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Proud to be "100% wrong"

Last Friday, frequent detractor "jp2" was given a platform to say whatever he wanted. And he chose to castigate us, the authors of this site, for our coverage of the alleged Haditha massacre in Iraq, where 24 Iraqis were reportedly killed by US Marines in November 2005. jp2 stated that we have been "100% wrong" in our writings about the incident, and Representative Jack Murtha (D-Abscam) "100% right."

Let me recap the situation, as it stands now:

Eight Marines are currently under arrest and awaiting trial by the Corps for various charges, including murder, negligent homicide, assault, making false statements, obstructing justice, dereliction of duty, and other charges.

I am not going to speak for my colleagues here at Wizbang, but merely for myself. (They are more than capable of speaking for themselves; otherwise, they wouldn't be associated with this site. It's pretty much a prerequisite.)

From the outset, I have done my best to render no judgments on what did or did not happen in Haditha. Bad things happen in wartime, and what is an open-and-shut in the civilian world is acceptable -- sometimes even laudable -- in the military. Further, I have a bit of faith in the military to get matters right. It's often overlooked that it was the US Army that first broke the story of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, and in general they tend to get things right the first time more than they get things wrong.

It's also a tenet of our legal system that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. (Something that is apparently out of fashion in certain areas of North Carolina.) It's considered -- at best -- bad form to condemn the accused before they have had their day in court.

These standards tend to slip a bit when dealing with public officials, and I have no problem with that. For example, I've pretty much decided that Representative William Jefferson Clinton is guilty of corruption, based largely on the evidence of him having almost $100,000 hidden in his freezer.

But that principle also holds true when the public official is on the accusing end.

As I've often said, I'm a nobody from nowhere with a nothing job and no life. If I say that I think Jefferson is a corrupt swine who ought to be tossed out of office and into the nearest hoosegow, that isn't worth a fart in a hurricane. But if a high-ranking government official, such as the incoming chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who has a formidable grip on the nation's budget, starts pronouncing individual members of the Armed Services guilty of major crimes before they've even been charged, then there is a tremendous potential for violating the accused's rights.

Murtha, it must be remembered, will soon be overseeing the funding for the military. And if he should decide that the Marine Corps did not carry out justice on those he has stated -- baldly -- have committed horrific war crimes, he would be in a remarkably powerful position to "punish" the Corps for "covering up" to protect their own.

Conversely, the Corps could see the potential threat and stack the deck against the defendants, knowing that an acquittal could have serious consequences on their future funding.

Let me make it clear: if the charges against the accused Marines are accurate, then I want to see them punished to the fullest extent of military law -- up to and including execution. Hell, if they're only half-true, I want to see them punished severely.

But the facts have yet to be determined in the Haditha case. The evidence appears strong, but so did the evidence against the Duke Lacrosse Team. Hell, I thought the OJ Simpson case was open and shut.

It all boils down to one simple fact: one's opinion on the matter tends to parallel one's opinion of the US military. If you oppose the military, like jp2 apparently does, then mere accusation is enough and they MUST be guilty of all charges. Further, the military as an institution cannot be trusted to carry out fair and honest trials.

If you're a mindless jingoist, like those jp2 characterizes, then any accusation against the military is equivalent to treason and heresy. The accusers must be discredited and destroyed, and any actual wrongdoing by members of the military must be covered up to protect the good name of the services.

And if you're a supporter of the military, like I am, you hear these accusations, sadly admit that they are entirely feasible, and wait to see if the military will "get it right" and reveal the truth of the incident -- for good or ill.

As of now, I am neutral on the matter of the Haditha incident. There has been a lot of smoke over the matter, and Congressman Murtha's injections of his own opinions and statements has NOT helped in the quest for the truth. (I would even consider it trending very close towards "obstruction of justice," as his position and pronouncements have tremendous potential to sway events. However, there is no legal remedy for his actions.)

I fully intend to shut up and see how things develop on their own, see how the Corps handles the matter, before I start making overarching proclamations. I would urge others to do the same as well -- does anyone else remember the demands that Karl Rove be "frog-marched" out of the White House over something that it turned out Dick Armitage did?

And I sincerely hope Congressman Murtha stops trying to insert himself into the Corps' judiciary system. It's incredibly unbecoming for a person of his position and power to attempt to influence a criminal case before there's been a trial -- and Murtha's meddling began before there was even any arrests.


Comments (34)

And if you're... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And if you're a supporter of the military, like I am, you hear these accusations, sadly admit that they are entirely feasible, and wait to see if the military will "get it right" and reveal the truth of the incident -- for good or ill.

Sounds reasonable, but as JP2 points out, conservatives -- who in theory are for the most part supporters of the military -- weren't waiting to see anything, Jay. Your suggestion that military supporters took a wait and see stance is blatantly false. They jumped down Murtha's throat and ran an orchestrated smear campaign against him that ran for months.

Murtha, it must be remembered, will soon be overseeing the funding for the military. And if he should decide that the Marine Corps did not carry out justice on those he has stated -- baldly -- have committed horrific war crimes, he would be in a remarkably powerful position to "punish" the Corps for "covering up" to protect their own.

Conversely, the Corps could see the potential threat and stack the deck against the defendants, knowing that an acquittal could have serious consequences on their future funding.

So, now we see what's behind this post -- you're already suggesting that the accused, if found guilty, were set up by the Marines to appease Murtha, eh Jay?

You, if I read this correctly, are apparently just another apologists for these accused murderers, setting up excuses in advance to throw this back on Murtha --"they aren't guilty -- it's all Murtha's fault they were convicted".

Thanks for making your position clear, Jay.

Not even funny, Lee. But qu... (Below threshold)
epador:

Not even funny, Lee. But quick. Kinda like having a premature ejaculation. Messy and no one else got any pleasure.

Glad to see you picked up on the bits and pieces I posted on the Blue WB Haditha thread. Who knows what the story is for real? But it helps to have some skepticism, especially with such a charged situation. It wouldn't be the first time the ground pounders were sacrificed for either the General's Good or the "good" of the Corps.

Oh yes, healthy skepticism ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Oh yes, healthy skepticism -- as in Jay's leap to quickly suggest the Marine Corp would set up their own men as sacrifices to appease Murtha and protect their funding. No skepticism there....

Sorry that you aren't as disgusted and outraged by Jay's suggestion as I am -- but that's par for the course when it comes to corruption-loving Republicans. They see nothing wrong with corruption, so they see nothing wrong with painting the Marine Corps as potentially corrupt as well -- and they do so all in the another pathetic attempt to "get Murtha" -- by suggesting that the Haditha murders are innocent, and are just being set-up to appease the evil Murthoid.

Why would conservative Republicans attack the integrity of the Marine Corps? For political gain, of course. They suggest that the Marine Corps is corrupt and out to appease Murtha, and that the soldiers the Marine Corps is prosecuting are innocent -- and they make that accusation to dis Murtha further and thereby gain political points for the Republican party.

And all the while their couching their spew in "let's not jump to conclusions" bullsh*t.

I love the way you hypocrites wrap yourselves with the flag, and claim to support our military, then turn right around and are ready to sell the entire Marine Corp down the river -- all in an attempt to keep the corrupt Republicans in the White House in power for another term.

Politics as usual in America, but a new wave of honesty is about to crash down on this Republican house of cards -- and they're heading for Washington to be sworn in a matter of days.

"pucker puss" (lee lee) you... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"pucker puss" (lee lee) you are dumber than dirt!! (sorry dirt).

Thanks for making ... (Below threshold)
marc:
Thanks for making your position clear, Jay. :: by Lee on December 31, 2006 9:57 PM ::
Jesus H. Christ in a handbasket Lee, do you possess any reading comprehension skills whatsoever?

Any?

The only "skill" that is apparent is an ability to hang out and wait for something to be rant about and be first to do it.

Lets see if I can break this down so even YOU can understand it. (I have serious doubts, but forge ahead anyway)

In the civilian court system in civilian courts a common problem is pollution of a jury pool from pre-trial publicity. (Send a note to District Attorney Mike Nifong, and ask for a primer, he's an expert at it)

Within the Military Justice system there is a thing called "undue Command influence."

By coincidence (not) one of the lawyers of the Marines accused, Attorney Neal A. Puckett, plans to call Murtha as a witness during the trial.

Remember Murtha's statements as described by him were the result an un-named member of the Military. Based on that off the record conversation he went off on his months long rant of the accused being "cold-blooded-killers.

It turns out that person was Gen. Michael Hagee, the Marine Corp commandant.

A clear case of undue command influence. As a former member of the Marine Corps Murtha should be fully aware of the problem he created not just for the one Marine represented Puckett but all the rest of those under suspicion as well.

The reasons for Murtha doing wqhat he did are self evident. 1. He's a partisan hack. 2. He's been so far removed by time and distance from the Military he's clueless.

3. He's just flat-out stupid.

Murtha, and you Lee, need to review United States v. Thomas, 22 MJ 388, 394 (CMA 1986).

That decision held that unlawful command influence was an error of constitutional dimension.

A review of United States vs. Gore, No. 03-6003, 60 MJ 178 would also be instructive.

Well at least it would be... for those not suffering from a reading comprehension deficiency.

Oh yes, healthy sk... (Below threshold)
marc:
Oh yes, healthy skepticism -- as in Jay's leap to quickly suggest the Marine Corp would set up their own men as sacrifices to appease Murtha and protect their funding. No skepticism there....

Sorry that you aren't as disgusted and outraged by Jay's suggestion as I am --

What do you believe Lee?

That the US Military is above having problems of bias or other nonsense that is seen on a regular basis in the civilian population?

Sorry Lee, if my 20 plus years in the Navy taught me one thing it was that all branches are nothing more than a microcosm of American society as a whole.

If you believe they are above shafting some of its members to save their own careers your sadly misguided.

Here Lee. One example, and the second example.

Marc: The pathetic part of ... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Marc: The pathetic part of this entire thread, is that Lee Actually Believes what he wrote!.. And his experience in these matters?.. Reruns of old "Combat" episodes. He's someones neighbor..sad.. I find it amazing that you people even attempt to respond to him.

Lee's dumber than the dirt ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Lee's dumber than the dirt that comes out of the back end of a worm, a not so distant relative, by the way.

God he is a waste of time. There is no way he went to college, or even a reasonably good high school. The reasoning skills are pathetic.

Murtha's remarks and his po... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Murtha's remarks and his position should be grounds for dismissing the charges. Even if they are 100% innocent they cannot possibly get a fair trial and anyone with a brain knows this. Murtha should be in charge of nothing higher than taking out the garbage for his wife or wiping Peeeloshi's a**.

Lee, Lee, Lee .....<p... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Lee, Lee, Lee .....

Your suggestion that military supporters took a wait and see stance is blatantly false. They jumped down Murtha's throat and ran an orchestrated smear campaign against him that ran for months.

What in *heck* does criticism of Murtha's comments have to do with not taking a "wait and see attitude" about the guilt or innocence of the Marines? If anything, criticizing Murtha's comments is completely consistent with taking a "wait and see" attitude about the Marines' guilt or innocence.

Murtha - a sitting Congressman and former Marine - decided to declare the Marines 100% guilty of being cold blooded killers ...

... not only before the trial
... not only before charges were filed
... but BEFORE the investigation was complete.

In other words, Murtha DIDN'T take a "wait and see attitude". He declared them guilty without a trial.

His actions were complete. Since he was being criticized for jeporadizing the Marines right to a fair trial (see Marc previous comments) - and not for whether or not he was right or wrong in his assessment - there was not reason to wait to criticize him.

Now, IF he didn't say what he said, then it would be accurate to say that he was "smeared". However, you not only have admitted that he did say it, but you have applauded him for saying it despite the fact, the Marines STILL haven't been tried.

Therefore, you also are not taking a "wait and see attitude" about their guilt or innocence.

I suspect that you are not actually angry at the Wizbang authors for *not* taking a "wait and see attitude" but for taking one and not rushing to judge the Marines - without a trial - as you have.

Jay did none of the things ... (Below threshold)

Jay did none of the things in his post that Lee accuses him of. He expects to find offense so his brain has to work the words into something he can find offensive.

What Murtha has done is act as prosecuting attorney. Even the prosecuting attorney hasn't made the public statements Murtha has.

There is no good reason for John Murtha to stand before a battery of media personnel and come just a hair short of judging them outright. It was wrong - and some people should just admit it was wrong.

Murtha has let his overwheming opposition to the administration cloud his judgement and he is acting rashly, even offering up sacrificial lambs to the civilian public to bolster his view. Were this a "justified war" in his view, run by people he approves of, he would likely behave differently. His hypercriticism has gotten the best of him.

From JAG Hunter:

In the world of military discipline, demonstrations of personal interest in the advance of a court-martial demotes a person's standing in the course of events rendering them ineligible to participate in that case farther, if at all.

Of course, he's speaking about Lt. Gen. Mattis, a flaming hypocrite, but Murtha's name is written all over it too.

Some moron blathered:... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Some moron blathered:


Sounds reasonable, but as JP2 points out, conservatives -- who in theory are for the most part supporters of the military -- weren't waiting to see anything, Jay. Your suggestion that military supporters took a wait and see stance is blatantly false. They jumped down Murtha's throat and ran an orchestrated smear campaign against him that ran for months.

Regardless of what happened in the incident Murtha was VERY much out of line in making the remarks that he made. Murtha wrongly injected himself into the situation in a very public manner. He received public criticism as a result... it was hardly a smear campaign.

The left is so eager to relive their 'heyday' of the 60's where they could openly spit on the soldiers that the jump to do so at any hint of wrongful behavior.

The worst part of watching ... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

The worst part of watching the US body count slowly rise is knowing we've so handcuffed the troops with Byzantine rules of engagement we absorb higher number of dead and wounded soldiers rather than absorb the consternation of the anti-war populus and media. It's no way to win a war, but luckily we've got plenty of folks in the US who have no intention of ever seeing us win a war again.

Even if it means going Nifong on the Marines before Nifong could be used as a verb.

It's depressing. The US is doomed to give up in any war that can't be concluded in the span of a year. Even after the inevitable WMD attack on a major US city we'll get tired of it in a year or two. Bad news - 3 million Americans will perish in a major city, good news - even if our troops must endure tactical nuclear strikes on the battlefield we won't lose enough troops as to endure the media's pronouncements of "grim milestones" as we approach the loss of life from a nuclear attack on NY or LA.

Funny thing about Murtha, he seems to be selective in his enthusiasm for condemning murderers. On 12/6/06 the House passed a resolution Condemning the Decision of St. Denis, France, to Name a Street in Honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Convicted Murder of Philadelphia Police Office Danny Faulkner. A CONVICTED cop killer in his home state of PA and, not surprizingly, liberal cause celebre.

It could have been a great opportunity to use the passage of a meaningless resolution to come out with a vote of confidence to PA's criminal justice system and pledge his support for Danny Faulkner's family.

But he took a pass on all that.

So maybe the marines in question are convicted and Murtha is "vindicated". Or maybe they're found innocent and he's an incredible jerk. So what? Troops are dying because they have to pussyfoot around and we've resigned ourselves to retreat and surrender. The fate of a few marines is inconsequential comapred to the death of our ability to wage war.

At least until a Democrat is in the White House.

"The fate of a few marines ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

"The fate of a few marines is inconsequential"

Unless, of course, you happen to be one of those marines!

A larger question is whethe... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

A larger question is whether this is more than one of the atypical and isolated things that happen in war, even if guilty.

Murtha's over-the-top comments were aimed not only at the marines now charged, but at the entire corps in support of his anti-war views.

How funny is lee, in a sad ... (Below threshold)
Jack Burton:

How funny is lee, in a sad and pathetic way. Let's see, Murtha has all the rights in the world to jump in before charges have even been filed and proclaim that the Marines are guilty. But rightfully go after Murtha for being an idiot and opening his mouth when he should not and it's a right wing smear campaign? What lee, may I ask, should those who support the military do - just sit back and let lefty assholes like Murtha smear our soldiers in harms way when he has no facts to base it on?

The facts are two-fold: One, Murtha is a proven corrupt politician who is lucky he is not in jail. It's on video and everyone has seen it so spare me the unfounded accusation shit. Two, he is an idiot when it comes to military matters, regardless of his past service. To suggest that we can accomplish our mission in the middle east by redeploying forces to Okinowa is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from a member of our government.

Lee, you hate the military and your zeal of jump on the Marines and defend poor old crooked Murtha is all the proof I need. I'd say go away but your commentary is what keeps me voting Republican even in such troubled times as these days.

Will John Murtha be censure... (Below threshold)
stan25:

Will John Murtha be censured for his act of treason? Probably not. If the card carrying liberals like Lee and Jp2 have their way, idiots like Murtha and Pelosi will be sitting in the White House yukking it up, while these Marines are doing hard time or worse. What a shame.

All of this screaming, the gnashing of teeth that Murtha and Lurch are doing is a way to cover their own tracks. What I am wondering, what skeletons Murtha and Lurch are trying to keep hidden from the public eye? Kind of makes one wonder doesn't it. Just maybe one of these days in the near future, we will find out.

A question for you stan25. ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

A question for you stan25. if there are any convictions arising from the incident, what sould be the appropriate punishment?

Hugh:May I answer?... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Hugh:

May I answer?

If in fact the marine(s) are guilty of cold blooded murder, then something between 25 years to life would seem appropriate. The death sentence should be off the table, due to the circumstances of the stress of the immediate combat situation.

However, this is not the subject at hand. The question is whether or not John Murtha should have injected his opinion into the case for what appears to be purely political capital. As has been stated quite well before, it should be a few Marines on trial, not the Marine Corps, or as some would have it, the administration.

USMC:An interestin... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

USMC:

An interesting response from you. It seems you able to differentiate the punishment for the murder of a football player from the Marines possible action(s). Both are "cold blooded" murders as you yourself just said about the marines. I mention this not to be critical of your thinking but to challenge the whole notion of capital punishment (which I suppose should be a topic for another thread). It appears you can make a distinction in behavior that i can't, although I am against capital punishment as I've written before. If you haven't read Grisham's latest book, "The Last Innocent Man" i really recommend it. It's not a novel but an actual event.

As to Murtha, I think the right's reaction is just a tad hysterical (as was jp2's) although I agree he should keep his mouth shut till final judgment.

H

Hugh:It's really v... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Hugh:

It's really very simple. Consider Cause and Effect.

If you kill someone because they raped your wife, I might, as a juror, convict you and send you to prison. On the other hand, if you simply shot someone at random, you would find me pulling the switch on you.

A question for you... (Below threshold)
stan25:
A question for you stan25. if there are any convictions arising from the incident, what should be the appropriate punishment?

Personally, I would like to see these Marines found innocent of all charges and set free and to continue their honorable profession. In a perfect world, I would also like to see John Murtha and Lurch prosecuted for treason and given the same fate as Saddam Hussein, with the stipulation that the executions be broadcast live on worldwide television.

Hugh,I am much mor... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Hugh,

I am much more fascinated by your question than USMC's answer.

How can it be than you cannot differentiate between the murder of a football player and a marine's actions after being blown up by an IED and taking incoming fire - in a hot-blooded reaction to a wartime situation?

This is a staggering admission by you.

And it is worthy of mention again, that the handler of the accusing videotape is very likely a terrorist. Who taped this event and why they prepared to do so in advance are questions that remain to be answered. Need I remind you that there has been no end to setups and staged events in Iraq, with no other goal than to further the aims of Murtha, Osama, and you?

Even more reason that the trial should not be so summarily skipped over.

The rules of engagement for this event are not exactly known. It is known that four young men came up quickly in a taxi soon after the IED had killed and injured some of the marines. Whether the action to use force was reasonable - comparable, say, to a vehicle approaching a checkpoint - is but one of the questions in this case. In this conflict, in which the enemy wears no uniforms, the split-second decision to respond while under attack can be very difficult. Indeed many marines have been killed after withholding fire.

In a land where cell phones and children are potential weapons and where the enemy lies in ambush disguised as butchers and candlestick makers, I doubt if even you Hugh, would be able to make perfect split-second decisions time after time, under attack.

And for you to equate this with a murder of a football player is beyond the pale.

And while we're recommending things, Hugh, I recommend to you the movie "Rules of Engagement", based also on a true story.

Robert:You complet... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Robert:

You completly mischaracterize my point in more ways than one can even imagine.

Let me make it clear for you.

1. I have no idea whether the marines murdered anyone or not. Let the courts martial(s) take their course as well as the appeals.

2. Murder is murder. Yes there are degrees of murder depending on different circumstances. If you has paid attention to the posts I was responding specifically to USMCs term "cold blooded."
I am not about to judge these soldiers at this point. And I can distinguish between "cold blooded" and a reaction in the middle of a battle. That's why I, like anyone else here, really will know nothing until the trials take place.

3. You cannot excuse murder under any circumstances but you certainly can mitigate the punishment based on the facts. Again, neither you nor I know the facts.

4. You are assuming that the event was "a hot blooded reaction to a wartime event." You don't know that, so it appears you are blindly supporting the marines. Are you? I hope not. At any rate the UCMJ does not excuse "murder" whether in the heat or battle or not. If you were in the military you know that to be true.

Please don't assume that I am somehow attacking the military. Look at the posts and realize I was dialoguing with USMC about his position and use of the term "cold blooded".


H


It never ceases to amaze me... (Below threshold)

It never ceases to amaze me the vicious and rabid hatred that liberals like Hugh and Lee have for our young men and women in uniform. We all know that liberals believe our soldiers are stupid as evidenced by Kerry and Rangels remarks. But where does this venomous hatred come from?

Capitalist Infidel:<p... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Capitalist Infidel:

I'm sorry you think what you think. Funny, since I served 6 years in the army. And I would just suggest you try actually reading what i write.

"You are assuming that the ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

"You are assuming that the event was "a hot blooded reaction to a wartime event." You don't know that, so it appears you are blindly supporting the marines."

Let me make it clear for you.

It is not in dispute that an IED exploded - a wartime event - and what followed was a hot-blooded event by definition as confirmed by the investigation report. I assumed nothing.

And never in my life Hugh, did I ever take a position so defenseless as comparing this event to the murder of a football player, under whatever "dialog".

And I did not "excuse murder under any circumstances" as you might be able to detect when you learn to read.

Go back to trying to become Miss America Hugh, you are better at it.

There certainly is no point... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

There certainly is no point in taking with you Robert. You see things through your prism and are unable to read or understand anything other than that. So we'll leave it at that.

It never ceases to amaze mk... (Below threshold)
Robert:

It never ceases to amaze mke that the "black and white world" of the Righties becomes so nuanced when they have to defend cold-blooded murderers of civilians, including women and children.

Waiting for facts before you make judgements. Please.
The facts said Saddam had no more WMDs. That didn't stop you from charging into an unnecessary war.

I'm agianst the war in iraq. Therefore, in the black and white world of the Right, I'm against the troops.
The Right support the War. Therefore, they fully support the rape and murder of 14-year olds and the slaughter of entire families as a cover-up.

These were your black and white rules. Don't you remember?
So you can all take your nuance and shove it up your asses.

Hugh:As far as I'm... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Hugh:

As far as I'm concerned you have stuck to your New Years resolution in this thread, and I respect your arguments. I find nothing to criticize in your approach, and hope we can continue meaningful dialog in the future.

Happy New Year.

P.S. (Your still wrong about capital punishment!)

A wise choice Hugh, know yo... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

A wise choice Hugh, know your limitations.

USMCGood debating ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

USMC

Good debating with you. I have to admit i grit my teeth ocassionally to keep my resolution. :-)

If you get a chance read The Innocent Man. Not trying to convert you ( I know better) but just a compelling story.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Murtha was dead wrong to pr... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Murtha was dead wrong to pronounce the Marines guilty far in advance of their trial or even any charges being filed. He is a shameless self-promoter who developed delusions of granduer after seeing himself on the evening news announcing that he had flipped on the war. Since that point in time, anything and everything he has done has been to get himself back in front of the cameras.

As for the Haditha incicent, I have my own theory of what happened. I believe the Marines were conducting an investigation into the IED attack by interrogating the households that were nearby. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Iraqis approve of attacks on US troops and the area of Haditha is particularly well-known to be a hotbed of the insurgency. I assume that it takes hours of labor to plant an effective IED and I can imagine that the people in that neighborhood knew about the IED and who had planted in there. And, I also believe those facts were plainly obvious to the Marines who had seen their buddies killed by that IED.

Nothing can excuse the killing of innocents (or even insurgent sympathizers) in the manner that the killings apparently occurred. The real villians here aren't the Marines, but rather the policymakers who put them in that position to begin with. Having our Marines racing around Anbar province hoping not to get blown up by roadside bombs is just sheer lunacy. It is an entirely defensive strategy and does not advance the war on terror one iota. On the contrary, every IED blast that claims the lives of our heroes emboldens the terrorists who want to institute an Islamo-fascist dictatorship in Iraq and burn America to the ground.


Murtha appears to have had ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Murtha appears to have had a stroke or some other severe health problem. What else could explain all the drooling and incoherant attacks on our troops? What a feaking mess this guy is.




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