Who Is John "Jack" Murtha?

After more than 30 years as a House member, Representative John Murtha, Philadelphia Democrat, has finally made a name for himself. For the left, Murtha represents the perfect political specimen — a decorated Vietnam veteran turned leading critic of the Iraq War. But who is the real John Murtha?

A Change of Heart?

It’s been six months since Murtha first called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq:

The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion . . . The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction.

(. . .)

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME. (Nov. 17, 2005)

Since releasing that statement, Murtha’s emergence from the shadows of obscurity has been nothing short of spectacular. His statement, however, was a stark deviation from his written words only months earlier. In a 2004 epilogue to his book, "From Vietnam to 9/11," Murtha wrote:

"[A] war initiated on faulty intelligence must not be followed by a premature withdrawal of our troops based on a political timetable. An untimely exit could rapidly devolve into a civil war, which would leave America's foreign policy in disarray as countries question not only America's judgment but also its perseverance."

Of course, everyone has the right to change his or her mind, but goodness that is a serious change. In fact, if I may quote Murtha, it was a "quantum leap." Murtha went on to say that this monumental shift in policy direction had been "gradual." Indeed, it was, Mr. Murtha. A whole year had passed from the time you wrote the epilogue to the time you released the statement.

The War May Be Wrong, But It’s Darn Profitable

Democrats love to talk about the "culture of corruption" that supposedly plagues the Republican Party. If I may quote House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

"This offense is just the latest example of the culture of corruption that pervades the Republican-controlled Congress, which ignores the needs of the American people to serve wealthy special interests and their cronies . . ."

Funny you should bring that up, Mrs. Pelosi, especially the part about "wealthy special interests and their cronies." You may have missed the June 2005 LA Times Article, "Lobbyist’s Brother Guided House Bill," but I didn’t.

According to the article, John Murtha, the ranking member of the defense appropriations committee, has a brother, Robert Murtha. Brother Robert happens to be a senior partner at a lobbying firm that . . . I’ll let the Times tell the story:

When Congress passed the $417-billion Pentagon spending bill last year, Rep. John P. Murtha, the top Democrat on the House defense appropriations subcommittee, boasted about the money he secured to create jobs in his Pennsylvania district.

But the bill Murtha helped write also benefited at least 10 companies represented by a lobbying firm where his brother, Robert "Kit" Murtha, is a senior partner, according to disclosure records, interviews and an analysis of the bill by The Times.

Clients of the lobbying firm KSA Consulting — whose top officials also include former congressional aide Carmen V. Scialabba, who worked for Rep. Murtha for 27 years — received a total of $20.8 million from the bill.

One of the clients, a small Arkansas maker of military vehicles, received $1.7 million, triple its total sales for 2004. Several other clients received money that represented more than half of their annual sales from last year.

KSA directly lobbied the congressman's office on behalf of seven companies that received money from the bill, records and interviews show. Among those clients, a firm based in Maryland received one of the larger individual awards, $4.2 million.

Would you care to comment on these revelations, Representative Murtha?

Rep. Murtha and his staff declined to answer questions for this report.

That’s fine, Mr. Murtha. The evidence speaks for itself.

And here’s one for you, Mrs. Pelosi:

In early 2004, Murtha reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A company called Lennar Inc. had right to the land, and Laurence Pelosi, nephew to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was an executive with the firm at that time.

Murtha also inserted earmarks in defense bills that steered millions of dollars in federal research funds toward companies owned by children of fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D). Roll Call or here

Wait. There’s more.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan campaign-finance watchdog, Mr. Murtha is the leading recipient of defense industry dollars in the 2006 election cycle.

Finally, consider this the icing on the Murtha cake of corruption:

[Murtha] had an ethical scrape in 1979, when he was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam bribery scandal and testified against two House colleagues. Washington Post

Guilty Till Proven Innocent

Of the many offenses perpetrated by Murtha throughout his lengthy career, none can top his accusation that Marines killed Haditha civilians "in cold blood."

Murtha first leveled the accusation on May 18, 2006, during a Capitol Hill news conference (are the cameras on?). With the investigation still underway, Murtha had no doubt that the Marines were guilty:

"It’s a very serious incident, unfortunately. It shows the tremendous pressure that these guys are under every day when they’re out in combat," he said. "One man was killed with an [improvised explosive device] and after that they actually went into the houses and killed women and children."

Speaking to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, Murtha expounded on his original claim:

"Well, there’s no question in my mind [as to what happened] . . . It (an IED) killed one Marine. And then a taxi drives up. When the taxi comes up, there’s four or five people in it. And they shoot; shoot those four or five people, unarmed. And then they go on a rampage throughout the houses and kill people. One woman . . . was bending over a child pleading for mercy and they shot her in cold blood. . . . And even more disturbing is the fact that, we know the Iraqis knew about it because they made payments to the Iraqis for accidental deaths or for salacious deaths, whatever you want to call it. And then in addition to that . . . there has to have been a cover-up of this thing."

Apparently, the freedoms that Murtha fought for during his military service did not include the presumption of innocence.

To level these accusations while an investigation is still ongoing is inexcusable. Does political posturing know no bounds? Representative Murtha, you are a disgrace.

This article was inspired by the Washington Times editorial, "The Real Jack Murtha."

Posted by Dr Politico at June 22, 2006 3:17 PM
Comments
Comment #160527

If the point was to make money for his family, why would he be against the war? Some of these things don’t quite add up.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #160529

The question is not Who is Jack Murtha, his constituents will answer that to their satisfaction. The real question is as Murtha has pointed out: Have we gone as far as we can Iraq without our presence hindering our goals there?

And that is the real question, one which Republicans want to obfuscate and push aside along with those who continue to ask it, and demand evidence of the answer to it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #160531

DP-

So what you’re saying is, politicans practiced nepotism and cronyism? I don’t believe it. Not for one second. By the way, how big were those Halliburton contracts in Iraq and Afghaniostan?

Posted by: David S at June 22, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #160537

David S,

Halliburton contracts? Read factcheck.org’s revelation that Halliburton was the only company in a position to do the work in Iraq here. Here’s the headline: “Anti-Bush Ad Overstates Case Against Halliburton” Subheading: “Moveon Pac ad says administration gave contracts “on a silver platter,” but government investigators say otherwise.”

I was going to include this in the article, but I figured Dems were over it by now.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 22, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #160541

Dr P

The short answer to your question about Murtha:

He is a disgrace.

look here:

linktext

He’s an un-indicted co-conspirator

He’s also need to take a geography course before he opens his mouth again.

look here:

linktext


He is the anti-war candidate who stabbed the Corps in the back, and doesn’t believe in giving those marines due process.

That’s who “My Lai Jack” Murtha is.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 22, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #160545

We see alot of righteousness based on the ‘innocent till proven guilty’ mantra on these blogs.

I dont hear anybody saying Saddam is innocent or Zarqawi was innocent.

Posted by: Schwamp at June 22, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #160546

Whoops

That first link is my photo…hehehe…here’s the link…..


linktext

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 22, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #160551

Dr P

good article and good research thanks. Since this is all true and documented I would love to see those who call for Republicans to be thrown out of congress for these things actually call for Murtha to be thrown out as well.

I am one that says if a Republican is corrupt throw him out and if it is criminal then throw him in prison and I know they have and I hope will continue to do so. I also hope this does not stay onsided but that Democrats look at their own as well. We shall see.

David Remer

The real question is as Murtha has pointed out: Have we gone as far as we can Iraq without our presence hindering our goals there? And that is the real question, one which Republicans want to obfuscate and push aside along with those who continue to ask it, and demand evidence of the answer to it.

Have we gone as far as we can? is that the real question. I would say we have not yet gone as far as we can. In fact I would think that we are quit capable of going much further then we are ever going to go.

One of our big goals is WMD’s and from what I see we have further to go there. Another of our goals was to create a Democratic government this has taken place though the government is not quite ready to stand on its own.

The evidence that it is moving in that direction is available. In the over 400 raids held since Zarqwai’s death they were all lead by Iraqi forces and we only assisted in a bit over half (I may be off a little on that number but it is close)

We wanted to stop Saddams ability to create WMD’s we did that. We went in with the goal of fighting terrorism and we are currently doing that. We are not done with the fighting terrorism but from recent events of killing the main leader and having over 400 raids we are getting closer.

I too want to finish this. In fact I hope we can this year. I think that looks possible from what I see but who knows. There is defiantely more information out there then we see in public and I have to say that those who have that information are better suited for making that decision.

I hope I did not obfuscate it or push the answer aside. I tried to use publically known facts but if you need links for any of this I will find them and post them for you.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #160554

David S

how many other companies are able to do what Haliburton does on that scale in the US?

I do not believe that a company outside the US should get the job since we used our money in the war and not theirs.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #160555

Murtha has been a porker for years. All you need to do is look at his little non-profit Concurrent Technologies Corp. According to Pittsburgh Channel 4:

Perhaps no company has benefited more from Murtha than CTC, and the head of a watchdog group that monitors ethics in Washington says these findings are very troubling.

The Pentagon knows about CTC. In the past decade, the non-profit company has gotten $1 billion in government contracts, including projects that aim to make tanks faster and helicopters safer.

This year CTC showed its appreciation for Murtha, giving him more than $32,000 in campaign contributions. The company’s lobbyist gave Murtha another $36,000.

CTC is based in the John Murtha Technology Park in Johnstown — and there is another connection between the congressman and the company. CTC’s chief lobbyist is a former Murtha aide and, in the past four years, the company has paid the lobbyist more than $1 million in fees.

Posted by: George in SC at June 22, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #160556

Schwamp,

“I dont hear anybody saying Saddam is innocent or Zarqawi was innocent.”

Nice try. Zarqawi admitted responsibility — and proudly — for numerous attacks. Consider that a confession. Guilty or not, I’m just glad he’s dead.

Saddam has his chance to prove his innocence. Of course, that whole Kuwait ordeal was pretty clear cut, wouldn’t you say?

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 22, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #160562

Discrediting the opposition! How clever!

Posted by: DOC at June 22, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #160565

It’s been pretty well documented that Halliburton’s efforts have been, for the most part, a total failure. There may not be one company that can fill all the roles Halliburton tries to fill, but there are undoubtedly many smaller companies who could have done better, cheaper.

Posted by: David S at June 22, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #160568

Dr Politico said: “Saddam has his chance to prove his innocence. Of course, that whole Kuwait ordeal was pretty clear cut, wouldn’t you say?”

You mean invading another country which hasn’t invaded yours is a crime? Well, let’s get the Bush impeachment hearings going right away shall we?

The traps of logic folks we weave for oursleves with language absent forethought.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #160571

Randall, thank you for answering. That is a valid answer and opinion from the right no question. Polls show it is not the majority opinion though, and our representatives should represent the majority don’t you think when individual rights are not the issue?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #160579

Here we go again- don’t debate the point of view - assassinate the holder. There was a time when “Conservative” meant something positive - small government, fiscal responsibility and individual freedoms - what a shame that it has morphed into huge government, fiscal irresponsibility, the government involved in the most personal of decisions and “attack dog” politics.

Thanks for the authoritative links to the right wing press - i’m sure their version of reality can be relied on with absolute faith. It must be the truth - after all the Washington Times was founded and continues to be owned by Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

But let’s assume everything you allege or wish to allege about Murtha is true - does that make his position incorrect? Of course its hard to overcome the offense of changing ones mind. There is a name for those who - in a complex and rapidly changing world never change their mind - the name is moron.
So the real issue is whether we agree with the folks who took us to war on false premises, executed the war and its aftermath with profound imcompetence and offer little in the way of a plan as the situation on the ground worsens or do we at least debate alternative views.

I don’t know if Murtha is right but the position deserves serious thought and i don’t mean the staged debates in Congress - serious debates are at the heart of what America is and must continue to be - cutting them off by character assassination is - well - downright un-american.

Posted by: Terlen at June 22, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #160582


You republicans aren’t convicting Murtha before the trial are you.

Posted by: jlw at June 22, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #160583

David Remer:

That would be an accurate statement other then by UN rules we were allowed military action. Sadaam was never allowed military action against Kuwait.

That statement comparing us invading Iraq with Sadaam invading Kuwait is not comparing apples with apples. In fact it is not even comparing apples with oranges. In the study of logic this is a fallacy.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #160586


If anyone wants a good read on corruption, read the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs report.

Posted by: jlw at June 22, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #160587

David Remer:

You are correct to say that it is not currently the majority opinion. It was the majority opinion when we went in. I think there would now be more damage to change that then to keep going as we are. I also think we will see those polls change as time goes on. Actually they already are changing though the polls are still majority want us out within 1 year is it (?). Give it six more months and I think you will see a change. The question then comes down why do polls change so easily. You would think that this topic is to important to change our thoughts so easily. I think this is a sad commentary on our current way we take polls.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #160591

Randall-

The reason people’s opinions have changed is because the situation has changed. We have accomplished much of what we set out to do, and what we have left to do, in the opinion of most Americans, is not worth the cost and potential loss of American life.

This is not, as the Dems play it, the country realizing the war was a mistake. Nor is it, as the Repubs play it, “cut and run”. This is basic risk vs. reward using updated info.

Posted by: David S at June 22, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #160594

David S

To a point I agree with you. The question I was posing is why are subjects like this so easily changed. The polls started to show favorably again after killing zarqawi and after the raids and since this report. Does this mean that people are starting to go back to thinking it was worth it. By the way I do not think you will find I (as a conservative) have never said cut and run. I do not actually think most democrats or most liberals want to just cut and run. True there are those who do but they are by and far whack jobs. Most people want a pull out but with some order to it and there is the crux. we all have a different thought on that order.

Now back to the post on Murtha. I look at him as one of those whack jobs and I think he should be investigated and if evidence shows he broke a law or some ethics standards set by the senate then he should justly punished according to what is standard.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #160596

Terlen,

“Thanks for the authoritative links to the right wing press - i’m sure their version of reality can be relied on with absolute faith.”

Are you talking about Nancy Pelosi and Murtha’s official government website? Or the LA Times article? Or the Washington Post? Or the House of Reps website?

Oh wait. You’re talking about the Washington Times piece which inspired the article. Unfortunatly, I never quoted the Times.

Try again.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 22, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #160597

David Remer,

I never want to see our country run on a pure “majority rules” basis. The public is truly fickle.

A lot of politicians lick their finger and find out which way the wind blows before they say anything. I cannot stand them. They stand for nothing and everything all at the same time. They say they are moderates, I say they are spineless and gutless.

I respect true liberals and true conservatives because I know where they stand on the issues. (I may not agree, but that’s OK)

Posted by: Cliff at June 22, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #160601

Cliff
well said also a good argument for the electoral college.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #160602

tlw,
“You republicans aren’t convicting Murtha before the trial are you.”

Now, (all of a sudden) people care about “innocent until proven guilty”!! Whatever!!


Murtha’s mouth and silly puddy for brains are what “outed” him; our marines (and corpman) deserve the presumption of innocence. Period!

Posted by: rahdigly at June 22, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #160609

Will no one on the left admit that Murtha’s accusation concerning our troops was reprehensible?

His comments were unfounded and completely out of line. That’s why he is an absolute disgrace.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 22, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #160617

Who is John Murtha?
A guy with more bravery and guts and honesty than any Neocon Republican who was EVER BORN.
You attack him — because you just can’t BEAR to look at all the LIES that took us into this war, all the complete incompetence in waging it, all the wasteful billions in spending — and all the other various f*cked-up things that finally brought the man out of obscurity and forced him to speak out against all this HORROR AND FAILURE YOUR PARTY HAS CREATED. You must attack him because he had the collosal nerve not to mindlessly accept the moronic decisions being made by Your Dear Leader and his Henchmen and their assinine “Stay the Course” Plan For NOTHING.
NOTHING but more of our troops blood spilled.
NOTHING but Chaos in that Utterly Destroyed country.
NOTHING but more Suffering for those People.
NOTHING but Civil War and and an ever growing home grown insurgency with our troops as the targets.
NOTHING but Death and More Death.
NOTHING but more deficit spending until were bankrupt.
AND ALL FOR NO GOOD REASON THAT ANYONE WITH A FUNCTIONING BRAIN IN THEIR HEAD IS ABLE TO SEE.

WMD? - NO! Just some rusted and dried-up old pieces of junk.
Al Qaeda — NO! They came after we went there.
Democracy - NO! Theocracy.
Peace and Freedom for the Iraqi people? — NOT A CHANCE. It’ll be many many years before that country comes even close to being stabilized.

Go ahead GOP, lose every bit of the decency you may have ever possesed, gnawing away at Murtha, a man who was formerly very respected by your party, simply to support these Morons in the Whitehouse.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 22, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #160628

Dr Politico
no one said you did quote the Washington Times - one of the follow up comments posted two links - one led to a bird with an american flag tattoed on its face (disgraceful what people do with the flag) and the second to the Washington Times - its not all about you you know - i was commenting in the context of all that had gone before my comment

but i allowed that anything you all say is or may be true - does that fact make his position incorrect or less worthy of serious consideration - if i am interfereing with a character assassination (deserved or not) in order to cut off debate about his position please forgive my intrusion.

Posted by: Terlen at June 22, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #160630

Adrienne

Just some old dried up junk?

How about taking some of that old dried up junk and store it in an out of the way place on your property for a period of time?

What would we call it then?

Posted by: tomh at June 22, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #160640

Adrienne -

What lies took us to war?

Posted by: Don at June 22, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #160643

Adrienne -

And what Murtha lies will take us out?

Posted by: Don at June 22, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #160645

My mistake Terlen. I apologize.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 22, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #160646

“How about taking some of that old dried up junk and store it in an out of the way place on your property for a period of time?”

You got it. Just as soon the GOP can find a way to put 300 billion dollars back into the US Treasury.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 22, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #160653

Adrienne, Why so you can put it to some gov. program to help people? But just not Iraq people, you on the left would perfer them left for dead, I throught you are the party of the little man?

Posted by: Nathan at June 22, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #160669

“Adrienne, Why so you can put it to some gov. program to help people? But just not Iraq people, you on the left would perfer them left for dead, I throught you are the party of the little man?”

Tens of thousands of Iraqis ARE dead, directly because we invaded their country! Far more Iraqis died in the iraqi war than would have died had Saddam stayed in power. And I don’t know how I can possible explain this to you, but don’t you think it’s possibly that maybe many Iraqi people don’t want us there in the first place?

Posted by: john at June 22, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #160671

Dr Politico:

If anybody on the left admitted Murtha is wrong, they would not be on the left anymore. See how that works? Pointing the finger at any politician, dem or repub, is a futile waste of finger time. Left, right or in between, honesty and integrity are becoming lost attributes. You’d use less finger pointing energy picking out an “honest” politician.

I’m not sure when the role of congressmen and senators changed, but it must have. In Texas, the public is upset because Governor “Pretty Hair’ (aka Perry) paid millions to a lobbying firm to lobby Texas interests in Washington. The outcry seemed to be that we have senators and congressmen who were supposed to be doing that - lobbying. When did they quit representing their constituency and become pure lobbyists for the pork?

They all need to be fired and replaced, and their replacements swear to represent the people and the interests of the United States, not solely the business and campaign contributors. They might also look very closely at the Constitution. Might be really surprized at what it really says. For Instance: Foreign aide of any kind is not allowed under the constitution and public giveaway programs are not the right of the federal government, but rather a state responsibility.

Posted by: KDTEXAS at June 22, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #160676

cliff, is there Something Wrong About Looking at A issue With a open Mind And Knowledge and some wisdom. And Sorry Bush, Is not A True conservative, Reagan WAS and So Was Eisenhower. And So WAS mr Teddy Roosevelt.so tell me cliff? Would those three great True Conservatives, go to war With Iraq.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #160688

Randall:

I don’t think this is true. Where is that rule that says just because the UN thinks Saddam is going against them that the US can unilaterally decide when to invade the country?

That would be an accurate statement other then by UN rules we were allowed military action.

Can somebody point that rule out to me? I must be dumb.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #160729

Apparently, Murtha’s brother has never lobbied anybody for the company in question.

The closer one looks at the story, the less apparent the problem becomes. Indeed, there’s no evidence that Rep. Murtha’s brother lobbied his sibling directly and no evidence that Murtha’s brother was involved in any way in securing appropriations for KSA clients.

In fact, Ken Stalder, KSA’s founder, chief executive and lead lobbyist, said Rep. Murtha’s brother has never lobbied his brother or any other House member. “Having him on staff doesn’t help me with Congressman Murtha’s office,” he said in an interview in his office. “I don’t [accept some business propositions] because of Kit, because it might look funny.”

So, KSA is not only playing by the rules, it’s going one step further to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

If Cheney were to do things this way, he might actually exclude Halliburton from consideration of some policies or recuse himself from certain decisions, since he once ran the company.

KSA actually turns down business to avoid problems with conflicts of interest. Kit Murtha never does lobbying. But hey, it sounds like a generally nice charge to slap on a liberal who’s giving you trouble.

As for Abscam, I do remember Murtha being one of the people who actually refused a bribe and ended up exonerated.

So, with that taken care of, I have a few choice words for you all.

Why is the first defense always denial, the first attack against the whistleblower? When did the first concern become covering the asses of elected officials and their appointees? Why is it that people blame the media and the not the politicians, no matter how obvious the responsiblities and facts are in the matter?

We’ve made loyalty to leaders more important than loyalty to the constitution, loyalty to the public’s best interests. Republican have made loyalty to Bush and the other politicians a prerequisite for loyalty to our troops. Well I’m sorry, but I’d just as soon cut out the middle-men here. I’d just as soon see our soldiers given what they need to win. If that happens to be withdrawal from Iraq on a timely basis, so be it. If we cannot manage such a withdrawal in such a time, then we know we need to do better. We know a change in course is need.

Now we can take up the rigid-minded call of staying the course, or we can seek the righteous path of open-mindedness, where we seek what seems on the facts to be the best course of action, whether that means sticking to a plan, or ditching it!

Persistence and will are not in themselves the totality of the solution. They are useful to the extent that they keep us heading for the goal, and a liability when they take us away from it.

If, God forbid, we are at a point where we can no longer change things for the better, we should leave, and having left, learn our lessons this time, rather than spend the next thirty years peddling useless blame, and failing to deal in our strategies, as we did this time with the problems we’ve faced in the path.

Ultimately we must acknowledge that there is a difference between believing yourself right, and actually being so. Being right is more often a process of correction, than a state of enlightenment. We can’t always doubt what we believe, but we should have a healthy capacity for skepticism when it comes to our pet theories. We are, after all, only human.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 22, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #160731

womanmarine

UN Resolution

This shows where he was given “a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations” The consequences of which was military action. Following the UN rule. This was a unanimous vote.

Here is another link that will give more information regarding this.

link text

Now Kofi Annan agrees with you even though we had multiple resolutions and consequences to not following those resolutions. this is Koffi Annans disagreement

link text

Now that being said the resolution was 100% agreed upon at the time of the vote. Each country on the security council agreed that this threat was credible and voted for it. All we did was follow it.

Just because the officials at the UN are afraid that there own corruption (food for oil) will be brought forth they tried to back away from their word (which obviously meant not much). We just followed what was already stated.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 22, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #160738

Who is Jack Murtha?…..Jack Murtha is an aging politician who has forgotten WHEN to shut up….Jack has become so indifferent to the soldier that he doesn’t even realize how he demeans those who serve and or have served…What Jack Murtha did on a battlefield 40 years ago should not influence anyone’s opinion on a full range of issues, yet Jack plays it for all it worth and that IMO is disgraceful…

I do however have a solution to Democrats dilema in Iraq….Terrorists are mentally ill people..Anyone who dismembers human beings as a matter of course would be diagnosed as being atleast slightly deranged….Sooooo…this isn’t a military issue, it’s a mental health issue.(and liberals love mental health issues)..Maybe suggesting the establishment of mental health clinics in Iraq would be a kinder gentler approach to ending this “quagmire”….

Hey..It isn’t any loonier than anything else you hear from the left…

Posted by: Status Whoa at June 22, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #160744

Randall Jeremiah:

Nice Spin and Lying. Too bad the News and Interviews at the time clearly showed that there was supposed to be a SECOND UN Resolution after the first one. That was the only reason there was an unanimous vote.

If you remember, the US was trying to get that Second UN Resolution. They couldn’t so they invaded anyway.

Nice try though.

Posted by: Aldous at June 22, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #160769

Randall Jeremiah:

Just as I thought. In the past, the UN has asked the US to do these things. This time they didn’t. Just because the UN said military action, didn’t mean they had approved of or asked for it as in the past.

Who the hell are we to take it on ourselves, except that’s what we wanted to do anyway?

Your interpretation and the talking point is just wrong. We were NOT asked.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #160771

I am glad and proud as hell to have Jack Murtha on my side.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #160781

Stephen,

I enjoy reading your posts…they are usually very well put together and well researched. So I’ve been reading about Murtha’s life, and I cannot believe how people bad-mouth him. I believe he is acting in the best interests of the Marine Corps, and that he believes that as well. He has lived a life more noble than any modern day politician I can think of.

It’s a shame the way he is being labelled. But, hanging on to power by the skin of your teeth can make party members act strangely. Desperation is a stinky cologne, and Washington stinks.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 22, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #160782

Status Whoa-
It never fails: kick the liberal veterans in the teeth, then put some doctrinaire conservative in who can only speak of war in the abstract. That is how the GOP runs wars: by political committee.

Never mind people who know what they’re doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 22, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #160800

Stephen…You confuse “doctrine” with commonsense…As to “kicking liberal Veterans in the teeth”, I am only striking back at those who dishonor my service and continue to defame the title Vietnam Veteran….

Posted by: Status Whoa at June 22, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #160811

Status Whoa:

So not securing 500 TONS of high explosives was commonsense? Not having a Phase 4 Plan was common sense? Lying to the American people during the State of the Union was common sense? “The Insurgency is in its last throes” was commonsense?

I agree with you on one thing. John McCain has indeed dishonored the Service and defamed Vietnam Veterans everywhere. John McCain betrayed his country when he cooperated with the Vietcong and betrayed his race when he fathered a Black Baby. To top it off, he even married a Lesbian!!! Its not surprising he suffers from mental problems. The stupid loon should be committed.

Posted by: Aldous at June 22, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #160819

Adreine, are you single? The kind of emotional logic you use just makes my dried up little black conservative heart skip a beat! Keep it baby, yee-haw! See you at sud-ribs-n’sluts on election day!

Posted by: HardHatHarry at June 23, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #160821

Aldous: this is your nurse, please take your medication now.

Posted by: HardHatHarry at June 23, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #160833

LOL! Nice article, DP. I’ve got three word for you: Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

Come back when Murtha or Pelosi are in jail.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 23, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #160835

Cool plan. If you don’t like the message, attack the messenger. Let’s suggest this strategy to the RNC. Oh, they already figured that one out?

The coward and traitor monikers didn’t stick with Murtha. Let’s try crook. Don’t worry that no charges have been filed. Yeah let’s see if that sticks. Somebody come up with the next one just in case it doesn’t. We sure don’t want to be put in the position of actually having to discuss the issues themselves.

Posted by: What War? at June 23, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #160857

Status Whoa
The people who do the worst damage are those who make the worst accusations come true. Those who lie and speak without knowledge about the military will one day be found out. Those who commit crimes and atrocities in the name of the military, by contrast, do deep and lasting harm.

Strike back at those who are simply telling the unpleasant truth as you know it. And while you’re letting that happen, those officers and politicians who are mismanaging things in Iraq will cause one incident after another to occur which cannot be denied or explained away, incidents that will make it harder for our soldiers to complete their mission and keep their moral compasses unwavering.

The military of a country like ours cannot afford to keep bad behavior quiet, unless it endeavors to punish it in the meantime. Even then, we don’t need to keep too many secrets, because a secret revealed has more emotional power than an incident related honestly and dealt with quickly.

Keeping the secret of these things is no different than a rich man using his connections to perpetually bail his child out of trouble, in the hopes of preserving the family’s reputation or in hopes that they will improve on their own. In the end, it sends the wrong message both to people outside and people inside the family.

The best way to protect our soldiers from harm in Iraq is to reinforce them sufficiently to take the pressure of, and start a productive strategy of ending the insurgent’s control of the towns and city neighborhoods. We should not expect troops in the field to perpetually make up for their commander’s strategical screwups. It would have been more value to teach these troops counterinsurgency tactics before they came to Iraq than to give them ethics refresher courses after the fact.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #160880

I love how the right loves to smear their vets whenever they tell the truth and defy a political use of the military.

Thanks to David, Stephen, Adrienne and Aldous, who refuted this pile much better than I could.

Dr. Politico, it is almost laughable the corruption charges you aver, since this is the way the entire congress operates. I agree that congress should change its ethics rules( like actually having some), but these charges, in this form, are just silly.

When you accuse Murtha of accusing marines of murder, don’t you actually mean the military itself? Didn’t you notice that Murtha was paraphrasing what he had been told by the military? Wasn’t the thrust of his statements that the military was being mismanaged and misused? I agree his wording was not the best. But then, Bush has sent us on a Crusade, by this sort of logic. Onward Christian soldiers!!!

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #160884

gergle:

Murtha was very clear in his language. You tried in a different thread to minimize what Murtha said. How can you use better wording to call someone a murderer? Its not semantics—-its that Murtha has prejudged the Marines in regard to the Haditha incident. They may be guilty, but they should be given the same benefit of the doubt that our society gives to the lowest criminal—-innocent until proven guilty.

Murtha did not give the Marines that benefit, and he did so in an extremely public forum. The thrust of his comments to George Stephanopolous were that the Marines murdered innocent civilians. You can play semantical games all you wish, but you cannot deny what Murtha said—its all there in transcript form for anyone to read. Do so, and you’ll understand.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 23, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #160885

Well Stephen, there’s little YOU can tell me about war and the conduct thereof…I too am a “decorated” Vietnam combat Vet..I spent 18 months in country with the 1/9 Headhunters, 1st Cavalry Division as a helicopter doorgunner…The 1st of the 9th comprised only 17% of the divisions troop strength, yet accounted for 50% of the total division kills..NO ONE knows better than I how ugly (and stupid) war is, nor what goes on in the fog of war….

You said…”Strike back at those who are simply telling the unpleasant truth as you know it”

Unpleasant truth?….According to?….It has always been my belief that we are innocent until PROVEN guilty…The pronouncement of being a “cold blooded murderer” and rendering verdicts to advance a political agenda, (prior to any indictments) serves this fundamental assertion HOW?

No one is saying that we should impede the truth, nor should we hide the truth, but before we “pronounce” something as the “truth, we should first know the “truth”…What Jack Murtha did is a disgrace as any combat vet can tell you…What appears on the surface in often far from the “truth”, and to claim anything different is disingenuous, AND JACK MURTHA KNOWS THAT…

Let the “truth” be known in a court of law, NOT in the court of PUBLIC OPINION..

Posted by: Status Whoa at June 23, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #160901

You think Murtha is responsible for contracts going to his brother etc.? I have one word for you HALIBURTON.
June

Posted by: June Bartling at June 23, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #160904

June:

Dont know if Murtha is responsible. What I do know is that Murtha and Halliburton have nothing to do with each other. If you want to claim Halliburton is doing illegal things, then do so. If you want to defend Murtha, then do so.

But saying that Murtha is ok because you think Halliburton is wrong is pretty lame logic.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 23, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #160906

I understand that Mr. Murhta is going to face a little competition in his ‘06 re-election efforts. She is an attractive, pro-military mother of three. If her campaign has good sense, they will play Mr. Murtha’s statements over and over agian. Most Americans DO believe in the rule of law as guaranteed under the constitution, especially when it applies to our troops. “Presumed Innocent”—remember?

Posted by: nikkolai at June 23, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #160914

JBOD,

MY only response Joe is truth is truth, politics is politics and please defend Bush’s crusade remarks and then I’ll buy your bag o’ donuts. Ironic that you use empty circular arguments. I have read the transcripts, you know that, so why do you accuse me of not? Because it’s a slur just like the one against Murtha. Since I’m from Texas and English is only a second language here, but I would love to hear how you explain what you love to quote as anything more than a response to a question about breifings he recieved.

Question: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) “Thank you, sir. You have been briefed several times on this incident on November 19th. And you’ve said that the evidence shows that Marines killed innocent civilians in cold blood. From what you know, what happened?”

Murtha has concluded what the military reports up to that time had concluded. Refute that, Joe.

I’ll quote his concluding remarks here so as not to confuse you.

“Well, I hope it’s an isolated incident. I would expect we’ll find out that there are very few incidents like this. But when you get pressure that they’re under every day. When they go out, and there’s an explosion and it doesn’t kill somebody, explosion then kills somebody, explosion blows somebody apart, and I see the results of those explosions in the hospital when I go out there every week. You begin to recognize that - that the pressure could cause it. But we have so few people - less than 1% of the people in the United States involved in this war. And so they go back over and over again. Some have been back four and five times. I got a letter from a 10-year-old child. And the child says to me, ‘I appreciate the support of your troops. Don’t let my dad be deployed for the fourth time.” And another woman sitting beside her son who’s been in the hospital for over a year, hit by an IED, his brain shaken. He’s been in a coma. He can only move his eyeballs. This is the type thing that I see that we can’t - we don’t need to put up with. It’s the Iraqis can only settle this themselves. They don’t want our advice, Sistani didn’t even open a letter to the President. So, on Memorial Day, we want to be confident that most of our soldiers would not do something like this. It’s an isolated incident. But that’s why it’s so important to get it out in the open and get the punishment at the appropriate places.”

Nothing about a delay in investigation, Nothing about Military reporting, Nothing about incompetent Iraqi policy. Just attacking Marines. Yep that what this was about. What a load, Joe.

I know it’s inconvenient for you to acknowledge hyper Republicanism , but while you apparently have concluded we are in a Crusade against Muslims by these BS circular arguments, I just laugh up my sleeve at the corner you’ve painted for yourself.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #160915

Status Whoa-
I’m not the person to educate you on the realities of war. You’ve had a much better teacher along those lines.

But there are some instincts I can speak to that cross the lines of experience. Haditha may not have happened precisely as the reports have it, but something did happen.

Murtha did not speak out of nowhere, but instead based on the reports and the relation of facts to him from officers in the army. He made the information public for the simple reason that an America uninformed of these things is an America which cannot push to resolve these problems.

Too much about this war has been kept from the American people, by both the government and circumstances, and it’s had the effect of divorcing the public from a real sense of the situation. It hasn’t helped that those who blow the whistle on problems typically get attacked on the matter. Loyalty has been defined by silence.

Awareness, however, is a necessary part of how a democracy deals with a war. Without awareness there is little involvement, without involvement, people do not come to the aid of the soldiers when such aid is need. Blissful ignorance gets soldiers killed.

That some incidents like these get revealed is a price that must be paid to make the war in Iraq the people’s problem, not some far off thing the administration is taking care of.

As for what Murtha called this, if events unfolded as they were related to Murtha, the actions were cold-blooded. The question of who committed them, and why is open.

Would you rather these reports leak out from the Arab media first, where people are less inclined to hold off on the bias, or do you want our media, which is inclined to not speak to what it doesn’t know. the soldiers who are suspected have not even been named, and nobody’s attributed specific actions to specific people. Conclusions can be drawn without condemnations.

You cannot avoid the court of public opinion in cases like this. To try and keep things like this secret only further undermines support for the war. It no more provides faith in the war than letting black smoke come from under a hood inspires faith in a car. There are ways to calmly advise the presumption of innocence without resorting to the absolute denial or character attacks that some have resorted to.

Joe-
The question of whether he prejudged the Marines depends on whether he’s been given the facts from those in the know, not whether he’s come to some conclusions about what happened. Who gets convicted over what happened in Haditha is an open question; nobody’s mentioned names, or assigned actions to individuals. That an incident happened in Haditha where innocent people died, likely at the hands of Marines in that unit, is clear at this point.

It’s the right that’s turning this into a political weapon against the left.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #160920

gergle:

Again, nice try. Stephanopolous asks 11 questions, each one pertaining to Haditha. You try to paint Murtha’s responses as ” a few sentences that Jack Murtha made in reference to what military insiders had told him”. That is laughable. Murtha answered each question in the context of Haditha. We already know he disagrees with the rationale for going to war, and with the prosecution of the war. Nothing new there—that’s old news. You show one answer that discusses Haditha in the context of the war in general, while his other 10 answers focus specifically on Haditha. How selective of you.

The news in the transcript was his calling Marines murderers. You call it “unfortunate wording”. That too is laughable.

You continue to try to change the focus from what Murtha said to why he said it. I don’t care if Murtha’s information is 100% correct—that simply is not the point I keep making and you keep avoiding. The point is simply that even if the information turns out to be correct, Murtha was wrong to publicly accuse the Marines of murder and cover up before the investigation is complete. I’ve compared what Murtha said to what Warner said….Warner did it properly by asking for an investigation without prejudging guilt. Murtha did it wrong by calling for an investigation and prejudging the results.

That alone is the point. Don’t evade that point.

Stephen:

I disagree with you. Murtha has prejudged, regardless of the information he has. The investigation was not complete when he made his conclusions. If he has all the information required, then he would not need to call for further investigation. If there is need for further investigation, he should not be concluding guilt. It simply cannot be both. I understand the desire to protect Murtha, and you’ll note that I have not demeaned him nor will I. But his comments were reprehensible and irresponsible at best. Had he simply called for investigation of alleged acts, he’d have been fine by me. But he didn’t. He claims to KNOW that the Marines murdered innocents and then covered it up. That’s where he’s wrong.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 23, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #160933

Who is John “Jack” Murtha? Currently a House member representing SW Pennsylvania, he is a Viet Nam veteran and recent Democratic lightening rod for anti-war statements. What is not well known is his earlier career choice. In the mid 1950’s he was the front man for a rock n roll Doo Wop group:
Murtha and the Surrendellas
Rumor has it he is trying to get the group together with new members, Nancy Pelosi on drums, Harry Reid on trumpet and John Kerry on the mouth organ. Howard Dean is supposed to manage the group and they’ll be joined on tour by the Dixie Chicks. Most of their tour dates have been cancelled nationally, but there has been an uptick in sales for shows in Afghanistan, Thailand, Syria and Iran. ROCK ON JOHN!!!

Posted by: JR at June 23, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #160935


Since when it is the responsibility of a Congressman to report “his views” of an incomplete, ongoing military investigation to the American public Stephen?

Just what part of INAPPROPRIATE don’t you understand?

Are we now to hear from Congress an update on EVERY ongoing military investigation, or only the ones which are politically advantageous? Has a new precedent been set?

I can only look forward to the day that Jack Murtha is called to the witness stand in this trial and asked..

“Congressman Murtha, which Marine Commanders furnished you with this information?”

Congressman Murtha, would you tell the court, were the words “cold blooded murder” YOUR words or the words of these MARINE COMMANDERS?”

You can defend Jack Murtha all you want, but ol Jack has bought himself a boatload of trouble, and there will be consequences for his UNAMERICAN activities…..

Posted by: Status Whoa at June 23, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #160940

JBOD, what would you call shooting an unarmed child who is kneeling in front of armed marines? There are pictures, Joe.

Just Curious.

I called his wording unfortunate. It was. I accept you find it repugnant. I don’t. I find the incident repugnant. I find the lack of investigation repugnant. So did Murtha. Your outrage is misplaced.

Still waiting for you to call Bush’s remark’s reprehensible and irresponsible at best.Consistency is the hobgoblin, ya know.

The point you continue to avoid Joe, was Murtha relying on a military report or not? Did the military report conclude otherwise? Did it conclude unarmed children died at the hands of Marines or not?

Please don’t confuse defense pleadings with this investigaion. Murtha never argued against justice, so please stop implying that, by saying he has prejudged.

Is a public official supposed to hide the truth from America? Oh, I forgot that’s the Republican credo.

As a side issue, how many news outlets repeatly covered Warner’s statements? I wonder why George Stephanoupolis asked so many questions about Haditha? Other than a comment on news coverage what WAS your point?

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #160945

By the way, Stephen, thanks for framing this issue better than I did.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #160946

Dr.:

“According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan campaign-finance watchdog, Mr. Murtha is the leading recipient of defense industry dollars in the 2006 election cycle.”

I don’t know about all the other stuff, but if you focus on this statement, it shows how honorable Murtha is. He accepted all this money from the defense industry, yet he wants to end the Iraq War, thereby reducing profits for this industry.

You guys are following standard Rove procedure. Attack and smear anyone who disagrees with you. Murtha is a conservative who has turned against the Iraq War. So you beat up on him.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 23, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #160956

gergle:

If you really still don’t know what my point is, then I’m sorry—its beyond my ability to make it clear to you. I’ve made it as patently clear as I possibly can. I’ve repeated it in different ways, I’ve restated my point specifically when you’ve gone off point, and I’ve not swayed from it yet. And you still ask what the point is. I can only suggest you re-read the posts until you can figure it out.

I call murder reprehensible. I call for allegations of murder to be investigated and if guilt is determined, then punishment should be harsh. I’ve said that all along also, if you’ve been reading my posts. But I will always honor our soldiers with the presumption of innocence, until proven otherwise. Our society does that for the meanest of criminals; I will do no less for our troops.

Re Bush’s remark, there is no comparison. First, lets stay in the present—that was several years ago. Second, his use of the term “crusade” carried the wrong meaning and he should not have used it. But its not relevant to this discussion, since it did not involve the presumption of guilt before innocence. I’m not quibbling over the semantics of the words Murtha used. I’m stating that he was wrong to use any words at all to conclude that our troops are guilty of murder before the investigation is complete.

The point you continue to avoid Joe, was Murtha relying on a military report or not? blockquote>

I have not avoided any such point. The point is that Murtha has been calling for investigation. If he thinks any reports that he has been briefed on are sufficient, then there’s no need for additional investigation. If there IS need for additional investigation, then he should have not reached his conclusions already. Either way, Murtha is wrong.

He’s been briefed on reports, but even he thinks we need more investigation. So why does he make a conclusion about guilt before the investigation he is asking for is complete?

Did the military report conclude otherwise? Did it conclude unarmed children died at the hands of Marines or not?

DING DING DING. Now you’ve hit on the essential point. The reports are not conclusive at this point—they are preliminary. That’s why Murtha wants more investigation. At the completion of the investigation and trial, I’m okay with Murtha reaching a conclusion. The current reports have reached no definitive conclusions; therefore, neither should Murtha.

As far as Stephanopolous interview, ummm…how simply can I put this for you? Stephanopolous asked so many questions about Haditha because….the interview was about Haditha!! Had the interview been about global warming, I’d have expected him to ask questions about global warming.

You can do your own research on Warner—I’ve done some for you, but I have no desire to count the number of outlets that have talked about Warner. Suffice it to say, Murtha is the one the media focuses on—that’s the position they’ve given him, correctly or not. And he knows it, which makes his conduct even worse.

I’m done with this, gergle. You actually are doing a good job of defeating your own argument, by showing that Murtha is asking for further investigation, yet reaching his conclusions before the investigations happen. That alone makes my point for me….thanks for doing that.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 23, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #160964

gergle

Please post a link to the “pictures”, these aren’t like the supposed Haditha victims pictured in the MSM that were actually terror victims, is it? What specific, detailed information about this incident do you have in your possesion? Are you citing sources you have within the Marine Corp?
What lack of investigation do you find repugnant? Is/was there an investigation? If so what is bothering you? Do you DEMAND an e-mail alert everytime something you find “repugnant” happens throughout the world? Was the murder and beheading of our troops “repugnant” to you? Murtha will tell us his sources only when he is forced to, if he is, by being called as a witness. No, he didn’t argue against justice, just used his authority as a member of Congress to declare them guilty! He has a duty to protect the troops he voted in to war, not convict them before the entire country to activate his anti-war base. That is repugnant!
Coming out with a statement that there has been an incident in Iraq, that the Marines are investigating and details of the findings will be released at the conclusion of the investigation is MUCH BETTER than using a broad brush and claiming massacre, cold-blooded murder and cover-up as your election year sound bite.
Stephanoupolis asked all those questions on Haditha because he hoped it would look bad for the war effort, the Marine Corp and the Bush Administration. Hard to figure how an former high ranking official in a Democratic administration would ever want to make a Republican administration look bad, huh? Give it a rest.

Posted by: JR at June 23, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #160967

gergle

The picture of a kneeling girl shows that and not the ones who fired the shots that killed the civilians. I will bet that most of the civilians were killed by the terrorists that were in the same room earlier.

JR

I thought Bill Clinton on the mouth harp would have been a better choice. As I understand it he was taking lessons in the White House for this future assignment.

Posted by: tomh at June 23, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #160974

Gergle,
“I love how the right loves to smear their vets whenever they tell the truth and defy a political use of the military.”

Yeah, like the “Swiftboat Veterans for Truth”; the republicans really went after them… Oh, sorry, that was the dems that went after them; b/c the swift boat vets told the “truth” about Kerry.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 23, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #160975

Stephen, gergle, terrific posts in this thread.

gergle, you seem to be having the same argument that I was having with jbod in the thread following the Sic Eagles attack on Murtha — but you’re doing a much better job than I did of calling him and other Republicans on their prevailing head-in-the sand attitude regarding the Haditha incident, and their vicious and relentless attacks on Murtha.

Just like Republicans simply can’t bear to look at this war with open eyes, they are completely refusing to look at what we now know about the Haditha incident. It wasn’t Murtha who uncovered this story, it was Time Magazine who kept digging and pressing the military on the issue (despite the fact that at first they were rebuffed, and told that this was nothing but “Al Qaeda propaganda”) until an investigation finally went forward. Because of Time’s persistance in uncovering this story, an official investigation finally came — long after the incident had occurred, and long after the military had already paid out 38,000 dollars in restitution money to the families of the innocent victims who were killed. These are the facts — facts which as I said, they can’t bear to look at while they try to hide behind their “innocent until proven guilty” and “Murtha acted inappropriately” smokescreen.
The reason they attack Murtha is only because he is Democrat who is a sensible and powerful critic of the way the administration has incompetently conducted this war.
If they were really so outraged by any kind of prejudgement about the Haditha incident you’d think they’d be skewering
Republican Representative and former Marine, John Kline, who after being in the same Congressional briefing regarding the Haditha massacre as John Murtha, said:

“This was a small number of marines who fired directly on civilians and killed them. This is going to be an ugly story… There is no doubt that the marines allegedly involved in doing this lied about it. They certainly tried to cover it up.”

That is basically the same thing that Murtha said to Stephenopolous on This Week, but all of the outrage, and all of the smears and character assassination is only being directed at Murtha. This hypocrisy stinks to high heaven.

To me, what they’ve been doing is a very clear indication that they FEAR John Murtha. They fear his no nonsense, straight-shooting and powerful criticisms about the way the war in Iraq has been waged. They fear him because they know when the American people hear him speak, they immediately understand that this is an honorable and honest person who has spent his whole time in Congress focused on military affairs, and as an unceasing advocate for what is best for our troops.
As womanmarine said:
“I am glad and proud as hell to have Jack Murtha on my side.”
I couldn’t agree more!

Harry:
“Adreine, are you single?”

Correct spelling, Adrienne. No, I’m very happily married.

“The kind of emotional logic you use just makes my dried up little black conservative heart skip a beat! Keep it baby, yee-haw!”

The fact that you have to try to make a personal attack because my previous post hit a sore spot on the GOP, really says a lot.

“See you at sud-ribs-n’sluts on election day!”

Oh, I love how my little joke has managed to get so many goats!!! :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at June 23, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #160978

Joe,

You actually are doing a good job of defeating your own argument, by showing that Murtha is asking for further investigation, yet reaching his conclusions before the investigations happen.

Or that means that he really wants investigations to happen, since that was his whole goal in bringing this up, and he didn’t really prejudge to a greater extent than the facts he had allowed him to. Why would he want investigations if he didn’t think they were needed? Why not just demand that the Marines be executed?
Look, he gave extenuating circumstances (repeated tours, combat mindset, etc.), he didn’t demand punishment, and he calls for the investigations that you say you want to happen. He’s very clear that he doesn’t blame the entire armed forces, just a very few bad apples. The whole “prejudged the marines” thing is just a very weak straw for the right to grasp at to try to discredit this guy.

Joe, if you saw pictures of dead kids, shot through the head, and you were asked what you thought of the people that did it, what would you say? Are you telling me you would honestly say “Well, I see dead children, but we’ll have to see in a court of law whether the person who did this was a murderer or not.”? If I have solid evidence in front of me that some guys went crazy and killed a bunch of kids, I may not be in the state of mind to worry about hurting their feelings.
And hurting their feelings is the ONLY bad result his comments could have, especially when you read them in context. It’s nice of you to worry so much that the perpetrators might be offended at being called “muderers” instead of “alleged murderers” or “accused murderers” or “suspected murderers,” but it’s really not a big deal at all. You’re making a giant mountain out of a tiny little anthill.

Posted by: Brian Poole at June 23, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #160981

Adrienne,
“Republican Representative and former Marine, John Kline, who after being in the same Congressional briefing regarding the Haditha massacre as John Murtha”


Some of us already addressed this issue (to you) about Rep Kline; he’s just as wrong as Murtha, they both are not giving our Marines the presumption of innocence. Murtha’s being called out the most b/c he’s the one that’s most vocal about this issue; hell, that idiot is literally campaigning on it. Besides, most people don’t know who Kline is anyway; Murtha and the dems get much of the attention in the MSM, anyway.


“Just like Republicans simply can’t bear to look at this war with open eyes, they are completely refusing to look at what we now know about the Haditha incident. It wasn’t Murtha who uncovered this story, it was Time Magazine who kept digging and pressing the military on the issue (despite the fact that at first they were rebuffed, and told that this was nothing but “Al Qaeda propaganda”) until an investigation finally went forward.”


Murtha and Time magazine should be tried for sedition. Period!

Posted by: rahdigly at June 23, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #160983

JBOD, agreed it was a preliminary investigation. I refute your assumption, even though Murtha stated in clear terms that murder had occured. I think it is clear to the intelligent, whom I consider you to be among, that he was basing his statement on this preliminary investigation. At no time did he set himself up as judge, jury and excutioner. He named no one as Stephen pointed out.

We disagree on the appropiateness of his statements.

You seem to fail to see the point of my arguments. I am not asking you to research Warner’s TV Q ratings. I’m pointing out that the framing of the news is not Murtha’s choice. He knows interviews, can see the clock and concluded with the intent of his speaking out. I know you are outraged by murder. That’s why this continual posting by other bloggers is so misguided. That’s why your adamant argument of outrage at Murtha’s 10 minute statement seems to me grossly out of place.

Thank you for aknowledging the innappropiateness and (my opinion) equally meaningless Bush Malapropisms.

You seem to be fighting tooth and nail over whether I think Murtha mispoke or prejudged. I do think he said it badly, I don’t think he prejudged. That is your conclusion, it never will be mine. I think you have jumped to a conclusion based more on political reaction than fact. Yes he said murderer. Yes murders occured. This is not a court room nor does This Week pretend to be one.

I have always gotten your point, Joe. I just don’t agree with it. I think it’s badly biased and misdirects attention from where it should be, on Iraq policy.

The fact that we talk about preliminary facts all the time here is not really salient to any argument. Murtha does not sit on any Military tribunal. There is no ethical, moral or any other standard for him to remain silent on this issue. This is simply a “red”, as in Republican, herring to distract from the failures in Iraq.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #160990

Joe-
Murtha has prejudged, regardless of the information he has? Bull. The very definition of prejudgment IS coming to conclusions prior to having real information. Since you don’t know how much Murtha knows, and he has sources on the inside, it may be you not him who has come to a conclusion out of prejudice.

Murtha may have all the information required to come reasonably to the conclusion that he did, but he is not a member of the executive or judicial branch. He cannot try the case or do the official investigation on his own. That, though, is a matter of legal formality, not a matter of whether his conclusions are soundly founded in fact.

Besides, you need to straighten out a few facts. It was the military who opened the investigation here, after the Time article showed up March 19th Murtha learned of this through his sources in the military and the Pentagon, through those in the know about the investigation.

JR-
It’s amazing how invested people get in a mistake. America would jump at the chance to win if you folks showed you could give it to them. The gains of the dissidents on this war would not be possible without the loss of confidence this administration has inspired.

Status Whoa-
Did Murtha say this soldier did that, or this soldier did this? Did he give a chronology presupposing where each and every soldier was and what they did? He never mentioned a soldier by name.

All he did was confirm a fact already indicated in a report in time on the 19th, weeks before he made his statement about the matter: A Marine Unit was involved in an incident where 24 unarmed civilians were killed.

He called it cold-blooded. That implies calculation, deliberate action. If the facts about the deaths are true, then that is not an inappropriate description. It’s not inappropriate to talk in general terms about what is suspected to have happened. Officials do that every day. If your standards were applied, we’d get almost no information about what was going on.

As for your definition of Unamerican? Well, what can I say? There’s a lot of prejudgment that goes into that. What is the American thing to do? Pretend everything’s alright?

Everything isn’t alright. We are losing a war because of the policies of this president, losing it to people who hardly deserve to win, the way they’re fighting. Americans might be kept in the dark, but our enemies, and the people they look to turn against us are not so deaf dumb and blind. Of all the enemies we stand to make in this war, truth is the last one we need on the enemy’s side. We cannot win a war through denial.

The American thing to do is face the truth and do something about it!

Why do you assume he’s doing this to hurt the soldiers? Why do you assume he simply wants surrender? Why do you assume his dissent means he wants us to lose? Why is it that you folks can’t for once accept what we say when we tell you We believe in this country and our soldiers?

It is unfortunate that patriotism has become so politicized. It’s unfortunate that you think in one instant a man who supported the military all his life, and fought in two wars, would suddenly change to the polar opposite. Can you not once consider that people like Murtha might know something about what’s going on that you don’t?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #160991

Paul,
This is the Republican Echo effect. Pick on minutia and repeat. By the time Joe Q Public hears it, Murtha has shot 4 Marines and pinned a murder on them.

By the way, did you hear that Frist was a child molester? Damn, the Dems need a better echo chamber.:)

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #160996

joe-
The investigation started before Murtha spoke up. People can speak about ongoing investigations, its done all the time. If we observed the formalities you suggested, the only thing we would get would be official lines, official reports and a not a heck of a lot else. The real world is not built on formal underpinnings. Logic and law work with a world that doesn’t always fit them perfectly

Too many Republicans are appealing to legal formalities on convictions while reeling off even more off the wall speculation as if it were the more probable story. Either restrain yourselves or allow us our informal opinions on the matter. We have jury trials and the presumption of innocence in order to counter this tendency in people. If we have unjustly spoken of these people, then we will reap the consequences for speaking so ill of them, and so will Murtha. until then, you must be open to other possiblities yourself, however unpleasant.

Let me get something straight here. This is not pleasant. This is not what we wanted for our country or for our soldiers. It’s our feeling, though, if we allow such things to be denied, then we will pay the price with our nation’s slide away form its ideals. If we don’t know what’s going wrong out there, how can we pressure our politicians, who will often try to save their own asses at our expense, to put them right? If we don’t know about Haditha, how do we stem the tide of a policy that might lead to worse?

Rahdigly-
Sedition? Good God, man. Presumption of innocence doesn’t mean the kind of utter denial you folks seem to want. We can’t even say the Marine unit lead by this particular guy was involved, which is a basic fact of the case. By your standard, television news could say a person was a suspect, or a D.A. tell the public who’s been indicted. Complete investigations are not an absolute prerequisite for discussing the facts of a case.

You’ve politicized the issue in a way it shouldn’t be politicized. It should be the facts that determine whether these Marines did wrong or right, that inform one’s position. One shouldn’t presuppose exoneration or conviction simply because that’s the party talking point.

These kinds of tactics are meant to discourage reporting and discussion of such events, but they don’t do something very important: discourage their occurence. That happens anyways, and as America is blinded by B.S., we are distanced from the reality of the war that is fought in our names. That only makes it worse when these things get made public.

American cannot maintain the confidence to fight if it becomes apparent that there’s a darker reality behind the sunny predictions and assessments of the war. The less B.S. people have to discount in order to get behind a war, the better. Unfortunately, the Right doesn’t trust most of America to fight the right fights unless this kind of manipulation is imposed on them, and that’s a real shame.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #160997

JR and tomH,
The picture does establish that there was no resistance and that the situation was under control. My source is from interviews with Murtha. Other facts indicate a reactionary murder. I have no direct source other than what is in the media, do you?

The Congressman has no power to declare guilt. Sorry, jurisprudence doesn’t work that way.

Rahdigly,

The swift boat vets were paid liars. Not just liars.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #160999

Why does halliburton get a bad wrap when they go in country to do Americas bidding? I guess next they are responsible for the high price of gas.

Is it halliburtons fault that they are the only company capable of doing what is required to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Kuwait. I did not hear anyone complaining about red adair for being anti-american when his group was the only one capable to stop the fires of Kuwait.

Give’m a break or find a company that can compete. After all I believe their employees are amoung the DEAD in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have relatives working for halliburton and believe it or not they are just trying to feed their family and pay the mortgage and taxes to run this din-o-sour called government.

oh I forgot they are capitalist, big business and the American dream. sorry for the lapse,

go ahead and yak, yak, yaking point, yaking point, halliburton is bad, welfare is good, profits are bad, welfare is good, capitalism is bad, socialism is good, America deserved 9-11, Islam is peaceful, Bush is bad, Murtha is good.

It is ironic and rather moronic that just 36 years ago Senior Murtha came home a baby killer and war monger.

My how they change their hat to fit the party, not the head.

Posted by: lm at June 23, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #161007


You seem to know a lot about this Stephen, which makes me wonder why you convienently seem to have overlooked Jack Murtha earlier statement…

QUOTE: “There has to have been a coverup of this thing, No question about it.” Rep John Murtha

Now the military has issues the following statement…

QUOTE: “Nothing in the report points to a “knowing cover-up” of the facts”……

But there was “NO QUESTION ABOUT IT” according to Jack Murtha?….

Like I said…Defend Jack Murtha all you want,it’s a long road……

Posted by: Status Whoa at June 23, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #161021

Stephen:
“Everything isn’t alright. We are losing a war because of the policies of this president, losing it to people who hardly deserve to win, the way they’re fighting. Americans might be kept in the dark, but our enemies, and the people they look to turn against us are not so deaf dumb and blind. Of all the enemies we stand to make in this war, truth is the last one we need on the enemy’s side. We cannot win a war through denial.

The American thing to do is face the truth and do something about it!”

Exactly. You don’t win “hearts and minds” with massacres. No one is doing our soldiers a favor by looking the other way on things like this — and something certainly does need to be done about what is happening to our troops. Look at what The BBC has just reported about the living conditions these particular Marines were living under:

It is an intensely dangerous place for the Americans, and the battle-weary men of Kilo Company - the unit which included the marines accused of the massacre - had lost a lot of men there.

And they were operating under disturbing circumstances.

Kilo Company’s headquarters were three miles north of Haditha, at a vast dam across the Euphrates. It is a big target, because it supplies power to much of southern Iraq.

Four hundred men of the First Marine regiment were based in this decaying rabbit-warren. Conditions were so disgusting, many just moved out.

They set up these unofficial shacks alongside it. Conditions at the dam have been described as “feral”.

Oliver Poole is one of the few reporters to have been there, shortly after the alleged massacre. He was shocked by these strange, primitive huts, which lacked even basic hygiene.

“You walked in and the first words were ‘F off’, and they were ripping pieces of wood apart to feed the fire,” he said. “You could see the conditions in which they lived. And they were filthy. It was disgusting.”

There seemed to him to be no real discipline.

“The fact that the officers had let conditions deteriorate to the level in which where people living in such basic environment, that says something,” he said. “Where were the officers keeping the standards that the US military keeps in the field?”

Status Whoa:
“QUOTE: “There has to have been a coverup of this thing, No question about it.” Rep John Murtha

Now the military has issues the following statement…

QUOTE: “Nothing in the report points to a “knowing cover-up” of the facts”……

But there was “NO QUESTION ABOUT IT” according to Jack Murtha?….”

Look at the facts. The incident happened. A video is made a day following the incident. Time Magazine hears about it, looks at the video showing walls and ceilings peppered with bullet holes and starts digging for the story amongst the survivors and people who live nearby. They go to the military with questions. The military tries to discourage them from writing about the story by telling them that there is no truth to it and that it’s “Al Qaeda propaganda”. Time Mag understands that restitution money was quickly paid out — something that doesn’t happen when civilians are accidentally killed by IED’s — although that was the Marines original claim regarding how all those deaths occurred). Before Time prints the story in March the magazine passes a copy of the damning videotape to US military commanders in Baghdad, who then finally initiate a preliminary investigation. Their findings then cause the official version of events to be changed. The Marines say that after the roadside bomb, the civilians had been accidentally shot during a firefight with “insurgents”.
On April 7th three officers in charge of troops in Haditha are stripped of their commands and reassigned.

Cover up? Sounds likely to me. Restitution money payed out when the official version is that it was an IED that killed those people? Discouraging reporting on the story? Only starting an investigation when they know the story is going to be made public? Marines changing their story after the investigation? Officers stripped of their commands and reassigned? Yeah, definitely — but how high up is the question.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 23, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #161022

Jack Murtha
as sung to Jerimiah was a bullfrog,by 3 dog night

Jack Murtha was a little loud mouthed,spoke before he thought it through,I never understood a single word he said,But will fight and die, for his right too,
singing,listen to me,I want all of Iraq free,
give them some blue jeans and play rock and roll,then we’ll teach them all to bowl.
You know I love the ladies,love to watch them dance,If I leave them with the Sunnis,they will hide em away,and they’ll never even have a chance.
singing listen to me, I want all of Iraq free,Give them some blue jeans and play rock and roll,then we’ll teach them all to bowl.

Posted by: jblym at June 23, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #161052

lm-
Why is Halliburton getting a bad wrap? Three words: conflict of interest. We can’t trust this Vice President to make all that objective decisions about a company he once led.

There’s a Frontline called Private Warriors about this, and ironically considering your comments, the deaths of these employees may have a lot to do with the fact that they’re being called to do jobs that soldiers were once detailed for. This has made the presence of a large force of security guards and mercenaries necessary. That, in turn has complicated the war.

It could be argued, all because one guy is not all that objective about where Halliburton should and should not be employed. It could be Iraqis doing the work, which would get more Iraqi’s off unemployment and out of militias.

These things are not about Leftist anti-corporatism. This is about the government not making decisions according to what businesses they once associated with.

Status Whoa-
There was a coverup. It was the one we started out with, the one that called the shooting of 24 people an IED explosion that killed 15. What the investigation determined was worse than a coverup higher in the ranks than that unit. What they discovered is that the people higher up either didn’t know or didn’t care what was going on under them.

As a soldier, do you think that’s a good state of affairs? If this was a coverup, you could argue the system just had a few bad apples. This indicates that there’s a great deal of trouble with discipline in the ranks, at least here.

The Trouble, as I see it, is that you’re focusing on Murtha and questions of whether he should have spoken about this to the exclusion of actual discussion of what these events mean. That’s important. If you don’t resolve the underlying issues, Murtha won’t be the last to make such heartbreaking announcements, and Haditha will only be the beginning of worse troubles.

As far as I’m concerned, poor leadership is no way to support our troops. There was a common theme in Tom Clancy’s biographies of the Generals(Zinni in Battle Ready, Stiner in Shadow Warriors, and Horner in Every Man A Tiger) of poor leadership having a bad effect on morale and moral certainty in the war. Horner in particular discussed how absurd policies lead to a disconnect between the rank and file and command, especially when it came to the micromanaged bombing campaign in Vietnam.

Ultimately, we do ourselves no favors by rationalizing these problems away as the ranting of old veterans who have lost their mettle, or media conspiracies by those left wing slanderers. By politicizing the argument, we make our position on the war the fulcrum of our reasoning of what to do next. LBJ did it and a generation of soldiers paid for it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #161062

Stephen,
“It’s unfortunate that you think in one instant a man who supported the military all his life, and fought in two wars, would suddenly change to the polar opposite. Can you not once consider that people like Murtha might know something about what’s going on that you don’t?”


The “unfortunate” thing here is that you can’t consider that Murtha is “politicizing” this war and he’ll go through anything and anybody (even our own troops) to do it. He’s one of the few dems that has served in War (one in which we lost) and he’s using his collateral to fight this war; instead of (actually) fighting the enemy (who waged war on us).

“We can’t even say the Marine unit lead by this particular guy was involved, which is a basic fact of the case.”


Stating the case is not what the MSM and people on this blog are doing; they’re accusing our marines before the case has been tried. They’ve been presuming our troops “guilty until proven innocent”; that’s what communists do!


Gergle,
“The swift boat vets were paid liars. Not just liars.”


No they’re not! In fact, they were proven (absolutely) correct by Kerry himself.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 23, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #161079

gargle

The swift boat vets were paid liars? How about a clear concise itemization of what you have.

Calling someone a liar is a very serious charge. To call someone a liar means you have to be near the given situation to know what the parties know and how they used the information. You must know the motive of each and every one involved. I personally believe that you do not fit the criteria. So to call someone a liar is a a real stretch if you cannot prove the facts.

Posted by: tomh at June 23, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #161109

tomh-
Ah, but its the facts that prove them liars? From an all too crowded Boston Whaler, to Swift-Boaters who supported Kerry before they opposed him, to Swiftboaters whose own medal citations speak of facts they deny to call Kerry a liar, the Swift Boaters have a lousy track record on the facts. We can prove our facts, through documentation of his medals, through eyewitness accounts, and through Kerry’s own words, broadcast national. We can show footage of a much younger leader of this organization facing Kerry in a debate as part of a group astroturfed by Nixon to oppose Kerry’s anti-war veterans. We can show you the racist and viciously partisan rhetoric of his co-author on Unfit For Command

What can you show to demonstrate that Kerry is what they say he is?

Rahdigly-
Murtha spent quite a bit of time backing this war. Like every Democrat who has come to back this war, he risks being labelled a flip-flopper and worse. What gets you people angry is that he is not some brahman elitist like you think Kerry is, but is a blue-collar, Swing State Reagan Democrat, who ordinarily would be opposing such a move.

People might think if he’s lost patience with this war that it’s time to start the withdrawal. That’s your fear. As such, he gets attacked as being everything his record and his words say he is not.

You folks aren’t even allowing people to take reasonable interpretations away from the facts. We’re not saying who among those soldiers is guilty or innocent. We’re just as concerned about how things shape up in the end as you are. Again, here, you are worried that such incidents will sour people’s appetite for this war further.

I will let my comments to tomh stand on the matter of the SwiftVets.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #161130

tomh,
I’ll take the position of the right on the Iraq war, in time you’ll see I’m right. The “leader” of this group is a Nixon hatchet man from my area.

Kerry will probably run again, and the swifties will find their boat swamped.

I’ll let you chew on these two links in the meantime

link 1

link 2

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #161149

Gergle, the swifties were vindicated by Kerry. They’ve been saying (for over 30 years) that Kerry turned on his troops in Vietnam. They did everything in their power to keep him from the Presidency. He lost the election in 2004 and, one year later, Kerry’s on record saying “our troops are terrorizing Iraqi women and children in the dead of night”. As you can see, not much has changed with Kerry in 35 years.


So, there you have it, the Swift Boat Vets (for truth) were correct then as they are now. They are (truly)vindicated.

Stephen,
“You folks aren’t even allowing people to take reasonable interpretations away from the facts.”

There’s nothing reasonable about what Murtha is doing; he’s a crackpot who lost his way, whether it’s intentionally (for political gain) or just mentally. Either way, he’s a nut case; not a pioneer who realized the true way to win a war. He’s accusing our troops without the presumption of “innocent until proven guilty”. He’s using his military status to attack the Bush admin on this war and it’s the wrong approach. It should be about winning, not pulling out; or dare I say “cutting and running”.


Posted by: rahdigly at June 23, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #161154

Rahdigly,

What I have is a headache from reading this kind of claptrap from those either too young to know what they are talking about or suffering from memory lapses and flashbacks.

You apparently don’t have a clue either about Vietnam or current politics. Repeating nonsense doesn’t engage me or further your argument. I’m old enough and sentient enough to be aware of both.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #161192

Rahdigly-
Winning isn’t everything- that’s what the swiftvets got for their trouble. The elected a president who through shear willpower has managed to alienate even more people about the war. Do you realize right now that people want a position from this government that is even farther along the line from what Kerry was suggesting two years ago? If that’s your idea of vindication, I don’t envy you about it.

On the facts, Kerry remains vindicated. Most of the SwiftVet’s case was basically insinuating the worst about Kerry’s conduct wherever possible, treating memory lapses as lies and so on and so forth. Kerry’s got documentation and witness. The further you go into the SwiftVets story, the fishier it gets. A few of them supported Kerry’s run for senate a while back. One has a medal citation whose description of gunfire during the incident contradicts the story he gave in the 2004 campaign of their being no gunfire. They claim Kerry claimed a medal for shooting a kid in the back, the medal citation doesn’t even mention the person getting shot, much less how and where. it’s his tactics of turning into the enemy fire and charging the position that earned him the medal. They took a clerical error which misrepresented a medal he got,and turned into a Kerry lie. They mistook the initials of the person who vetted the document for Kerry’s, alleging he put together the report, so as to sway its coverage.

Essentially, a smash and grab job of just making stuff up. This is unfortunately the tack that the GOP has been taking in political strategy, at the expense of good policy and all those less uncertain things. If you’re building your legend in your own mind, you at least have the luxury of making it a good one, instead of having to earn it.

Murtha’s status is a liability to him. He’d be more free to oppose the war if he never supported it to begin with. Consider that when you call it a a politically calculated move. Considering his district, what does he have to gain?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #161233

Very Interesting Discussions. Some of you fail to recognize the fact that Murtha is trying to unseat “blond in the pond”, T. Kennedy, as the oldest boring fool in the Legislative Branch, Kerry is running a close second for this honor.

Posted by: What's Truth Got To Do With It? at June 24, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #161237

Mr. Got To Do With It-
I hereby formulate “Daugherty’s First Law Of Republican Politics”:
Whenever one doesn’t have a solid point about the Democratic leadership, Bring up a nearly forty year old Car Accident as if it has anything to do with the issue at hand.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #161247

Stephen,
“On the facts, Kerry remains vindicated. Most of the SwiftVet’s case was basically insinuating the worst about Kerry’s conduct wherever possible, treating memory lapses as lies and so on and so forth.”

That’s completely false! The swift boat vets said the same thing about Kerry (in 2004) that they did in 1971; they said he turned on the troops then as he would as commander in Chief. One year later, Stephen, Kerry’s on record saying “Our troops are terrorizing Iraqi women and children in the dark of night” (2005), not to be confused with “I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire.” (1971). So, defend him all you want; the swifties are (certainly/definitely) vindicated.

This country owes the swifties (bigtime) for not having Kerry as Commander in Chief. Kerry’s all over the map (again) with this “troop withdrawl”; hey Kerry, how about coming up with a plan to win the war, instead of a plan for retreat?!

Posted by: rahdigly at June 24, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #161413

Let me get this straight:

Murtha is advocatig a position that is contrary to the possible interests of himself and his brother?

That’s not corruption, that’s moral fiber. That’s strong character and spine.

Those who are manipulating the foreign affairs of our entire nation and profitting from it are the corrupt ones.

Dr. Politico, you have a tendency to defeat your self. Keep it up.

Posted by: RGF at June 24, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #161423

Murtha is NO DISGRACE!!!!!!

I cannot still believe what I see you writing. Sicilian Eagle first took the shot weeks ago, that Murtha was making comments about Haditha which were liable to infringe the right to a fair trial of the marines involved. Even he has been awfully quiet (at least as far as direct reference to Haditha) after the reports have come out and after it became clear that Murtha’s comments were instrumental in preventing the continuation of a cover up which was already underway. The facts are now official record, dr politico. The massacre happened. There is no loonger any room left for denial. From a purely legal standpoint, there may be defenses for the actions taken by the Marines that day, but the massacre is no less real, regardless.

So what we really have here is another kind of disgrace. We have GOP pundit who is actively looking for reasons to demonize the messenger of ill news for no other reason than to try and shut him up or discredit him in order to benefit his party. That is reprehensible, doc. absolutely reprehensible. You are trying to make political hay in a way that is actually defending an atrocity. It would seem you would prefer for the cover-up to have succeeded. Seriously, why else attack Murhta? …to get him to shut up? That is treasonously destructive of the very values that are most American. You are not acting in the best interest of this country, democracy or truth.

YES, I agree that the Marinews are guilty until proven innocent. But their jury is going to be military, not civilian! Justice is not perverted by bringing this to light! Further, the efforts of Murtha are for the purpose of preventing the cover-up from continuing! Even though the jury will not be civilian, public pressure and awareness in this area helps to PREVENT INJUSTICE!!! The civilians in Iraq have no advocates to bring this to light effectively without us…without Murtha and those like him who are willing to take and stand for doing the right thing.

The wave-the-sacred-flag-and-burn-down-the country mentality on the right needs to end while we still have something left worth defending!

Posted by: RGF at June 24, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #161435

Rahdigly-
You’ve never read what he said. He testified on behalf of veterans. The atrocities he described were described to him by those soldiers.

Kerry chose his words unfortunately, like people do from time to time, but what he says is right. Make no mistake, it’s no picnic having the military storm your house. You likely have never had the experience. Now imagine these soldiers have had a bad day, or suspect you of something. Terror indeed. a bad word choice should not invalidate Kerry’s point on the matter.

What Kerry said was correct. There were free-fire zones. 50mm guns were given to soldiers for use. These were facts of life in Vietnam. Kerry was vindicated on the facts.

You measure truth by whether what he says strikes you a certain way. I measure them by the facts. If you don’t want withdrawal, you should measure it by the same means, because by no other means will you have the capacity to win. You cannot win a war based on what sounds right, you win it on what is right.

Unless you are willing to stand back from your support for the war and look at the mechanisms by which it is being fought, you have no way of accurately guaging the quality of your president’s policies. That you like the sound of Bush’s staying the course does not make it the better policy. It only makes it your preference, and people can prefer the wrong things. Whose advice will you have the misfortune to discount, because you don’t like the sound of what they tell you?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #162176

Jack Murtha is a do-nothing congressman who sat in obscurity for several years in the house, had his ill-begotten 15 minutes of fame, and needs to return to whence he came.

Posted by: norm at June 27, 2006 9:30 AM
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