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.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Technorati: , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog