From the Courier-Post Online in New Jersey:
Murtha's followers: Marching
THOUGHTFUL Democrats living in the 1st Congressional District must have cringed upon reading their candidates' positions on Iraq in yesterday's Union Leader.
The position of the left-wing candidate, Carol Shea-Porter, was to flee and let what happens in Iraq happen. The establishment candidate, Rep. Jim Craig, did not even have a position. The only candidate who made any sense was David Jarvis of Londonderry, a virtual unknown who opposes the war but said immediate pullout would mean going back on our commitments to the Iraqi people.
Democrats who live in the 2nd District have it better. Their only candidate, Paul Hodes, gave a sensible response opposing immediate withdrawal for fear of leaving a failed state behind.
All of this comes up as New Hampshire Democrats prepare for the arrival next Sunday of Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., the decorated former Marine. Murtha favors immediate withdrawal. But the more he speaks the crazier his position becomes.
Last month he said he favored pulling troops out of Iraq and redeploying them to Okinawa. He said the South Pacific island more than 6,000 miles from Iraq could be the launching point whenever the United States needed to deploy quickly to the Middle East.
Shea-Porter was the only New Hampshire candidate for Congress to back Murtha's position on Iraq. The others have more shrewdly opted to keep their distance. Will this hurt Shea-Porter? In a state Democratic Party that has officially called for impeaching President Bush, maybe not — even if Murtha's ethics become better known.
Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal of 1980. Seven members of Congress were convicted of taking bribes from a fake Arab sheik in exchange for political influence. Columnist Robert Novak reported last month that the FBI caught Murtha on video "declining to take cash but expressing interest in further negotiations, while bragging about his political influence." When the House Ethics Committee exonerated Murtha of wrongdoing, its special counsel resigned in protest.
No matter how many medals Murtha earned in the service of his country, they are no replacement for good judgment. That is something Democrats considering whom to back in the primary ought to consider.
And finally, from the venerated Boston Globe:
U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., is an imposing figure, to be sure. Eager to become the House majority leader at any cost, he has lumbered to the podium time and again to indict Marines for the murder of innocent Iraqis in Haditha.
As the only congressman involved in the Abscam sting not to be indicted -- whose record of performance has been otherwise unremarkable -- Murtha's accusations reek of opportunism. He should be censured for making such inept remarks.
The maxim "innocent until proven guilty" eludes Murtha. The video that purports to show evidence of innocent Iraqis who were slain by Marines may only be insurgent propaganda. And it is entirely possible that all charges could be dropped after an Article 32 (equivalent to a grand jury) hearing.
Meanwhile, Marines remain in pretrial confinement at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Murtha's pronouncements have been broadcast throughout the Muslim world on the al-Jazeera network and have given aid and comfort to Islamic terrorists everywhere.
He should reserve his unsolicited opinions until after these men have been court-martialed. To incriminate those who defend our freedom before they have their day in court is un-American. To malign them is even worse.
RICHARD WIBLE Glassboro
Few Dems embrace Murtha's
position on Iraq
MANCHESTER, N.H. --Carol Shea-Porter calls anti-war congressman John Murtha "a profile in courage," but she stands all but alone among Democratic congressional hopefuls in the state. (Read the rest)
So although Jack Murtha may be the darling of Nancy Pelosi and other far-left moonbats from far-left districts, other democrats who are aware of the stakes, both in terms of national security and in terms of electability, are thinking twice about blindly subscribing to Murtha's seditious wartime rhetoric.