Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rep. Murtha: First to Fight Incite


Another Alzheimer's outburst from Col. "Code Pink" Murtha as he accuses his fellow Marines of killing "innocent civilians in cold blood" before all the facts are in.

The Marines should strip him of his rank, and the House should censure him.

10 Comments:

Blogger dday said...

link

"A military investigation into the deaths of two dozen Iraqis last November is expected to find that a small number of marines in western Iraq carried out extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians, Congressional, military and Pentagon officials said Thursday.

Two lawyers involved in discussions about individual marines' defenses said they thought the investigation could result in charges of murder, a capital offense. That possibility and the emerging details of the killings have raised fears that the incident could be the gravest case involving misconduct by American ground forces in Iraq.

Officials briefed on preliminary results of the inquiry said the civilians killed at Haditha, a lawless, insurgent-plagued city deep in Sunni-dominated Anbar Province, did not die from a makeshift bomb, as the military first reported, or in cross-fire between marines and attackers, as was later announced. A separate inquiry has begun to find whether the events were deliberately covered up.

Evidence indicates that the civilians were killed during a sustained sweep by a small group of marines that lasted three to five hours and included shootings of five men standing near a taxi at a checkpoint, and killings inside at least two homes that included women and children, officials said."

Memo to you: Jack Murtha has better sources in the Pentagon than you do. Which is to say, jack Murtha has sources in the Pentagon.

8:54 AM  
Blogger wordwarp said...

My memory of the central idea in America's judicial system is, "innocent until proven guilty." Apparently the neurons containing this concept have died in Murtha's brain.

8:52 AM  
Blogger wordwarp said...

Dday wrote:

"Memo to you: Jack Murtha has better sources in the Pentagon than you do. Which is to say, jack Murtha has sources in the Pentagon"

Memo to Dday: First that's a big assumption. Second, it's a wrong assumption. As Reagan would say: there you go again.

Second Memo to Dday: Murtha is not a *reporter.* It is not his job to get a "scoop." During wartime, it is also definitely not his job to make irresponsible statements about war crimes that are being investigated. In fact, it's accurate to say that it is his job NOT to say such things, not to spout words that within moments of being spoken will be plastered across the Arab world to incite hatred and violence against American soldiers... in this case his "fellow" Marines -- though few actual Marines would claim him anymore.

For Murtha to act as these men's judge and jury, and use the authority of the House floor to legitimize his senile outbursts, is beyond the pale. He should be censured, at a minimum.

Allahpundit is following this story closely:

http://hotair.com/archives/the-blog/2006/05/29/haditha-marine-eyewitnesses-come-forward

Much like Abu Ghraib, this incident was already under investigation when the story "broke." If they are guilty of war crimes, they should, and will, be punished.

10:08 PM  
Blogger dday said...

It's an assumption to think that a 20-year veteran of the House Armed Services Committee has sources in the Pentagon?

The Haditha incident wasn't a secret. I saw the video in March. I happened to be overseas at the time, because of course it's too delicate for our fragile stateside eyes and ears. But the BBC ran the entire tape. It was concurrent with a TIME article. This was in the overseas press for at least two months. It's already being "plastered across the Arab world" (just like Abu Ghraib was; do you honestly think nothing exists until it hits these shores?). There's no mystery here. It was old news and the anticipated report followed Murtha by a couple days. Point being, not everything happening in the government is a state secret. In fact, probably 90% of the state secrets aren't secret for any reason other than embarrassment.

What's coming out now is that Tom Lasseter reported last August, before this happened, that the soldiers in Haditha were about to crack:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002576997

What's said in this prescient article is all that Murtha said. These guys are in oppressive heat, fighting an unknown and unseen enemy, and the conditions are ripe for a breakdown. Especially when you consider that most of the soldiers aren't checked for mental illness before being sent to the battlefield (or hopped up on Prozac and told "Have a go!")

http://www.courant.com/news/specials/hc-soldiers-sg,0,4734856.storygallery

Being on your 4th, 5th and 6th tour doesn't help either.

Yet you ignore the words in the statements, the fact that he didn't really blame anyone but the policymakers, and simply decide that Murtha slandered the soldiers, and is senile (my, but where did the civility go, Mr. "I'd never make an ad hominem attack?"). It's a dishonest assumption, but I'm sure it makes you feel like you're on the warpath in between death-struggle bouts with bags of Cheetos. Onward Fighting Keyboardists!

11:30 PM  
Blogger wordwarp said...

wow, you managed to write so many words without addressing any of my central points. 1) the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." That's, uh, a big one; 2) Murtha is not a reporter, thus the whole "Pentagon sources" remarks were absurd. 3) he has zero business using his position as a govt. official to even comment on an ongoing criminal investigation, much less disclose information that is probably classified; 4) especially when doing so supplies instant propaganda in the Arab world to inflame and incite violence, objectively endangering his "fellow" Marines with the slur of condemning them as "cold blooded killers" before they have been found to be so by a court of law. (Funny how the press who stumble all over themselves to insert the word, "alleged" before the words "murderer," "rapist," "arsonist," etc in their own pages just yawned and looked the other way when Murtha failed to do so on the floor of the freaking House. Anything that furthers the agenda, and by any means necessary...).

My remarks about his Alzheimer's is not an ad hominem attack in the classic sense of character assassination. I think he actually has a medical condition that has caused him to not realize what he is doing. This is in fact a kind assessment, because the unkind assessment is that he is intentionally and knowingly giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war, a far worse crime than simply being in compos mentis. The really disgusting thing to me is that elements of the far left seem to be manipulating him and using him as a mouthpiece, when he is not of sound mind. "That's right, Grandma, sign right here.... what? Oh, it's nothing important. Do you want a cookie now? There ya go, just sign it righhhhht there."

also:

"It's an assumption to think that a 20-year veteran of the House Armed Services Committee has sources in the Pentagon?"

No, it was an incorrect assumption to imply that I don't know anyone who works (or has worked) in the Pentagon. Time to brush up on those reading comprehension skills.

These guys are in oppressive heat, fighting an unknown and unseen enemy, and the conditions are ripe for a breakdown.

I"m glad to see you followed that link to Hot Air, in which Allahpundit discusses it very even-handedly. Allahpundit, if you have not read him before, is imo the single brightest guy in the b-sphere, Volokh excepted, of course. No one is smarter than that guy. Great move by Michelle Malkin to give him a job.

1:30 AM  
Blogger dday said...

rtHey, armchair psychiatrist, listen up before you diagnose Jack Murtha the way Bill Frist did on the Senate floor with Terri Schiavo. Jack Murtha actually represents my grandmother's district, and I along with many other members of my family have met the dude. On several occasions. My aunt saw him a couple weeks ago. I know having ACTUAL FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT with your subjects may not be covered in your version of the Hippocratic oath, but let me tell you that he's perfectly sane, and on less psychotropic drugs than you are, if your past emails are still relevant. So your a priori assessment, while charming, means jackshit, and is all too typical of your ascribing belief without a speck of evidence, just a gut feeling. Sloppy.

I also like the technique of "you haven't addressed my points" which absolves you from addressing any of mine, and which also is only true if you take the narrowest definition of what your points are, which you constantly change slightly enough to make the dispute. So there's no confusion, I'll take each point gently in hand and lead you quietly along...

1) the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." That's, uh, a big one.

And still applicable. Commanders in Haditha had been removed of duty before Murtha's comments. The investigation is at its end. And military investigations & military courts are not the same as the criminal justice system, the Bush Administration keeps telling me.

2) Murtha is not a reporter, thus the whole "Pentagon sources" remarks were absurd.

He was answering questions in a press conference. If he said "this is what these guys did" without saying how he knew, you'd say "where'd he get this info?" Just because you're not a reporter you don't have to back up claims?

3) he has zero business using his position as a govt. official to even comment on an ongoing criminal investigation, much less disclose information that is probably classified, 4) especially when doing so supplies instant propaganda in the Arab world to inflame and incite violence, objectively endangering his "fellow" Marines with the slur of condemning them as "cold blooded killers" before they have been found to be so by a court of law.

Ahh, now we get "probably" classified. Which I believe is different than the initial post. I would say Murtha actually did quite a service. As I said, this story was already in the Arab press for several months, and it sounded even worse over there, I'd imagine. By making sure the investigation wasn't swept under the rug (a real concern, since the coverup was underway), and by giving context (pressure, conditions - these are Murtha's words, not Allahpundit's), the US can get ahead of the story, and not leave it to those who would use it as propaganda.

"No, it was an incorrect assumption to imply that I don't know anyone who works (or has worked) in the Pentagon."

I went out on a limb and said that the 20-year vet of the Armed Services Committee talks to Pentagon officials more frequently and with more accuracy than the WB Kids guy. If you have additional insider Haditha information to bring to bear let's see it. Until then I'll go with the guy that's NOT writing a screenplay right now.

And you need to stop saying "Murtha said this on the House floor" because he didn't, he said it in news conferences and media appearances.

10:16 AM  
Blogger wordwarp said...

No time to respond now, but note that the LA Times is leaking troop movements on the front page of their paper:

http://scyllacharybdis.blogspot.com/2006/05/leaking-troop-movements-on-page-one.html

11:43 AM  
Blogger dday said...

Sticking to the topic, why don't you attack this guy?

This was a small number of Marines who fired directly on civilians and killed them," said Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican and former Marine who was briefed two weeks ago by Marine Corps officials. "This is going to be an ugly story."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1198892,00.html

If you're a centrist, show it. Call for the censure of John Kline.

1:21 PM  
Blogger wordwarp said...

Agree that it is just as wrong. He should be censured. To comment on ongoing investigations, much less accuse men who have not been convicted, is fundamentally contrary to legal and govt. ethics.

I'm slammed until Tuesday. When it rains, it pours.

6:58 PM  
Blogger dday said...

Eagerly awaiting the front-paging of that call for censure at the top of your blog. And the baseless assertion that he's senile.

While we're at it, let's censure the entire US government.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5032214.stm

"The US government has promised to make public all the details of inquiries into the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians by US marines last November.

Washington made the pledge following claims that the killings of 24 people in the town of Haditha were covered up."

How dare they release this information before the end of the investigation!

Let's censure this Lance Corporal too for smearing our troops:

"One of the marines in Haditha that day, Lance Cpl Roel Ryan Briones of Hanford, California, told the Los Angeles Times he had taken photos and carried bodies out of homes as part of a clean-up crew:

'They ranged from little babies to adult males and females. I'll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood.'"

Why do the troops hate the troops?

11:53 PM  

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