Thursday, July 12, 2007

Resign In Disgrace, Congressman Murtha

Congressman John Murtha, who announced our surrender in Iraq long before Senator Reid did, embarrassed even Speaker Pelosi with his off-the-wall statements smearing our military and smearing President Bush. Long before anyone had really looked into the Haditha incident, a place in Iraq where U.S. Marines were engaged in a firefight, and where various Iraqis told tales of deliberate murders carried out by our Marines, Congressman Murtha passed judgment, and said that they were guilty.

It now appears that he will owe them an apology. To the rest of us, and to his constituents in Pennsylvania, he owes us his resignation.

Here are three pertinent excerpts:

“Lawmaker: Marines deliberately killed Iraqis
Navy conducting war crimes probe into November violence in Haditha”

By Jim Miklaszewski and Mike Viqueira
NBC News, May 17, 2006

“WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.”

On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.” NBCNews

“The Haditha Heroes”

Philip V. Brennan
Wednesday, July 11, 2007, NewsMax

“Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt is a Marine hero. In the horror of the bloody battles of 2nd Fallujah in 2004 and Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005 his actions were in accord with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps.

By any standard, his father Darryl Sharrat is a hero too. Faced with accusations that his son is guilty of murdering innocent civilians in Haditha he has devoted almost every living moment to defending his son against what he knew to be false charges at great cost to himself and his family.

"I don't want to paint Justin in the light of being a hero," he told me, "but if you listen to the testimony of Sgt. Wolf [at his son's Article 32 hearing,] Justin pulled a [30 calibur machine gun from its mounting on his Humvee] when he saw two guys starting to assault house number 1 — they were receiving fire from it, they marked with a M203 grenade and Wolf said Justin did one of the best tactical things he could have done when he dismounted [the machine gun], and was laying down suppressing fire with this 30 calibur belt-fed machine gun.

"My thoughts are that possibly his actions may have been what broke the back of this insurgent ambush."

Darryl is not alone. John Tatum, the father of Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, the second of three enlisted men charged in the Haditha case, and another hero, has gone to bat for his son. It has cost him dearly.

"We are hard working people, and so do not like to ask for help. The Marine Corps cannot pay for civilian lawyers, but we have taken out a second mortgage on our home and used our savings to defend our son."

As Marines are expected to make every sacrifice for the honor of the Corps and country, these fathers have given everything they have to defend the honor of their sons and they deserve every ounce of respect from their fellow Americans.” NewsMax

“Marine Investigator Recommends Dropping Charges in Haditha Killings”

July 11, 2007, SAN DIEGO — FoxNews

“An investigating officer has recommended dismissing murder charges against a U.S. Marine accused in the slayings of three Iraqi men in a squad action that killed 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, according to a report.

The government's theory that Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt had executed the three men was "incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said in the report, released Tuesday by Sharratt's defense attorneys.

"To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, and sets a dangerous precedent that, in my opinion, may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and mission in Iraq," Ware wrote.

Defense attorneys James Culp and Gary Myers said in a statement that he was pleased with the report and that it "reflected the value of the calm of a courtroom and the adversarial process."

Sharratt's mother Theresa said she was overjoyed.

"This is a huge result, that report is a declaration of Justin's innocence," she said. "This is very, very good news."

The recommendation is nonbinding. A final decision about whether Sharratt should stand trial will be made by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general overseeing the case.

It is the second time an investigating officer has recommended charges not continue to trial in the killings. In the case of Marine lawyer Capt. Randy W. Stone, the investigating officer recommended his dereliction of duty charge be dealt with administratively.” FoxNews

We do not want American soldiers to engage in wanton murders of civilians under the fog of warfare. In Iraq and Afghanistan, however, our military is operating in environments against terrorists who wear no uniforms, who use women and young children as shields and also use them to blow themselves up when they get close to Americans, who operate out of schools, mosques and homes, and who melt away into dense neighborhoods when the going gets rough. We appear to have almost as many JAG lawyers offering advice to commanders on rules of engagement as we have combat troops on the line, and after-action reports read like legal briefs. For Congressman Murtha to let his anti-war agenda spill over to the public smearing of Marine heroes before the facts are known is beyond comprehension and beneath contempt.

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At 3:53 AM, Blogger Ronbo said...

Time for a Right Wing Blog Surge!

If you don't like this outcome—if you don't want to live through another period of American retreat, defeatism, and malaise—you can do something about it. You have proven that you can. As Reid puts his proposals up for a vote, light up those Senate switchboards again. Let your senators know that you expect them to stand firm and to refuse to give the Islamofascists a victory in Iraq.

Or have you, too, become so overwhelmed by a false sense of inevitable failure that you think we can't defeat our enemies abroad, and all we can do is to wall ourselves within a defensive bunker?

If the grassroots do not stand up to oppose defeat in Iraq and to demand a stronger stand against Iran, then what message are you sending? The editorial cartoonists Cox & Forkum have brilliantly summed up that message in a biting cartoon which criticizes the right for acting as if Mexicans are the biggest threat we face, when Iran and its minions are on the march. The humor bites because there's truth to it.

If you think Cox & Forkum's cartoon is unfair, you can do something about that, too. Prove them wrong.

That's my challenge to everyone who rallied the grassroots so successfully against the immigration bill—the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannities and Hugh Hewitts and everyone else—and it is a challenge to their grassroots readers and listeners as well. Be as passionate about opposing defeat in the War on Terrorism as you were about walling off the border. If you summon the same energy, you can achieve the same result.

You have the power. Use it.

The Coming Right Wing Blog Surge?


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