Written June 24
It’s time for John Murtha to make a very public apology.
In May of 2006, Congressman Murtha, Democrat from Pennsylvania, accused Marines operating in Haditha, Iraq of killing innocent civilians in cold blood.
Murtha, a whole gang of liberals, lawmakers, and many news agencies rushed to judgment against our Marines, publicly held their own kangaroo courts, tried, and convicted them of murder.
Murtha’s public rant and press conference on the subject were held to mark the six month anniversary of his very first call to surrender in Iraq. As if that in itself wasn’t a despicable enough event for a Marine Corps combat veteran, he had to “one up” himself by publicly convicting our Marines of atrocities long before the facts of the investigation were even known. Heck, the investigation had barely gotten started.
But Murtha didn’t care because this fit nicely into his template for surrender. For that matter, it fit perfectly in the puzzle for the whole gang of defeatists in Washington. A chorus of liberal lawmakers and much of the national press echoed his words and cheered him on.
The whole group took as gospel the word of a few questionable Iraqis and press stringers. They took their side and ran with the story. It turned out they were running with scissors.
It was a sad time when so many Americans were willing to unjustly treat the best among us as the worst.
The event was (and still is) representative of much of the war in Iraq. Liberals grasping at anything which might finally sink our chances for victory, including the public humiliation and conviction of our troops for crimes they hadn’t yet been fully investigated, charged with, or convicted of.
Murtha tried to disguise his motives, our forced withdrawal, as concern for our troops. He acted as if he cared about the pressure put on them from months of combat. But he had already played his cut and run cards, so we knew his game. This was just another part of it.
Sadly he was convicting fellow Marines without a trial as the means by which he could demand our defeat.
Two years later the facts have proven Murtha wrong.
None of the Marines involved were charged with murder, as he, and so many others, insisted they were guilty of.
Of the seven charged with crimes at Haditha, only one remains, and he is not on trial for murder.
Six of the Marines have had their cases dismissed or been acquitted, the sixth just last week. It turns out none of them were guilty of cold blooded murder or anything else.
So now it is time for Congressman Murtha to apologize.
He was wrong about the actions of the Marines in Haditha that day. He was wrong on what he thought the facts of the case were. He was wrong to jump to the worst conclusion about our Marines. He was wrong to publicly pronounce them guilty of “cold blooded murder.” He was wrong to let himself be used as such a willing pawn of the worst among us. He was wrong to forsake his fellow Marines.
For all those things, he needs to publicly apologize, and to do so with all the passion he displayed during that press conference two years ago. He needs to rant on and on as he did that day, about what an idiot he was, and how sorry he is.
In addition, all the others who used Murtha as their reason, as their cover, for doing likewise, also need to make similar apologies. They’re no better than he.
Lastly, Murtha’s retention of the title “Marine” has come into question during the public discussion among those infuriated with him. There has been no absence of those insisting he be stripped of the honor for attacking fellow Marines the way he did.
I disagree with them, as that is a title hard earned. A title not stripped away because of disagreements or because of astonishingly foolish behavior, no matter how disgusting we might find it.
A public apology from Murtha to those seven, their families, and then to all Marines will suffice. And now is the time for that apology.