Sunday, August 06, 2006

The elite media and Murtha--they just don't get it!

The Murtha Press Agency Philadelphia "Enquirer" joins the procession of editors who want to keep Murtha resuscitated: Let's start with the headline, shall we? (all emphases mine)

Editorial "Murtha is Assailed For Daring to Speak Out"

No, Murtha is not being assailed for "daring" (don't you just love their choice of words?) to "speak out"--Murtha is being assailed for his lamebrain, unworkable and seditious rhetoric and ideas during a time of war! He is also being assailed for denying a group of fellow Marines their Constitutional right to due process and presumption of innocence! On with the resuscitation piece editorial:
U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D., Pa.), a decorated war veteran, is taking obscene criticism from the right for daring to point out that the Bush administration has given our troops an all-but-impossible job in Iraq.
Did this guy ever think about moving to France?
The 17-term congressman had already inflamed the Swift Boat crowd last year by calling for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Read: Surrender to terrorism.

The fallout reached a ridiculous low point last fall when a Republican congresswoman who'd never been within several time zones of a battlefield called Murtha, winner of two Purple Hearts, a coward on the House floor.

Now, incredibly, the partisan rhetoric is even more vile. Murtha is being called a traitor and a "fifth columnist" because he responded to reports of a possible massacre in Haditha, Iraq, by lamenting that Marines shot Iraqi civilians "in cold blood."

Don't you love how they chose the word "lamenting"--poor widdle Johnny Murtha--bless his heart!

Word to the Philly Inquirer editorial staff: Since when is publicly declaring, in front of millions of people--before reading any reports--before receiving any official briefings--that Marines are guilty of cold blooded killing--mere lamenting? And when in Murtha's comments did he ever pair the words "possible" or even "may have" with his pronouncement that Marines were engaged in killing innocent civilians in cold blood?
"I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened," Murtha said. (note: no Clintonian parsing of the word "is")
To the Philadelphia Enquirer: Are Marines, who fight to defend our Constitution, not privy to the same rights afforded by that Constitution; namely to the right to due process and presumption of innocence before pronouncement of guilt? For God sakes, there haven't even been charges brought forth to this point in August, and Murtha already made a pronouncement of guilt over two and a half months ago!

To make matters worse, in his rush to increase his stack of "chits", Murtha has poisoned the waters of public opinion and has all but guaranteed that an impartial jury cannot be found should charges ensue (it is my guess that they won't).

Even worse yet, Murtha's rush to judgment before the facts have been garnered has also given our enemies another propaganda tool from which they can increase recruitment. Murtha could not have done better for the enemy if he was standing in front of the Al Qaeda recruitment center itself and handing out $50,000 sign-up bonuses.

But of course, to the Philadelphia Enquirer, Murtha was merely lamenting.
The descriptions of what happened in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, are among the ugliest to come out of the war. The Marines said initially that civilians were killed in crossfire with insurgents after a bomb killed a Marine. A military probe since then has amassed evidence that Marines may have deliberately shot and killed 24 civilians, including children, in a house-to-house search, and that attempts were made to cover up the incident.
Note that I emphasized the word, "MAY" (that word was nonexistent in Murtha's verbiage when he played judge, jury and executioner on May 17th this year).

Second, note how if a casual reader reads that paragraph and misses that three letter word in the middle of it, that the Philadelphia Enqirer itself runs the risk that the reader will presume guilt (not that they care). Even Time Magazine, whose original article brought this golden opportunity for Murtha and like-minded antiwar moonbats to enmass more political chits situation to light, later admitted that its evidence, a video tape, may have not been all it was cracked up to be:

Times source, Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi, is not a "young man." He is not a "budding journalism student."And al-Haditha is not separate and apart from the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. Nor is he a man who wanted to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety

Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi
Al-Haditha is 43 years old. He "created" Hammurabi 16 months ago. (Before that he worked directly under the head of Haditha’s hospital, Dr. Walid al-Obeidi, who pronounced that all the victims had been shot at close range.)In fact, al-Haditha is one of Hammurabi’s only two members. He serves as its "Secretary General" while the only other member, Abdul-Rahman al-Mashhadani, performs as its "Chairman.")Al-Haditha is the one and only person behind this tape. He made it. And he sat on it for four months before turning it over to Time magazine.But it looks like Time did not consider these mundane facts about the maker of this tape compelling enough. So they made up additional romantic details and invented the involvement of the "internationally respected Human Rights Watch" to burnish the video’s provenance.

And we all know that Arabic sources to MSM outlets have all been accurate, impartial, and free from propaganda, right? But hey, if it's good enough propaganda for the Islamofascists, then it's good enough for Murtha and the Philadelphia Enquirer:

Murtha's point was that such incidents are an inevitable result of leaving troops too long in the middle of an emerging civil war with no clear mission. "They don't know who the enemy is, they don't know who they're fighting," he said in one interview. "And then they kill innocent people. I can understand it, but it can't be excused."

Goldang it--they just made my point.
That's not the talk of a traitor. It's the talk of a patriot who wants Americans and their leaders to face up to a policy that is spinning out of control. A country that can't handle that kind of debate is a country that can't handle democracy.
Since when is the spread of harmful, baseless misinformation and innuendo from a public official during a time of war part of a healthy debate? Does such blather deserve to go unchallenged? Is not challenging wrongheaded, inaccurate ideas and assertions part and parcel of a democracy as well? Just who is it here that "can't handle" debate?

Murtha's blunt talk enraged people like retired Navy Capt. Larry Bailey, who set up a group called Vets for the Truth to campaign against Murtha. Bailey also campaigned against Vietnam veteran John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race. "I will do my best to 'swift-boat' John Murtha," Bailey told a rally in Johnstown, Pa., on Thursday. It's a sad commentary that someone would publicly brag about such a deceitful, nasty mission.

Yes, uncovering what can only be described as unscrupulous fraud and deceit on the part of a publicly elected official can be a nasty, thankless mission. But I for one am grateful that Larry Bailey is standing up to the challenge.

A larger, competing pro-Murtha rally drowned out much of Bailey's event.

What's the matter, Philadelphia Enquirer? Can't they handle debate,either?

It featured former Sen. Max Cleland (D., Ga.), a Vietnam veteran who himself was defeated for re-election in 2002 after opponents tried to smear the military service that cost him his legs and an arm. Cleland told the crowd, "John Murtha knows the smells of the battlefield, and he has felt the sting of combat. When he speaks, Americans ought to listen.

"Note to Mr. Cleland: people have listened to Murtha--ad nauseum. But the act of listening to someone in no way obligates the listener to agree.

Murtha is on the opposite side of the Iraq issue from fellow Democrat Joe Lieberman, who is taking nasty fire from the left wing of the party.

me about it.

Yet somehow the congressman and the senator find ways to disagree without trading insults and accusations. This is one case where citizens could learn something from two politicians.

Perhaps a certain Philadelphia newspaper can learn a thing or two as well.

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