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Is Murtha's about face on the Iraq war politically motivated?

Old 12-07-05, 01:48 PM
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Is Murtha's about face on the Iraq war politically motivated?

CSPAN is playing a press conference w/ Murtha right now. I believe it was from earlier in the day so I went online to see if I can find a summary/transcript about it. I came across this though...

http://www.sierratimes.com/05/12/05/...0_12_18073.htm
Rep. John Murtha May Face Ethics Investigation
Jim Kouri, CPP

One of the mysteries these days is the about-face of a supposed Democrat war hawk, Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania. Considered a supporter of the Iraq conflict, the decorated former Marine suddenly came out with statements calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and that the war is not winnable.

After the liberal media feasted on his sudden burst on the national scene, Murtha became the new lightning rod for the antiwar, anti-American movement. Recently, he said that the US military was worn out and unable to protect Americans should a security crisis emerge. And the media again jumped all over the Murtha comments. John Murtha replaced Wesley Clark and John Kerry as the left's favorite veteran since they only love warriors opposed to war. Murtha is someone few Americans knew let alone cared about until he became the big thing in the media's relentless goal of undermining "Bush's war."

Meanwhile, another Democrat, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a respected member of the US Senate and a former vice presidential candidate, returned from a fact-finding mission in Iraq. He told of the progress he had seen and wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal about his positive view of US operations in Iraq. Other than some radio talk shows, Senator Lieberman was all but ignored by the mainstream news media, preferring to run Murtha quotes or air Murtha soundbites.

Why did Murtha suddenly change his mind? Was this a calculated effort to win the news media over? Is this something he hopes will insulate him from something that is brewing within the Beltway?

Well, according to investigative journalist Sher Zieve, the House Ethics committee is considering investigating Rep. John Murtha for House multiple ethics violations. The investigation would center 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 is a leader on the House Defense Appropriations Committee. An aide to Murtha, Carmen Scialabba, also works for KSA.

Further reported by the LA 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.

Zieve also dug up a recent editorial appearing in Investor’s Business Daily that stated: “The newspaper Roll Call reported that there might be a House ethics committee investigation of Murtha's apparent improprieties. But, is that possible now that Murtha has become the media's ‘hawk with a conscience?’ Come to think of it, could Murtha have been thinking about a possible ethics investigation when he decided to throw himself into the public limelight last week?”

My own BS meter is showing that Murtha conducted a calculated and probably successful operation to neutralize Republicans if they should make an issue of his ethics deficiencies. The LA Times article in June was written while Murtha was considered a war hawk. Now that he's become an "enlightened" anti-war spokesperson don't expect to see followup articles about any ethics violations or criminal acts by Rep. John Murtha.

Why do you think Senator Jon Corzine went on the attack about Bush and Iraq? He gave a $600,000 gift to his ex-girlfriend who just happened to the president of one of the largest government employee unions in New Jersey. The union endorced his and worked for him during the NJ governors race. He also voted on a piece of legislation that benefited only him and a few of his business buddies. So what happened to Senator Corzine? He got elected governor of arguably the most corrupt state in the Union.

Americans will only hear about Murtha's lapses of integrity in the alternative media. As long as he calls for troop withdrawals and makes ridiculous statements about the US military, he's insured himself against the mainstream news media reporting on his ethics problems. Besides, the media only cover Republican politicians accused of misconduct. John Murtha is just another sleazy politician. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. 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. He writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a staff writer for New Media Alliance (thenma.org), and he's a columnist for TheConservativeVoice.Com, AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. If you wish to sign up for his intelligence reports, write to [email protected]. Kouri's own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
I've never heard of the Sierra Times so I can't speak to it's "bias", and overall the article does read more like an editorial than a straight news report. Has anyone heard anything about this though? Do you think it takes any of the thunder away from his position or do you think it's just politics as usual/a crafty move on his part?
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Old 12-07-05, 01:51 PM
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seems like a crafty move. it would make any investigation now look retaliatory. but it could just be a coincidence
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Old 12-07-05, 02:07 PM
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As compared to:
Mr Cunningham's Lessons

The story of XXX, who resigned from Congress last week after pleading guilty to taking $X million in bribes from defense contractors, is in part the saga of a single, flawed individual who succumbed to temptation ... But it also exposes a pair of systemic fault lines -- the explosion in congressional "earmarking" and the growth in secret defense spending programs -- whose confluence enabled this criminal behavior.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:19 PM
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Chris Matthews is entralled by John Murtha, however late coming.

Matthews said Murtha was recognized by all as 'the expert' on defense matters on the Democratic side of the House. I'm certain Ike Skelton is happy to hear that.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:26 PM
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Nice article. "Liberal Media" in the second paragraph and then...

"John Murtha replaced Wesley Clark and John Kerry as the left's favorite veteran since they only love warriors opposed to war."



But thanks for posting this humorous piece. I needed a laugh.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:30 PM
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I don't really mind Murtha's bad (IMO) idea - whatever the reason for it. I do believe that the argument that he can't be criticized for it because he's been a Marine, a veteran of Vietnam, & a previous hawk is rather ludicrous.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I don't really mind Murtha's bad (IMO) idea - whatever the reason for it. I do believe that the argument that he can't be criticized for it because he's been a Marine, a veteran of Vietnam, & a previous hawk is rather ludicrous.
He can certainly be criticized for the idea. But the GOP can't use their usual playbook of calling him a coward and a yellow-bellied liberal. The GOP is very disappointed.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:41 PM
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The Democratic leader in the House seems to believe he shouldn't be criticized.

Of course - like Chris Matthews - she's a 'johnny come lately' fan of Murtha.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:42 PM
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BTW: Wesley Clark is opposed to the Murtha plan.

So is John Kerry.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Nice article. "Liberal Media" in the second paragraph and then...

"John Murtha replaced Wesley Clark and John Kerry as the left's favorite veteran since they only love warriors opposed to war."



But thanks for posting this humorous piece. I needed a laugh.

So there's no substantiation for the article are you just dismissing it out of hand?

Here's an article dated earlier in the year (before his about face on Iraq)

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/4435.html


With Tom DeLay's scandals generating so much attention, reporters seem intent on finding similar controversies surrounding other lawmakers — particularly Dems. It's part of the pox-on-both-your-houses style embraced by journalists who are afraid of being accused of harboring a partisan bias.

Almost two weeks ago, it was a front-page Washington Post piece on some Dem connections with Jack Abramoff, which ultimately pointed to absolutely no wrongdoing. Today, it's the LA Times running a front-page piece on Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and his lobbyist brother.

When Congress passed the $417-billion Pentagon spending bill last ear, Rep. John P. Murtha, the top Democrat on the House defense appropriations subcommittee, boasted about the money he secured to create jobs in his Pennsylvania district.

But the bill Murtha helped write also benefited at least 10 companies represented by a lobbying firm where his brother, Robert "Kit" Murtha, is a senior partner, according to disclosure records, interviews and an analysis of the bill by The Times.

Apparently, there's supposed to be something scandalous here, but there isn't.

KSA Consulting represents about two dozen small- and medium-sized defense firms. Like every other military-related lobbying firm, KSA encouraged members of Congress who oversee defense appropriations to help finance projects done by its clients. In this case, KSA was largely successful — its clients received a total of $20.8 million from the spending bill.

The accusation isn't that those defense firms didn't deserve the money, or that they're charging too much, or that they'll produce items the Pentagon doesn't want. Instead, this front-page piece is on the fact that KSA employees the brother of a Democrat on the House committee that was lobbied.

And this is scandalous because … well, because the LA Times seems to think so. Is there any evidence that Rep. Murtha's brother lobbied his sibling directly? No. Is there any evidence Murtha's brother was involved in any way in securing appropriations for KSA clients? No. Is there any evidence to support the Times' "Lobbyist's Brother Guided House Bill" headline? No. Is there any evidence of wrongdoing here on the part of anyone? No.

In fact, Ken Stalder, KSA's founder, chief executive and lead lobbyist, said Rep. Murtha's brother has never lobbied his brother or any other House member.

"Having him on staff doesn't help me with Congressman Murtha's office," he said in an interview in his office. "I don't [accept some business propositions] because of Kit, because it might look funny."

So, KSA is not only playing by the rules, it's going beyond to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Is there any reason this deserves a 2,100-word expose on the front page of one of the nation's leading newspapers? No.
Insterstingly enough the Washington Post article mentioned above is still linked... the LA Times link yields a "page not found" error

EDIT: Yes I did read the article and it does cast the whole issue into question... that's what I'm trying to find out though is whether or not there is any truth to the allegations.

Last edited by nemein; 12-07-05 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:48 PM
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Next think we'll be hearing is that Jack Murtha is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of the Jack Abramoff scandal. After all, they've got the same first names.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
BTW: Wesley Clark is opposed to the Murtha plan.

So is John Kerry.
I don't value Kerry's opinion too much. But I do value Wes Clark's.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:53 PM
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If he believed in his plan so much, he should have voted for it when he had a chance.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
So there's no substantiation for the article are you just dismissing it out of hand?
I just find it VERY hard to believe that Murtha orchestrated this thing to hide some alleged ethics violations. Why would he want to draw attention to himself at all? Do you really think that Murtha's stance would insulate him from the charges??
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Old 12-07-05, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
If he believed in his plan so much, he should have voted for it when he had a chance.
He would have if the GOP brought his plan up for vote. The GOP did not bring his plan up for vote.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:58 PM
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The GOP brought up a vote to withdraw from Iraq immediately. Which incidently was exactly what he called for.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:58 PM
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i believe that if charges are filed or if there are more investigations, you'll hear numerous people, including some on here, saying its retaliation for his stance on the iraq war
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Old 12-07-05, 02:59 PM
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I just find it VERY hard to believe that Murtha orchestrated this thing to hide some alleged ethics violations.
I have no doubt he believes what he says about the war and our "broken down" army. This may have just been the straw that broke the camel's back... or it could just be coincidence. I'm not much of a believer in coincidence in political affairs, it does happen though...

Do you really think that Murtha's stance would insulate him from the charges??
It's not whether I believe it or not but the perception that could be created. The Dems have already postulated the "culture of corruption" wrt how the Reps have been running things (not entirely undeserved but I also don't believe it's as bad as the Dems have been framing it but that's another thread). This would fit right in w/ that and could easily be made to look like a retaliatory strike. Whether or not there is substantiation or charges can be proved really becomes secondary, even if it goes to trial. Believe it or not, like it or not, that's politics these days IMHO.

Last edited by nemein; 12-07-05 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 12-07-05, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
The GOP brought up a vote to withdraw from Iraq immediately. Which incidently was exactly what he called for.
No, thats not what he called for... Thats what the cheap political tactic would have you believe however.
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Old 12-07-05, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
It's not whether I believe it or not but the perception that could be created. The Dems have already postulated the "culture of corruption" wrt how the Reps have been running things (not entirely undeserved but I also don't believe it's as bad as the Dems have been framing it but that's another thread). This would fit right in w/ that and could easily be made to look like a retaliatory strike. Whether or not there is substantiation or charges can be proved really becomes secondary, even if it goes to trial. Believe it or not, like it or not, that's politics these days IMHO.
How could it be retaliatory if the allegations were made BEFORE Murtha's position changed?
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Old 12-07-05, 03:03 PM
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"made to look like a retaliatory strike"
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Old 12-07-05, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
How could it be retaliatory if the allegations were made BEFORE Murtha's position changed?
In the day of sound bites, and rampant blogging (which it is entirely possible this is something created by that, which is why I'm trying to find out) small details like that tend to get lost in the noise.
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Old 12-07-05, 03:07 PM
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http://supportmurtha.blogspot.com/20...thas-plan.html
To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.
Sounds like immediate withdrawal to me. That's from his original speech. So somewho having him actually vote on something that he originally advocated is a cheap political trick. Go figure.

Last edited by bhk; 12-07-05 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 12-07-05, 03:09 PM
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But its not. And the GOP knew it.
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Old 12-07-05, 03:10 PM
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See above edit.
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