He is a longtime "supporter" of the industry, not of the military. To call him a "hawk" is disingenous at best, since Murtha even boasted that he supported the withdrawal from Lebanon in 1983, and from Somalia in 1993; two events that led Osama bin Laden to view the U.S. as a "paper tiger", and emboldened him to carry out several attacks in the 1990s and the ultimate attack on our soil on September 11, 2001.
The defense industry is assessing the impact that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) will have on its fortunes if the Democrats retake the House in the midterm election.
The sector has benefited from increased military spending in the past five years, but several lobbyists and industry insiders argue that long-term profits depend on steady defense budgets and predictable investment in next-generation weaponry.
And some within the industry believe that Murtha could be the man with whom to hedge their bets.
He is a longtime supporter of the industry and a hawk, but has emerged in the past year as his party’s most vocal critic of the Iraq war — urging withdrawal of U.S. troops.
And Murtha's "support" of the defense industry can be boiled down to one phrase:
"What have you done for me lately?"
Murtha's machinations for his quest to become majority leader was a hedged gamble on his part. As a congressman for 16 terms, he had done it all-- played powerbroker, got some sweetheart deals for his friends, and even his brother-- but he still wasn't considered a big cheese. He was considered to be too much of a conservative for the likes of Moveon.org, Howard Dean, George Soros and Michael Moore.
Murtha knows how to spread the wealth. “The defense industry wants someone who supports a healthy defense budget and who supports bringing new technology,” said a defense lobbyist. “Most of the defense industry would want to see the war end tomorrow.”
Murtha’s support of a well-fed defense industry is paying off for him and his party. He is again the top recipient of defense industry money in Congress. The defense industry contributed $371,700 to Murtha’s campaign.
In 2004, he ranked third only to presidential candidates Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and George Bush, but in 2002 he was No. 1.
By comparison, Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), chairman of the defense appropriations panel, ranks as No. 18 with $99,000 in his coffers from the defense industry.
Young consistently has ranked towards the bottom of the top 20 recipients of defense money. But unlike Murtha, Young, a stalwart supporter of the military and the defense industry, is not an avid fundraiser and when he holds an event he is known not even to print a ticket price.
Not so Murtha, a leading Democratic fundraiser who has doled out money to the party.
So it seemed clear to Jack Murtha that the only way to gain any notoriety in the democrat party moonbat power structure was to become one of them. And he did so in grand fashion in November of 2005, when he started his seditious tirades against the Iraq war and those who fought it:
Murtha's role in the ABSCAM investigation as an unindicted co-conspirator (the link to the video on our sidebar) shows that he was not-at-all pure as the wind-driven snow in the matter, and was holding out for "his price" to see what kind of deal he could broker. This was more than illustrative of his power-drunk propensities.
Because he has been a hawk and a supporter of the military, Murtha’s criticism of the Iraq war and his call for troop “redeployment” gave Democrats political cover.
If the Democrats win back the House this year, Murtha is throwing his hat in for the Majority Leader position, banking on his close relationship with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Murtha faces staunch competition from Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
And in his blind arrogance and quest for power, Murtha continues to take for granted the folks that put him there in the first place and have done so for the past 16 terms.
PA-12-- you have it within you to make a momentous decision. Do you grant "Boss Murtha" his power, power that he has gained in the party in part by virtue of his throwing eight soldiers who patrolled in Haditha (who have yet to be charged, btw) under the bus? Power he has calculated to gain by turning against the military and giving aid and comfort to our enemies?
Or are you ready to say--"Jack--enough is enough. Time to go home."
In the end, it's all up to you.