I read CQ a lot and would love to do more trackbacks with them. That's been a real problem for many months, however, in that I'd usually get an error message telling me I was pinging too fast. (Twice a month is too fast?) Seems a couple of folks with better skills at the blogging software than I have thought the same thing and have worked with Captain Ed to fix the issue. Or so he reports.
Well, we're gonna find out. All stations, stand by for a live-fire test of the ping. In 3… 2… 1…
There's been quite a bit of commentary on Congressman John "Pull 'em Out" Murtha's conclusion that US Soldiers massacred Iraqi citizens in Haidtha several weeks ago. The investigation is still ongoing into what happened and the Pentagon isn't prepared to say, yet, whether it was revenge or an honest response to getting attacked. That hasn't stopped Murtha from concluding what it was, however:
Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19.
The incident is still under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Multi-National Forces Iraq.
The Marine Corps originally claimed that a convoy from the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, hit a roadside bomb that killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, Texas, and the ensuing firefight killed 15 Iraqi civilians — casualties the Corps at first claimed were killed in the bomb blast — including seven women and three children.
A March 27 Time magazine report published claims by an Iraqi civil rights group that the Marines barged into houses near the bomb strike, throwing grenades and shooting civilians as they cowered in fear. The report prompted calls for a Pentagon probe.
“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.
The Marine Corp has said they have no idea where the Congressman is getting his information since the investigation hasn't made any such determination. Gets better:
Murtha said combat stress prompted the Marines’ alleged rampage.
“It’s a very serious incident, unfortunately. It shows the tremendous pressure that these guys are under every day when they’re out in combat,” he said. “One man was killed with an [improvised explosive device] and after that they actually went into the houses and killed women and children.”
Congressman Murtha just accused US Soldiers of deliberately walking into a houseload of non-combatants and gunning them down because they were pissed, not because anyone in the house posed a potential threat. He's accused them of murder, war crimes, and an atrocity. And all that without the benefit of actual evidence to support his claim.
The Marine Corp may feel honor bound to consider Congressman Murtha a Marine forever based on his past service. I am under no such constraint. Murtha is a disgrace to the Corp, a near-perfect exemplification of the honorless backstabber more interested in making headlines than in supporting the troops, as he has claimed in the past. Whether or not the investigation concludes the actions of the marines were warranted – and that investigation may certainly conclude the marines opened fire on civilians, knowingly – Murtha has seen fit to smear them and any other soldier, airman, seaman, or marine now serving in Iraq. He has painted every one of them with the same "war criminal" brush that John Kerry did to Murtha's fellow Vietnam vets those many years ago. A man who had lived through that should know better.
And I believe he does. He just doesn't care. Murtha and his friends in the fever-swamp left have belligerently screamed their outrage when someone "questions their patriotism." Of Murtha's patriotism, I have no question. He has none.