Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ethically Challenged

John Murtha never met an ethical code that he couldn't rationalize away. That wasn't more in evidence than in the days leading up to the pro-Murtha Rally. In a Pittsburgh Tribune Review article, Rich Cholodofsky reports that the Westmoreland County Republican Party has uncovered some wrongdoing. Here's the details on that:
Westmoreland County Republicans on Friday accused county government officials of promoting the campaign of U.S. Rep John Murtha using taxpayer resources. John Panichella, the director of the county's Veterans Affairs Office, is coordinating a bus trip for this morning's pro-Murtha rally in Johnstown and doing so from his fifth-floor office in the courthouse, according to Westmoreland GOP Chairman Perry Christopher.
"It's not proper use of government and it's not right," Christopher said. "This is a partisan event, and I don't think he can use his office like that. It makes it look like the department of Veterans Affairs supports Murtha, and I don't believe the county can do that."
Panichella did not dispute the allegations, but said he never viewed his efforts as political. He said representatives from Murtha's campaign contacted him several weeks ago and asked that he coordinate the bus trip so local veterans could attend the rally. Panichella said no county tax dollars are being used to pay for the bus or any of his organizing activities. "I was organizing veterans in support of John Murtha. It didn't matter if they were Democrat or Republican," Panichella said.
On literature promoting the Murtha rally, Panichella is listed as a local contact for veterans who wanted to attend the campaign event. He is identified as head of the county's Veterans Affairs Office along with a telephone number that rings through to his desk at the courthouse. Panichella said he never cleared his actions through the county's law department.
Assistant County Solicitor Debra Nicholson said she had no information about the issue nor was she aware if Panichella had violated any county ordinances by promoting political activity while on the job. Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Balya, a Democrat and Murtha supporter, called Panichella's actions a minor impropriety. "It was an unintentional mistake by Mr. Panichella and it won't happen again," Balya said.
How on God's green earth can't Mr. Panichella not think that this isn't an FEC violation? It's noteworthy that "representatives from Murtha's campaign contacted him several weeks ago and asked that he coordinate the bus trip so local veterans could attend the rally." They might've had a fig leaf of cover had Murtha's representatives asked that the VA arrange transportation for both rallies. It wouldn't have been legal but it would've had provided them with a modest bit of cover. They didn't even do that, possibly because John Murtha thinks of the VA as a bought-and-paid-for arm of the Re-elect John Murtha apparatus.

Let's hope that Mr. Panichella is fired for using his office to coordinate a major Murtha campaign event. It's also telling that Murtha and Panichella didn't hide the fact that "Panichella is listed as a local contact for veterans who wanted to attend the [Murtha] campaign event" and that he's "identified as head of the county's Veterans Affairs Office along with a telephone number that rings through to his desk at the courthouse."

Why shouldn't we believe that Panichella knew exactly what he was doing and that what he was doing was illegal? The fact that Mr. Balya said that "It was an unintentional mistake by Mr. Panichella and it won't happen again" tells us that Balya immediately recognized that Mr. Panichella was busted. It's also apparent that Balya tried downplaying the incident to the media.

Before it sounds like we're ripping on just Mr. Panichella, let's also make clear that the lion's share of the blame belongs to Murtha's campaign. Based on this information, it's apparent that they're the people that initiated the contact. They're the people that gave Mr. Panichella his marching orders. The fact that Panichella did what he was told doesn't absolve the Murtha campaign of its rightful share of the blame.

In fact, it shows that John Murtha thought that he'd paid for this service with his 'pork machine'. Shame on John Murtha for thinking that. It's just the latest reason why Murtha Must Go.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

On Righting a Wrong...

A travesty against human rights is underway that shouldn't happen in the United States.

Not against insurgents at Abu Ghraib. Not against terrorists at Gitmo. No, there are serious deprivation of human rights going on with our own citizens. Not ordinary citizens, mind you--these are citizens who have volunteered to go into harms' way at their country's call for service to defend our freedoms.

As you may have heard (not so much through the MSM, but certainly in the blogosphere and shows like Michael Savage and Hannity), there is a travesty of justice going on with 8 soldiers who were alleged to have murdered an Iraqi man. Michelle Malkin reports:
7 Marines and Navy corpsman being held in shackles with no charges against them as higher-ups investigate an alleged murder of an Iraqi man earlier this spring in Hamandiya. Excerpt:

Did you know there are seven young Marines and a Navy corpsman sitting in a military brig right now in leg and wrist shackles -- despite the fact that they've not been charged with any crime?

The men are in solitary confinement, locked in 8'x8' cells at San Diego's Camp Pendleton, as investigators probe an April 26 incident involving the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. They are behind bars 23 hours a day; family members can only see them through inch-thick Plexiglas. Military blabbermouths have told the press that the service members are suspected of kidnapping and shooting a man in the Iraqi town of Hamdaniya. The Iraqi man's family reportedly came forward seeking payment for his death as media hysteria set in over the separate alleged atrocity in Haditha.

These men -- our men -- may be innocent. They may be guilty. Charges may or may not be filed this week. But this much is certain: The media leaks and the Murtha-fication of the case are already taking a heavy toll on the troops and their families
And Toni at the Bear Creek Ledger recently adds:

Each time I read something more on how the Camp Pendleton 8 have been treated in the hands of NCIS and the Marine Corps I become more baffled. I don’t understand how the chain of command sees their actions and conduct here as a good thing for the Corps. This is one of the worst PR Campaigns anyone could conjure.

The defense has proof the NCIS uses a rubber hose (on prominent display) as a psychological intimidation tactic. What is wrong with these people? These are OUR troops here, not terrorists.

Then there’s the Marine Corps itself. First they go after Ilario Pantano based on a liars testimony, then it’s Haditha charges against Marines (thanks John Murtha for condemning them before being charged) and finally we have the Pendleton 8. All are a disgrace and black mark against the Marine Corps and NCIS.

From Mr. Jodka who’s son JJ is being held;
As to the allegation of coerced statements, Pfc. Jodka’s father, John Jr., described to me the psychological torture he believes his 20-year-old son has endured:

“Immediately after my son was removed from the war zone, literally moments after his rifle was removed from his hands, he was placed in a room for 7 to 7.5 hours ? no food, no water, no sleep ? and he was told that he was a murderer. They hammered away at him to give statements of what it was they wanted to hear.”

While Rick Amato at Townhall relates:
They've been shackled in chains and held in solitary confinement, their defense attorneys have been denied access to key evidence of the case and now their right to request a waiver of a pre-trial hearing — known as an article 32 — has also been denied. Such has been the treatment of the men known as the Pendleton 8 in their quest to receive a fair, impartial hearing with a true presumption of innocence.

The Pendleton 8 are seven Marines and a naval corpsman being held in a brig at Camp Pendleton while waiting trial on charges of kidnapping and murder. On April 26, they were on an ambush mission in Hamdania, Iraq, designed to snare known local insurgents. The men are charged with allegedly taking an Iraqi villager, 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad, from his home, kidnapping him, placing him in a hole, shooting him repeatedly and staging the scene to make it appear he was an insurgent planting a bomb. The defendants deny the charges and claim they followed the rules of engagement. The federal government thus far has denied their defense attorneys access to evidence of the crime scene. Allegations are based upon witness accounts of Mr. Awad's neighbors. This case is separate from Haditha, Iraq, case.

"The Article 32 hearing is a sham," said defense attorney Jane Siegal, who represents PFC. John Jodka III. "Because the government has denied our opportunity to waive the 32, it is costing the Jodka family tens of thousands of additional dollars in legal fees. All this so the government can parade its coerced statements in front of the media. Coerced statements paraded in front of the media which will potentially pollute the jury pool."
The charges, at best, appear to be trumped. Kit Jarrell notes:

Last night on the radio I was discussing this article by Chris Roach on the Innocent 8. Roach’s belief that the seven Marines and Navy Corpsman charged in the Hamdaniya case are guilty is based on “statistical probability” and his assertion that “there are likely very few false confessions in the American judicial system.”

There are quite a few problems with Roach’s research, however, and the conclusions that he makes are, by nature, also erroneous. The problem is that those who read Roach’s intellectual-sounding ramblings could very easily be swayed into believing that the Innocent Pendleton 8 are guilty, and nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s take care of this “confession” argument once and for all.

Errors + Errors = Wrong Conclusions

Before we get started, let’s take a look at something that should tell you right away about how much Roach knows concerning the case.

“…the foundation of [the Pendleton 8’s] defense are the alleged conditions of their clients’ confessions.” - 9/13/06

This shows a misunderstanding of the basic facts of the case, and especially the defense. The “foundation of the defense” is that the men did not commit the acts they are charged with. It’s not a complicated thing here. They’re not saying “We’re hoping to get off on a technicality.” They’re saying, “We did not kidnap, tie up, steal from, or murder this man.”

Now that you’ve seen the above statement from Roach, you can better understand my point. If you don’t even understand the facts, everything after that will be a faulty conclusion.

Roach goes on in the same article to talk about the “confessions” that the men supposedly made.

These incriminating statements are the key to the case.

Not so, says Donald G. Rehkopf Jr., who is a former Air Force prosecutor and defense attorney with a robust 30 years of experience trying cases.

“Confessions should be the icing on the cake,” he said. “If all the prosecution has are incriminating statements, then their case is weak.”

Weak? You mean confessions aren’t the “queen of proofs,” as Roach claims? If confessions are the icing, then where's the cake in this case? (WORTH THE ENTIRE READ)
The liberals have wailed and gnashed their teeth over some fraternity-like hijinx with some insurgents in Abu Ghraib, and over a bunch of non-issues at Club Gitmo--but where are the NYU fifth column lawyers from the ACLU to defend the civil rights of American citizens, held in shackles in 8x8 cells? Where are the ACLU pot heads who continually scream that the terrorists are being held without a trial at Club Gitmo?

Sorry for the long-windedness of this post, but this makes my blood boil to no end.

But, you CAN help the Pendleton 8. Write to your congressman and senators. Don't stop bugging them until action is taken.

And can also help with their families--families with children with no father to support them.

Kit Jarrell at Euphoric Reality has taken up this most worthy cause.

Click here to donate to the families of the Pendleton 8. This money will go toward meeting their daily necessities, like food and housing:

The Innocent Pendleton 8 Family Fund is not for legal fees. It is not for defense experts or trial costs. It is for phone bills so their sons can call home from the brig. It is for diapers for their babies, groceries for their cupboards, gas for their cars so they can get to work. It is to help them survive financially while these horrifying circumstances are going on.

A total accounting for all monies will be made public to all who ask, and the money will go directly from me personally to the families, in order of immediate need.

In front of Camp Pendleton, where these 8 men have been held in special confinement for over 130 days, there are rallies and media and national TV coverage. But back in little towns in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Washington State, and other locations, their parents and wives don’t have enough money to feed their children. This story breaks my heart, and I hope that you can find it in yours to give even a few dollars to help these families.

I will continue to maintain a link on the sidebar.

This unjustice against fellow Americans cannot go on. Not in MY country.


Technorati: Pendleton 8


From the American Spectator:
Who Did Murtha Call?

After the sheiks' representatives offered Murtha the bribe and investments in his district on January 7, who did Murtha call? Not the FBI. In fact, when the FBI talked with him on February 2, he was not truthful about his contacts about the investments with Congressman Thompson or his January 7 meeting, Thompson's attorney revealed in cross-examination with Murtha. Murtha did not report to the agents that he was offered money, or that Thompson discussed splitting money with him. He told the agents that he never had any indication of money having been paid to Thompson. He also told the FBI that Criden first called him to arrange the meeting, though he later testified it was Thompson who first called.

Did he call the Ethics Committee, of which he was a member, or Tip O'Neill, the speaker of the House, to report the bribe offer? Murtha testified that he did not report any of Congressman Thompson's statements or anything else to the Ethics Committee or to anyone else in Congress.

But Murtha did call his guy in immigration. He testified that within one week of the townhouse meeting he spoke to an immigration official about getting the sheiks into the country. Sometime after that call and after January 21, Murtha ran into Thompson at the voting slot on the House floor. There, he told Thompson that he had "talked to Immigration and [Murtha] thought something could be done." Whatever Murtha expected in return, be it friendship, or investments in his district, or "walking around money," he was doing what he told the sheiks' representatives he could do.

Some may say that it was a long time ago--that Murtha is now pure as the wind-driven snow. But something tells me that this leopard with "the big fat backside" hasn't changed his spots.

Far from it.

(h/t Wizbang Politics)

Friday, September 29, 2006

American Spectator Unearths Complete Abscam Video....

In addition to that, the accompanying story below takes one through the whole Abscam fiasco step by step, as well as the media's reluctance at the time and maybe even now to completely report all the facts of this case to the American public. That may all change today thanks to the American Spectator.

Up until now there has only been a short 13 second blurb of the poor quality video, although the audio pretty much says all one needs to know. That being Jack Murtha somehow managed to escape indictment for his participation in Abscam nor has he ever paid any political price for his unindicted co-conspirator involvement.

That is maybe until now, seeing that Mr Murtha has brought all this attention upon himself by his looney left wing stance on the Iraq war and his blanket indictment of the soldiers in Haditha. The spark that has ignited the MurthaMustGo and BootMurtha Firestorm.

The complete video is below and permanantly linked in our sidebar for posterity as well. The article is very interesting reading for sure, of particular interest to Murtha's supporters as well as his they say, the video don't lie.

The American Spectator: "For more than 26 years, Congressman John P. 'Jack' Murtha (D-Penn.) has not been truthful about his involvement in Abscam, court records and the complete video of his meeting with the FBI show.

In recent years, only a 13-second video of Murtha's videotaped meeting with the FBI agents was publicly available. TAS has obtained a copy of the full, original video from a source close to the Abscam investigation on the condition of anonymity. The court transcript is publicly available at the National Archives. (Too see the full video, click here. For a transcript of the meeting, click here.)

"Murtha has repeatedly maintained his innocence in the Abscam sting operation, even as recently as this year. However, his November 20, 1980 testimony in the trial of Congressmen Frank Thompson (D-N.J.) and John Murphy (D-N.Y.) and the FBI's complete undercover video of his January 7, 1980 meeting with its agent and informant reveal a man showcasing his political influence and apparently tempted to take a $50,000 bribe.

On the tape, Murtha appears eager to arrange his own, long-term deal with the supposed representatives of Arab sheiks, and to cut out Thompson and Murphy. His testimony reveals that after his January 7 meeting, he looked into helping the sheiks enter the country, rather than contacting the FBI or the Ethics Committee, of which he was a member. Through the years, Murtha has maintained that he only met with the FBI agents to discuss investments in his district. His testimony, the video, and the cases of other congressmen snared in Abscam suggest that "investments in the district" was a common Abscam defense for those accused of bribery. full story

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Welcome Blogs for Bush, Wizbang, and Sister Toldjah readers.

Please click here for more on why Murtha Must Go!

Regarding Comments on MMG...

There has been a spammer, by the name of Cliff Hancuff (Blogger handle CHANCUFF), who has C & P'ed the same crap on around 20 posts here at MMG.

Since I don't allow C & P comments, and since I can't police the blog 24/7, I have discontinued comments from the blog.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Update Chicagoray @ 3:00amcdt: I myself, as have many others had a similar problem with this person, here is a sample of his glorious internet contributions & work for those interested:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Murtha's divorce from reality...

From the Washington Times:
Iraq can't get any worse if U.S. forces withdraw: That was the incredible Democratic assertion at a VETPAC press conference yesterday at Washington's Phoenix Park Hotel. All it took was a Reuters reporter asking the Democratic military-veteran candidates for a plan on Iraq -- no plan was offered, of course -- and featured guest Rep. John Murtha did his own version of Bill Clinton's recent tear on Fox News. Mr. Murtha's reaction was misdirected; the reporter represented Reuters, which is not known for vast right-wing conspiracy bona fides.
The reporter: "Uh, Andy Sullivan with Reuters News. Your position paper calls for a pullout of all combat troops by 2008. Do you folks have a plan to prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state that could prove a breeding ground for more terrorism that could directly threaten the United States?"
Mr. Murtha: "Where have you been?
"Let me just tell you the facts. They said it costs $50 billion for this war. It's cost over $400 billion today. Let me tell you they said that they would be able to walk amongst them as liberators. They said there were al Qaeda connections. All the things they've said in the past turned out not to be true. What makes you think because they say that there will be chaos that there will be?" A few chuckles and one "yeah" from the crowd. "Do you believe them?"
The reporter: "I'm asking you: Do you think that there will not be chaos?"
Mr. Murtha: "I think ... I think this. It won't be any worse than it is today. It's a civil war today. There's sectarian violence, it's Sunnis versus Shias, and our troops are caught in between. Go out to the hospitals like I do every week and you'll see the products of this civil war! I mean, this is a failed policy, wrapped in illusion, and they're overly optimistic and they ... they continue to mischaracterize and misrepresent this war!" A few more lines about troops and the need for a diplomatic and political -- not military -- solution.
"OK, so the position of the group is that it can't be any worse than it is today?"
A VETPAC staffer intervenes. "Well, we're all Democrats, so we don't all agree on the fine points of anything. But that's the general thrust of the opinion."
And still no plan offered.
The dirty little secret is that they have no plan. Screw Iraq. Screw our soldiers. Political power is all that matters, right Jack?

Murtha gambles and....

Jack Murtha's big gamble--to go radical left on the Iraq war and in so doing attempt to court the Michael Moore/Howard Dean wing of the democrat party into making him the House Majority leader in the greatest democrat victory that never was--is flying like a lead balloon:
‘Concern’ in Murtha camp

Liberal House Democrats are not lining up behind Rep. Jack Murtha’s (D-Pa.) leadership candidacy in the numbers he had hoped despite his outspoken stance against the Iraq war.

Murtha’s failure to line up staunch opponents of the war could prove a blow to his hope of denying the majority leadership to Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) in the event of a Democratic takeover of the House in the 110th Congress.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), a friend of Murtha who has been helping him with the race, said tepid support among some progressives was a worry to him. “It does concern you when people you think are going to be with you turn out not to be. Some of that’s cultural issues, guns and abortion,” he said. “But we still have the votes.”

Liberal Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Diane Watson (D-Calif.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) are all backing Hoyer even though many admire Murtha’s stance on the war. All but Lewis opposed Hoyer in a 2001 leadership race against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). even tried brokering a sweetheart deal for the House Minority leader's nephew.

Oh well, Jack. Maybe next time.

Wait a minute--there probably won't be a next time, will there?

Sucks to be you, Jack.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jack "Daddy Warbucks" Murtha?

As Gary Gross so aptly pointed out, lo these past 32 years, Representative Murtha seems to have built himself quite a well-oiled political machine. He gets contributions from defense contractors, and then rewards those contractors with lots of taxpayer-produced money. Nice work, if you can get it.

Take for example, this:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the 2007 Defense Appropriation Bill makes its way through Congress, several local companies and universities are included among those which will receive continued funding, U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, said Monday.

"These programs are vital to our national security and to our troops in the field," Murtha said. "The companies and universities in our area, as well as their employees, are rightfully proud of the work they do to support our troops with quality products at competitive prices."

Included in the bill are various research and development programs managed by the Electro Optics Center at Northpointe, Slate Lick, including optical sensors, imaging and electro-optic components for the Navy, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command, Murtha said.

Now, take a look at this:
Marion, Fred Mr. (DRS Technologies/President EOSG), (Zip code: 15068) $2000 to MURTHA FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE on 03/02/04
This is just a drop in Murtha's campaign cash bucket. It looks like Boeing also got a sweetheart deal from Jack "Daddy Warbucks" Murtha:
Boeing, also at Northpointe, is slated to receive funds to continue its research and development on weapons enhancements for the Army and Marine Corps, while the Armstrong County facility of DRS will receive funds to continue advancement of a two-color missile warning detection sensor which significantly enhances survivability of aircraft in high threat areas of operation.
And wouldn't you know it:

Of course, these are merely two examples of "Daddy Warbucks'" generosity with taxpayer monies. In fact, there seems to have been so much "greasing of palms" on Murtha's part that if he tried washing his hands, a drop of water wouldn't be able to penetrate. According to The Hill: (all emphases mine)

For the past three years, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has been the No. 1 beneficiary of defense campaign donations in the House and has not fallen below No. 3 for Congress as a whole.

In fact, for just the 2006 cycle, Murtha ranks No. 1 overall, with $188,350 in donations from the defense industry. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) follows with $118,350.

In 2004, Murtha ranked behind only President Bush and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, in overall defense-industry contributions, with $284,750.

During the 2002 election cycle, when Murtha was forced to campaign for his seat because of state redistricting that pitted him against a fellow congressman in the primary, he again scored No. 1 in all Congress, pulling in $309,299 in political donations from defense companies.

In 2000, Murtha slipped behind Hunter, who at that point was running for Armed Services chairman.


But Murtha also has raised some watchdogs’ concerns because his brother Robert “Kit” Murtha runs KSA Consulting, a lobbying group that represents some 10 smaller defense companies. In 2004, Murtha’s brother was able to secure $20 million in the defense-spending bill for his clients. Kit Murtha repeatedly has denied working directly with his brother’s office.

Conflicts of interest? You bet. Culture of corruption? You be the judge. But just in case you should think that "everybody does it,"

In comparison to Rep. Murtha, Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, receives far fewer political contributions from the defense industry, as does Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), who previously chaired the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

“The other reason you see Murtha get so much is because Young does not ask for very much,” Ashdown said.

In the 2006 cycle, Young does not rank among the top 20 beneficiaries of defense industry political donations, while Lewis has collected just $69,000 from defense companies.

I guess you can say that Jack "Daddy Warbucks" Murtha has, in effect, become the "Don Corleone" of Defense spending:
"Murtha walks on water. If you want anything done on the committee, you go to Murtha. Murtha is the reason why the [defense appropriations] bill gets done each year,” said Ashdown about the veteran Congressman known to be a dealmaker who frequently reaches across the aisle.
I wonder if they kiss his ring, too.

Like I have stated before, political machines are useless without the votes that put them in power. A well-placed vote can make all the difference in the world. You, citizens of PA 12, have the power within yourselves to break this noxious cycle of Murtha's flagrant abuse of power, and to send "Daddy Warbucks" packing.

The choice is yours.

Irey Asks US Attorney to Investigate Murtha

Diana Irey has asked the US Attorney for Western Pennsylvania to start an investigation to "determine whether or not Congressman Jack Murtha violated the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 by accepting campaign contributions in exchange for placing earmarked appropriations into legislation he is largely responsible for drafting and pushing to passage."

Unfortunately, John Murtha isn't the first congressman to get a campaign contribution after voting for a special interest group's favorite earmark. That isn't what this investigation appears to be about, though:
"Specifically, CREW cited a pattern of abuse regarding Congressman Murtha's fundraising practices; essentially, they argue that he trades federal contracts, loans, and grants for campaign contributions, in violation of federal law. CREW cites two former Murtha staffers as key players in Jack Murtha's triangle of influence, men who, after working for the Congressman for years on the Appropriations Committee, now engage in lucrative lobbying businesses, representing clients who seek federal contracts, loans, and grants.
If this information is accurate, then this is as corrupt as anything that Duke Cunningham ever did. That's as corrupt as it gets. Unlike John Murtha's convicting the Haditha Marines before the investigation is complete, I'll wait to find out what the investigation determines before pronouncing judgment.

It's one thing to vote for earmarks. It's another to trade vote on those earmarks for campaign contributions. If that isn't illegal, then that's proof that incumbents like John Murtha have a slush fund mechanism constantly at their avail. I know there's a saying that incumbency has its privileges but I'd hope that a legalized slush fund isn't what they're talking about.

Here's something else that Diana Irey cited:
"'Paul Magliocchetti worked with Rep. Murtha as a senior staffer on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee for ten years,' says the report. 'After leaving the committee, Mr. Magliocchetti founded the PMA Group, which has become one of the prominent Washington, DC defense lobbying firms. In the current campaign cycle, the PMA Group and 11 of the firm's clients rank in the top 20 contributors to Rep. Murtha, having made contributions totaling $274,649. In the 2002 and 2004 cycles, PMA and nine of the firm's clients ranked in the top 20 contributors, having made $236,799 in contributions and $279,074, respectively. 'In turn, many of PMA's clients have benefited significantly from Rep. Murtha's earmarks. In the 2006 Defense Appropriations bill, PMA clients received at least 60 earmarks at a total of $95.01 million.'
"Stop and think about that for a moment. Over the last six years, officials and clients of the PMA Group have contributed roughly $800,000 to Congressman Murtha's campaign fund. In return, they have received at least $95 million in federal contracts, loans, and grants. That's a better than 100-to-1 return on investment."
The more you learn about John Murtha, the more you realize about Washington's corrupting powers. That's just another reason why Murtha Must Go.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Murtha's generosity knows no bounds... long as he's being generous with your own money....
Taxpayers will spend $1.01 million for Murtha's staff.

Murtha, one of the most prominent congressional leaders, with 37 years of public service, boasts the highest average staff salaries in the Pennsylvania delegation -- nearly $54,000 per employee, paced by the top paycheck of Johnstown coordinator Bradford L. Clemenson, at about $110,000.

Murtha, Brady and Clemenson didn't return the Trib's calls for comment.

Murtha's Republican foe in the Nov. 7 election, Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey, accuses the incumbent of hiring expensive staffers who later become prominent lobbyists so that they can donate "hundreds of thousands" of dollars to Murtha's campaign.

"It's not surprising that Jack Murtha's staff is doing very well by the taxpayers," said Irey. "After all, a job working for Jack Murtha has been shown to be a ticket to riches."
Having grown up in Chicago, I am well aware of the power of political machines.

The thing about it is, political machines mean nothing if there are no votes to hold them in power.

Voters of PA-12, you have it within yourselves the power to break the bonds of a political machine that has been buying power on the backs of your tax dollars for well over 30 years.

Use your vote wisely.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Murtha: Wrong again.

John P. Murtha couldn't be on the right side of a situation if he kept on walking in circles...Murtha's own website states that recruitment is down "...even as our military has lowered its standards." In his zeal to burnish his leftist antiwar credentials, so as to cash in on his newfound notoriety, Murtha has not missed an opportunity to slam the military at every turn, often using outright lies to meet his ends.

Enter the Washington Post:

Army Ends Best Recruit Year

Since 1997

The Associated Press
Thursday, September 21, 2006; 6:46 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Army is ending its best recruiting year since 1997 and expecting similar success in 2007, despite the weight of grim war news from Iraq, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said Thursday.

In an Associated Press interview, Harvey said the Army will enlist its 80,000th soldier on Friday, reaching its goal for the year with eight days to spare. That is a considerable turnaround from last year when the Army missed its target for the first time since 1999 and by the widest margin in more than two decades.

But one wouldn't know that by talking with Murtha, who continues to this day hellbent on his defeatist diatribes.

Which leads me to repeat the question we at MMG ask again and again: Just whose interests does Jack Murtha represent?
Technorati: Murtha Haditha Army Recruitment

(h/t Rob at Say Anything)

Meet the new boss?

TP Muckraker has the following observations:
John Murtha: Meet the New Boss. . .

Washington has witnessed a storm of "pay-to-play" corruption scandals in Congress over the last year, both admitted and alleged. And on the campaign trail congressional Democrats are charging the GOP with creating a "culture of corruption" on their watch. Yet if they win, they are poised to hand a much-abused spending post to a Democrat with a long reputation for porkbarrel politics and "back room" deals.

If the Dems take control of the House in November, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), now lauded by Democratic activists for his tough stand on Iraq, is poised to retake the helm of an appropriations panel charged with spending hundreds of billions of dollars on defense-related projects, which he last chaired in the early 1990s. He may even ascend to be Majority Leader in a Democratically controlled House.

Yet Murtha -- who U.S. News and World Report once called "one of Capitol Hill's most accomplished masters at the art of pork" -- presides over a tightly connected network of favored lobbyists, former staffers and major campaign contributors that bears a striking resemblance to those maintained by some of the tarnished Republicans he would likely replace.

Murtha's office declined my request for comment on this article.

Take Jerry Lewis (R-CA). Under FBI investigation, Lewis -- now the chair of the entire Appropriations Committee -- until two years ago chaired the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which Murtha is in line to take over.

"They're very similar," Melanie Sloan told me. Sloan, head of the D.C.-based watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is a former federal prosecutor. "They're both using their positions to financially benefit those close to them." Her self-described "progressive" group is investigating Murtha's activities, and recently placed him on a short list of "members to watch" for possible corruption.

Murtha won his reputation by setting up a neat, closed circle of largesse, not unlike the one belonging to Lewis.

Both lawmakers have directed millions in government spending to a handful of organizations and individuals who in turn donate to their campaigns, and hire their former aides as lobbyists.

Lewis had former aides Jeffrey Shockey and Letitia White lobbying out of the D.C. firm Copeland Lowery, run by Lewis pal Bill Lowery. The firm's clients showered Lewis with donations, and he showered them right back with millions in contracts.

Murtha has aides in at least two firms. (Read the rest)

Voters of PA-12, again I ask--just whose interests does Jack P. Murtha represent?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Separated at Birth?

The Three Stooges:

And their evil twins....

Murtha Campaigning For Majority Leader Again

This Hill Magazine article says that John Murtha's back campaigning for the House Majority Leader job. There's just two flaws in his strategy. Unfortunately for Mr. Murtha, they're significant flaws: (a) Murtha's Democratic Party will lose seats this November, keeping them the minority party and (b) Murtha won't be part of the 110th Congress.
The two Democrats vying to become House majority leader next year are courting Democratic candidates likely to win in November, hoping to reach out early to those who may one day have a say in their promotion. Rival Reps. Steny Hoyer (MD) and Jack Murtha (PA) have been discreetly raising the issue with candidates, even as they campaign to ensure that Democrats will win control of the House, without which their contest for the majority leader post cannot take place.
This isn't exactly startling news. Part of the reason why party leaders campaign for candidates is so that the leaders can call in those markers for everything from leadership positions to legislative battles.
"I am sure Mr. Murtha is a fine person, but Congressman Hoyer came out to my district, held a fundraiser for me. He met with the press. He’s been a mentor for questions, a coach, essentially a father figure," said a Democratic candidate in a competitive race who asked to remain anonymous. The candidate went on to suggest that Murtha’s position on Iraq made him too polarizing for the district. "I have an incredible respect for [Murtha’s] service background, but in regard to the war, I’m trying to give my own presentation."
His position on the war is what's thrust Murtha into the national spotlight but that's only one of the things that PA-12 voters are taking into consideration this fall. Other things that they aren't happy about are (a) Murtha's attempt to convict the Marines who were attacked while patrolling Haditha; (b) Murtha's voting against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and (c) Murtha voting against securing the Mexican border. Each of those issues will be given by PA-12 voters for firing John Murtha this November.

The Democrats will lose seats this November but losing Murtha's seat will sting just as much as Daschle's defeat in 04.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

And the bad news for Murtha just keeps rolling in...

Much to the chagrin of "Jihad Jack", Iraqis keep taking more and more responsibility for their own security..



BAGHDAD – “Today’s transfer of security responsibility in Dhi Qar province from the Multi National Force–Iraq (MNF-I) to the Government of Iraq and civilian controlled Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) is another sign of progress toward a stable and secure Iraq. Dhi Qar is the second of 18 Provinces to be transitioned. This is an important milestone along the successful path toward Iraq’s capability to govern and protect itself as a sovereign nation.
“The joint decision between the Iraqi Government and the MNF-I to transition security responsibility reflects a satisfactory assessment of the overall threat situation in Dhi Qar, and increased capabilities of the ISF. Additionally, Dhi Qar’s provincial leadership has demonstrated the ability to take the lead in managing its own security and governance duties at the provincial level. Transition terms are in place to facilitate the transfer process, and Coalition forces stand ready to provide assistance if needed.

“As Iraq develops and its needs continue to evolve, so too will the nature of international assistance and investment. The United States remains committed to the development of Dhi Qar province by providing funding for additional humanitarian relief and reconstruction projects. Currently, $8.9M in Economic Support Fund money and $5M in Commander’s Emergency Relief Program funds are programmed for the completion of additional projects in Dhi Qar. Several other provinces are close to meeting the criteria necessary to assume security independence.

“After decades of dictatorship and oppression, the Iraqi people have taken another step toward security self-reliance. With the steadfast support of the Coalition, Iraq is on a path to national unity, improved security, and increasing prosperity that benefits all its citizens. “May God bless the people of Iraq.”
I wonder if "Jihad Jack" will hail this event as a major achievement of our soldiers' efforts and sacrifices in Iraq...

Unfortunately, some saying about pigs and flight comes to mind.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A dubious honor, to be sure...

It looks like our dear, senile windbag Jack Murtha has posted yet another dubious distinction--you see he was named among the most corrupt U.S. Congressmen...

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)

John Murtha is a seventeenth-term member of Congress, representing the 12th district of Pennsylvania. His ethics issues stem from abuse of his position as Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to benefit clients of his brother, Robert “Kit” Murtha, a registered lobbyist.

KSA Consulting

In 2002, Kit Murtha was hired by KSA Consulting, a firm that lobbies the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on behalf of defense contractors. Mr. Murtha joined the firm at the invitation of top KSA official Carmen Scialabba, who had worked for Rep. Murtha on the House Appropriations Committee for 27 years.

In 2004, Congress passed a $417 billion defense appropriations bill that went through Rep. Murtha’s subcommittee. The bill benefitted at least 10 companies represented by KSA and KSA directly lobbied Rep. Murtha’s office on behalf of seven of those companies, which received a total $20.8 million in earmarks.

PMA Group

Paul Magliocchetti worked with Rep. Murtha as a senior staffer on the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense for 10 years. After leaving the committee, Mr. Magliocchetti founded the PMA Group, which has become one of the most prominent Washington, D.C. defense lobbying firms. In the current campaign cycle, the PMA Group and 12 of the firm’s clients rank in the top 20 contributors to Rep. Murtha, having made campaign contributions totaling $274,649. In turn, many of PMA’s clients have benefited significantly from Rep. Murtha’s earmarks. In the 2006 Defense appropriations bill, PMA clients received at least 60 earmarks, totaling $95.1 million.

House ethics rules prohibit members from taking any official actions for the prospect of personal gain for themselves or anyone else. In addition, Rule XXIII of the House Ethics Manual requires all members of the House to conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.” By earmarking funds for companies represented by Kit Murtha and Paul Magliocchetti, Rep. Murtha has violated House rules. (click here to download the whole report).

Gee, Jack--we here at MMG just knew you could do it!

Regarding Murtha's chances...

Among other things, In a veritable buffet of bad news fit to spoil any moonbat's appetite, Phil Brennan opines:
....Rick Santorum will win in Pennsylvania, Virginia Senator George Allen will trounce turncoat James Webb, and - surprise, Rep. John Murtha will go down to a much deserved defeat in Pennsylvania. Sources inside Murtha's campaign told officials of the Boot Murtha group of veterans that Murtha's unfavorable ratings top 50 percent -making him more vulnerable than the media cares to admit. One official told me "If that's true, we'd have to screw up to lose." Boot Murtha is a campaign organized by Vets for the Truth to Redeploy John Murtha - a goal dear to the hearts of every United States Marine who cherishes the reputation of the world's finest military unit that Murtha has dragged through the mud.
But Jihad Jack, blind to the fact that his "big experiment" in dabbling with left-wing radicalism is fizzling, continues to fiddle his defeatist message across the country, while chances for his own re-election, and for his political ambitions in general, smolder in what will be the greatest democrat victory that never was.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More on the Murtha "Cut n Run" tour...

If you live in the Wheeling, W. VA area or its environs, you may think about marking your calendar...

From here:
WHEELING — U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., will speak in Wheeling at the Northern Panhandle Regional Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner next month.

U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin also are to be honored at the event Saturday, Oct. 21, at the McLure City Center Hotel.

Murtha, 74 — a vocal critic of Bush administration policies in Iraq — was born in New Martinsville but grew up in Westmoreland County, Pa. He represents a sprawling district that includes downtown Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Washington and Greene counties in Pennsylvania.

The former Marine was a drill instructor at Paris Island, operated a car wash in Johnstown and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics.

While in the military, Murtha received the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He retired from the Reserves as a colonel in 1990, receiving the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Murtha was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974.

He presently serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Defense, and he has expressed his interest in becoming House Majority Leader if Democrats are successful in taking over the House.

Murtha has been vocal in advocating the redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq, suggesting that troops instead be brought to bases outside the country — but close enough where they could be sent in if the democratic Iraqi government were to become threatened.

? The Northern Panhandle Regional Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the McClure City Center Hotel in downtown Wheeling. Social time is set for 6-7 p.m., with dinner to be served at 7 p.m. Tickets can be obtained from Rosemary Anderson, (304) 547-1414; Lauren Transgard-Scott, (304) 277-2727; or Ruth Prosser, (304) 243-1815. Seating is limited, and no tickets will be available at the door.
If you need some interesting posters for the occasion, email me :)

A good synopsis...

Of why Murtha Must Go! this November can be found here. These are all points we've made on this blog since its inception, but it's always good to have reminders.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Regarding Operation "Send Murtha Home"!

As I promised, I attended the Rowley-Murtha "cut n' run" tour at the Rosemount VFW yesterday. I was going to write a whole report on the matter, but fellow protest-warrior and freeper Steve did a bang-up job:
...I arrived at the Rosemount VFW at noon, thinking that I'd be pretty much alone. had spoken to PW Leo and he was going to be late because of several reasons. I didn't expect him until after 12:30. I pulled into the driveway of the VFW and both sides were lined with anti-Murtha and Rowley signs! There were three or four children and an elderly woman with Rowley campaign signs.

I was handed a sign I could really get behind: MURTHA GO HOME!! The signs, I found out, were courtesy of the John Kline campaign volunteers that were there. They did a great job. There were probably 30 of us working the driveway and both sides of Hwy 3.

Lots of young people, College Republicans, I found out, from the U, St. Thomas and Bethel. Saw a couple of those black Michael Savage t-shirts. Many of them had been at the "press conference" preceding the trip to Rosemount. Funny thing was, there was no press at the conference. Don't know if they weren't invited or they didn't consider it news.

Both sides treated each other with respect. But, there was the one guy, standing in the middle of the driveway with his Rowley t-shirt that was the designated talking-points-shouter. Never anything supporting Rowley or Murtha, he thinks Bush is going to run again, evidently. "COKE HEAD!!, DRUNK!!, DRAFT DODGER!!" A real sharp dude. The elderly woman had to finally be relieved of her Rowley sign for her own protection. She kept chasing our guy with the big American flag up and down Hwy 3, trying to create an association for the drive-by traffic. When our guy with the flag crossed Hwy 3 to get away from her, she crossed, too. This happened several times until someone stepped in and decided she wasn't as fast as the traffic and took away the sign.

I spoke with a couple of Vets/activists that had been inside the VFW and were now taking a blood-pressure break. I said that was why I was outside instead of inside!

Shortly before 1:00 is was announced that the meeting was breaking up and we started to re-deploy and line both sides of the driveway with our signs for the Murtha/Rowley/Oberstar getaway. Then, the strangest thing happened. The Kline folks announced that we were done and collected all of their signs. I still haven't seen Leo and figured he got hung up and wasn't going to make it. I thought, oh well and headed for home. I'm 30 seconds away from the VFW and Leo calls me and says he's at the VFW. 3-point Highway Patrol turn and I'm back.

Glad I didn't miss the next 15 minutes......

I met Leo, he hands me one of his signs and he offers one to another guy standing there, obviously also waitng for Jack, et al, to emerge from the VFW. Our new friend from Minneapolis declines Leo's offer, because he has something else in mind. A bullhorn. I'll call him "Mr. BH". Murtha comes out of the VFW to applause and starts shaking hands. Mr. BH cuts loose with two-and-half minutes of Murtha's career low-lites. Poor Jack couldn't get past the well-wishers fast enough to lumber into his waiting, gas guzzling, SUV. The only thing Mr. BH couldn't squeeze in before Jack's escape was Abscam. Well done!!

Evidently, all the real crabby people were inside the VFW all the time I was there. When they heard Mr. BH's tirade, they came a runnin', followed closely by their video cam geeks. There was some minor elbowing by the crowd that Mr. BH calmly put to a halt. Yelled talking point were easily defeated by Leo and Mr. BH. Leo was confronted by a gentleman who was so mad at Leo for speaking in a public place that he was shaking, no, vibrating. He basically told Leo to shutup. Leo don't play that. After four minutes and three cigarettes, Mr Shakey stomped off for his car. I hope he didn't have a coronary on the way home. One woman kept following me around the parking lot, demading over and over that I "delist and go fight in the war". Delist???

Out of talking points, they flipped us off one last time and scrambled for their vehicles.

Our response?

Nonetheless, a good time was had by all... save for a few of those with a socialist bent, who kept on declaring that Bush was more dangerous than bin Laden--even a tinfoil hat-wearer who said Bush & Cheney brought down the WTC--you know the drill. My greatest satisfaction came from Bullhorn man, who said loud and clear everything John Murtha needed to hear-- how Murtha played judge, jury and executioner to the Haditha Marines without due process; how he continuously badmouths their mission and downgrades their morale and readiness--and it couldn't have come in a better place than in a VFW parking lot.

That two-minute diatribe by Mr. BH was music to my ears. I hope it was stinging Murtha's.

Technorati: Murtha Colleen Rowley Iraq

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Whose Priorities Does Murtha Represent?

It's difficult, if not impossible, to say that he represents PA-12's priorities after reading this:
Jack Murtha has, just in the last 24 hours, voted (again) AGAINST enhanced border security, and AGAINST earmark reform...
Who in their right mind would vote against securing our borders? Who in their right mind would vote against governmental accountability? The simple answer is no one in their right mind would. Which brings us to the conclusion that John Murtha must operate from a Washington frame of mind.

Murtha's career is only alive because of the earmarked monies that he's used to buy votes. The last thing he wants is to shine the spotlight on his political lifeline. There isn't a longtime incumbent out there that wants that. If you look at who's protesting the loudest, it's the people who've been up at the trough the longest.

It isn't surprising that John Murtha voted against the border fence when you consider who his biggest supporters are these days. Code Pink, the group that sparked controversy last summer with anti-war protests at a military hospital last summer, is a big Murtha supporter. Code Pink, in turn, is associated with other anti-war groups, including UFPJ, After Downing Street and Abolition 2000.

UFPJ is vehemently opposed to war of any sort, After Downing Street advocates impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney for "lying the U.S. into war" and Abolition 2000 advocates the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide. I'd doubt that the people of PA-12 think highly of these groups.

It's time for the people of PA-12 to decide if they want to be represented by someone who's in touch with their needs or if they're satisfied with returning an out-of-touch incumbent to Washington so he can ignore their priorities.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

A reminder to Minnesota/ Western Wisconsin readers....

Yours truly will be at the Rosemount VFW at noon tomorrow to give a warm Minnesota welcome to one Jack P. Murtha, who, in taking his home district for granted, is out stumping for other dems; in this case, Cindy Sheehan buddy and U.S. Representative wannabee Colleen Rowley.

Colleen Rowley, about as far left as a candidate can go without falling into the Pacific Ocean, thinks that she can win the Minnesota 2nd District Seat from John Kline by importing seditionists like Jack Murtha?

I hope she keeps it up, for you are definitely known by the company you keep.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Regarding laughing matters...

Any of you who are Monty Python fans will remember the sketch called, "The World's funniest joke"

Well... I think it's been outdone.

I read this today, and the interjected comments are my well-thought out responses to th
ese matters:

Democrats rebut soft-on-terror rap (heh--)

By Charles Hurt and Christina Bellantoni
September 14, 2006

Capitol Hill Democrats said yesterday they will not be "swift-boated" by Republicans who accuse them of being soft on national security and coddling terrorists. (heh heh...)

"Democrats stand ready to protect and defend the American people," (Heh SNORT blrft Bwah-ha--bwah-ha-ha-ha!! giggle) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said. "We will not be swift-boated on the issue of security, and that is what the Republicans are trying to do." (heh-heh-heh-heh gleekbrrrf BWAH-Hah-Hah-Hah!)

Part of national security, said the House's top Democrat, is protecting the environment. (Gfffaw blrpwwwwnnnnaaa BWAH-HAH-BAH HAH-HAHAHAHA!!!)

"We are advancing tough and smart national security policies to keep the American people safe," (Gleepschewglawww ffft SNORT SNORT BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!) said Mrs. Pelosi, adding that Democrats' national security agenda aims "to fight terrorism and defeat it, (Oooohgawd :::sides hurt::::::) stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, (Awww p-p-pleeeeeeaaaasse GWA-HA-Ha-ha-haha-ha-ha-ha!) to stop global warming and any other threats to the safety and security of the American people." (WILL-DIE-FROM-LAUGHING--CAN - NOT -READ -ANYMORE!--SNORT--BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA~!)

Sorry folks--couldn't go through with the whole thing. Read the rest .. if you dare.

Murtha's "strategic vision"?

When it comes to assessing the readiness of our military, it appears that Jack P. Murtha, head Al Qaeda cheerleader, knows not of what he speaks (emphases mine):
WASHINGTON — Army officials angrily defended the capability and competence of the service Thursday in response to criticism from a pair of House Democrats who said the fighting force’s readiness is dangerously low.

Outspoken war critic Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., and Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., on Wednesday again called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for what they said was his failure to keep the military properly staffed and equipped.

They also released a 12-page report compiled from their staff’s examination of Army reports and congressional information requests, which said funding shortfalls and poor planning have led to “the very real prospect that Army readiness will continue to erode, undermining its ability to meet the theater commanders’ needs …”

But Army officials called the detailed report inaccurate and the conclusion of the congressmen off-base.

“Today’s Army is the highest quality Army this Nation has ever produced — it has not ‘gone south,’” according to a statement released in response to the report. “To imply otherwise is an insult to the young men and women who have volunteered to protect our nation’s freedoms.”

Remember, in his quest for political power, Jack Murtha is no stranger to the concept of gratuitously insulting the integrity of the military.

I am sure the voters of PA-12, 18 percent who are active and retired military voters (not to mention their families and friends), will remember that as well.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More bad news for Murtha...

It really is too bad, when your whole raison d'etre banks on hoping for your own nation's military failures.

So, in essence, any good news out of Iraq, is bad news for Jack Murtha. Case in point:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. forces have arrested a senior Al Qaeda terrorist and personal associate of the group's new leader, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq said Thursday.

The man, who was not identified, was arrested Tuesday and was the leader of assassination, kidnapping and bomb making cells in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said.

He also played a key role in Al Qaeda's activities in the Anbar city of Fallujah before it was attacked by U.S. troops in November 2004, Caldwell added.

According to Caldwell he was a "personal associate" of Abu Ayyoub al-Masri, who took over Al Qaeda in Iraq from Jordanian-born terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after he was killed in an American airstrike north of Baghdad on June 7.

Caldwell said U.S. and Iraqi forces carried out 25 "focused raids" around the capital on Tuesday. He said there had been 150 focused operations carried out since Aug. 30 resulting in "66 terrorists killed and 830 suspected terrorists detained."

"As part of these operations on Tuesday evening alone there was a series of 25 raids in and around Baghdad targeting Al Qaeda in Iraq activities. A key outcome of these raids was the capture of over 70 suspected terrorists, one of which was the personal associate of Abu Ayyoub al-Masri," Caldwell said.

It's also bad news for Murtha when good news surfaces regarding the resolve of the Iraqi people...
...BAGHDAD — It may appear to some that the task of restoring law and order to the streets of Baghdad is too daunting a job for the Iraqi Police. However, the officers of Baghdad’s Rusafah Police Directorate believe that through proper training, hard work and advanced technology they can rid the city of insurgency and terrorism.

The directorate recently unveiled some of its tools, showcasing a bomb-sniffing dog and a new secure communications system. The police also demonstrated an advanced detainee database and an improvised explosive device-detecting robot.

During the demonstration, Iraqi Police Gen. Adnon, commanding officer of the Rusafah Directorate, said he was very proud of the Police officers in his area.

“These officers have worked very hard to learn the skills necessary to fight the insurgency,” Adnon said with the help of an interpreter. “We are very proud to be able to show you our skills and new technologies.”

Adnon said the addition of new equipment will help Police secure the streets of Baghdad, while the new armored vehicles will insure the safety of his officers.

“Thanks to the help of our Coalition brothers we now have some of the most modern weapons available to defeat the terrorists,” he said. “The new trucks mean that our officers can safely stay out on patrol, which means our city will be safer.”

According to U.S. Army Capt. Rob Rodock, commander of the 204th Military Police Company working with the Rusafah Police, getting the equipment into the hands of the Iraqis was just one piece of the puzzle.

“This police department is responsible for quite a large area in Baghdad – basically anything that happens on the east side of the Tigris falls under this directorate,” Rodock said. “They now have and know how to use a K9 unit, IED-detecting robots, the JUMP detainee database system and night vision goggles. Their proficiency in using these new tools is what matters most.”

At the end of the showcase, Adnon issued a warning to those who practice or support terrorism or the insurgency.

“To the terrorists I say: ‘Beware. We now have the tools and the skills to defeat you, our officers are no longer sitting waiting for you. We are going to take the fight to you, find you and those who support you and in the name of Iraq, we will defeat you.’”

Gads. It must suck to be Jack Murtha when news like this comes out.

Pelosi Criticizes Murtha...Again

The sweet thing is that she likely didn't even realize she was criticizing him. The basis for the headline is found in this Irey press release:
"Yesterday, in criticizing a resolution expressing the Sense of the Congress regarding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the Woman Who Would Be Speaker, criticized the legislation, calling the resolution 'self-congratulatory,' and saying, 'It praises Congress for some reason. Instead of having the focus on the innocent victims of 9/11, it talked about the accomplishments of this Congress. I can't even imagine why they thought that was a good idea.'
The thing is, John Murtha congratulated himself on 9/11 by highlighting his getting approved funding for the Memorial to be built in Shanksville where Flight 93 crashed. Here's a little sampling of Murtha's 9/11 press release:
2001: Championed the "Counter-Terrorism and Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction" section of the Defense appropriation which increased the funding for national security programs aimed specifically at the terrorist threat from three percent to over 29 percent. The legislation also included $1 million to provide security at the Flight 93 crash site over two years.
2002: Introduced legislation to designate the Flight 93 crash site as a National Memorial
2003: Obtained $300,000 for the Flight 93 Memorial and worked with PBS Coals to encourage their donation of 29 acres around the crash site to permanently protect this hallowed ground.
2004: Obtained $298,000 for the planning of the Flight 93 Memorial
2005: Obtained $806,000 for the Flight 93 Memorial/National Park Service Construction and another $250,000 for Security Costs for the Memorial site for Somerset County. Introduced legislation with Congressman Bill Shuster to commemorate the heroes of Flight 93 with a memorial in the U.S. Capitol. Furthermore, in 2005, the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee proposed to kill the funding for the Flight 93 Memorial. Congressman Murtha, however, convinced the committee to not only reinstate funding, but to provide $12.5 million as the federal share for the project over several years with an equal match by other memorial fundraising.
2006: Obtained $1 million for the Flight 93 Memorial Planning
It seems to me that, using Ms. Pelosi's standards, that Mr. Murtha used 9/11 to congratulate himself "instead of focusing on the innocent victims of 9/11." It also seems to me that Murtha politicized 9/11 by telling people to vote for him because he's able to influence their lives through the appropriations process.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To Murtha: You have the right to remain stupid.

But you're definitely abusing it.

Take, for example, this:
A key Democrat in the US House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Wednesday demanding Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resign over the conflict in Iraq. John Murtha, the ranking Democrat on the House panel for defence spending, accused Rumsfeld of misleading Americans about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, failing to properly develop post-war strategies for stabilizing the country and sending US troops into battle without proper equipment.

"For the good of the country, the United States of America must restore credibility both at home and abroad and that the first step" is "immediately effecting the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld," the proposed resolution says.

Since when, in your continuous spouting of your nonsensical, seditious rhetoric, do you know anything regarding the good of our country, Mr. Murtha?

Jack Murtha: If you want what is best for our country, I suggest you either:

  1. Stop your seditious rhetoric, and your playing judge, jury and executioner to soldiers without due process; or
  2. Resign. Today.

A movie scene we'd like to see...

(click on image for full size)

More on Murtha-Rowley

In reading the Rowley For Congress website's announcement on this fundraiser, this jumped out at me:
Oberstar is now the senior Democrat on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and says it’s natural for Congressman Murtha to visit Minnesota to support Coleen Rowley: "They speak the same language of truth, integrity and telling it like it is," Oberstar said. "They are my good friends and I admire them for standing up and telling Americans the inconvenient truths and how to address the mistakes that this Administration has made."
Mr. Oberstar, was Mr. Murtha speaking the "language of truth" when he said that Marines had killed innocent civilians "in cold blood"? Was Mr. Murtha speaking the "language of truth" when he said that "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood"? Was Mr. Murtha speaking the "language of truth" when he said that "There was no firefight. There was no IED that killed those innocent people"?

It speaks volumes that Mr. Oberstar would say something this absurd for a candidate. It also speaks volumes about what little it obviously takes for Democrats to think of a district as competitive. When people find out that Rowley is a supporter of Morther Sheehan, Rowley will be fortunate to get 40 percent of the vote here.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

US Force For Good In Iraq

That isn't just my opinion. It's also Fred Kaplan's opinion expressed in this column. Here's part of Kaplan's argument:
This heartlessness of the withdrawal argument responds to multiple needs that are largely unrelated to Iraq. It comforts the sensibilities of opinion-makers who have a distaste for this administration's foreign policy and so don't seem to feel much stake in its human consequences. It testifies to the consistency of those who, having opposed sending U.S. forces to Iraq in the first place, see nothing problematic about pulling them out today. And it offers assurance that, but for the bungled U.S. occupation, Iraq can only be better off. No one has espoused this last view more vigorously than Democratic Representative John Murtha. His summary of the situation in Iraq amounts to this: We are the problem.
Facts on the ground suggest Murtha has things exactly backward. (Beware of congressmen who boast of special insights gleaned during trips to Iraq. They seldom venture outside the constellation of U.S. bases, and, even then, their visits can last no longer than 48 hours.)
Murtha has been a virtual one-man doom-and-gloom parade, seeing nothing positive in winning. In fact, as far as I can tell, I don't know that he's recently thought that this war was winnable. Actually, history tells us that Mr. Murtha has been willing to spend money on the military but has been unwilling to see missions through to completion.

Murtha advised Clinton that "There's no military solution. Some of them will tell you [that] to get [warlord Mohamed Farrah] Aidid is the solution. I don't agree with that." Now he's saying that "Our military has done everything that has been asked of them. The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily."

Murtha's doom-and-gloom attitude has gotten annoying. Worse, it's dangerous because leaving Iraq before we finish the job most likely means that Iran shovels a ton of money into Muqtada al-Sadr's direction to foment sectarian violence. Reasonable people can disagree on how to fight the Iraq war. Reasonable people can't agree that toppling Saddam's regime wasn't worthwhile.
Earlier this year at his home near the Syrian border, Abdullah Al Yawar, a Sunni sheik in Nineveh province, warned me that "if the Americans leave, there will be rivers of blood." Hundreds of miles to the east in Baghdad, Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, one of Iraq's most powerful Shia, echoed the fear of his Sunni counterpart: Without the Americans, he said, Baghdad will become another Beirut.
Murtha is famous for citing the poll that says sixty percent of Iraqis want us out. That seems more like propaganda than polling based on al-Yawar's and Hamoudi's quotes. Unfortunately, that's what we've come to expect from Murtha. He doesn't seem to understand that the blogosphere will cite him when he says something absurd. He seems to think that the Beltway press is the only game in town. That will be his undoing.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative