Skip to comments.Murtha’s Mangled Medal Stories
Posted on 01/17/2006 8:32:14 PM PST by Calpernia
Since November, the media have carried around Rep. John Murtha around on their shoulders like a conquering hero for his opposition to the war in Iraq. Theyve thrown around the words war hero like clowns throwing candy at a parade. Murtha was broadcast far and wide attacking Vice President Cheney for his five deferments from Vietnam, suggesting these chicken hawks dont like any suggestions about how to fight a war.
If Murtha were a Republican accusing a Democrat like this, we know what would happen. The so-called nonpartisan, objective, mainstream media would either (a) totally ignore him as an irrelevant, obscure House wacko, or (b) investigate his own military record to see if he earned all the war hero talk. And if discrepancies were found, all hell would break loose. And if you dont believe me, just ask John ONeill and the Swift Boat Vets for Truth, who underwent first (a) and then (b) when they challenged John Kerry.
But Murtha is a Democrat accusing a Republican. So it fell to the Cybercast News Service, (CNSNews.com, which I founded), and reporters Marc Morano and Randy Hall to look into the Murtha military record. What they found were a lot of similarities to the military record of John Kerry.
Like Kerry, Murthas medals came for surface wounds that never caused his evacuation from the battlefield, and like Kerry, he attempted to get his medals by political manipulation, in Murthas case, through then-Rep. John Saylor. But Saylors office felt it was odd for Murtha to seek medals for superficial lacerations.
Murtha also told differing stories about when and where he was wounded in action. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story reported in 2002 that Murtha had facial lacerations. In 1994, the Uniontown (Pa.) Herald-Standard quoted Murtha saying he was wounded in the arm for one medal and my knee was banged up and my arm was banged up when a helicopter was shot down for the other. Then, Morano and Hall uncovered a June 1, 1967 report in the Johnstown (Pa.) Tribune-Democrat quoting from a letter from Murtha to his wife describing his injuries as being "struck in the ankle" by a "shot that ricocheted off the helicopter."
Since there were so many similarities to Kerry including the fact that author Morano was also one of the first reporters on the Swift Boat Veterans story the left predictably threw an ugly fit. It was not long, then, for Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne to load his air-rifle for rhetorical battle. I underestimated the viciousness of the right wing, he began.
Even before he gets started, we know where hes going, dont we?. Liberals want to insist when they tout a war hero making their anti-liberation of Iraq talking points, its 100 percent beyond the pale of decency to investigate him. They want the world to know that when a war hero acceptable to them disagrees with President Bush, everyone must stop, shut up, and listen like an old E.F. Hutton commercial.
Dionne sounds just like his hero Bill Clinton as he proclaims to be maddened by the unblushing hypocrisy of the right wing and the way it circulates...personal vilification to abort honest political debate. As if that werent enough, theres also this: Moreover, the right has demonstrated that its attitude toward military service is entirely opportunistic.
Now here is where we should all acknowledge our partisanship I oppose the Clintons and the Kerrys, and Dionne favors them. But can Dionne honestly state that the left wing (and objective smearers like CBS) have not resorted to personal vilification on the military record of George W. Bush? Can he honestly ignore that the left has vilified the World War II military service of Bob Dole in 1996 (Robert Ellis in The Nation) and George H. W. Bush in 1992 (Sidney Blumenthal in the New Republic)?
More importantly, how dare anyone on the left accuse any conservative of attitudinal opportunism where military service is involved. Military service didnt matter a bit to them when Bill Clinton was running, but was vitally important when Kerry was their man in 2004. They felt George W. Bushs National Guard record was a scandal in 2000, but also didnt want the media poring over Al Gores Vietnam service as a journalist. Four years later, there they were again, poring over Bushs Vietnam-era service record.
Its fair to state that on some investigative stories, only conservatives want the tough, thorough report, and on others, only liberals are really jazzed about it. But what about the public interest? A media revering the words objective, nonpartisan, and mainstream would investigate both Republicans and Democrats when politicians start dragging out their war records.
Good post, C.
They never did tell us what made Max Cleland a "War Hero" either. No medals, but played up the handicap and the uniform as if he threw himself on a grenade to save Bob Hope. No one is to question anything about them, ever again.
I agree. Like Kerry, Murtha has made a big political issue out of his Vietnam service. He should sign his form 180 and release his military records. If he were a Republican, the media would be screaming their heads off demanding that he make his records public.
How anyone could vilify Bob Dole over his military service is beyond me. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about his war record:
In 1942, Dole joined the Army's Enlisted Reserve Corps to fight in World War II. He became a second lieutenant in the Army's 10th Mountain Division.
In April of 1943, while Dole was fighting the German Wehrmacht in the hills of Northern Italy, he was hit by Nazi machine gun fire in his upper right back. His right arm was also injured so badly that it was unrecognizable. He had to wait nine long hours on the Italian battlefield before he was finally taken to the Fifteenth Evacuation Hospital. He was eventually transferred to a U.S. Army hospital in Michigan, where he would begin his recovery, and survive all the serious injuries and operations. The extensive wounds in his right arm though rendered his right arm completely paralyzed. Today, Dole often carries a pen in the hand of his paralyzed right arm.
Dole was twice decorated for heroic achievement, receiving two Purple Hearts for his injuries, and the Bronze Star Medal for his attempt to assist a downed radio man.
Leftists are contemptible.
There are war heros and there are heros in everyday, ordinary life. As far as I'm concerned I've never held in higher esteem a man who acted bravely in combat to save a fellow soldier than a man who ran into a burning house to rescue his neighbor's child. Both are heroic. But for that matter, woman who endures years of physical abuse at the hands of her husband just to preserve a family life for her children, or a man who endures a brutal ten year attack from his alcoholic ex-wife to protect his children from her insanity, are every bit as 'heroic' as anyone else.
That said, to me the greatest heros are the men and women who suffer, sacrifice and endure great pain for the benefit of others, without ever telling anyone about it or seeking recognition for it. THAT is a true hero. People like John Murtha and John Kerry are self-inflated phonies of the worst kind. They far more resemble two piles of dog poop sitting in the park drawing flies with their foul odor than heros.
My eyes were sooooooo heavy, and they popped right open when I saw this.
Bookmarking for the morning.
"They never did tell us what made Max Cleland a "War Hero" either."
The skinny on Cleland is that he and a buddy were relaxing in their camp and went to get a beer. Cleland or the other guy dropped a grenade which had been attached to his person, thus making the grenade live. Hello grenade, goodbye limbs. No medals for carelessness.
Of course, Cleland does't feel its necessary to relate all those tedious facts, easier to just keep quiet while the hero worship arrives.
Has this alleged "hero" filled out his form 180?
I wonder how many of murtha's purple hearts are dated concurrent with his SENATE term, rather than his MILITARY service term?
He's another RAT fraud, but a lot of people keep saying "Don't reveal the truth about his war record, because it makes us look mean". Screw that, he's a liar.
That's why you should ignore Wikapedia. Dole was woulded in 1945. You're off by 2 years.
I wonder how much murtha's war record has changed in the last 30 years.
I believe that once a serviceman becomes a US senator, his military records are subject to becoming "military fantasies."