Friday, June 16, 2006

Murtha Today Vs. Murtha Then

John Murtha appeared on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer this afternoon. Here's a telling exchange:
BLITZER: A couple unrelated questions, sort of related. The Haditha investigation, allegations that U.S. marines were involved in killing 24 civilians, their lawyers, at least a couple of the lawyers of the military forces, the marines who were there say they engaged in the rules of engagement, they acknowledged there was so-called collateral damage, innocent civilians were killed but they were going by the books, do you have reason to revise your earlier statements on what happened there?
MURTHA: I only know what they told me. And the stories that they told me have been verified or at least expanded on by "Newsweek" and "Time Magazine." So everything the marines told me in the first place here they went well beyond the rules of engagement.
It isn't clear what military people Murtha talked with but he's definitely relying on Newsweek and Time magazine articles. Doesn't he sound less than certain when he says "I only know what they told me"? That sounds like he's leaving the door open that his opinion isn't based on briefings made by top generals that were involved in the investigation.

Now read this from one of the first articles written:
QUESTION: Have you read that report?
Congressman Murtha: I have not read it, no.
QUESTION: But you're aware of...
Congressman Murtha: I'm basing it on information that I've gotten from, all the information I get. It comes from the commanders. It comes from people who know what they're talking about.
How can you read that and not conclude that he thinks that his information comes from authorities with firsthand knowledge of the events? I'd further ask how he didn't hear about the exculpatory information about the IED that tore Miguel Terrazas in half and the ensuing gunfire that Sgt. Wuterich's attorney talked about? Or how the Presbyterian ministers that were embedded with Kilo Company didn't hear a peep about the supposed Haditha massacre but they heard about "the first battle of Fallujah and things that haunt them. They'd talk about they had mortars land right beside them that were duds and three landed right beside them and a third one went off and it injured the buddy next to them and they didn't get hit"?

As I said then, I don't know how Murtha can't get laughed out of town for all these additional pieces of information that he claims he didn't hear about. I don't know how he isn't called on his original claim that
"There was no firefight. There was no IED that killed those innocent people," said Congressman John Murtha commenting on the outcome of a military investigation. "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
It's my opinion that the only thing that Murtha got right about Haditha is that some Marines were on patrol there on the date in question. After that, Murtha's information seems suspect at best and a total fabrication at worst. And I'm thinking it's closer to the worst than the best.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Cross-posted at California Conservative