30 thoughts on “Mo’ Murtha”

  1. AL, thanks for throwing in your support. This guy is really beyond belief: holding those Marines guilty before trial; public defamatory statements to that effect, libeling all of us who serve; his legendary pork barreling; and of course insulting his own constituents.

  2. “This should be read”:http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/15/60minutes/main2574973.shtml before jumping to any inflammatory conclusions about Murtha or anyone else.

    Excerpts:

    bq. In two minutes, one Marine and five Iraqis were dead, but the killing had just begun. Next, Frank Wuterich would lead his men to kill 19 more Iraqi civilians

    bq. After hearing noises behind a closed door, they kicked in the door and threw in the grenade. “First man enters the room and engages the people in the room,” Wuterich remembers.

    bq. “…I remember there may have been women in there, may have been children in there,” he says.

    bq. Wuterich says the back door of the house was open. He hadn’t seen the gunman, but he assumed the gunman fled next door. So the Marines hit the next house.

    bq. He says, “We went through that house much the same, prepping the room with grenades, going in there, and eliminating the threat and engaging the targets…There probably wasn’t [a threat], now that I look back on it. But there, in that time, yes, I believed there was a threat.”

    bq. In that second house was the Younis family. A 41-year-old man, a 35-year-old woman, a 28-year-old woman, and the children — Noor, 14; Sabah, 9; Zaineb, 3; and Aisha, 2. They were all killed by Wuterich’s men.

    I’m absolutely sick of this type of politics, where comments are taken out of context or intentionally interpreted and portrayed in the worst possible manner without even trying to understand the context.

    What happened in Haditha was a tragedy and people, especially those who have themselves seen combat and know first hand what kind of confusion it can bring, have every right to be angry at the conduct of the people in charge of the situation.

    The comments by Murtha in this commercial are not a smear, but rather a statement of fact.

    Go ahead and read the first hand account of the commanding officer at Haditha that day in the link, who still faces charges, and then tell me you want to take a stand against Murtha for his comments and in support of the killing of civilians.

  3. “Duty and Honor should always trump politics” states one of the marines in the video. How does his willingness to lend his voice to this effort to smear Murtha and influence his re-election square with that?

  4. “Go ahead and read the first hand account of the commanding officer at Haditha that day in the link, who still faces charges, and then tell me you want to take a stand against Murtha for his comments and in support of the killing of civilians.”

    Stop your bellyaching. Murtha came out and branded the Haditah marines before any trials. He also said he got his information from a senior Marine general. The general denies this.

    Murtha is a despicable person. I do not know many circumstances where a marine would disown a fellow marine, but I know quite a few marines who have disowned Murtha.

    Murtha represents the worst in a politician. He is worse even than Senator Schumer who, singlehandedly, caused a run on a California bank.

  5. Vista, it freaking amazes me that people who insist on the absolutely most rigorous application of the criminal justice system when it’s to be applied to someone like – say Mumia – are perfectly happy to have a political leader say, before any trial of fact or law has taken place, that someone is guilty of murder. Not that a tragedy occurred, not that he is concerned that laws may have been violated and wants to see that care is taken to make sure that the processes we have in place are followed. But instead, Guilty.Of.Murder. So I’m happy to call “bullshit” on what he did, and to do what small things I can to help show him the doot to his lucrative new career as a lobbyist.

    A.L.

  6. I don’t know, I hesitate to defend Murtha because I agree his comments were premature and inflammatory.

    But I see no reason why concerns about such statements should be so heated. This type of thing happens every day in politics, it’s happening every day out there on the campaign trail where Palin and McCain and their surrogates are accusing Obama of all manner of evils with even less evidence than Murtha has.

    However, I can see why he was angry about this after having read the link above describing the incident. Even still, he’s a hot head and has made some dumb remarks even more recently.

    But OTOH, I’m no fan of Russell, who has had dealings with the shady fundraising organization BMW direct, and has views on other issues that I find highly problematic. From his website:

    * Supports a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution recognizing the personhood of unborn children, and extending legal protection to all innocent life.
    * Supports gunowner freedoms clearly enumerated by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. He opposes any effort to strip or redefine these rights by courts and legislatures.
    * Supports a Federal Marriage Protection Amendment preventing activist judges from repealing the definition of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.”
    * Opposes human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, while fully supporting research on adult stem cell lines.
    * Supports the appointment of judges who strictly interpret the Constitution, not legislate from the bench.
    * Supports giving parents the fullest range of educational choices, including homeschools and private schools, without financial or regulatory penalty.
    * Supports restoring control of education to the local level.

    His site is classic Republican, full-on attack of your opponent, and you have to go to another page to find out what he is for.

    On issues #1, #3, #4 alone I think his candidacy should be opposed by a Liberal. #4 in particular demonstrates a real misunderstanding of science and willlingness to impose his ignorance on others that is deeply troubling to me.

    These are much more important issues to people’s lives than Murtha’s comments, and it surprises me that anyone who professes to care about such things can overlook them on the basis of what amounts to stupid comments. So I am taking all of this to indicate that you think words are more important than actions.

    [ Formatting fixed. — M.F. ]

  7. No behavior, no treachery so despicable that it can’t be rationalized, eh?

    Is there ANY standard that the Democratic party holds for its own? If there is, apparently Murtha is comfortably within it.

  8. bq. Is there ANY standard that the Democratic party holds for its own?

    Yes, and I would agree that perhaps Murtha has crossed it. But I don’t think it’s honest to apply this selectively, Tim. The same question can be leveled at Republicans, who are running the dirtiest and most damaging campaign in my memory. Are there no standards there? Is it OK to inflame your supporters anger by leveling demonstrably false charge after charge at your opponent?

    But OTOH, the opposition to Murtha, in light of the alternative, is to support another Democratic challenger, not someone who promises to work to take rights away from some Americans but provide them in full to others. It would be counterproductive to the worthy causes of the Left to do so, and I am no where near as willing as Armed Liberal to risk the possibility that women might lose their right to choose what to do with their own bodies to make a nearly meaningless political point.

    He is saying, in effect, that the people who will suffer from the policies of Russell, if enacted, are simply collateral damage in his crusade to extract a public Loyalty Oath to his apparently favorite cause (the Iraq war) from a politician.

  9. Tarhune, our nation is built on the sanctity of law, and the belief that all of us – the meanest, poorest, most vile – are entitled to the full process of law before we are deprived of life, liberty, or property. The fact that one of the nation’s lawgivers doesn’t get that and is prepared to declare someone guilty – much less someone guilty in the kind of circumstances we are talking about ought to flatly disqualify him from office, and certainly makes him unfit.

    Yeah, his opponent is a red-meat Republican, many of whose positions I disagree with. I’d rather have an honorable ideological opponent in office than a scumbag who agrees with me on the issues. Was “…integrity matters before party” unclear?

    A.L.

  10. “He is saying, in effect, that the people who will suffer from the policies of Russell, if enacted, are simply collateral damage in his crusade to extract a public Loyalty Oath to his apparently favorite cause (the Iraq war) from a politician.”

    That’s an outrageous straw man. Murtha’s positions on the war mildly annoy me, but there are lot of other Iraq war opponents on the D side and you don’t see me out supporting their opponents.

    A.L.

  11. bq. The fact that one of the nation’s lawgivers doesn’t get that and is prepared to declare someone guilty – much less someone guilty in the kind of circumstances we are talking about ought to flatly disqualify him from office, and certainly makes him unfit.

    Fine, but like I said, placing this above all the other issues that Russell supports that also undermine, in my Liberal view, the foundational principles that this nation was built upon, is highly dubious, if you truly support them. The better way to do this is to “work within the system”, not against it. As you have now done. Setting back three causes (at least) to advance one seems foolish, to say the least.

    bq. Was “…integrity matters before party” unclear?

    Yes, as is a lot of what you write here, to be honest. Because you are not clearly defining what “integrity” means or how in this context it becomes the paramount issue of concern.

    And if this was simply about the “sanctity of law” I expect that you would have stood for this more frequently and consistently in the recent past. I recall, however, a post of yours slamming Democrats for simply raising the possibility that they might investigate the Bush Administration during the next presidency…for reasons having nothing to do with the Rule of Law. So clearly this is about more than that…it’s about perceived opposition to the Iraq war.

  12. bq. but there are lot of other Iraq war opponents on the D side and you don’t see me out supporting their opponents.

    OK, since this came up while I was writing my reply in #11, I’ll retract the final comment that is about Iraq.

    bq. I’d rather have an honorable ideological opponent in office than a scumbag who agrees with me on the issues.

    This only supports my assertion that your priorities are questionable.

  13. We send our men and women out to kill for us; it is completely beyond the pale to call them baby killers, murders and what-not.

    G_Tarhune: _This type of thing happens every day in politics,_

    Our marines and soldiers are not political chips. They are in the field, not strolling on J Street.

    _accusing Obama of all manner of evils with even less evidence than Murtha has._

    Poor Obama. He’s got million dollar public relations outfits to protect him. He’s got the media to protect him. Who is covering our men and women’s backs?

    _same question can be leveled at Republicans, who are running the dirtiest and most damaging campaign in my memory._

    What are you five?

  14. bq. We send our men and women out to kill for us;

    No we don’t. We send them out to defend us, killing only when absolutely necessary and under strict and clearly delineated circumstances.

    bq. Our marines and soldiers are not political chips.

    Tell that to the people who produced the anti-Murtha video. Do you mean they’re only chips for Republicans?

    bq. What are you five?

    Real substantive criticism. And here I was under the impression that you were among the more reasonable commenters here.

  15. _someone who promises to work to take rights away from some Americans but provide them in full to others._

    Well, if he’s taking away a pregnant woman’s right not to be inconvenienced to give an unborn child his or her right to life and taking away a few people’s right to call their relationship a “marriage” to give society its right to one of its most important pillars of order and stability, then I don’t have much problem with it. I’d vote against Murtha just for those reasons. The fact that he’s a scumbag on top of it is just icing on the cake.

  16. “The same question can be leveled at Republicans, who are running the dirtiest and most damaging campaign in my memory.”

    This statement has the air of the propagandist. The Obmites have been waging a dirty war against anyone who is a threat to the Messiah’s ressurection. Just ask the Hillary supporters who were mistreated during the caucuses.

  17. Fred, a fetus does not have a right to life; however, a woman, in consultation with their doctors, does have the right to decide on what medical procedures should or should not be performed on her body. Same as you.

    A side issue but an important one, in my view.

  18. bq. …taking away a few people’s right to call their relationship a “marriage” to give society its right to one of its most important pillars of order and stability

    A law banning divorce and breaking up families would go much farther to achieve this alleged goal, Fred, than those that prevent people from creating them.

  19. Killing is what war is about. We operate under a social contract which requires the killing to be done pursuant to the rules of engagement and military discipline and justice. It is to be judged accoring to those standards, not civilian standards. As part of this social contract, civilians do not judge the soldier as they would a civilian. They do not confuse murder with killing in war. They prepare the way to welcome the soldier home to family and their communities without stigma of criminality, insanity or depravity. I believe history shows that societies that do otherwise get the soldiers they deserve.

    Murtha used the bulley pulpit of the Congress to piss on these troops. He should have appologized. Any Congressmen less protected by the Speaker would have either been forced to do so or resign.

  20. Tarhune, it’s important to make the distinction here between law and belief; when you say that a “fetus has no right to life” there are a lot of reasonable people who might disagree as a matter of belief. I’m generally on your side on this, but find it much easier to deal with the opposition when I come from a position of understanding and respect.

    A.L.

  21. bq. Killing is what war is about.

    You originally did not say anything about war:

    bq. We send our men and women out to kill for us;

    bq. As part of this social contract, civilians do not judge the soldier as they would a civilian. They do not confuse murder with killing in war.

    “They” are not confusing the two, nor am I. However, if you can look at the situation in Haditha and come to this conclusion, then I question what standards of conduct you do find unacceptable, if any.

    bq. Murtha used the bulley pulpit of the Congress to piss on these troops.

    Like I said above, this kind of inflammatory and heated rhetoric is way out of bounds if you are interested in doing anything other than expressing your anger and hatred for those who hold views different from yours. In which case we’re done talking here.

  22. #22

    And yet I’m sure you’re aware that simply charging someone for a crime does not make it one…gosh, we wouldn’t want to presume guilt before a fair trial, now would we…

  23. Murtha is 76

    Stevens is 84

    Robert Byrd is what, 91?

    To cling to your job for 10-25 years after the age at which most corporations force employees to retire is one thing, but if all you do in that job is angle for pork, that is really pathetic at a human level.

    Being a pork glutton is bad enough, but to be such at age 76, 84, or 91 is incomprehensible to me.

  24. Tarhune, you’re gonna need more hay…

    The question is whether – as a matter of law – a fetus has any right to life. You stated, flatly, that it doesn’t. I suggested that it might be more complex than that, and suggested as an example that – under law – killing a fetus was chargeable as murder. Which, to me at least, suggests that the law considers it to have some right to life.

    If you’ve got an alternative way of interpreting that, let us all know.

    A.L.

  25. bq. The same question can be leveled at Republicans, who are running the dirtiest and most damaging campaign in my memory.

    To borrow a riff: what are you, three? Did you sleep through the 2004 election, characterized by Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11, the rise of the Kossacks, the “SELECTED NOT ELECTED” accusations, the giant puppet effigies of Bush carried through the streets by protestors, the slashing of Republican vans’ tires on election day, the threats by half of New England to move to Canada, and the pure, undiluted hatred for the man (and Cheney) that carried an empty suit to 48%?

    The “dirtiest” thing anyone’s said about Obama is that he’s been friends with an awful lot of radicals and slimeballs–Wright, Ayers, Rezko, etc–which turned out to be *100% true*. The defense is that either such connections don’t matter, or that Obama is shocked, _shocked_ to discover some of his friends of 20+ years are so politically damaging.

    If pointing out old connections and debating their relevance is the worst you can stomach, then might I politely suggest your skin is too thin for politics. And if you think it qualifies for “dirtiest campaigning EVER”, then I will _definitively_ state you are badly in need of some perspective.

  26. Facts don’t matter. The only thing worse than accusing Obama of something he isnt guilty of is accusing him of something he IS guilty of. Thats the ultimate in dirty politics. Obama is supposed to be a blank slate, a cypher. Tying him down to anything he has said or done in the past is dirty, unfair, shameful, and racist.

    Meanwhile, who wants crazy old man McCain with his finger on the button? I mean, he pick _Palin_ as his running mate?! From _Alaska!_ He could do anything! He’s insane I tell you!

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