Skip to comments.Whatever it is, this isn't Treason
Posted on 08/06/2006 1:52:57 PM PDT by Coop
We cannot recall when, if ever, a congressional race in our corner of the world developed a national focus, but such was the case last week. Unfortunately, it was characterized by the kind of overheated rhetoric that plagues today's politics.
A group of veterans announced it would sponsor a national veterans rally in October to protest Rep. John Murtha's opposition to the Iraq war. "Vets for the Truth" is a successor to one of the organizations that worked against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.
But the group does not simply disagree with Murtha that the United States should pull out of Iraq; it claims that things he has said were "treasonous." His position actually is that the U.S. and its coalition troops have done all they can do and that the war can not be won militarily, which is not only a far cry from treason, it's probably a realistic assessment of the situation in Iraq.
Murtha, of course, is a big boy and an old political pro. (When he came out against the war last November, he coupled it with a personal attack on Vice President Dick Cheney.) He also has deep connections to the military establishment and to veterans groups. Last week, the Murtha camp countered the veterans group by producing former U.S. Sen. Max Clelland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam, to counter what he called "the right wing smears against a good man." A news conference held by his opponents in downtown Johnstown Thursday was dwarfed by a pro-Murtha rally at which Cleland was featured, although Murtha wasn't there; he was busy campaigning for a Democrat congressional candidate in Eastern Pennsylvania.)
There were complaints that Murtha, who was also wounded in Vietnam, was being "Swift-boated," a reference to the Navy veterans who hounded Kerry two years ago. The Swift boat controversy was about things that happened better than 30 years before and was a response to Kerry's foolishly making Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. The Murtha dispute is at least about what's going on today.
Murtha's Republican challenger, Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey, appeared to be making the most of the situation without joining the protesters. She earlier charged, correctly, that Murtha had unfairly declared that a Marine squad had killed two dozen civilians "in cold blood" in Haditha, even though the accusation was still being investigated.
Also, last week, a Marine Corps sergeant under investigation in connection with Haditha, filed a defamation suit accusing Murtha of spreading "false and malicious lies." There was a curious footnote to Murtha's response to the suit.
A news release from Murtha's office received in our newsroom Wednesday called the plaintiff "a Marine Corps staff sergeant charged in the incident at Haditha." The fact is that, while the initial Pentagon investigation reportedly supports the general accusation, nobody has been charged in the case.
When we double-checked Murtha's Web site on Thursday, the first sentence of the news release had been re-written to remove the word "charged." The original claim had been dropped down the memory hole without explanation.
While all this makes good political theater, its effect in November is questionable. Murtha's party has a huge voter registration majority in the district, he is a master at dispensing pork, and few people in his home area of Johnstown speak ill of him, including the Republican leadership. Even if the insurgency in Iraq were to suddenly collapse, it probably wouldn't hurt him at all.
no that honor would go to Lautenberg...
Welcome to FR BUMP.
Thanks! Hope I can make some decent contributions to the discussions here..
Then someone needs to notify OSHA, because all workplace accidents need to be reported.
OK, makes sense. Just wondered, thanks.
Doesn't that describe us all, tho.
First Cleland let Kerry use him, now he's letting Murtha.He needs to give it up.
Nope. Look it up.
Isn't is wonderful how when a Democrat dispenses with pork, it makes him politically smart and caring, but when a Republican does it, he is Boss Tweed?
That's what I base my opinion on. If someone has a source that finds otherwise, I'm open.
Ann Coulter is a political hack, not a credible source.
I GOT IT, LET'S DRAFT BABIES AND BAN ABORTION! AT LEAST THEY'D HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE!
I guess I am too, since I didn't quit high school and join up when I was 16 in '72
Welcome to FR!
I repeat my offer....
do you have a credible source explaining Clelands injuries as a "training accident"
If so, I'll change my tune.(or tone)
I need to recreate the accident to make a determination.
The only difference between her and you is a few million dollars. Looks aside, anyway.
1963, math whiz? :-)
Thanks! I'm excited about being here..