Skip to comments.JOHN MURTHA'S WAR RECORD(Kerry defender springs to the defense)
Posted on 01/23/2006 6:21:41 AM PST by crazyhorse691
Standing up against yet another smear
Before 2004, I'd never been involved in politics and considered my duty done at the ballot box. My memory of a man I served with in combat in Vietnam -- Lt. John Kerry -- became my sole reason for leaving the sidelines in the last presidential election. Watching the assault on his military record by partisan operatives armed with falsehoods was a shock. Perhaps I was naive. Watching those same tactics now being used against another decorated Vietnam veteran, Rep. John Murtha, who, like Kerry, dared to speak his mind, has been a reminder of not just why I felt compelled to get involved, but why I must remain involved.
As a veteran of Vietnam, I can't in good conscience remain silent in the face of the "Swift Boating" of John Murtha. Today, the very same smear tactics the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" used against Kerry are being unleashed against Murtha, a retired Marine colonel and Democratic representative from Pennsylvania. The radical right Web site Cybercast News Service -- formerly the Conservative News Service -- has attacked Murtha, claiming he was fraudulently awarded Purple Hearts for wounds received during two tours in Vietnam.
Since it is unseemly for a leadership that never served its country in combat to attack the patriotism and veracity of decorated soldiers and sailors who did, this administration has returned to its tactic of finding surrogates to do its dirty work.
Administration supporters are hoping that by muddying the waters of Murtha's military record they can neuter another of their most passionate and sincere critics. It's an all-too-familiar pattern. Initially, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan described Murtha's stance on the war as "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party." Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt quickly followed in lockstep by saying on the floor of the House of Representatives, "Cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
The White House followed with perfunctory praise from President Bush, who described Murtha as "a good man who served our country with honor and distinction as a Marine in Vietnam and as a United States congressman." Vice President Cheney referred to Murtha as "a good man, a Marine, a patriot." How laudable.
The rapid reversal by the White House appears remarkable at first glance, given its penchant for uniformity of message. But it isn't at all remarkable. As with the Swift Boat assault on Kerry during the 2004 election campaign, attacks are made, the public's attention is captured, the White House offers platitudes and the surrogates press on with the administration's covert support.
John Kerry and John Murtha both love their country and proved their patriotism in the crucible of war and on the battlefield of public service. But far more is at stake than the reputations of two good men. They have the honor of their service, as do the hundreds of thousands of Americans in uniform in harm's way today, and that's enough.
But the health of our democracy, the integrity of our debate, the voice of our free press and the true meaning of patriotism are under assault if a new generation of Swift Boat-style smears is allowed into the public sphere unchallenged.
For my country's sake, I hope brave Americans of good conscience will speak up and make it clear that we will not tolerate such smears today, just as we shouldn't have tolerated them in 2004.
Jim Rassmann, a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, lives in Florence. He served with the Army's 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1968-69.
I wouldn't care if Murtha was the greatest military hero of our time. He is a fool who wants us to lose in Iraq.
multiple skeletons in his close,t kicked off the police force for inappropriate behaviors not a good character reference
Murtha didn't prove his patriotism at all. He is siding with the insurgents and hoping that America's finest soldiers lose in Iraq. Stability in Iraq threatens Murtha, because this would be a victory for Bush... and for the entire Middle East. Murtha does NOT represent Middle America.
Sanity in your 20's doesn't prove sanity in your 60's. Murtha is currently insane.
American war `hero'
"Standing up against yet another smear"
one mans smear ... another mans expose'
Speaking your mind is fine, not being able to handle criticism of what you said is the constant for Demorats these days....."How dare we question their patriotism", too.......
No, perpetual apologizer, Jim Rassmann, that is not enough!
Both Kerry and Murtha are traitors to their country, a disgrace to any and all who wore the uniform, and should, in the very least, be shunned by every American who loves their country.
I dont knock the mans war record whatever it was.
I do knock his stupidity in thinking we can leave Iraq tomorrow.
Nope, sorry, Jim...he was attacked by a fellow Democrat.
I wonder if Murtha's status as "unindicted conspirator" in the ABSCAM sting operation served to identify him as a greedy man who would be very willing to fund his retirement plans with some REAL "Arab" money.
THAT would certainly explain his un-Marine-like defeatism...
Arabs would never try to "buy" a U.S. Congressmen, now, would they?
LOL! Is this the man that Kerry knocked into the water only to have to pull him out later?
LOL! More purple hearts, more purple hearts,more purple hearts,more purple hearts,more purple hearts.
murtha like kerry won't release his military records...enough said
Partisan operatives, baloney! The leadership was Vietnam Vets and a lot of funding came from small donations from Vietnam Vets like me, and others who trusted the judgement of the vast majority of vets on this issue. We've been there and we know "medal garbage" when we smell it (and this one reeked). If this guy can't accept the fact that various forms of support by Vietnam Vets drove the success of the effort then he shouldn't even try to go on the attack.
You mean like unfounded cocaine usage allegations and claims that the Administration "knew" that 9-11 was going to happen and LIHOP, Mr. Rassman?
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