What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 8, 2010

RIP John Murtha

John "Jack" Murtha, 1932 - 2010

Rep. John "Jack" Murtha, PA's longest serving Member of Congress passed away today. There are numerous online obituaries for Murtha, but I like this from Think Progress best:
During the Bush administration, Murtha became a forceful, outspoken voice for Iraq redeployment. In November 2005, the former Marine and Iraq war hawk came out and called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal in Iraq. His stance was a turning point in the war debate, clearing the way for more Democrats to speak up. “The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home,” he declared.
Of course, there's already speculation as to who will be elected to serve out his term.


Heir to the Throne said...

He should be remembered for smearing the marines at Haditha.
"there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
And who can forget Dennis Roddy claiming that the Murtha turning against the Iraq War was proof that it was lost for Bush.
What he left out was Murtha was always against the Iraq War.

Ol' Froth said...

A combat veteran with two Purple Hearts and a retired Marine officer. If ANYONE had grounds to critize the military, it was Jack Murtha.

Your avatar is quite appropriate Heir.

kimber45 said...

htt, What did Murtha say that was wrong? The Marines involved at Haditha did certainly slaughter innocent civilians.

What they did not do was violate the rules of engagement.

Morality of the Victors, they call it.

Heir to the Throne said...

What did Murtha say that was wrong? The Marines involved at Haditha did certainly slaughter innocent civilians.
Which is why Justin Sharratt sued Murtha for slander when he was exonerated.
Exonerated Marine to sue Rep. Murtha
Murtha's defense was to claim that he was acting as lawmaker and, therefore, protected by the Speech or Debate Clause.
Not the "truth"

kimber45 said...


As we are both aware, anyone can sue anybody, for anything.

The late John Murtha's lawyer simply took the legally basic step of filing a motion for dismissal, during pre-trial proceedings. The basis for the dismissal was that speech on the floor of the House is protected.

While "truth" is an absolute defense, it requires trial to determine it.

Let me ask you directly: What was the basis for killing the civilians at Haditha? What makes Murtha's statement "slander?"

Heir to the Throne said...

Perhaps you missed the words "Exonerated Marine".
Of course dropping the charges does not mean innocent.
Take for example the Duke Lacrosse Rape hoax, Feminist still believe "something happened" despite the only evidence that have is Crystal Mangum's discredited testimony.
They still believe that since there was no trial the Duke 3 are guilt.

EdHeath said...

HTTT, As I remember that event, marines were killed, and then civilians were killed. The military decided the marines didn't go off the reservation legally, but no denies civilians were killed. It may not have violated the rules of engagement, but it was yet another public relations nightmare for us. Sure, Justin Sharratt may have won his battle with military justice, but we basically lost the war on terrorism in Iraq. John Murtha's point, I believe, was that we were chewing up America's young men and women in Iraq for no purpose, because the Bush administration had some fantasy-land plan for after major combat operations stopped in Iraq.

I was never a great fan of John Murtha's. Whether he was technically corrupt or not, his position as the king of pork was unfortunate at best. I don't know what percentage of the budget earmarks make up, although I believe it is quite small. But it sends a horrible signal to the country and I would like to see the earmark system changed at least so it is very public.

That said, from what I know about Murtha I would not question his commitment to America's servicemen and women. His comments about Haditha were not borne out legally, but reflected his concerns about the code of conduct that he believed the American military should adhere to. It was the Bush administration, from the highest levels on down, that eroded that code of conduct, in spirit and in letter.

Vietnam was the place where we lost our right to be righteous in the cold war. Iraq was the place where we squandered our righteousness in the war on terror. Before Iraq, the Islamic Fascists were noting more than a bunch of cold blooded, ruthless thugs. Once we invaded (for no reason) and occupied Iraq, we showed we are just as cold blooded and ruthless (to the rest of the world). The difference between the terrorists and us? We are a superpower, we can torture and terrorize people individually and a country as a whole for seven years and counting, now.

Of course, the thing keeping us in there now is that Bush made such a mess of it, we can't leave until there is a semblance of stability.