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Old 04-28-2010, 01:32 PM
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Pelosi: Murtha was “a tireless advocate for our troops, and Marines in particular”

posted at 10:57 am on April 28, 2010 by Cassy Fiano

That was Nancy Pelosi’s response to the news that the Navy was going to name a ship after Marine-slanderer John Murtha. I was browsing the Marine Corps Times, always good for updates and news about the Corps, when I came across this. And it made my blood boil.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the Navy’s decision to name an amphibious warship after Rep. John Murtha, but the formal announcement Friday added fuel to an already smoldering backlash online.

Murtha — “our dear Jack,” as Pelosi referred to him — deserved the honor as a tireless advocate for troops generally and Marines in particular, she said, and she recalled admiring his rapport with them.

“Whether on the battlefield, or on the bedside, he thanked them for their courage, listened to their concerns, and asked them for comment — and he answered their needs, and responded to their calls, whether it was for body armor, up-armored vehicles… radios, you name it,” Pelosi said. “In those minutes [together], he bonded with them especially because he would share his own personal military service with them, and cared for them as a father. They knew it, and they returned his respect.”

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who technically is the only person in the government with the power to name U.S. warships, also praised Murtha’s history of service. He unveiled an official illustration showing an amphibious transport dock marked with the hull number “26” named John P. Murtha. It will be the first in the San Antonio class not named for an American city.

Despite the encomia from Pelosi and Mabus, thousands of Web users remembered a different Murtha — the one who opposed the Iraq war and accused Marines in 2005 of killing Iraqis “in cold blood” — when reacting to the announcement about the ship named in his honor. A Facebook group called “People Against Naming A Navy Ship USS Murtha” had 1,336 members as of Monday morning, and it was becoming a clearinghouse for angry comments and homemade cartoons criticizing Murtha.

Posters on the Facebook page said Murtha, who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean and Vietnam eras, “betrayed the brotherhood,” that naming a ship for him was a “slap in the face” and that if the Navy wanted to name a ship for him, it should have chosen “a nice, stinky garbage scow.”

The Navy was getting angry responses even on its own official website, where visitors used the same page where the announcement appeared to criticize it. Visitors called the decision to name a ship for Murtha “an absolute disgrace,” “inappropriate” and said it was just as bad as naming a warship for Benedict Arnold.

“The naming of LPD 26 after John Murtha is inappropriate,” wrote David Martin. “There many men and women with greater records of valor and service to the country who deserve the honor of having a warship named in their memory before John Murtha has a warship [named] in his honor. He made sure there was an airport named after himself. What more does there need to be?”
A lot of people wondered if Mabus’ decision to name the ship after Murtha was politically motivated. Now we know it’s true. It’s not surprising, I guess, considering the meager amount of time he actually spent in the military.

I’m just curious, though, where Nancy Pelosi gets off saying that Murtha was a tireless advocate of the Marines. Does she live in some kind of alternate reality?! John Murtha was a constant critic of our military throughout the Iraq war, and deliberately lied and slandered Marines in the Haditha incident. Before the Marine Corps report was even released (not that Murtha read it), or the official investigation even concluded, he went out of his way on numerous media outlets accusing honorable Marines of murdering civilians in cold blood. He repeated this slander over and over again, causing the arrest of eight Marines. All charges were dropped against six, and the seventh was found not guilty. Yet Murtha never recanted his statements, he never apologized for his slander, and was unapologetic about the havoc he wreaked up until the day he died.

It’s a rather odd way of showing how much you care for and respect Marines, isn’t it? I can tell you right now that they certainly didn’t “return his respect”, no matter what Nancy Pelosi may bleat. John Murtha is one of the few people to earn the title of ex-Marine. It’s a pretty difficult thing to do, as Marines take the motto “Semper Fidelis” very seriously. It’s a serious mark of dishonor if you’ve earned the title of ex-Marine, and Murtha did. Heck, I think he’s actually the only person to ever earn that dishonor. He’s also earned the nickname “Fat Little Bastard”.

Haditha wasn’t the only way that Murtha decided to exploit and slander Marines, of course. He also partnered with CODEPINK in their mission to demoralize soldiers when they’re at their lowest: wounded at Walter Reed.

Is this the kind of tireless advocacy for our military that Nancy Pelosi wants? (Wait, don’t answer that.) There’s nothing about Murtha’s service record to honor here. He never had the respect of the Marine Corps, and he was one of the most dishonorable, corrupt, dishonest, slanderous people to ever serve in Congress. Ray Mabus has decided to partner with Nancy Pelosi, and not with the sailors and Marines he’s supposed to represent.

Frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach. I think we need a new Secretary of the Navy. Quick.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or follow her on Twitter!

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