The leader of an infantry squad led his men through 150 patrols that uncovered weapons caches and roadside bombs, detained more than 50 suspected insurgents and led a counterattack when his squad was fatally ambushed. So his platoon leader, commending his confident and competent leadership, nominated the sergeant in January for a combat award. But then-Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich isn’t just another small-unit leader put up to receive the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with combat “V” for heroics in the Iraq war zone.When Murtha first went ballistic about Haditha, he said "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." It's difficult for me to picture a leader who had "led his men through 150 patrols that uncovered weapons caches and roadside bombs, detained more than 50 suspected insurgents and led a counterattack when his squad was fatally ambushed" "overreacted because of the pressure on them." The two images just don't fit together, not in my wildest imagination.
A "summary of action" noted his aggressive leadership through four months operating in Haditha and the nearby city of Hit that teemed with insurgent fighters. It describes the Nov. 19 incident during a mounted patrol as "a complex ambush that was initiated by an [improvised explosive device] and followed by automatic weapons fire."Murtha's account isn't credible in the face of this official report filed, not by Sgt. Wuterich, but by his commander. The fact that the battalion approved the medal and submitted it to the 1st Marine Division says unequivocally that Murtha has a credibility problem. It really says that Sgt. Wuterich and his troops are genuine heroes.
"The squad then came under automatic weapons fire from both sides of the road," the summary states. "While under automatic weapons fire from two directions, Sergeant Wuterich aggressively directed his squad to provide security for the casualties in the kill zone by coordinating suppressive fires against the enemy. When the [quick reaction force] arrived, [he] ensured that the three casualties were safely evacuated and then led a counterattack against the enemy, south of the road."
The people of PA-12 need to ask themselves if they want truth-challenged John Murtha representing them in Congress or if they'd prefer having Diana Irey, a woman who would honor the great sacrifices and accomplishments of these Marines, representing them.
It's an easy choice, one that will become obvious this November.
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Technorati: Wuterich, Haditha, Murtha, Irey, Election 2006
Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog