Monday, December 14, 2009

BOI Finds LtCol Chessani Not Guilty

I just got TMLC's press release on breaking news that a Board Of Inquiry, aka BOI, has found Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani not guilty of misconduct. Here's the heart of their statement:

ANN ARBOR, MI – Late last Friday afternoon (Eastern Standard Time), after three hours of deliberation, the military Board of Inquiry ruled LtCol Chessani was not guilty of misconduct and should not be demoted.

Nevertheless, the Board’s ruling produced a mixed result. It ruled Chessani must now retire because he displayed “substandard performance” by failing to conduct a more detailed investigation of the civilians killed as a result of the house clearing actions of four Marines after they were ambushed in Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005.

The Board’s decision came after a 1½ hour impassioned closing argument on behalf of LtCol Chessani made by Thomas More Law Center attorney Robert Muise. Muise argued Chessani was a scapegoat to appease the anti-war media and anti-war politician John Murtha. “Here’s your scapegoat. Here’s your fall guy,” said Muise as he pointed at Chessani, who sat silently at the defense table.

The BOI's requiring Lt. Col. Chessani to retire is a bitter pill for me to swallow. I can't even imagine what that ruling means to Lt. Col. Chessani. This is more proof that John Murtha's anti-war diatribe was politically motivated. It's further proof that the gutless wonder from Johnstown, PA, doesn't put the troops first.

There's no longer any arguing that Murtha put political motivations ahead of his consideration of the Haditha Marines. He didn't get a single fact straight in making these accusations, as I've proved with this timeline. He didn't wait for the investigation to be completed. He lied about where he got his information from.

“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.

According to the findings of facts, there's no question that there was a firefight that night in Haditha. In fact, then-Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore refuted Murtha's allegations with his testimony:

The battalion S2 officer made a full and complete report based on his monitoring of the day’s events and the intelligence he and others had amassed then and previous days. As we wrote at the time, the PowerPoint after-action report he sent up the command ladder proved to all the higher officers that the incident warranted no further investigation.

Capt. Dinsmore watched the firefight by monitoring the drone footage as the UAVs circled over the scene of the firefight. You can't get more direct refutation of Murtha's accusations than that.

To review, here's what Rep. Murtha said when first questioned where he got his information from:

Asked about his sources during a midday briefing on Iraq policy in the Capitol, Murtha confidently replied, “All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about.” Although Murtha said that he had not read any investigative reports by the military on the incident, he stressed, “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine.”

That's a bunch of BS. We know this because he quickly changed his story:

Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent civilians.

But a spokesman for the Marine Corps said Hagee briefed Murtha on May 24 about Haditha. Murtha had made comments on the case as early as May 17. On May 17, for example, he said at a news conference, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

The last I checked, the Commandant of the Marine Corps isn't an officer in the field. It wouldn't be a stretch to think that Marine Corps Commandant is stationed in the Pentagon.

What's more is that Gen. Hagee didn't brief Murtha until a week after he'd made his accusations.

The charges have been dropped against Capt. McConnell, Capt. Stone, Sgt. de la Cruz, LCpl Tatum and LCpl. Sharratt. Lt. Grayson was found not guilty. SSgt. Frank Wuterich is the only man left of the 8 Haditha Marines that hasn't been acquitted or had his charges dropped.

It's time that the military end this persecution of SSgt. Wuterich. The murder charges have been dropped against the Marines fighting in the firefight. The so-called cover-up has now been dealt with. I've said from the start that there wasn't a cover-up despite what Murtha said. Now that's an official finding of fact.

It's also time for the gutless wonder from Johnstown to publicly apologize for his political anti-military accusations. Finally, it's time for Murtha to retire from the House. He's exceptionally corrupt in addition to his willing to throw the Haditha Marines under the bus.

Cross-Posted at LFR.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A "Thank You" to Jihad Jack...

This LTE was published in the Indiana Gazette:
Recently in this paper a thank-you letter to U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, was written by a man from Homer City. I also have some things to thank Mr. Murtha for.

First, I want to thank him for his service as a Marine; of course, Benedict Arnold also served this great nation honorably for a time before he sold out.

Thanks for calling your fellow Marines cold-blooded killers. Our enemies loved that.

Thanks for not apologizing to those fine soldiers when they were all found innocent. They deserved better.

Thanks for buying your votes with our taxpayer dollars. That's big of you.

Thanks for not having even one meeting over the past summer with the people of your district to hear their/our voices. That was cowardly.

Thanks for making the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's list of ``Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington, D.C.'' for the fifth year in a row. Now that takes some doing.

Finally, Mr. Murtha, thank you for showing exactly who you are in front of the entire world.

My thanks are obviously sarcastic, but your actions are a matter of public record. If people still vote for you after all of this, then they will get exactly what they deserve.

Terry Anderson

Does anyone from PA-12 have the cajones to write such a letter to the Tribune Democrat? Or has Jihad Jack Murtha actually bought the votes through the taxpayers' largesse.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

When it Comes to Corruption,

Murtha leads the way:

While it would be wrong to tar all of those who earn their living in and around government from the Congress to the White House, Will Rogers' crack way back in the 1930s that the United States has the best legislature money can buy continues to be validated by a monotonous repetition of scandals year after year.

The latest inadvertently leaked score card from the House Ethics Committee should resolve any doubt about this. According to news accounts of the panel's report, more than 30 lawmakers and several of their aides are under investigation to one degree or another on issues that include lobbying and influence peddling. Seven members of a highly influential House subcommittee that controls Pentagon spending are under scrutiny over allegations they steered money to clients of a lobbying firm in return for campaign donations.

That's half the membership of the subcommittee whose chairman is high profile John Murtha of Pennsylvania. Murtha's activities, through the use of earmarks, have been the subject of inquiries for some time and it now looks like a mixed bag of Democrat and Republican colleagues have done their best to copper their campaigns with the same tactics.
Way to go, Jihad Jack--they're learning from the best at being the worst.

But it gets even better...errr... worse:

Under O’Toole’s jurisdiction now falls the decision concerning the Murtha-supported effort to make the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) “the world’s leading facility for manufacturing vaccines by 2013, potentially a $1 billion venture.”

Mysterious players in private equity, pharmaceutical, and lobbying worlds have been working for years to get to the point where one of their own -- a fellow Murtha supporter and contributor like O’Toole -- can reward them with huge federal contracts. As someone affiliated and closely aligned with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the conflict of interest before O’Toole is clear, but will she really be able to resist the pressure to reward Murtha’s cronies with millions upon millions in taxpayer-funded, government contracts?

We've chronicled Murtha's dealings with UPMC and/or Pennsylvania University here here, here, here, and here.

As Michael Golfarb concludes:
Prediction: coming soon to western Pennsylvania with the support of Harry Reid, Arlen Specter and of course, Tara O’Toole, will be the John Murtha Center for Biosecurity to go along with the John Murtha Airport and the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security.
With any luck, we will one day add the John P. Murtha State Penitentiary, and Mr. Murtha himself will be one of its most celebrated occupants.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Corruption, Inc.

In yet anther instance of quid pro quo and pay-to-play politics, Boss John "Jihad Jack" Murtha pours millions of taxpayer dollars to buy even more votes! (emphases added)

Working with two of the most powerful members of a House subcommittee that controls Pentagon spending, the company also hired lobbying firms that employed former top aides of both the Democratic lawmakers and Mr. Murtha's brother. Company executives and their lobbyists donated thousands of dollars to the two congressmen.

Soon, money flowed the other way.

Between 2003 and 2009, Mr. Murtha and Mr. Moran helped deliver $12 million to MobilVox in earmarks — money that is set aside by lawmakers for pet projects in the government's annual spending bills. The latest House defense spending bill introduced and pushed through by Mr. Murtha includes an additional $2 million earmark for MobilVox requested by Mr. Moran. The bill is currently pending in conference committee.

Hey PA-12-- do you feel like taking a shower yet?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

~Can't Buy Me Love~

'Cause I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love

Not only is it a great retro Beatles tune, it's a song that Jihad Jack Murtha is getting to know quite well:

A Democratic congressional candidate in Florida returned a campaign check from House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha’s PAC, offering further evidence that Democrats in competitive races are worried about being linked to Murtha, who has come under intense scrutiny for his earmarking practices.

Lori Edwards, running in a GOP-leaning district in Florida, gave back $1,000 in Murtha money earlier this summer, shortly before the House killed a resolution from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) demanding a probe into earmarks and contributions related to the now-defunct PMA Group lobbying firm, run by former Appropriations Committee aide Paul Magliocchetti. The returned check was revealed in the October campaign finance reports released Wednesday.

More than 100 House members secured earmarks for clients of the PMA Group in the Murtha-written fiscal 2008 defense spending bill alone, and those members had taken in more than $1.8 million in campaign contributions from the PMA Group’s political action committee and its employees since 2001, according to CQ Politics.

Murtha, the most prolific in securing earmarks for PMA clients, had received the second most campaign contributions from the group, behind fellow defense appropriator Pete Visclosky of Indiana.

Flake spent months trying to pressure the House to force an ethics investigation, and around the time Edwards returned her Murtha money, more Democrats were beginning to distance themselves from Murtha. Though Democratic leaders were able to fend off the Flake efforts, 29 Democrats — mostly from swing districts — voted with Flake on one of his Murtha-related resolutions.

Well, Jack--it looks like pretty soon we're gonna have to tie a pork chop around your neck just to get a junkyard dog to play with you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Murtha: King of Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

Of course, we at Murtha Must Go!! (as well as other outlets) have been rightly portraying Murtha s the "King of Pork." While this is wholly accurate, I believe that once in a while it is more than worthy to point out that "porkbarrel" spending is invariably the spending of other people's money--Yours and My money, to be exact. Take this story by the Washington Post:
INDIANA, Pa. -- The buzzer is broken at the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security, and a note invites visitors, "Please knock." On a summer afternoon, a lone intern answers the door of the mostly empty basement offices that through the years have overseen $50 million in federal money awarded to projects designed to make the nation safer.

Named for the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, who has shepherded most of its funding, the Murtha Institute was supposed to embark on projects to protect the country from terrorists and clean up environmental dangers. Much of the work went to companies and friends close to the congressman, and few of the projects met their goals, a Washington Post investigation shows.

But its spotty performance and internal turmoil have not deterred Murtha (D-Pa.) or his alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which houses the center, from seeking more money or dreaming big about the future.

Plans are underway to move the Murtha Institute from its dormitory basement suite to a $53 million IUP athletic arena and conference center now under construction. Murtha secured a $3 million federal earmark for the building two years ago, and he sought another earmark this year before abruptly changing course as investigations of his defense appropriations and lobbying connections heated up. Murtha redirected some of that request to IUP research.

This largesse, folks, is not only made up of "other people's money," it is financed with YOUR taxpayer dollars.

Folks, in these trying times, "politics as usual" shouldn't cut it.

If Jihad Jack had pulled his ponzi schemes anywhere outside what should be the hallowed halls of Congress, Jack Murtha would be now be sitting in the John P. Murtha Penitentiary.

It's now more apparent than ever that Murtha Must Go!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finally, a project worthy of Murtha's Mettle...

Murtha lands $2 million for sewer project.

Seeing as how just about everything that receives taxpayer largesse courtesy of Jihad Jack Murtha gets named after him, I'm just waiting for the newly remodeled facility to be re-named the John P. Murtha Sewer District.

Just sayin.

Friday, August 07, 2009

At the Bidding of the Queen...and other friends in low places...

John Murtha bows...

Relations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Department of Defense grew testy last year when the Pentagon couldn't come up with the aircraft she wanted for congressional travel. But this year the House has a $132 million solution: buy the Air Force more executive jets so Congress can take more junkets.

Roll Call newspaper reports the addition of two unasked-for new Gulfstream 550 jets to the executive aircraft stable at nearby Andrews Air Force Base. It is not even considered an earmark under the rules of the House, just an "expansion" of an existing Air Force mission.

But it isn't hard to trace the influence of House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pa. When Ms. Pelosi's demands first surfaced in 2007, Mr. Murtha said the Pentagon was making a "mistake" by being uncooperative.

With Rep. Murtha leaning hard on the Pentagon from his position of control over defense spending, the legislative demands got quite aggressive last year. Judicial Watch, a non-profit watchdog group, earlier this year published an e-mail in which a Pelosi staffer complained, "It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable. ... The speaker will want to know where the planes are."

Of course, the high-flying Madame Speaker of the Universe notwithstanding, having never met an earmark he didn't like, Murtha, as usual, was again quick to reward his campaign contributors:
Murtha got 15 earmarks, worth $61.4 million, for companies whose employees or related political action committees (PACs) donated $199,050 to his campaign or leadership committee since 2007. All have offices, and jobs, in Pennsylvania. This is business as usual for Murtha. Federal prosecutors are investigating a defunct lobbying firm, PMA Group, whose defense clients have contributed heavily to Murtha and remain immensely successful at getting earmarks.
My, Jihad Jack, but what a tangled web we weave, when power through corruption is your plan to achieve.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Murtha--It Just Keeps Getting Slimier & Slimier

Murtha's associates involved in the drug trade?
A Johnstown-area defense firm under investigation for possible contract fraud received an infusion of cash during its start-up years from a narcotics trafficker with whom one of the company's founders admitted engaging in the drug trade.

Mr. Whorley's $50,000 line of funding, and whether it amounted to a loan or a share of the company, became the subject of a bitter legal battle between the two former partners who, according to a deposition by William Kuchera, were once associates in the narcotics trade.

The role of Mr. Whorley, as well as Mr. Kuchera's past as a marijuana dealer, surfaced amid a federal investigation of the Kuchera companies.

What was unclear was whether Mr. Kuchera's narcotics conviction should have precluded him or his company from receiving a security clearance that would enable the firm to perform defense work.

Department of Defense spokesmen did not respond to requests to explain the firm's status and the possible effects that a felony conviction would have on the Kuchera companies' eligibility for defense work.

Loren Thompson, who heads the Lexington Institute, a Washington-area think tank that deals with defense procurement issues, said he believed a narcotics conviction would be sufficient to disqualify Mr. Kuchera.

"Felony drug convictions are usually enough to disqualify a person for a security clearance, because they go to character," Mr. Thompson said.


U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Johnstown, has helped to direct millions of dollars in federal defense appropriations to major defense contractors that sub-contract large portions of the jobs to Kuchera Defense Systems. The Kucheras, their employees and associates are among major contributors to Murtha political campaigns.

There is no indication that Mr. Murtha was aware either of Mr. Kuchera's past or Mr. Whorley's role in the firm's early days.

And, what has become a very typical byline from anyone trying to get answers from Jihad Jack Murtha:
A Murtha spokesman declined comment about the Kucheras today.
Sources close to the probe said federal prosecutors are attempting to determine whether the companies padded their payroll to increase the amount of federal cost-plus contracts, and whether they delivered on millions of dollars in federal contracts steered their way through Mr. Murtha's office.You know John Murtha has lots of things named after him in PA-12, like an airport, a couple of clinics, and a pavilion along with many other monuments to his largesse. We've reported on Murtha's relationship with Kuchera and/or the PMA group since 2006 here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

In light of the recent revelations in Murtha's behavior, along with his somewhat checkered political past, may I suggest one more memorial, totally fitting to the life to Jihad Jack Murtha: The John P. Murtha Penitentiary.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Breaking News: Jack Murtha, All in the Family, Parte Deux

Roll Call has the story:

In early 2005, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) apparently added language to a tsunami relief bill shifting $8.2 million from a former client of his brother’s lobbying firm to a new client of the same firm.

That earmark is now tangled up in a federal indictment alleging that some of the money was skimmed by contractors and a Defense Department employee for their personal use.

Murtha’s spokesman said that no one in his office has any recollection of the transaction, and the House Appropriations Committee was unable to provide any information about how the language appeared in the tsunami relief bill.

But sources familiar with the appropriations process agreed it was impossible that a provision removing earmarks from one company in Murtha’s district and transferring the money to another company in his district could have been added to the bill without Murtha’s involvement, since he was at the time the ranking member on the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the language.

More regarding Murtha's nepotistic allocation of taxpayer funds, dating back to 2006, can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

h/t @katyInIndy via Twitter

Murtha's Tentacles of Corruption--Extending to "Nonprofits"?

Now Murtha, Inc. is getting into the charity bizz...
CBS News has learned the FBI is investigating a little-known not-for-profit organization called Commonwealth Research Institute. It's located, like a lot of Rep. John Murtha's, D-Penn., pet projects, in his hometown, Johnstown, Penn.

Commonwealth gets the same benefits as the Salvation Army or any other charity: It doesn't have to pay taxes. But its line of work may be surprising. It's a defense contractor.

"It certainly raises a question," says Dean Zerbe, a former top Senate investigator. He questions Commonwealth's tax exempt status, saying it seems to do business just like any for-profit defense contractor.

"There’s a lot of tests to being a charity, and just saying, ‘Well I’m doing research paid for by the government," said Zerbe, " - if that were the case, I would have 10,000 companies that would tomorrow be a charity."

If Commonwealth were not a charity, it could owe roughly one-third of its profits in taxes. That could add up to millions, on more than $45 million dollars in government contracts. But it pays nothing.
Okay--here comes the juicy part:
Documents show when Commonwealth was formed, company officials touted their connections to "the local Congressman" Murtha.
And, in grand "Murtha fashion,"
For the biggest hint as to what Commonwealth is all about, it may help to know something about its parent company, Concurrent Technologies. Concurrent is another defense contractor in Johnstown, also registered as a charity at the same address. And, with the help of Murtha and The PMA Group, a lobby firm that's also under FBI investigation, Concurrent has gotten a billion dollars-plus in defense contracts and earmarks.

Concurrent employees have also given Murtha’s campaign over $95,000 in donations since 2002.

This isn't the first time Commonwealth has been involved in controversy. Back in 2007, the charity mysteriously paid $26,000 to a Pentagon official who was in between positions at the Pentagon and waiting to be confirmed for a top Air Force procurement position. The official admitted to a Washington Post reporter that he hadn’t done any work to earn the Commonwealth payment. Less than three weeks after The Post published an article on the controversy, the official committed suicide.

The incident kicked off an investigation at the Pentagon's Inspector General’s office. CBS News has learned that review has been put on hold in light of other active federal investigations into entities connected to John Murtha. Last spring Commonwealth was subpoenaed in a federal investigation into a government defense contract it received that is worth up to $45 million.
You remember Concurrent Technologies. We reported onMurtha's connections with Concurrent here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

As a matter of fact, we first reported on Murtha's associations with Commonwealth slush fund Research Instutute here.

With Murtha having outlived his usefulness to the leftist media in giving them cover to try to destroy the Iraq war effort, The MSM finally seems to be getting around to be getting up to speed with the corruption that emanates from the office of Jihad Jack Murtha.

But then again, all folks had to do in the first place was to check with us.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Heat Is On...

And Jihad Jack Murtha is feeling a bit hot under the collar:

NEW – National media draws Murtha's ire

The Tribune-Democrat
A visibly angry Rep. John Murtha cut his Showcase for Commerce press conference short this morning after a reporters’ questions about Kuchera Defense Systems of Windber, which is under investigation by the federal government.

Kuchera offices were raided in January and the company was suspended from new Navy contracts last month. The Kuchera family and related companies are major campaign contributors for Murtha.

“What’s that got to do with me?” Murtha shot back to a reporter’s question about the investigation. “What do you think? Do you think I oversee these companies? That’s the Defense Department’s job. That’s not my job. You guys write these stories: You don’t have a clue what this is all about.”
But that's exactly what's bothering you, isn't it, Jack Murtha. The media are actually starting to get a clue, the same clue that we at Murtha Must Go!! have had since we started this blog in May of 2006. That you are a self-serving, self-indulgent, arrogant sorry excuse for a public official who thinks he can do whatever he wants to meet his ends, even going so far as to deny Constitutional rights to those who laid their lives on the line to defend them.

But now it isn't so easy, is it Jack. With two Republican challengers, and even a democrat primary challenger, the power you wielded so recklessly is now slipping through your greasy fingers like sands through an hourglass.

When you were giving your party cover when you declared the Iraq war unwinnable in November of 2005, Jack, you were the toast of the town. The darling of every antiwar moonbat, your eyes set greedily upon the majority leader post in Congress, you thought you were untouchable.

And now your plans are unraveling like a cheap $15 suit from the Goodwill, as you finally receive your comeuppance:
Murtha would not answer a question if he would distance himself from Kuchera, and cut the session off when asked if he had hired a lawyer.

“What kind of question is that?” Murtha fumed, leaving the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center, 201 Napoleon St.
The right kind of question, Jack. The kind of question the media should have asked you long ago.

Better late than never, I guess.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hell's Kitchen's Getting Hotter...

Not only does Murtha have Lt. Col. (Ret). William Russell and Timothy Burns on the Republican side to contend with, but it also looks like Murtha will have a Primary contender on the democrat side to contend with, as well:

Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha -- under fire for steering controversial federal money to his district -- has a Navy veteran with a Harvard degree lining up to challenge him for the Democratic nomination next year.

The race for Pennsylvania's 12th District seat is heating up, with the announcement this week that veteran Ryan Bucchianeri, 34, is challenging Murtha for the Democratic nod. Two Republicans are also vying to run against Murtha.

"I invite the residents of Pennsylvania to continue to research the incumbent and ask if the current office holder, who has held this position the last 35 years, still truly represents the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania," Bucchianeri said.

Bucchianeri, of Monongahela, Pa., is targeting the 35-year incumbent, stressing that his Navy service, experience in private industry and youthful perspective would better serve voters in Pennsylvania's southwest corner.

Feeling a little hot under the collar, Jihad Jack?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DoJ Investigating Contractor With Murtha Ties

This morning, the Washington Post is reporting that the DoJ is investigating a contractor with strong ties to Rep. Murtha:

The Department of Justice is probing a Pennsylvania contractor that has won millions in earmarks and contracts with the help of Rep. John Murtha, according to a new report.

The Washington Post reported Monday that federal investigators are looking into how Mountaintop Technologies got involved in distributing and monitoring local police grants.

The company has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to distribute the money, according to the article, but has received at least $36 million worth of earmarks and military contracts over the past eight years, with the help of Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and no competition.

According to the article, company executives have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Murtha's campaigns and often distributed the police grant funding on behalf of Murtha before fall elections, and the firm even hired the lobbying company where Murtha's brother worked.

Democrats screamed at the top of their lungs about Halliburton getting no-bid contracts. Nevermind the fact that Halliburton was one of only 2 companies in the world equipped to do the things that they were hired to do.

Now we have a another company in Rep. Murtha's network of cronies who is getting no-bid contracts annually being investigated. Instead of launching an ethics investigation into Rep. Murtha, Speaker Pelosi is doing everything possible to prevent a spotlight from shining on Rep. Murtha's reprehensible behavior.

What's particularly troubling to me is that federal grant money was distributed by Mountaintop Technologies right before elections. If I were a cynic, I'd almost think that that sounds alot like taxpayer-funded walking around money. At minimum, the timely disbursement of grants right before an election served as a reminder to these organizations that Rep. Murtha was their sugar daddy in Washington.

Mountaintop Technologies founder David Fyock told the Post that his company won the contracts on merit. "We are pretty darn good at managing contracts," he said.

But law enforcement sources said the police grants drew attention because the firm was a defense company with little law enforcement experience.

Mr. Fyock's explanation is flimsy at best. Whether they're "pretty darn good at managing contracts" or not, the reality is that they made a fistful of money on no-bid contracts that should've been put up for bid. Why shouldn't other companies have the opportunity to get these contracts? Might it be that Rep. Murtha didn't want other companies who weren't part of Murtha's crony network to get the job of distributing these grants?

Here's the opening paragraph of the Washington Post article:

In tiny, cash-strapped Monongahela, Pa., the city clerk was stunned when federal investigators arrived this fall with a subpoena seeking information on a crime-fighting grant she'd never heard of. She takes pride in tracking every dollar in the municipal budget.

Further down the page, we read this:

Over the past five years, a local defense contractor with close ties to Rep. John P. Murtha, a Democrat who has represented southwestern Pennsylvania for three decades, has selected several small police departments in the region to receive $10 million in Justice Department grants.

The company, Mountaintop Technologies, was selected by the lawmaker in a series of earmarks to hand out and monitor the grants. As it distributed the money to the departments, the firm would explain each time that it was arriving through the largess of Murtha, often just before fall elections.

Imagine that. Mountaintop Technologies would "explain each time that it was arriving through the largess of Murtha" and that that largess often happened "just before fall elections."

My cynical said asks whether Murtha's campaign pay Moutaintop Technologies for the PR work they did on his behalf right before elections. It's one thing to hand out these grants. It's another to hand them out with the reminder that a vote for Rep. Murtha will help the grant money flowing.

Let's take this into account, too:

Once she learned from the investigators that Monongahela's police department was getting money outside of normal channels, City Clerk Carole Foglia was disturbed. "I wasn't happy with the situation at all," Foglia said. "I didn't want to be involved in anything that was done improperly, because that's not the way I work in my office. And this was improper. No question about it."

This clerk did the right thing in reporting the unusual nature of the grant distribution. Though I can't be certain, I suspect that Ms. Foglia thought that this sounded alot like hading out walking around money right before an election.

Let's ask these questions of Rep. Murtha:

Why are these grants disbursed right before an election? When did Mountaintop Technologies get these checks? Did Mountaintop Technologies hold these grant checks until the fall for maximuim impact on elections?

It's time we got some answers. Hopefully, the DoJ's investigation won't be short-circuited by Eric Holder or other political appointees in DoJ.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Soros-Funded Ethics Group Calls On Murtha to Step Down

From here:
CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said, “It is past time for Congress to put an end to Rep. Murtha’s friends and family program. At a time when there are so many competing priorities for scarce taxpayer dollars, we cannot afford to let Rep. Murtha continue wasting our money on unnecessary projects that do little more than secure his power base. Although the House has long turned a blind eye to Rep. Murtha’s feckless conduct, thankfully the Justice Department is on the case. How many more stories must appear before Rep. Murtha is forced from his perch as chairman of Defense Appropriations and denied further opportunity to feather his own nest?”
Isn't it interesting that when Jihad Jack Murtha served the loony left's purpose when he turned traitor and declared the Iraq war unwinnable, he was just the darling of the fever swamp set; with everyone from the D.U. to the Daily Kos to Code Pink just singing his praises. Now that the Left's objectives have been met, re: the election of Barack Hussein Obama, Jihad Jack Murtha has suddenly fell out of favor with the kook left mainstream of the democrat party.

No doubt when Murtha was busy playing turncoat against the Haditha Marines and busy giving aid and comfort to our enemies, he was being wooed with "riches beyond his wildest imagination." San Fran Nan Pelosi backed him for House Majority leader. Code Pink was giving him awards.

And now, their aims having been realized, the Soros Wing of the Democrat Party have cast Murtha off like a cheap prom date.

And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jihad Jack Murtha Voted To Allow These Men to be in the United States

So...PA-12... how's that pork workin' for ya now?

(h/t Traveller in Time)

Megalomaniacal Murtha

ahIFirst he declared the Iraq War all but lost, and more than once called for an immediate withdrawal. Seeing as how the Left just loved him, invited him to all the right parties, and even gave him awards befitting Benedict Arnold, Murtha felt even more brazen in his lust for power, when he declared Marines at Haditha guilty of murder, without any official briefing, again, to further his drive for power.

Then, in 2008, came William Trower Russell. A retired Army Colonel, who still knows the meaning of honor and practices it, Russell had Murtha running scared for the first time in his checkered, scandal-laden political career. So scared was Jihad Jack Murtha that he had to call in Bill Clinton to wag his finger at PA-12 constituents in a last-ditch effort to save his sorry, fat, political backside.

Having won re-election, now Murtha is again usurping his power in another nefarious way:
Russell, a retired Army man who plans another run against Murtha next year, now contends that the congressman’s chief of staff used coarse language while threatening to have the GOP candidate “recalled” to active military duty.

Russell further claims that Murtha’s office has contacted his former commanding officer, also to inquire about a potential recall.

“This is a brazen abuse of power and a threat to the integrity of both the Department of Defense and the Congress of the United States,” Russell wrote in a recent fundraising letter to local voters.

Russell, who last year lost by about 15 percentage points to the veteran congressman, said the encounter with Murtha Chief of Staff John Hugya happened at a March banquet benefitting the National Rifle Association in Washington County.

“To my face, (Hugya) said, ‘What are you going to do when we get the new Secretary of the Army seated and have your (expletive) recalled to active duty,’ ” Russell wrote.

Murtha’s office is not denying that the exchange took place.

But spokesman Matt Mazonkey also claims that Russell’s letter leaves out an important part of the conversation.

“Mr. Hugya, who is a retired Marine Colonel, was reminding Mr. Russell that his conduct while in uniform during the last campaign was in violation of sections of the uniform code of military justice” and a Department of Defense directive, Mazonkey said in a written statement.

That directive forbids those on active military duty from campaigning for federal office.

The contention, apparently, is that Russell should be recalled so that he can face charges for allegedly campaigning while he was on a 90-day, active-duty Army assignment last year.

Those allegations have been brewing since last summer. But Russell still contends they are “absolutely false.”

While he was on duty from April 30 through the end of July, Russell said, “the campaign committee operated independently of me.”
And that, my friends, is absolutely TRUE. William Russell did not personally begin campaigning until his discharge from the Army. His May, 2008 interview on the Michael Savage show was actually taped well before his April activation, and then aired later. But don't let a little thing like the truth get in the way of Jihad Jack Murtha holding on to power like a hooker grasps her last 5 dollar bill.

Bottom line is, to Jack Murtha, the Constitution and the rights it extends may as well be a roll of toilet paper. He will crumple it, trample it, and do anything he can to extend his reach on his power.

Megalomania? You bet.

PA-12-- are you starting to get buyer's remorse yet?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Bill Russell's Tea Party Speech

Yes, PA-12--you do have an honorable choice:

Murtha: To the Highest Bidder?

More pay to play politics?

Also of note about O’Toole are her ties to the Democratic Party and Congressman John Murtha. Since 2003, she has contributed a total of $8,300 to the Democratic National Committee, as well as a number of Democratic presidential candidates, including John Kerry, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, and most recently Barack Obama. The only member of congress to whom she has contributed is Murtha. In 2004 and 2005, immediately before and after Murtha earmarked money for her center under the Strategic Biodefense Initiative, she gave him $1,750.

As I’ve noted before, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center — O’Toole’s center is one of its projects — retains as its lobbying firm Ervin Technical Associates, which has close links to the congressman. UPMC’s PAC and employees have donated heavily to Murtha, including $192,500 in 2006. That was the year after Murtha won an $8.5 million earmark for UPMC -– lobbied for by Ervin Technical -– for a communications network. Ervin Technical is also seeking to win support for a dubious UPMC project which is looking for funding to develop and manufacture biodefense vaccines.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Murtha's Corruption Hitting Closer to Home

According to this Washington Post article, John Murtha's corruption is hitting close to home. VERY CLOSE. Here's what the Washington Post is reporting:

The headquarters of Murtech, in a low-slung, bland building in a Glen Burnie business park, has its blinds drawn tight and few signs of life. On several days of visits, a handful of cars sit in the parking lot, and no trucks arrive at the 10 loading bays at the back of the building.

Yet last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services. With its long corridor of sparsely occupied offices and an unmanned reception area, Murtech's most striking feature is its owner, Robert C. Murtha Jr., 49. He is the nephew of Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has significant sway over the Defense Department's spending as chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Robert Murtha said he is not at liberty to discuss in detail what his company does, but for four years it has subsisted on defense contracts, according to records and interviews. He said Murtech's 17 employees "provide necessary logistical support" to Pentagon testing programs that focus on detecting chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, "and that's about as far as I feel comfortable going." Giving more details could provide important clues to terrorist plotters, he said.

How can Robert Murtha say with a straight face that Murtech's 17 employees "provide necessary logistical support" to Pentagon testing programs when the John Murtha earmarks say it's sending $4,000,000 a year to Murtech "for a variety of warehousing and engineering services"? That's $235,000 per person per year for doing....what?

How can a big warehouse have no semi traffic to it? How can this warehouse's offices be almost empty?

People wrongfully complained about Haliburton's no-bid contracts. Haliburton at least did important work for the money they got. Based on the Washington Post's reporters' observations, we don't know if Murtech did anything except collect a government check for doing nothing.

Here's something that'll either have you pulling your hair out or laughing uncontrollably:

Murtha said he does not advertise being the nephew of John Murtha and considers it "unfortunate" that some will unfairly assume Murtech received its federal contracts because of his uncle's influence at the Pentagon.

"If we're not doing our job well, we wouldn't be doing our job," he said. "I'm successful at the work I do because of the skill sets I have...You don't know how good someone is unless you work with them."

I won't trust young Murtha because I can't prove that he's done anything other than collect a government check.

This is suspicious:

During an unannounced visit to Murtech headquarters last week, a reporter asking to talk to the owner was waved away by an employee. "He's not here. Come back another day," said the woman who opened Murtech's security door. "Unfortunately, everybody's stepped out."

But a few minutes later, Murtha emerged and answered questions about the company. In an interview, Murtha expressed concern that publicity could be harmful to his business.

This unnamed woman lied to reporters. Are Murtech employees in the habit of lying like that?

Until Murtech can prove that they're doing vital work for the Pentagon, I won't trust them. That's due mostly to Robert Murtha's actions but it's also fair to question the things that Kit Murtha, Robert's father, and John Murtha, Kit's brother, have done in the past.

This sounds familiar:

A spokesman at Murtha's office did not return calls seeking comment. The lawmaker, a former Marine, has said in the past that he is proud of his family's service to the military and the government.

Some things change. Murtha's 'no comment' policy doesn't though.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Monday, May 04, 2009

All in the Family?

Not only can Murtha be called the earmark king of the Capitol, but it would seem that he's in charge of his own family syndicate:
WASHINGTON — Representative John P. Murtha, chairman of the House military spending subcommittee and a decorated former Marine, has long acted as a protective Uncle Jack to the Marine Corps. [TELL THAT TO THE SHARRATTS--ED]

Now the corps has named one of his nephews, Col. Brian Murtha, to the office charged with advocating for its interests on Capitol Hill, where Representative Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, helps write the military budget. In relocating to be near the Pentagon, Colonel Murtha has even moved into a unit in the same condominium building where his influential uncle lives in Arlington, Va.


Nor is Colonel Murtha the first member of the Murtha family to be in a position to profit from his uncle’s influence. The congressman earmarked millions of federal dollars to an institution in his district, St. Vincent College, while the Rev. John F. Murtha, his cousin, was its president. He has directed millions more in earmarks to clients of a firm, KSA Consulting, where until about three years ago his younger brother, Robert Murtha, known as Kit, worked as a lobbyist.

Colonel Murtha is one of Kit Murtha’s sons. Another son, also named Robert Murtha, is a former Marine with a master’s degree in engineering. He previously worked for two military contractors who, seeking earmarks, hired a lobbyist with close ties to Representative Murtha.

Over the last three years, the younger Robert Murtha has operated Murtech Inc., a small contractor in Glen Burnie, Md., that runs a warehouse and offers engineering services. It has received more than $3.5 million in military contracts over the last three years, not including subcontracts through other companies.

He is also a founder of another company, Ocean Energy Systems Inc., which is seeking federal financing to support its research into the generation of power from the motion of waves.

There is no evidence, however, that this nephew has received any earmarks or otherwise benefited from Representative Murtha’s position.

Asked if the family name helped Ocean Energy, the company’s chief executive, Brian Cunningham, said, “It does and it doesn’t.”

Representative Murtha is under so much scrutiny, Mr. Cunningham said, that Robert Murtha “can’t raise his head at all on this, for fear that it will be connected with his uncle.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh How The "Mighty" Have Fallen...

Could the "P" for "Power" turn into a "P" for "Pissant?"
WASHINGTON — So powerful was Representative John P. Murtha at one time that he used to put up billboards in his Western Pennsylvania district declaring that “the P is for Power.” Few in Congress dared disagree: he doled out or withheld billions in federal money each year for lawmakers’ pet projects, better known as earmarks.

Now, however, a string of federal criminal investigations of contractors or lobbyists close to Mr. Murtha, the top Democrat on the defense appropriations subcommittee, are threatening to undermine his backroom clout.

In the weeks since the news that prosecutors had raided the offices of the PMA Group — a lobbying firm founded by a former Murtha associate that became a gateway to his office and his biggest source of campaign money — about two dozen rank-and-file Democrats have risked his wrath by calling for a House ethics investigation of the matter. One Democrat has even foresworn seeking earmarks for the military contractors in his district because of ethical concerns about the process.
Jack "Pissant" Murtha--once the anti-war, anti-America kooks' dearest darling, for ostensibly giving the democrats in congress and in the Senate cover to be able to bang the "defeat at all costs!" drum, has now outlived his usefulness.

By the time this is over, ol' Jack "Pissant" Murtha will be lucky to get his dog to play with him
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Murtha: Shaking Down Contributors?

Yid With Lid points us to a CBS Report that not only is Murtha doing quid-pro-quo pay-to-play earmarks with defense contractors, he is acting like a two-bit racketeer in the process:
That line was crossed in one case, according to a defense contractor who spoke to us on condition of anonymity for fear of losing government contracts.

The contractor was set to receive $1 million tax dollars. He said the military told him the money would come through a company called Commonwealth Research Institute, whose parent company, Concurrent Technologies, ranked among the largest earmark recipients. Both were set up with Murtha's help in his own hometown. The defense contractor said Commonwealth officials told him to get the money, he should "consider opening an office" in Johnstown, Murtha's hometown, and chided his company for not giving "enough campaign contributions to Murtha," and not making "a showing at Murtha's annual defense contractor fair."

The contractor told CBS News: "I wouldn't do it. We're just not going to play." He didn't get the funds.

"You called this a 'shakedown?'" Attkisson asked Ellis.

"If you want the money then you've got to do these things, and that's being shaken down," Ellis said.
We've many times documented Murtha's up-front-and cozy relationship with Concurrent Technologies, a concern Murtha's taxpayer-funded earmarks helped create.

Now it looks more and more that Concurrent Technologies is nothing more than a front for Murtha's earmark- and campaign-fund laundering.

How much more corruption are you willing to withstand, PA-12?

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Persecution of Lt. Col. Chessani Continues

Thursday night, the military kept the persecution of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani going by filing a motion with the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. Here's the statement issued by Thomas More Law Center:

Yesterday evening, government prosecutors filed a motion with the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA), asking that the unanimous ruling of a 3-judge panel in favor of LtCol Jeffery Chessani, USMC, be reconsidered by all 9 judges of the court. A majority of these 9 judges would have to agree to take the case.

On March 17, 2009, the 3-judge panel of NMCCA unanimously vindicated the ruling by Colonel Steven A. Folsom, USMC, dismissing all charges against LtCol Chessani on the grounds of Unlawful Command Influence. LtCol Chessani is the senior-most officer criminally charged as a result of the much-publicized and ill-described “Haditha massacre.”

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, represents LtCol Chessani alongside his detailed military attorneys LtCol Jon Shelburne, USMC; Capt Jeffrey King, USMC; and Capt Kyle Kilian, USMC.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “The way our government has treated this true American hero is outrageous. After spending over 20 years in loyal service to his nation and considered one of the best combat officers in Iraq, the government is giving Jeffrey Chessani less legal consideration than it is giving the terrorists held at Guantanamo.”

In dismissing the charges against LtCol Chessani, Col Folsom described Unlawful Command Influence as the “the mortal enemy of military justice.” But despite the solid legal basis for the ruling, the government appealed the decision to NMCCA. NMCCA heard oral arguments on the government’s appeal on October 17, 2008.

In seeking a reconsideration by the entire panel of NMCCA, government prosecutors now argue that the 3-judge panel misunderstood the difference between an officer’s rank and his billet (job). Essentially, the government argues that a full colonel in the Marine Corps could not unlawfully influence a Lieutenant Colonel if they held similar billet (job) positions.

The Law Center has a week to file a response to the government’s motion for reconsideration.

If the NMCCA does grant the government’s motion, the government then has 60 days to appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) and then even to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at

Lt. Col. Chessani was charged with failing to launch a full investigation into a massacre that didn't happen. Let's remember that the murder charges against the Haditha Marines actually caught in the firefight have been dropped. Let's remember that then-Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore put together an extensive PowerPoint presentation that got sent up the chain of command.

Especially considering the fact that then-Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore's PowerPoint presentation went up the chain of command, how can persecutors say with a straight face that Lt. Col. Chessani didn't commit to a full investigation? This is the military persecuting its own war heroes.

Finally, let's remember that Col. Folsom's ruling was that military leaders exerted undue command influence. These leaders essentially told the investigators what they'd find before their investigation concluded. (Doesn't that sound similar to Rep. Murtha saying that
he knew there was a coverup somewhere?)

It's time for the military's persecution of Lt. Col. Chessani and SSgt. Wuterich. It's time that the military admitted that the Haditha Marine investigation was about politics, not about investigating a real scandal.

Cross-posted at

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Murtha: Unaccountable

For now, that is.

It seems like a three-judge panel thought that Murtha's playing judge, jury & executioner without due process toward a group of Marines that fateful day in Haditha, when they were in fact only following ROE, was within the scope of Murtha's duties.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed Wuterich's suit Tuesday. It ruled that the powerful Pennsylvania Democrat was protected by a 1988 law that says federal employees cannot be sued for things they do and say in the course of their official duties.
But thankfully, Jihad Jack Murtha ain't getting out of it that easily:
PITTSBURGH (AP) — U.S. Rep. John Murtha shouldn't be immune from a defamation lawsuit for saying Marines killed Iraqi women and children "in cold blood," because the lawmaker's comments came outside the scope of his official duties, a former Marine's attorney said.

The attorney, Noah Geary, on Wednesday filed an amended federal defamation lawsuit on behalf of Justin Sharratt, 24, a former lance corporal from Canonsburg. The new complaint, which adds 13 paragraphs to a lawsuit originally filed in September, was prompted by the dismissal of a similar suit against Murtha by Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich.
The revised complaint makes it "abundantly clear that Murtha was, in fact, acting outside the scope of his employment when he slandered Justin Sharratt" and, therefore, can be held liable for his comments, Geary told The Associated Press.

The new complaint also accuses Murtha of making the comments for "purely personal reasons," namely, to curry favor with U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who would be selected Speaker of the House a few months later.
It should be abundantly clear to any thinking individual that Murtha, who took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution, was indeed acting outside the bounds of his official duties when he threw the right to presumption of innocence out the window so that he could curry favor with the kook left (a/k/a Nancy Pelosi).

Apparently, the "three judges" must have been partying the night before the decision, because they sure weren't thinking clearly.

You know, it's just too bad that Murtha is too much of a self-serving, self-indulgent mouse to man up and admit he was wrong. When he turned in his Marine dress blues and donned a suitjacket, Murtha unfortunately also checked his honor at the door.

What a pitiful man he is.

Kudos to Justin Sharratt for going after rat-fink Murtha for all he's worth! Hooah!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Murtha Padding His Buddys' Pockets...AGAIN..

In what looks like a Blagojevich-style pay-to-play scheme--to the tune of over 1 BILLION dollars! Harper's has the details:

A few weeks ago, I reported here on a plan by Congressman John Murtha’s friends and campaign donors to obtain up to $1 billion for a controversial project to build a biodefense manufacturing facility. The players included:

Lobby shop Ervin Technical Associates (ETA), founded by Jim Ervin, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, who the Wall Street Journal describes as a “longtime friend” of Murtha.

Private equity firm Four Seasons Ventures, which Ervin also helped found and which “primarily invests in technologies… that will garner United States government support.” Four Seasons invests in at least two firms that have received federal earmarks with Murtha’s help, including PharmaThene, a biodefense firm–which also retains ETA as its lobbyist.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which also retains ETA and which is a major donor to Murtha.

These three outfits have been seeking funding for a manufacturing plant that would produce biodefense products, even though the grounds for such a facility (as explained in the original story) are highly dubious. The players have been putting the project together since at least 2005, and UPMC conducted a $3 million “conceptual study” funded by the Defense Applied Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Read the whole thing. Ken Silverstein concludes:
In other words, Murtha has been supporting a highly questionable project that has benefited an interlocking network of his political funders and friends in private industry.
The Q & A is quite elusive, and Murtha has been a master of dipping his toes into the quicksand of corruption that has been the hallmark of his career without getting his entire body wet. Remember Abscam?
"I want to deal with you guys awhile before I make any transactions at all, period.... After we've done some business, well, then I might change my mind...."

..."I'm going to tell you this. If anybody can do it -- I'm not B.S.-ing you fellows -- I can get it done my way." he boasted. "There's no question about it."...

But the reluctant Murtha wouldn't touch the $50,000. Here on secret videotape was this all-American hero, tall and dignified in a disheveled way, explaining why he wasn't quite ready to accept the cash.

"All at once," he said, "some dumb [expletive deleted] would go start talking eight years from now about this whole thing and say [expletive deleted], this happened. Then in order to get immunity so he doesn't go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people. So the [S.O.B.] falls apart."...

"You give us the banks where you want the money deposited," offered one of the bagmen.

"All right," agreed Murtha. "How much money we talking about?"

"Well, you tell me."

"Well, let me find out what is a reasonable figure that will get their attention," said Murtha, "because there are a couple of banks that have really done me some favors in the past, and I'd like to put some money in....["]

The dialogue continued as follows:

Amoroso: Let me ask you now that we're together. I was under the impression, OK, and I told Howard [middleman Howard Criden] what we were willing to pay, and [This is where the available videotape begins]I went out, I got the $50,000. OK? So what you're telling me, OK, you're telling me that that's not what you know....

Murtha: I'm not interested...

Amoroso: OK.

Murtha: ...At this point, [This is where the available videotape ends] you know, we do business together for a while. Maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't.... Right now, I'm not interested in those other things. Now, I won't say that some day, you know, I, if you made an offer, it may be I would change my mind some day.
Yep.. Jihad Jack was more than ready to wheel and deal, if the price was right. Without a question, in my opinion, John P. Murtha is the biggest con-man alive in Congress today.


Glenn Reynolds has even more on Murtha's abject, in-your-face corruption:
Congress: The PMA Noose. “Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, released dozens of earmark requests late Thursday, including millions of dollars for projects sponsored by former PMA clients. Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), who in previous years had sought earmarks for PMA clients, released his earmark list without a single request for a former PMA client.”
Even with the PMA scandal fresh in the minds of the public, even in the midst of an intensive FBI investigation, the brazenly, genetically corrupt Jack Murtha is still doling out the taxpayer-funded goodies to his buddies.

To call it chutzpah would be the understatement of the century.

A Little Fact-Checking Is In Order

I knew that I'd have to write a fact-checking post after reading Bing West's op-ed. While I agree with Mr. West's statement that "Murtha smeared the reputation of a generation of Marines." I even agree that "bestowing the navy’s highest civilian medal, the Distinguished Public Service Award, upon Rep. John P. Murtha (D., Pa.) last month" was wrong. Here's where I disagree with Mr. West:

In May of 2006, military investigators recommended court-martial trials for seven Marines involved in the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians after a Marine was killed in the violent town of Haditha. Marine generals went to Capitol Hill to alert the key committees about the forthcoming trials and, after being briefed, Representative Murtha held a world-famous press conference.

“They killed innocent civilians in cold blood. They actually went into the houses and killed women and children,” Murtha thundered. “But I will not excuse murder. And this is what happened. There’s no question in my mind about it.”

Those two short paragraphs have alot of misstatements of fact in them, which I highlighted in this post.

First, "24 innocent civilians" weren't killed in the Haditha uprising; 16 innocent civilians were killed because 8 identified insurgents used them as human shields. This information is part of the PowerPoint presentation then-Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore put together after the firefight.

Second, Marine generals didn't brief Rep. Murtha prior to his infamous press conference:

Asked about his sources during a midday briefing on Iraq policy in the Capitol, Murtha confidently replied, “All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about.” Although Murtha said that he had not read any investigative reports by the military on the incident, he stressed, “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine.”

The Marine Corps later corrected the record:

Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent civilians.

But a spokesman for the Marine Corps said Hagee briefed Murtha on May 24 about Haditha. Murtha had made comments on the case as early as May 17. On May 17, for example, he said at a news conference, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

A spokeswoman for Murtha was not immediately available.

Mr. West's article does a good job outlining the atrocities visited upon the Marines by those that theoretically "support the troops, just not the war." Here's one such example:

Inevitably, the administration was blamed for Haditha. The New York Times editorial page said: “It will not do to focus blame narrowly on the Marine unit suspected of carrying out these killings and ignore the administration officials, from President Bush on down, who made the chances of this sort of disaster so much greater by deliberately blurring the rules governing the conduct of American soldiers in the field.”

Don't you just have to appreciate the fact that the Paper Of Record waited to find out all the facts before playing judge, jury and executioner? Then again, that's what I expect from people that are more interested in pushing a leftist agenda rather than reporting important news.

As Ed highlights in
this post, the NYTimes will go to any length to criticize Republicans. Here's what they wrote about their latest corrupt polling:

These sometimes turbulent weeks, marked by new initiatives by Mr. Obama, attacks by Republicans and more than a few missteps by the White House, do not appear to have hurt the president. Americans said they approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, foreign policy, Iraq and Afghanistan; fully two-thirds said they approved of his overall job performance.

By contrast, just 31 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest in the 25 years the question has been asked in New York Times/CBS News polls.

Here's their dirty little secret:

It’s not unusual for the Gray Lady to cook the numbers, either, to make sure their poll shows that support. This is the breakout in their demographics on page 23:
Democrats - 39%
Republicans - 23%
Independents - 30%

A media outlet that's more interested in eliminating key facts in their attempt to skewer an ideological enemy than it's interested in reporting truth isn't far removed from the worst of tabloid journalism. A media outlet that's willing to throw wrongfully accuse genuine American heroes of cold-blooded murder isn't a media outlet of sterling repute.

Similarly, an important congressman who'll willingly misrepresent the actions of our military is a reprehensible human being.

In that sense, John Murtha and the NY Times deserve each other.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

He's Baaaack!

Lt. Colonel William Russell (Ret.) is going to have another run at Jihad Jack!

PA-12 will once again make a choice in 2010: Honor, or corruption. Genuine respect and honor for our men and women in uniform, or using our military and earmarks as political footballs.

My fervent hope is that PA-12, once faced with the ongoing, inescapable conclusion that their congressman is a liar, an opportunist, and a thief, will indeed choose the former.


Murtha: “If I’m Corrupt, It’s Only Because I’m Trying To Help”

I've heard alot of stupid excuses made in the process of justifying excessive abuse of the earmark system. Some are mildly amusing. Others are outright howlers. Such is the case with earmark apologist extraordinaire Rep. John Murtha. Here's how the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted the King of Earmarks:

Mr. Murtha, a 76-year-old Marine veteran schooled in the blunt-knuckle deal-making that defined politics here, is contrition-free when it comes to his success.

"If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district," Mr. Murtha said. "My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it's Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we're closest to the people."
Rep. Murtha isn't close to "the people." He's close to the lobbyists. What happens the minute Rep. Murtha stops representing PA-12? Will Pittsburgh's economy ruen to shambles? I suspect it might.

It's true that he's brought short term relief. It's doubtful, though, whether he's helped western Pennsylvania develop policies that lead to sustained prosperity. Their prosperity seems to exist only to the extent that the federal government keeps dumping money into the district.

I'll further take issue with the notion that he's corrupt only because he's trying to help the people of PA-12. He's corrupt because he isn't a man of integrity.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Malfeasance Never Seems to End...

That is, when you're "Jihad Jack" Murtha:
WASHINGTON - A Pennsylvania defense research center regularly consulted with two "handlers" close to US Representative John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, as it collected nearly $250 million in federal funding through the lawmaker, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post and sources familiar with the funding requests. The center then channeled a significant portion of the funding to companies that were among Murtha's campaign supporters.

The two advisers included a lobbyist for PMA, a firm with close ties to Murtha that is under federal investigation for allegedly making illegal contributions by reimbursing donors to the Pennsylvania lawmaker and other members of Congress. The center also relied on advice from a longtime Murtha friend who now works on the congressman's staff.

The Electro-Optics Center, created by Murtha a decade ago under the auspices of Pennsylvania State University, was envisioned as a way to spur new high-tech industry and create jobs in economically depressed western Pennsylvania. Last year, the US attorney in Pittsburgh received budget materials, memos, and e-mails from inside the center documenting how closely its managers conferred with PMA about the best ways to get its projects funded in the federal budget, according to two sources.

Several of the center's partners hired PMA for lobbying. In the 2008 budget, PMA clients received $299 million in defense earmarks through Murtha and other lawmakers. PMA and its clients gave $775,000 in contributions to Murtha in the last election cycle. A PMA lobbyist and a close associate of Murtha's helped make many key decisions about which research and contractors would get the federal money flowing to the center, according to the documents.

Typically, center director Karl Harris worked with the lobbyist to prepare funding wish lists, which were described in some of the records as "requests for Mr. Murtha to carry." The requests were then sent to the congressman's staff, according to the records. The lists offered detailed specifications on how much, and where in the budget, money should be added for projects desired by the center and the contractors.

Had enough yet, PA-12? Had enough yet, Johnstown Tribune Democrat?

As I've stated before, it will bring great personal satisfaction when the day comes that Congressman "Jihad Jack" Murtha is frog-marched and perp-walked in front of a hundred cameras in a Federal court. The PMA group investigation and its concommitant baggage it brings for John Murtha couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


Murtha has gotten an award... from the Navy?
The U.S. Navy awarded U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., its Distinguished Public Service Award, triggering an Internet campaign to have Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter withdraw it.

Murtha, who publicly accused U.S. Marines of cold-blooded murder in a firefight in Haditha, Iraq, and was caught on camera in the Abscam scandal appearing to negotiate a bribe, was honored by the Navy for his "selfless devotion to the Nation's Sailors and Marines."

The award credits him with making sure the military services "were provided the resources necessary to effectively conduct the Global War on Terrorism."

"His courageous leadership, vision, and loyalty to the men and women of the Department of the Navy greatly contributed to their quality of life and helped create the most modern and highly trained fighting force in history," the honor said.
This is like giving Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge an award for his humane treatment of the Hmong. I don't know, Maybe Winter saw fit to hand ol' Jihad Jack an award because it was Marines that he threw under the bus? Or was it some quid-pro-quo and some palm-greasing PR gesture, knowing that Murtha holds the purse strings for the stuff the Navy needs?

At any rate, this better be some really twisted joke. I know at least twelve Marines and their families who I'm sure don't find this amusing at all.

If you're as disgusted with this as I am, please sign this petition.


As of this writing, there are 17,934 signatories asking this honor be revoked.