Sunday, June 22, 2008

IBD on Murtha, Obama and Haditha

If you hadn't heard, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani is the seventh of the Haditha 8 to either be acquitted or have charges dismissed regarding the deaths of civilians in the town of Haditha, Iraq, on Nov. 19, 2005.

Mainstream media and liberal Democrats, if that's not redundant, are more preoccupied these days with protecting the rights of terrorists, even Osama bin Laden, to habeas corpus and other rights of U.S. citizens they were trying to kill. That has replaced Abu Ghraib and Gitmo as their cause celebre.

Now that Haditha hasn't turned out to be the Iraqi My Lai they hoped for, they have no time for the innocent Marines, either to comment or apologize. The Los Angeles Times, during a slow period in the barrage of charges, asked in a headline, "Whatever Happened To The Iraqi My Lai?"

Well, the crime never happened, the guilty were found innocent and the lynch mobs dispersed.

Chessani isn't waiting for apologies. His attorney, Brian Rooney, told a talk show that he and his client were looking into a lawsuit against Rep. Murtha and Time magazine reporter Tim McGurk for taking the words of Iraqi insurgents as gospel and as the basis for trumped-up charges.

Haditha became an issue, and a crime scene, after McGurk's fallacious and dishonest March 27, 2006, story that the Marines were guilty of "massacring innocent civilians." The story was based on false evidence provided by a known insurgent propagandist.

It took on added life after Murtha publicly said "there was no firefight" and the Marines at Haditha "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha said that their officers "covered it up" and the cover-up went "right up the chain of command."

Murtha explained that his public charges were made after receiving information from the highest levels of the Marine Command. A motion to compel the deposition of Murtha was made by Chessani's defense team, but Murtha never was forced to answer the question of to whom he talked or whether he made the whole thing up.

At the time, Chessani was commander of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, one of the most decorated battalions in the nation's history. He was charged with "dereliction of duty" and "orders" violations for allegedly failing to properly report and investigate the incident.

Also at the time, and based on battlefield information, Chessani felt there was no crime to investigate.

A video and transcripts of radio traffic presented as evidence at Chessani's hearing provided a minute-by-minute picture of that day's action, confirming the Marines' story that they were merely doing what they were trained to do — respond to a perceived threat with overwhelming force.

On June 28, 2006, Sen. Obama was asked to comment on Murtha's charges in an interview with Alan Colmes on the Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes." Colmes asked Obama: "When Jack Murtha talks about civilians being killed in cold blood by troops, is that hurtful to the Democratic Party? Is that rhetoric difficult for you to embrace?"

Note that what concerned Colmes was not whether the Marines were innocent or what evidence Murtha had to decide guilt before any hearing or trial. What concerned Colmes was whether saying out loud what the anti-war left hoped was true hurt Democratic chances.

Obama gave the politically correct response that "99.9% of American troops (were) doing outstanding work" under difficult conditions. But he added that "we want to make sure that the ideals of our country and our military are upheld. And, when they're breached, we've got to make sure that we are taking those seriously."

One of our ideals, senator, is the presumption of innocence, something Murtha denied the Haditha Marines.

Colmes then asked: "Did Murtha say that in the right way?" Obama responded: "What I know is here is a guy who served our country. I would never second-guess John Murtha. . . . I think he's somebody who knows of which he speaks."

Chessani's attorney admits it's hard to sue a sitting congressman who can hide under the protections of his office. But we hope Rooney finds a way. We hope the full story of the Haditha Marines' innocence and the inquisition they were put through gets told.

We want to see Murtha spout his nonsense under oath. And we want to see the man who would be president explain why he took Murtha's word, lending him credibility, over the words of U.S. Marines who also have served their country honorably and well.

Once again we are struck with just how truly evil Jack Murtha is. When confronted with the magnitude of the crime he committed against the Haditha Marines he snivels and whines and ultimately retreats behind his military service as if that should shield him from any accusation of wrongdoing.

However Murtha's past military service only makes him more guilty becuase it means that he should have (and in fact does) know better.

The fact that Murtha once wore the uniform of a United States Marine in combat means that he is not merely some simpleton spouting off in complete ignorance. He is a man who knew that he was lying when he uttered his liable and did it anyway.

Murtha lied because he saw some cheap temporary political advantage for his party in it and he saw buying his party that advantage as a way to aid his ambition to become the House Majority Leader. Murtha put his own fantasies of political power ahead of the lives and freedom of Marines and the peace of their families.

Murtha is utterly beneath contempt.

As for Obama I blame him less because he is just a simpleton spouting off in ignorance.