring shame upon them, creating a burden they must bare forever. This is reality folks. Is it considered acceptable, not by me, not by most people who are humane and moral, but it has and does happen.
How could you even compare a child’s excuse with this discussion. But to answer you, No I would not accept that excuse from a child and I certainly would not accept it from an adult, nor would most mature adults. No one has or is excusing what MAY have happened, just reasoning what may have caused this type of reaction by our Military, if indeed it did happen. And stating that although it is unacceptable, it does happen and we need to realize that it has always happened. We should take care to avoid this happening in the future with the proper hearings and punishments, which have been done in the past, and I am sure would have been done without Murtha screaming it to the world. Our Leaders and the Military need to take responsibility for what causes that type of reaction from a few of our military when it has happened. The whole point is it is terrible for Murtha or any representative of this country to say of our Military “that the U.S. troops killed those civilians “in cold blood.” If he honestly felt that the Military was trying to cover it up he could have ensured the investigation continued forward without making these statements to the world, adding “fuel to the flame” of war for our men and women still in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 29, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #152510


“Have the marines been prematurely judged? Well, nobody’s been singled out. Nobody’s saying this and this person ….”

Yes they have.. He slammed the SPECIFIC unit there.He said they killed “in cold Blood”

To me ,that’s prematurely judging.

“You’re right in that a Court Martial, a Jury and a Judge will have to establish what laws were broken. “

That is PRECISELY the point of my piece,Stephen.I am glad we agree.

“A coverup has occured. Somebody submitted a false report to cover for the killing of civilians by the Marines who were there that day.”

General Pace said the investigation is ongoing.PLUS the cover-up is a different issue entirely.IF someone covered up anything,they should be dealt with as well….I said that.I want to wait until the investigation is complete,that’s all.I can’t be as conclusiory as you at this point.

“It’s the most frustrating thing. I should know, because for two years I have unequivocally supported the troops, and gotten treatment similar to Murtha’s because I do not support Bush and the way he’s waging this war.”

Stephen,I have said that you are a brilliant intellect in the past and I mean it.I also said that I would be proud to have you as a son.I also said that if today’s young people were as passionate about our goverment as you we’d all be better off.Depspite the fact that philosophically we disagree on issues,you are a patriot.We look at things differently,that’s all.I too have been called a whole bunch of terrible names since I began writing here.Thus the sword indeed has two edges,depending on what your view is.

All of us love our country…even AP ( that’s a joke,AP).Just last week I dropped him off in Martha’s Vineyard,for heaven’s sake(a private joke).Seriously,you know what I mean.

However,the issue is raw and passions and views on Murtha are high right now.Honestly,after 140 posts,my view is the same.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 29, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #152522

It’s not immature to suggest that people take responsibility for their actions, even if they number amongst our beloved military.

To say that this is simply war and these things happen is to use the same logic that our enemies use to justify their atrocities.

That issue is at the heart of what’s going on here. The real issue is not whether or not Murtha was out of line in revealing this. The question is do we encourage or discourage this behavior. I believe, and so do many others, that this attitude of trying to sweep these things under the rug and minimize them is actually making things worse.

As a writer of fiction, I think I have some insight into just why that is the case. When we bind together the details of a story, and put it in it’s narrative place, they work together to create a certain impression.

The change of certain important details can transform a situation. What you know, and what you see demonstrated and enacted on screen can change the mood and the audience’s opinion rather quickly.

You’re not alone in not wanting our soldiers to become villains here. In this case, though, they have, and you hate that. Now there are two paths to not condemning the soldiers. One is to try to surround our soldiers in the armor of mythic purity, and the other path is to admit what happened, and confront the dark truth.

In your narrative admitting the truth will make our soldiers vulnerable to our enemies, because we will have admitted to a weakness. The trouble is, your story is not the story that the Iraqis tell themselves. Their story doesn’t typically armor the purity of our soldier’s image. Why would it? To them we are invaders, regardless of our intentions. The friendly ones believe us to be beneficial interventionists, but still outsiders who should one day be brought to leave.

They have their own means of finding things out, since these events are happening in their own backyard. These accusations, I believe, are news to us, but not to them. I believe they have already been told about what happened in Haditha. Covering it up just led us to act as if it did not happen.

If we do not acknowledge our mistakes, declare them such, and make our apologies to the injured parties, then what develops is a narrative of careless if not malicious occupation. You think it weakens us, but in fact, we are weakened the moment our reality deviates from the image we wish to project.

The thing to understand about reality is the difference between a work of fiction (or lie) and reality. Simply put, reality organizes itself, and does so comprehensively. Events develop organically, without our having to generated each and every detail. Lies only generate enough information to mislead. If the person or people fail to cover all their bases or successfully convince the persons targeted, then, the lie can come unravelled under the weight of the real world evidence, which will have self-organized patterns that will point people to the truth.

Coverups and successful lies often require more than just good gifts of gab, they require some degree of control over the other person’s actions No such control is absolute, which is why secrets so often get spilled despite the best efforts of those keeping them.

Looking at Iraq, we have very little control. Our bullshit will not wash with these people. Though the brass and the folks in Washington may succeed in pulling the wool over our eyes, the Iraqis are in the thick of it, right amidst the reality of the situation, and that makes all the difference in the world as to how fast the crap we’re trying to feed them will get old.

Remember what I said earlier about the organic development of information from reality? This is the key to why I think it’s pathetically stupid to try and preserve our good image over there by spin and cover-ups- Our actions will flood Iraq with much more contradictory information than our propaganda can fend off. Only by telling the story to the Iraqis with our real world actions can we ensure that the intuitive picture reality gives agrees with and reinforces our image, rather than undermining it.

Here and abroad, we should not be two countries, one ideal, one of ugly reality; no, instead, we should one country, doing its best to live up to its standards, and acknowledging its failure when it doesn’t. The closer we come to that, the better able we are to contradict our enemy’s lies, and face the ugly truths when they have them to fling at us. If we jump on this now, and hold those who did this accountable, when they say “you folks massacred those Iraqis.”, we can riposte “and they were punished for what they did.”

We should be the ones to test the strength of America’s character, not our enemies. We should acknowledge that we are only human, so that nobody can accuse us of presenting a false picture when we try to act like Gods.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #152527

The new GOP rally cry:

“We’re not convicted!!!” (yet)

Posted by: Dave at May 29, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #152533


In my book “it has and does happen” and “This is reality folks. Is it considered acceptable” are the equivalent of “hey, everybody does it”.


passions and views on Murtha are high right now
Yep, you fanned the flames. Don’t complain about name-calling when you lead off a column on Memorial Day weekend by calling a decorated veteran “a jerk”. You’re holding the lighter fluid and wondering why your eyebrows are smoking.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 29, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #152538
On a posting of this sort,it’s called a “hook” something that will compel a blogger to read the article and post a response.

It seemed to have done the trick.

LOL! Welcome to the club, SE. Now, the trick is to stand by it. You’re waffling a little by trying to set narrow parameters. If you think Murtha is a “24 carat jerk”, you’d better be prepared to defend your (obviously troop-hating) opinion from any direction. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 29, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #152540

A specific unit, yes. But not specific people in the unit, as they would be treated in an investigation or trial concerning guilt. Murtha did not elaborate or place specific blame for orders and actions on members of the unit.

Dealing with the legal issues, though, I would point out that what is prosecuted and what actually occured can be two different things. A crime can go untried in a court of law for a variety of reasons. Logical standards of evidence ensure this. If your occupation is what I think it is, you should know of examples.

We must therefore admit here that events can have their own meaning apart from the legal angle of guilt or innocence. This is what the law and the legal standards mediate.

The leaders of the unit did one thing, and reported to their superiors another. I am not familiar enough with the facts of the case or the laws and legal standards to render judgment based on that, but with just the bare facts presented, we can assume that a bald-faced lie was told. Since this lie was intended to hide the truth about the event, it is a coverup by definition- they were covering up the real means by which 24 people were killed.

Of weaker derivation is the question of just why they felt a cover story was necessary. My assumption is that you don’t tell lies this big to cover up things that aren’t serious. The question, which is best answered on an individual basis, is why did you submit this false report?

You look around at your fellow Red Column brethren, and you find all kinds of different approaches to this, from downright denial, to ill-informed hypothesizing, to more constructive and nuanced approaches like yours and Jack’s. What I do not find is the willingness to admit America’s mistakes. That is seen as weakness.

The reality is, America will make mistakes, and a mistake denied, is often one unresolved, an experience whose lesson is not learned. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Vietnam and Iraq share so many mistakes. I think the generation of Republicans who came out of the last big war having believed America lost because of an uncooperative media and poltical left wing is the same generation that looks at Iraq as being lost for the same reasons, unaware that the very focuses they believe would win this war, are in fact the things losing it.

The political and media frustrations are in fact the product of some of the same mistakes made by the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations Those mistakes served as the bubble that prevented those two presidents from winning the war their way, or recognizing our lack of a place fighting it early enough.

I wrote extensively above about the difference in completeness between a story told from reality, and one told from a lie. The effort to keep up an image without a reality to back it is enormous, and mind-numbing. It is also quite consuming. One invests oneself, and when that is not enough, one devotes more, until one cannot consider backing down or giving up, even if only to change to another strategy. It’s what I talked about earlier in another post about cognitive lock.

It has happened to presidents before, and it will likely happen again. The difference between those presidents who were paralyzed by concerns about image and status into becoming shelled in, and those who worked past that to be effective leaders lies in the willingness to seek out information about how things have gone wrong, and then the courage to confront those problems. It’s a crucial difference if you want leaders who can recover from their mistakes.

I am honored by your praise, and I hope you grow further into your new role as contributing editor on the Red Column.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #152551

That’s the picture being painted. But what really happened?
Were there enemy combatants in those homes firing on the Marines?
Were the Marines clearing the rooms where the combatants were and the civilians get in the way? Tragic but it happens.
Did some reporter take pictures after the weapons were collected? They do pick them up you know?
Or did the Marines just up and kill those women and children in cold blood? If they did I hope they get the death penalty.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 29, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #152553

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2006 09:51 PM
Stephen, again I am not saying, not nor did I say that simply this is war and these things happen, as though we should accept it. I am saying that although it may have happened as Murtha claimed,without justification, we, all of us, including Murtha does not know the truths about what happened. I believe it is up to the military to investigate the incident and determine if punishment is warranted, and if so, to punish those responsible.

I have not said Murtha was out of line in reveling what he found out, I have said that the manner in which he went about reveling the information he had was wrong. I absolutely think that the manner in which he handled this situation should be discouraged. In fact he should be ashamed of himself, as I am sure many others feel.

Let me make it clear, I do not believe that covering up wrong doing by our military, or any branch of our government is acceptable. I too believe that it can only weaken us as a nation and further damage our image to the rest of the world. But for Murtha to say “the U.S. troops killed those civilians “in cold blood.” without a complete investigation is wrong. And I must say that for you to say, “You’re not alone in not wanting our soldiers to become villains here. In this case, though, they have, and you hate it.”, you too are wrong it part, because you have decided they are villains. Should we not wait for the all facts before we decide to persecute these marines?

I did not say that admitting the truth will make our soldiers vulnerable to our enemies, they are and have been extremely vulnerable having to fight a war where their enemies feel justified, in fact glorified, in killing them selves and fellow countrymen as well as their enemies, for their cause. What I was saying in my narrative is that accusing some of our Marines of cold blooded murder before the world, and before a total investigation was done and the accused found guilty, adds fuel to the flame of this war. Reinforces the way many people of many countries already feel about us.

I feel it is very important to try and preserve our image over in Iraq as well as throughout the world. And I agree with you when you say “Here and abroad, we should not be two countries, one ideal, one of ugly reality; no, instead, we should one country, doing its best to live up to its standards, and acknowledging its failure when it doesn’t.”, but I must say that as far as I am concerned and obviously many others, Murtha has given the impression that we are a divided country and our military cannot to be trusted to hold those who did this accountable.

I feel that he was wrong in handling his findings as he did and my original view has not changed. I am glad there are such sites as this to express ones feelings, and learn from others. And having said this and knowing there is no way to make my point any clearer I will say goodnight to everyone and may God Bless each of you as well as every man and woman serving this country.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 30, 2006 12:33 AM
Comment #152578

This article should clear some things up.

From CNN.com:

But according to the Pentagon sources’ account, the Marines immediately suspected four Iraqi teenagers in a taxi and shot them, along with the driver, when the Marines said they failed to lie on the ground as ordered.

The hunt for the bombers then moved to a nearby house, where seven people — including two women and children — were killed. Then eight people, including six women, were shot next door, while women in a third house were not harmed, the sources said. In a fourth house, four men were killed.

Ron Brown-
The above account should tell you why investigators and Murtha did not buy the accidental shooting theory. You don’t accidentally shoot one group of innocent people then go next door and shoot the next, not if you’re in your right mind. If you’re that deranged, somebody should have relieved you of duty, or ordered you to stand down.

Some would like to paint a picture of terrorists planting the evidence, that the Democrats who bring this up are buying the terrorist line, rather than believing our own soldiers.

There’s a little trouble with that line.

From CNN.com:

Sources said between four and eight Marines from Kilo company of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, were directly involved — but some Marines from other units knew what happened because they helped document the aftermath.

Lance Cpl. Ryan Briones told the Los Angeles Times that he took pictures of at least 15 bodies and is still haunted by the memory of picking up a young girl who was shot in the head. (Full story)

“I held her out like this,” he said, demonstrating with his arms extended, “but her head was bobbing up and down and the insides fell on my legs.”

Briones’ mother, Susie Briones, told CNN her son is now suffering from post-traumatic stress.

“It was horrific,” she said. “It was a terrible scene. The biggest thing that comes to his mind is the children.

“Since he was part of the cleanup crew, he had to carry that little girl’s body, and her head was blown off,” she said. “Her brains splattered on his boots. And that is what affected Brian the most.”[emphasis mine]

Here is the full story on that: From CNN.com:Parents: Marine sons told to take Haditha photos

The reactions of the military were similar to many in the right wing.

The U.S. military had previously refused to believe villagers who accused the Marines of murdering unarmed civilians, even when presented with credible evidence assembled by Time magazine for an article in March.

“They were incredibly hostile,” said Time’s Aparisim Ghosh. “They accused us of buying into enemy propaganda, and they stuck to their original story, which is that these people were all killed by the IED [improvised explosive device].”

But that story has fallen apart in the wake of an investigation that sources said is likely to result in murder charges against some Marines and dereliction of duty counts against others.

We are not faced with the question of whether we believe the terrorists or the soldiers. Now we are doubting the word of investigators and other soldiers who became involved through no fault of their own.

There’s one more detail here:

Sources told CNN on Monday that the investigation is substantially complete, and that charges — including murder charges — could be filed sometime in June. And, sources said, investigators have concluded there was a cover-up — but won’t say if it is limited to the handful of Marines who did the killings.

The formal findings of investigations into the matter are several weeks away, said Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pace cautioned against a rush to judgment.

“There are two ongoing investigations,” he told CNN. “One has to do with what happened. The other investigation goes to why didn’t we know about it sooner than we knew about it.”

The investigations aren’t formally complete, but by no means are we that far away from a conclusion. Charges are likely to be brought. Nobody in the media, or Murtha himself has laid specific blame on specific soldiers. As for the general blame of the unit, it’s clear something did happen, and they were in it over their heads.

It’s important to note something else, while we’re at it: since we see soldiers from different units here involved, there’s an implication that the coverup goes at least somewhat far up the chain of command. Somebody knew what had happened here, likely enough, and put the pressure on people like Lance Corporal Briones to remain quiet and keep with the program.

We don’t need this. If this is, or becomes the pattern of our military, this will be simply the first of a number of nasty surprises, which we don’t need. Some folks logic is that if these things never come out, our soldiers won’t have to suffer for it. Unfortunately, that’s not how these things happen. I believe it it is very likely that people in the Middle east are better informed about this war than we are. If so, all the secrets being kept from us only serve to maintain our illusions about what kind of difference we are making.

If we’re not making the right kind of difference, we need to know so we Americans can put the pressure on our elected officials to lead us in a better direction. It’s being the last to know about such shocking and disappointing facts like this that have lead Americans to be so doubtful and negative about this war- this American included. Positive illusions will only lead us to blunder further.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #152579

The paragraph after the first quote is actually intended to be part of the quote itself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #152581

As predicted yesterday,every major media outlet and blog is hot with this story.

Consider this letter to the editor from Ilario Pantano,who was recently acquitted for murder in Iraq that also was considered to be an open ans shut case.

Pantano was a platoon in Iraq:

Washington Post:Sunday May 26,2006

Mr. Murtha’s Rush to Judgment
Sunday, May 28, 2006; Page B06

A year ago I was charged with two counts of premeditated murder and with other war crimes related to my service in Iraq. My wife and mother sat in a Camp Lejeune courtroom for five days while prosecutors painted me as a monster; then autopsy evidence blew their case out of the water, and the Marine Corps dropped all charges against me [“Marine Officer Cleared in Killing of Two Iraqis,” news story, May 27, 2005].

So I know something about rushing to judgment, which is why I am so disturbed by the remarks of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) regarding the Haditha incident [“Death Toll Rises in Haditha Attack, GOP Leader Says,” news story, May 20]. Mr. Murtha said, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

In the United States, we have a civil and military court system that relies on an investigatory and judicial process to make determinations based on evidence. The system is not served by such grand pronouncements of horror and guilt without the accuser even having read the investigative report.

Mr. Murtha’s position is particularly suspect when he is quoted by news services as saying that the strain of deployment “has caused them [the Marines] to crack in situations like this.” Not only is he certain of the Marines’ guilt but he claims to know the cause, which he conveniently attributes to a policy he opposes.

Members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq need more than Mr. Murtha’s pseudo-sympathy. They need leaders to stand with them even in the hardest of times. Let the courts decide if these Marines are guilty. They haven’t even been charged with a crime yet, so it is premature to presume their guilt — unless that presumption is tied to a political motive.


Jacksonville, N.C.

The writer served as a Marine enlisted man in the Persian Gulf War and most recently as a platoon commander in Iraq.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #152582

I read up on ILARIO PANTANO. There was no open-shut case at all. The only “evidence” was the statement by a fellow, and apparently disgruntled, platoon member. The charges were dropped after five days of hearings where prosecuters and defence attorneys argued.

SE, don’t you promote the adversarial style of justice? Isn’t this what you want to happen? Or would you rather have swept this under the carpet too? The hell with truth?


I’m concerned that an active duty soldier would use flamebait language in a national publication.

Posted by: Dave at May 30, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #152584
By torture you refer, I assume, to Abu Ghraib and possibly Gitmo. The former was no more torture than the hazing that goes on at some college fraternities.

Oh, really? Do you get all of your info from Rush Limbaugh, or just most of it?

According to the Taguba report, the following happened, various detainees were raped, sodomized with a chemical light, threatened with a loaded pistol, beaten with a broom handle and chair, and threatened with dogs. If there is a fraternity out there that does this, I sure as hell wouldn’t pledge for it…

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 30, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #152607

I’ve heard the rediculous assertion that Abu Ghraib was no worse than a fraternity hazing for far too long. PREPOSTEROUS!!!

There was at least one death from electricution there. The victim was in the body bag that two soldiers (including England) were photographed showing the thumbs up sign over.

Now, I’m from Austin originally. I remember a time when the hazing season in Austin got so bad that there was death and serious injury. I remember when one frat got a pledge drunk then spun him around and around until he was also extremely dizzy. Unfortuenately, they did this in the back yard of a house that had a large cliff behind it. Then they left the kid alone. Naturally he fell to his death. In the same season, a rascist frat that had been getting well deserved flak for displaying a lawn-jockey ornament painted in sambo face, beat a black bus driver within an inch of his life. Another instance from the same year involved a frat pledge who was dragged around by use of a wet towel wrapped around his scrotum. He only ended up sterile. All of these frat incidents sound horrific, don’t they? …one difference: THE STUPID PLEDGES ACTUALLY SIGNED UP FOR THIS AND CONSENTED TO IT IN ORDER TO BELONG!!!

The death and torture at Abu Ghraib was different.

I had brief association with a Karate Dojo in Austin run by a fellow who was utterly foolish in his view of Abu Graib. He insisted that the Red Cross, You know that organization that was run by Elizabeth Dole, was showing liberal bias in reporting the incident at all. Nevermind that the Red Cross has the duty to investigate POW conditions in all conflicts. This duty is given to the Red Cross as the result of WWI and the Geneva Convention. It was determined that a neutral NGO was necessary to handle the investigation of POW conditions that all the signatory nations could respect and accept for the job. The Karate dojo owner was foolish, mentaly challenged (I don’t mean by nature, but by choice) and honorless as far I am concerned. When I left I took several others with me. But this kind of reactionary thinking is not acceptable. Is is ultimately destructive to us all. Spouting this bile without facts or analysis is just plain foolish.


Posted by: RGF at May 30, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #152620


Check out what Murtha’s opponent just said:
Access News:May 30,2006

Her comments sound familiar,no?

May 30, 2006

Republican Challenger Blasts Rep. Murtha Comments

By Jim Kouri

(AXcess News) New York - Pennsylvania 12th district Republican Congressional nominee Diana Irey, surrounded by a dozen supportive war veterans, demanded that John Murtha apologize for his statement that US Marines are guilty of killing Iraqi civilians in cold blood.

John Murtha made the comments in question during a press conference he held last week and during his appearances on TV news shows, claiming “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” Murtha made his remarks regarding an incident that happened on November 19th in Haditha, Iraq.

“Mr. Murtha, You need to make this right for our fellow Americans,” Irey demanded. “You need to formally apologize for your reckless statements and your rush to judgment. Such unfounded criticism of United States Marines serves only to empower those who promote hatred of Americans in foreign lands.”

“My opponent tells the story of this incident as if he was on the ground that fateful day. He somehow had a front row seat when all of the rest of America awaits the results of a monumental investigation, convicting these men without due process,” Irey said.

Murtha alleges a coverup by the US military, but has not shown evidence of such a coverup. While making definitive statements about what occurred during the incident, Murtha is insisting on a congressional investigation, while at the same time admitting he never bothered to read the report on the incident released by the Pentagon.

During a May 17 news conference, Rep. Murtha discussed the incident with reporters as he continued what opponents have called “the Murtha anti-war diatribe,” that the US should pull the troops out of Iraq.

He said a Pentagon investigation would ultimately show that the troops in Haditha “overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” The Marines involved have not been tried as yet but are either in a brig at Camp Pendleton Marine Base or resticted to the base pending legal proceedings.

Mr. Murtha, who claims close ties to top defense officials as a retired Marine colonel and the top-ranking Democrat, said he had not read the Pentagon report because was basing his information on frequent discussions with “the commanders,” he said, “people that know what they’re talking about.” Murtha did not disclose the names of these commanders or their connection to the incident and subsequent investigation.

Reporters have failed to ask Rep. Murtha why he hasn’t read a report on which he is commenting, said a Pentagon source.

Ms. Irey, of Carroll Township in Pennsylvania, accused Murtha of denying the Marines due process and had put American troops in danger with his remarks.

“John Murtha was a patriot,” Irey, a Republican, said at the Press Club. “…but many years have passed and I say again my opponent has lost his way because the comments and actions of late are not that of a patriot. Rather they serve to aid and comfort our enemies.”

“These inflammatory remarks read around the world not only put American lives at risk,” she said, “but will also be used as a recruiting tool for terrorist organizations.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Murtha said the congressman would not comment on Ms. Irey’s remarks.

The crowd that assembled during Ms. Irey’s event illustrated the prominent role that critics of Mr. Murtha’s from outside the 12th District are likely to play in her campaign against him.

At least three of the eight veterans standing behind Ms. Irey on the dais during her speech at the Press Club were from Virginia and Ms. Irey said financial support was pouring in, not only from Murtha’s district, but from around the country for her campaign against the well-financed Murtha.

One of those veterans, Eric Cooper of Springfield, Virginia, said he sent Ms. Irey a contribution yesterday and has been promoting her Web site to those who are angry about Mr. Murtha’s comments on Iraq, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“There’s a lot of anger out there [at Mr. Murtha] and she kind of represents that anger for us,” said Mr. Cooper, who said he served in the Marines between 1984 and 1993. “I know that I cannot vote for Diana Irey, but I can support her and I will.”

“By coming out and calling them ‘cold-blooded killers,’ he’s already tainted the minds of a possible jury of those who will be hearing these allegations,” added Irey.

As of late April, Federal Election Commission records show that Ms. Irey had raised nearly $75,600 but had less than $27,000 in cash. Mr. Murtha, who is among the top recipients of lobbyist contributions in Congress, had nearly $1.5 million on hand for the race, according to the Post-Gazette.

An attractive woman, Diana Irey, elected in 1996, is the only woman ever to be elected as a Washington County commissioner. She is now in her tenth year of public service.

Appointed by Governor Tom Ridge, Irey served on the Port of Pittsburgh Commission. And she is past president of the Mon Valley United Way.

Murtha’s current position on the Iraq war and his biting comments have done much to erase the memories of his ties to the Abscam corruption investigation and the recent allegations of his shenanigans with his brother’s consulting firm. The anti-war left appears to overlook corruption on the part of their heroes, said one political observer.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #152627

…or maybe this has something to do with this.

link text

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #152628


Your quote above reminded me of a quote from my favorite philosopher;

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
Groucho Marx

Posted by: Rocky at May 30, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #152637

Quite obviously Murtha is right, and a cover up was attempted here. SE calling Murtha names is disgraceful, and he should be deeply ashamed of himself for doing so.
By now, anyone with a brain in their heads who has actually been keeping up with the reality of Iraq should realize that our troops have been serving too many tours of duty, and as a result, can only be expected to start losing their minds and all sense of right and wrong over there. This sort of horrible and shameful massacre is what happens when soldiers are tired and/or feel that things are completely out of their control, and/or don’t know exactly who the enemy they are supposed to be fighting actually is, and/or suffer from a failure of leadership from the top to the bottom along their chain of command. This is what happened in Vietnam, and tragically, it is happening again.

A few quotes from this Time Magazine article, ‘The Shame Of Kilo Company’:

The darkest suspicions about the killings were confirmed last week, when members of Congress who were briefed on the two ongoing military investigations disclosed that at least some members of a Marine unit may soon be charged in connection with the deaths of the Iraqis—and that the charges may include murder, which carries the death penalty. “This was a small number of Marines who fired directly on civilians and killed them,” said Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican and former Marine who was briefed two weeks ago by Marine Corps officials. “This is going to be an ugly story.”
A military source in Iraq told TIME that investigators have obtained two sets of photos from Haditha. The first is after-action photos taken by the military as part of the routine procedure that follows any such event. Submitted in the official report on the fighting, the photos do not show any bodies. Investigators have also discovered a second, more damning set of photos, taken by Marines of the Kilo Company immediately after the shootings. The source says it isn’t clear if these photos were held back from the after-action report or were personal snapshots taken by the Marines. The source says a Marine e-mailed at least one photo to a friend in the U.S.
The military’s initial report stated that Terrazas and 15 civilians were killed in a roadside blast and that shortly afterward, the Marines came under attack and returned fire, killing eight insurgents. But as TIME reported in March on the basis of interviews with 28 individuals, including military officials, the families of the victims, human-rights investigators and local doctors, much of that account is dubious. Members of Congress, as well as military sources, have confirmed the critical details of TIME’s initial report—that after gunning down the five fleeing the taxi, a few members of Kilo Company moved through four homes along nearby streets, killing 19 men, women and children. The Marines contend they took small-arms fire from at least one house, but as TIME’s story detailed in March, only one of the 19 victims was found with a weapon.
A military source in Iraq says the men of Kilo Company stuck by their story throughout the initial inquiry, but what they told the first military investigator raised suspicions. One of the most glaring discrepancies involved the shooting of the four students and the taxi driver. “They had no weapons, they didn’t show hostile intent, so why shoot them?” the military source says. Khaled Raseef, a spokesman for the victims’ relatives, says U.S. military investigators visited the alleged massacre sites 15 times and “asked detailed questions, examined each bullet hole and burn mark and took all sorts of measurements. In the end, they brought all the survivors to the homes and did a mock-up of the Marines’ movements.” As the detectives found contradictions in the Marines’ account, “the official story fell apart and people started rolling on each other,” says the military source.
Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #152642


I was in denial about My Lai for months. I was in denial about Watergate for even longer.

It’s time for you to come to grips with the reality of the BushII legacy. Even 30% approval is too much.

Posted by: Dave at May 30, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #152645

I wonder, SE, when Murtha is born out to be correct, are you man enough to appolgise to him and those who think this post is nothing but a smear?

Posted by: gergle at May 30, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #152653


Following this story and this blog, it now looks like Murtha was merely trying to prevent a cover-up in defense of the military and the country for which he served and serves. You were wrong. I admit, I don’t like the idea of the press being used to try and convict. That is not what happened here. This is different. I fully expect Murtha had access to the info that is being released now, which means his efforts were in defense of justice, not in disregard of it. I am still waiting to hear from you about your motives, “sicilianeagle.” It now looks like your blog post has all the relevance, bias and intent of that rediculous trash you linked to, above. Don’t make political hay from those with good-conscience, SE. It won’t wash.

…on second thought, keep it up. We have midterm elections coming up. I’d love for more voters out there to view you as the quintessential republican. Carry on, SE.


Posted by: RGF at May 30, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #152665


Sorry you don’t see ot my way.However,if you re-read every one of my posts up top,I was very clear:Murtha didn’t have to preemptively condemn the marines until the NCIS investigation was complete.PLUS,the cover up is entirely another matter.

Are you the guy that I owe a copy of my screenplay to?
I’m in denial about nothing really.I call ‘em as I see ‘em,that’s all.On this issue,I have my view,you have yours.

Please read my above posts and tell me what I said.Did you read them?Clearly I said that if a wrong was done,then someone must pay.But that isn’t the point of this article.
Thanks for posting though.

About what?The alledged cover-up is not the issue…his TIMING is.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #152674

Senile cia gail (sicilianeagle…since you can’t be bothered to stop re-arranging my ID)

Do you KNOW what Murtha was privy to and when? What is the investigation based on? THINK, SE, THINK! Especially considering Murtha’s military background, could it not be that he was looking out for the country he served and serves? If so, as I think it clear that it is, that makes YOU the one trying to use this unfortuneate incident to make political hay.

In fact any doubt I might have had to the contrary would have been quickly dismissed after looking at that rediculous and reprehensible website you linked to above. You clearly are the one trying to make political hay out of this.
All things considered, please continue. You are going about it in a way that is so obvious and transparant to any who might read these, that it seems to me you do wonderous good for those opposed to these neo-con republicans and all their ilk. So, carry on, senile cia gail. spit out some more bile. I love it.


Posted by: RGF at May 30, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #152676

Again,just so you don’t think I am whistling in the wind,see what our troops think about Murtha.This is a terrific site by the way.

link text

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #152678



Just a typo.(although I kinda like the new name).

Anyway,tell me that the abouve site is bile.
Go ahead.
Today,most vets are beserk.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #152679


(a) Yes, re: screen play.

(b) As a lawyer I think you’ve taken the role of DickBush advocate. If you were to take the oppositions view and look at our evidence against your client, you would feel very sorry for your (DickBush) side.

Posted by: Dave at May 30, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #152687


Perhaps you’re right,but loyalty has always been my downfall.
I want to send you a copy of my screenplay for free..how can we do that?Can you send me a SSA Envelope?
You still have my email address?

Anyway today I have been reading up on Harry Reid in between phone calls…seems he is in a bind over receiving boxing tickets are you familiar with the story?

Yes,I am an attorney,and that’s why I was offended by Murtha’s actions.I’d love to defend those marines if charged.I have concluded that if charged,a decent lawyer probably can get those murder charges reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

Posted by: Sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #152703

Sic Eagle:
“Please read my above posts and tell me what I said.Did you read them?Clearly I said that if a wrong was done,then someone must pay.But that isn’t the point of this article.”

“Congressman Jack Murtha (D PA.) is a 24 carat jerk.”

That was the title and the main thrust of your article.

“Veteran or no veteran,decorated hero or not,he has tried and convicted the Marines who allegedly killed civilians in Iraq earlier this year before the investigation is completed or a trial takes place.”

Except, for the fact that it isn’t merely “alleged”. There are pictures that came to light that proved their official story was a lie. And far too many people have been saying that they were lying and trying to cover up a massacre. And the story was suspicious and didn’t check out with the military. And then these guys started rolling over on each other.

“Doesn’t this dolt know about the concept of presumption of innocence?”

Too much evidence against, paired with an administration who always tries to cover up everything shameful that happens on their watch is no doubt why Murtha felt the need to speak out immediately against this.

“No,instead he jumps out in front of every television camera he can find and has these marines both vilified and crucified even before the military has completed its investigation.”

Because clearly they are guilty and Congress knows this.
Murtha sees our military being flushed down the toilet by this administration, and with every new bullsh*t denial from them regarding the many atrocities which have occurred (torture and murder at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, Extraordinary Renditions to foreign gulags, the indiscriminant use of White Phosphorus on the city of Fallujah, the video of the soldier shooting that old man lying on the ground in the head, and now this massacre), it only makes our exhausted, overextended troops more of a target.

“If these marines have in fact killed innocent civilians,then the Uniform Code of Military Justice has an appropriate procedure…called a court marshall…and an appropriate remedy…called a stockade and dishonorable discharge upon release if they are in fact guilty as charged.”

Clearly they are guilty, because everyone who has seen the military’s evidence is acknowleging this, including Murtha. Only hard-core rightwingers seem to have problems facing all the many ugly truths about this war.

“However they are entitled to their day in court.”

Again, from the article I previously quoted:

The darkest suspicions about the killings were confirmed last week, when members of Congress who were briefed on the two ongoing military investigations disclosed that at least some members of a Marine unit may soon be charged in connection with the deaths of the Iraqis—and that the charges may include murder, which carries the death penalty.

“At this very minute,every jihadist web site is downloading images of both Murtha and of the alleged “massacre” and posting it on every web site they can find,further inflaming a tenuous situation.”

And you righties with your ongoing denials also further inflames violence against our troops in their tenuous situation during this insane Neocon war.

“Does this guy have a brain or what?”

Obviously he does. Do you?

“Doesn’t he realize that he has been already once exploited and now becomes the official jihadist poster boy du jour?”

No. The official jihadist poster boys are the dishonest and dishonorable members of this administration — and all of their deluded followers who are far too happy to close their eyes when faced with the awful truth.

“I am sick of him and the harm that he has done to our military.”

Every word that comes from Murtha’s lips tells us that he is sickened and disgusted by the Neocons and all the harm they’ve done to our military and to our country. So am I, and so are many many others who agree with Murtha.

“I am doubly sad that this weekend,Memorial Day Weekend, is the weekend that this nitwit chooses to make the rounds on television further compounding the situation.”

Denials compound these situations far more than speaking the truth about them. Condemning atrocities for what they are, does not.

“What a jerk….A 24 CARAT JERK!”

Your disgraceful comments aren’t a patch on that brave, honorable man’s 24 carat gold ass.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #152727

Adrienne et al

This story is not over.

Exculpatory evidence may come forward.

Look at this link:

link text

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #152794

It’s good to know that not only does your piece lack pitch, but a sense of rythym. Timing has NOTHING to do with anything. Facts are facts, reality is reality, and political smear is political smear.

If I were to pronounce an idiot brain dead before he opened his mouth and confirmed it to everyone, he’d still be just as brain dead, and as large an idiot.

It could be as a person of character, and inside knowledge, I was simply preventing the masses from being inundated with the blather spewing from the idiot’s mouth. I would be doing a service to society, rather than say, protecting murderers to attempt to hide the collapse of Bush’s Iraqi policies.

Posted by: gergle at May 30, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #152805

Beware of greeks bearing gifts and news stories calling female political nominees attractive.

This is a puff piece on on the candidates behalf. End of story.

As for the support of our troops, I would submit that the best moral support is giving them the equipment, strategies, and training required to do their jobs, and doing what it takes to keep discipline among the troops.

Keeping cases like this under wraps sends our troops the message that all this talk about honor and superior conduct is merely talk. They are the ones who have to keep these terrible secrets about dark deeds a secret, that on top of everything else they’re forced to do by the nature of their jobs. Secrets like this can destroy people inside. If this grows to pervade the campaign, then things get dark indeed for those trying to keep to the path of the right and the true.

The best way to support our troops is to approach wars with utmost seriousness, intellectual rigor, and ethical integrity. Without these things, a war effort will lose heart. No amount of will can stand up to the kind of disillusionment that cover-ups, intelligence failures, and strategic screw-ups inflict on a war.

If we want to support the troops, then we must ensure that those who bear the brunt of the consequences for the mistakes of our politicians and military brass aren’t crushed under the burden of incompetent leadership and misguided policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 30, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #152812

It is amazing what people will say once they think the “truth is out.” They are overjoyed in the assumption that the side they took (in this case Murtha’s side)in this debate or discussion may prove them right. You can almost feel the joy in their words and snide remarks. So much so that they forget the whole “point” of the discussion.

What I see here is that many are blindly willing to defend “the party” then admit to the cruel and demeaning remarks made by the man.

As far as this blog, it was irreverent whether or not the accused Marines might be found guilty, the point was; Murtha jumped at the chance to demean our Military and tell the world they cannot be trusted. So righteous and secure that he did not have to read the Pentagon reports because was basing his information on frequent discussions with “the commanders,” “people that know what they’re talking about ”and in doing so he behaved like a Jerk. I believe that the point was made.

Murtha did this in an ruthless attempt to gain more democratic votes for his party across the US. There is no other reason then his detest for the present leadership and their party (unless he truly has lost his grip, like many have suggested). The accusations were being investigated, he was not trying to see to anything…other then helping himself and his party.

But, I for one know he has turned many Democrats and Centrist against him simply because of his irrational statements and underhanded methods.

I do hope more people will wake up and see the people for who they are and what they represent, other than just the party they belong to, when making their decisions on to vote for.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 30, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #152821


Thanks for your divine knowledge of people’s motives. Saving lives couldn’t possibly be a motivating reason in your mind, because the soldiers are expendable for your partisan beliefs.

The demeaning statements belong to those who ignore the truth.

Posted by: gergle at May 30, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #152822


Thank you.Some got it.The rest may…over time and with LOTS of nurturing!

Posted by: SicilianEagle at May 30, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #152826


I’ll try to remember my spambucket password, your book-something(?) e-mail should still be in there.

Posted by: Dave at May 30, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #152831


Your welcome. Let’s hope so.

Posted by: Bobbie at May 30, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #152885

“What I see here is that many are blindly willing to defend “the party” then admit to the cruel and demeaning remarks made by the man.”

I’m not defending my party at the moment, I’m defending John Murtha. A Marine who fought in Korea and earned the American Spirit Honor Medal. A Marine who fought in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star with a Combat “V” for valor during combat, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. A Marine who rose up through the ranks in the Reserves to the rank of Colonel and received the Distinguished Service Medal when he retired from the Navy.
A man who cares deeply about our enlisted troops, and who is only speaking the truth about what is happening to them in Iraq.
A man who simply doesn’t deserve to get shat upon by the likes of the Sic Eagle or any other disrespectful rightie on this blog, simply because what Murtha is saying makes what has happened too real, and scary and bloody for flag-waving neocon chickenhawks.

Murtha’s comments were neither cruel or demeaning about our troops in general, they were a condemnation of THOSE PARTICULAR TROOPS who lost their minds and slaughtered a bunch of innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children (the first military investigation), and for what looks like an obvious cover-up surrounding those events at a very high level (the second military investigation).
And make no mistake, at the very least, some of these men have got to be as guilty as hell of cold-blooded murder, otherwise, the relatives of fifteen of the victims wouldn’t have so quickly received military cash payments as compensation for their deaths.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 31, 2006 3:23 AM
Comment #152895

Adrienne, anyone subjected to conditions that Bush and Rumsfeld are subjecting our precious soldiers to will react in bad ways.

I recall my college psycology classes about the classic experiments by Skinner(I think) that showed students who were placed in the role of guards and prisoners without guidance, soon the guards became rather sadistic. Some simply couldn’t deal with the experiment and bailed out.

The sad part is that there are those so imbued with a high opinion of their own superiority, that they ignore signs of failure and revel in the carnage they encourage. They have a tendency, at least the more intelligent, to then slink off and claim no responsibility when things become gruesome. Paul Wolfowitz comes to mind. Chickenhawk is a common term for these folk. Some others may invoke images of other accipiters, in a vain attempt to hide their own serpetine character.

Posted by: gergle at May 31, 2006 6:35 AM
Comment #152904

You think the last five years have been ones of joy as I’ve found new outrages to deal with? No, they they’ve been ones of fear and anxiety, anger and sadness. I spent my first Twenty-two years cheering on our military, a hawk even when I became a Democrat.

My support for the troops has never been a matter of personal convenience or political expedience. But that is the explanation folks like you seem eager to make for our actions. Character flaws seem to be the GOP’s favorite explanation for why people don’t support this war. It lets them feel great about something I would consider grounds for political divorce.

The Conservative wing of the Republican party have promised that given a war to fight, they would have the boldness and courage to fight it all the way. As it turns out, the party has had the boldness to surround itself with excuses as our soldiers have been left without the means or the plans to win what in a short span of time should have been their victory.

How many folks criticizing Murtha now have never set foot in basic training? How many people leading the charges against him have never stopped to listen to what the other guys said, simply applying stock Democrat and Liberal Stereotypes rather than challenge him on what he’s truly said.

The great shame of this is all those people on their high horses passing judgment on the state of this guy’s patriotism, because he’s facing us with unpleasant truths about the way this war’s developed. Why can’t we be a mature country and recognize that deeds like those who killed the civilians and covered this up are the ones who brought shame on us, and not the people who spilled the beans. Why don’t we assume that sooner or later things like this will come out, if they haven’t already?

What really makes me laugh is this assumption he’s doing this for political gain. Is anyone on the Red Column even remotely aware of his district’s politics? But that would be a complicating detail amidst the mindless slanders the GOP makes, inconvenient to anarrative of greedy, graspy, cowardly, ideologues from the far left.

This is not supporting the troops. This is encouraging coverups and failures of military discipline that themselves serve to rot morale from within, even if they’re never discovered. When they are, the secrecy and disgrace of these things are a double hammerblow to those who serve.

If you on the Red Column truly wanted to support the troops, you would acknowledge that these things do not always happen in war, that our soldiers are in fact trained to be better than this, and that tolerating this behavior, even out of sympathy, does harm to both our armed forces and our country. You would recognize that adults can have differences of opinion that do not stem from character defects. You would recognize that a Patriot can see a war as harmful to his country, and a veteran can turn against a war without being one whit less the patriot.

You folks can carry on about the psychological price for this revelation, and Blame Murtha for the damage this revelation has caused, or you can realize that you can’t win a war on spin and public support alone. We’d like to think we can clap our hands and wish a victory, like we’d wish tinkerbell back to life, but that not the way things work. Victories require logistics, and planning so that our response to unexpected difficulties and failures isn’t this paralytic stupor of policy.

But of course, in this day of superficial media politics, image is more important to some than reality. To be seen supporting the troops and the war is seen as the completion of duty for a Republican. The truth is, this party has let the soldiers down, and sent them to war in a way that has made gaining any kind of victory in Iraq, any kind of honorable peace difficult, if not impossible. I’m an optimist. I choose to believe its merely difficult. But I believe it is imperative that our soldiers get real support from us. If you want to win the war, charge up to Capitol Hill and the White House, and tell them to get their asses in gear.

The time for excuses is at an end. Unless we want this war to be a cancer on America’s strength, we must make the choice: fight this war all the way, or withdraw from fighting it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 31, 2006 7:40 AM
Comment #153172

Now that Murtha has been proven entirely correct, when should we expect your apology?

they are entitled to their day in court

(which is more than we can say for people who aren’t in the military…)

Here’s what our own “U.S. Officials” have to say about the matter today:

A preliminary military inquiry found evidence that U.S. Marines killed two dozen Iraqi civilians in an unprovoked attack in November, contradicting the troops’ account, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Still want to call a military hero a “dolt” because he said something you don’t like?

No matter where it comes from, anyone attacking dear leader must be attacked as a traitor. You cultists are starting to get really annoying.

Posted by: Jeffrey L. Seltzer at May 31, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #153322

Been reading all the arguments, but I am still waiting for all the facts to come out in the trial. Let the Marines have their day in court, folks, let’s not tar and feather them until that happens. Murtha has ALREADY convicted and condemned them to hang, without a trial! What has happened to “Innocent until proven guilty”? If one of those men were YOUR son, wouldn’t you want due process of law to carry the day, or would you blindly cry “MOMSTERS, MURDERERS!” Suspend judgement, friends, and wait until AFTER the trial to point your fingers at these men!

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 1, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #153327


The payment should not be considered prima-facia evidence of guilt.


Would you rather that no one speak up and say “Look!”? We can withhold final judgement until the trial is done but without accusations there would be no trial.

Posted by: Dave at June 1, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #153508

I am for the truth, whatever the truth may be. I only say, we must NOT have these men tried and convicted BEFORE they have had their day in court! Even the most dispicable criminals in our nation are given that right—how can we deny these Marines the same right? I was not at that site in Iraq. Neither was Murtha, or all the others screaming “GUILTY! HANG THEM!” Let the ones who WERE there tell what really happened, and then let the court have the final say. Of course, even if the court finds them innocent, there will be those, such as Murtha, who will scream “COVER UP”, and refuse to believe the truth. So no matter what comes of this, these men are damned forever in the eyes of the world!

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 1, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #153835

Angel 1,

I was not at that site in Iraq. Neither was Murtha, or all the others screaming “GUILTY! HANG THEM!”
Yes, but Murtha knows a great deal more about the incident that you do. Nobody is screaming “GUILTY! HANG THEM!”. Not Murtha. Not anybody. No names have been named, just the unit. When individuals are charged, then we may hear names—even though they haven’t been proven guilty yet. Think of Lyndie England—were you screaming for justice for her, and how it was unfair that her name was released long before she was proven guilty? Or are you just screaming now because you have something against Murtha?
Even the most dispicable criminals in our nation are given that right
Nonsense. The most dispicable criminals in the world have their names posted all over the media long before they are proven guilty. This is no different, except at this point Murtha is not naming names because nobody has been charged. Sounds fair to me. I think it’s pretty clear to the American public that not everyone in their unit is guilty, but at most a small number.

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Comment #356083

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