John Murtha, RIP: Statesman or political thug?
By Jim Kouri
News of the death of 77-year old Congressman John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, last Monday garnered the usual coverage afforded a high-profile political leader by the news media and the Beltway elites.
Even Republicans fawned over his long record in the House of Representatives. For example, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said, "Every person who serves in the military has lost an advocate and a good friend. The House of Representatives has lost one of its own."
One can only wonder if Rep. Boehner recalls that Murtha publicly called U.S. Marines "cold-blooded murders" during the height of warfare in Iraq.
It should be remembered that John Murtha never apologized for his allegation that U.S. Marines were guilty of killing Iraqi civilians in cold blood.
Murtha made the comments in question during a press conference he held, and during his frequent appearances on TV news shows, claiming "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha made his remarks regarding an incident that happened in Haditha, Iraq.
During a news conference, Rep. Murtha discussed the incident with reporters as he continued "the Murtha anti-war diatribe," and said that the U.S. should pull the troops out of Iraq.
He said a Pentagon investigation would ultimately show that the troops in Haditha "overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood." The Marines involved had not been tried yet but were either in a brig at Camp Pendleton Marine Base or resticted to the base pending legal proceedings.
Murtha, who claims close ties to top defense officials as a retired Marine colonel and the top-ranking Democrat, said he had not read the Pentagon report because was basing his information on frequent discussions with "the commanders," he said, "People that know what they're talking about." Murtha did not disclose the names of these commanders or their connection to the incident and subsequent investigation.
Eventually all of the Marines involved were found not guilty, yet Murtha refused to apologize.
Murtha's position on the Iraq war and his biting comments did much to erase the memories of his ties to the Abscam corruption investigation and the susbsequent allegations of his shenanigans with his brother's consulting firm. The anti-war leftists -- including members of the news media -- appear to overlook corruption on the part of their heroes, said one political observer.
Murtha was a holier-than-thou Democrat with ethics concerns. The House Ethics committee was considering investigating Rep. John Murtha for multiple ethics violations. The investigation would have centered on Rep. Murtha’s involvement with his brother’s firm KSA Consulting. The story, which originally ran in the Los Angeles Times on 13 June, surrounds the 2005 appropriations bill that funded $20M to companies for which KSA Consulting lobbied.
Murtha was a leader on the House Defense Appropriations Committee. An aide to Murtha, Carmen Scialabba, also worked for KSA. Also reported by the L.A. Times is that KSA directly lobbied Murtha’s office for funding on behalf of 7 of its clients and that a Murtha aide advised a defense contractor that it needed to retain the services of KSA Consulting.
While his passing is indeed sad, the United States is better off without having John Murtha in the U.S. Congress. God rest his soul.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
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