MIKE BARNICLE: John Murtha is not only getting sued; he's coming under fire from a group called Vets for the Truth. They're campaigning to redeploy Murtha from Congress but today Vietnam veteran and former Senator Max Cleland defended the Congressman at a verterans rally and condemned what he called the Swiftboating of John Murtha.As I told Bones last night, that's the biggest pack of lies in that short of period of time that I've ever heard. Let me expose it line-by-line:
The attacks on John Murtha; what are they?
CLELAND: Well, it's the same kind of thing that the Bush slime machine did against John McCain in South Carolina in 2000, what they did against me in Georgia in 2002, and what they did to John Kerry in 2004. They have not changed course. They're staying on course and that is to, when someone disagrees with the President and challenges his policies, especially his policies about the Iraq War, and making sure that we get the truth about the war, then they're swiftboated; then they're targeted. Jack Murtha was called a traitor. They're setting up a post office box in his district. They're organizing to oust him from Congress because he disagrees with the President and because he is actually advocating doing something sane and sound and that is redeploying our troops out of harm's way. Now for that, they're going after him and his character and that type of this is Swiftboating.
BARNICLE: So it's deja vu all over again, as far as you're concerned?
CLELAND: Yes it is and we can't let it happen again. What is happening to our country when a member of congress for over 30 years and is the ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, that is very close to the military and is a Marine Col. (Ret.)...
Well, it's the same kind of thing that the Bush slime machine did against John McCain in South Carolina in 2000, what they did against me in Georgia in 2002, and what they did to John Kerry in 2004.Excuse me but I'm not on the "Bush slime machine" payroll. I don't appreciate Mr. Cleland's sanctimonious tone, either. What the Swiftboat Vets for Truth did was tell the American public that John Kerry hides behind his military service when he's attacked but who had a history of trashing that same military when it was politically expedient.
They're staying on course and that is to, when someone disagrees with the President and challenges his policies, especially his policies about the Iraq War, and making sure that we get the truth about the war, then they're swiftboated; then they're targeted.Mr. Cleland's version isn't that truthful. For instance, Leo, Bones, Ray, Lem, the Ohligarch and I didn't give a damn about Murtha's immediate redeployment policy because we knew it was a stupid idea that wouldn't get a second's worth of serious consideration. What tore it for Leo and I was when Murtha played judge, jury and executioner on the Haditha Marines.
It's also a stretch to say that we targeted Murtha because he was exposing the truth about Iraq. He said that there was a big coverup of the facts about Haditha. In fact, the investigation on whether the Haditha attacks were covered up concluded that there wasn't a coverup. Here's what the LA Times article said on that subject:
The general charged with investigating whether Marines tried to cover up the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha has completed his report, finding that Marine officers failed to ask the right questions, an official close to the investigation said Friday.Here's what I said in my first post for MMG:
Nothing in the report points to a "knowing cover-up" of the facts by the officers supervising the Marines involved in the November incident, the official said. Rather, he said, officers from the company level through the staff of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Baghdad failed to demand "a thorough explanation" of what happened in Haditha.
I've thought John Murtha had to go since he proposed "immediate redeployment" of our troops from Iraq. It was stupid policy. That showed a level of unseriousness on his part. There was more than a hint of playing politics with the issue, too. That said, that's one level of problem.I still feel the same way today. I'll also add that I don't remember giving John Murtha permission to ignore the sections of the Constitution that guarantee the right to a fair trial and the full array of due process rights.
When he played judge, jury & executioner to the Marines before the investigation was complete, he didn't just propose a foolish policy. He placed every American serviceman in harms way for political gain. He also made it much more difficult for countries like Jordan, the UAE, Pakistan & Afghanistan to help us in the GWOT. In short, he's made the President's job of protecting America much more difficult.
I can (barely) tolerate moonbat Democrats making foolish policy proposals but I won't tolerate a cheap politician putting American soldiers in harms' way just so he can continue his anti-Bush diatribe. We're talking about national security now. Putting us needlessly, & without foundation thus far, in harms way is unconscienable.
They're organizing to oust him from Congress because he disagrees with the President...We aren't "organizing to oust him" "because he disagrees with the President." We're organizing to oust him because: (a) he trashed the Marines serving in Haditha by playing judge, jury and executioner before the investigation was even completed; (b) he ignored two of the most important fundamental rights that the Constitution explicitly guarantees and (c) because he's done those things in an attempt to score cheap political points.
Furthermore, I resent the Sen. Cleland's pomposity in suggesting that citizens don't have the right to participate in the electoral process for whatever reason motivates us. The Senator would be well-advised to learn more about grassroots political activity. The last time I looked, the Preamble of the Constitution read We, the people of the United States. That means that the lowliest and the most exalted have the right, responsibility and duty to be involved in the electoral process. If Sen. Cleland doesn't like the reasons for our opposition to John Murtha, then it's his right and responsibility to campaign for Murtha in the hopes of persuading more people about Murtha's qualifications than we can persuade others about Diana Irey's qualifications.
and because he is actually advocating doing something sane and sound and that is redeploying our troops out of harm's way.Since when is abandoning our pledge to a fledgling democracy "doing something sane and sound"? The Senator can attempt to spin Murtha's policy any way he wants but it won't fly with me. I'll expose the unseriousness of that in a heartbeat. I won't lose a second's worth of sleep over it, either.
Mr. Cleland is spinning things so that the citizens of southwest Pennsylvania are distracted from the central issues of the campaign between Ms. Irey and Mr. Murtha, which is that (a) Mr. Murtha represents Washington, DC more than PA-12; (b) because he ignored the Constitution while betraying the Marines and (c) because he did these things in a quest for power and the limelight in Washington, DC.
That's why I'm proud to be part of the team that's advocating Murtha's 'firing' this November. That's why I'll sleep soundly tonight. My conscience is clear.
I'd doubt that Sen. Cleland can say the same thing.
Technorati Tags: Murtha, John McCain, John Kerry, Constitution, Haditha
Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog