I'm pissed

Nov. 18th, 2005 07:08 pm
pecunium: (Default)
[personal profile] pecunium
Which seems to be becoming a semi-normal state of affairs.

Rep Murtha (D-Penn) spoke out recently (not less so than the day before yester) saying we needed to pull out of Iraq now. His reasoning; this pooch is so screwed the question isn't if, but when. He thinks there is nothing going to get better from our being there, and that makes the expenditure of more blood and treasure pointless.

It doesn't matter what you think of the arguments, he's got not only the right, but the duty, to speak to the issue. He's a member of congress, as a Representative he swore to look to the needs of the country, with a focus on the specific interests which affect his district. If he has decided the war (for which he voted, and he makes no bones about his vote; he says that based on what he was told, and knew, he'd vote that way again; is no longer in the interests of the nation, he must speak out, his exact comment was, "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

"General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, "the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency." General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

"For 2 ½ years, I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait - the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction - but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

"We spend more money on Intelligence that all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused."


Murtha, to give a bit of background, is no shrinking violet. He's a vet. He did two stints in the Corps; 1952-1955, and 1966-1967. He finished out Marine Corps Reserve career in 1990, doing more Reserve time in between '55 and '66. He's got two Purple Hearts, visits Bethesda and Walter Reed, regularly, and once told the commandant at one of them to award a Purple Heart which had been denied to a kid who'd been blinded and lost both hands; because it was friendly fire, saying that if they didn't he'd give the poor bastard one of his.

He's regularly supported the military; and he has the ear of the Corps, as well as contacts in DoD.

He takes no guff. When someone mentioned Cheney he shot back, "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

The response from the Republicans has been severe.

Today, on the floor of the House Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)(the woman who barely won the Second District, running against Paul Hackett; Marine)said this, "Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bop, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body – that we will see this through."

After the House lost all semblance of order she asked that it be stricken from the record.

Npw, according to Rollcall (which requires a subscription, so I'll quote it)"Republican lawmakers say that ties between Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and his brother’s lobbying firm, KSA Consulting, may warrant investigation by the House ethics committee.

The calls come as Murtha, a former Marine and pro-military Democrat, has made headlines this week by coming out in support of a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

According to a June 13 article in The Los Angeles Times, the fiscal 2005 defense appropriations bill included more than $20 million in funding for at least 10 companies for whom KSA lobbied. Carmen Scialabba, a longtime Murtha aide, works at KSA as well.

KSA directly lobbied Murtha’s office on behalf of seven companies, and a Murtha aide told a defense contractor that it should retain KSA to represent it, according to the LA Times.

In early 2004, Murtha reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A company called Lennar Inc. had right to the land, and Laurence Pelosi, nephew to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was an executive with the firm at that time.

Murtha also inserted earmarks in defense bills that steered millions of dollars in federal research funds toward companies owned by children of fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D).

Murtha and KSA have denied engaging in any improper or unethical behavior. Murtha’s offices in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., could not be reached for comment at press time.

But with GOP leaders infuriated by Murtha’s declaration this week that the United States should pull all its military forces out of Iraq in six months, renewed attention is being focused on Murtha’s dealings with KSA.

“I have read the articles about these appropriations projects that benefited his brother’s lobbying firm,” said Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). “If there is a potential pattern where Congressman Murtha has helped other Democrats secure appropriations that also benefited relatives of those Members, I believe this would be something that merits further review by the ethics committee.”


Now, I won't say this isn't unpalatable, because if it's as presented, it sure looks bad, but then again this is the same House which passed a rule saying that the Majority Leader wouldn't have to step down if he was indicted. The same House that thinks paying half a million dollars to one's wife for a stint as campaign manager (and some tens of thousands of dollars to his daughter as a consultant of some sort, IIRC) is just ducks. At least the firms and people to whom Murtha is accused of tossing the red-meat of contracts had to provide something of benefit to the people, in the form of jobs and goods.

On the other hand, the last three grafs go like this, "Jennifer Crider, a Pelosi aide, dismissed the allegation that the Minority Leader was involved in anything improper as “absolutely ludicrous, and an attempt to divert from the real issue that Mr. Murtha is attempting to engage in debate on a critically important topic — U.S. policy in Iraq. The real story here is the Republican strategy to try to discredit at Congressman Murtha” while he is pushing for a U.S. pullout from Iraq.

Republicans acknowledge that Murtha’s Iraq statement — coming from a Member with strong military credentials — is driving their renewed focus on the ethics questions surrounding the veteran Democratic lawmaker.

“It strikes at the heart of his credibility on [military] issues,” said the GOP lawmaker. “He’s put himself on the frontline.”


What we see is more of an organized use of the levers of power to attack, intimidate, and (if successful) destroy people; people who are merely doing their jobs.

Durbin was forced to recant, when he'd done nothing wrong. So was Newsweek. Saxby Chambliss said his opponent was a coward, who hated America, never mind that he was a Vet, who'd lost his legs in Viet-nam. Hackett was called a coward, because after all, he only led a Civil Affairs detatchment (a small group who go out, by themselves, no infantry support, no armor, no helicopter gunships on call) and mingle with the people, trying to convince them we are the good guys. Civil affairs goes and sees what's wrong, and then rolls up there sleeves to fix it. A pothole? They come back with some engineers and fill it.

He did that for a year. But he's not a "grunt" so how can he claim to be a combat vet.

It's reprehensible. It's petty. It's destructive of the political system. The ideas stop counting. Duty is maligned, and those who attempt to practice it are to be brought low, while those who shirk it are raised up.

It has to stop.



website free tracking

Date: 2005-11-19 03:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lawgeekgurl.livejournal.com
you only have to respect a military person as long as they say things you agree with, didn't you know? If they break the code of silence and say something against what you believe, they're fair game and you can call them cowards and insinuate that they shot themselves in the leg in a Swift Boat in Vietnam! Just ask Max Cleland!

Date: 2005-11-19 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damedini.livejournal.com
Yet again, an honest man stands up for his beliefs and those he exposes accuse him of their own crimes.
Look at Bush and Cheney's own financial interests and how they are served by the war...
Thank you for sharing this. I stand a US ctizen in Canada, watching less skewed news with joy, for I see the Bush fortress crumbling.

Date: 2005-11-19 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinboy.livejournal.com
It will when people stop voting in the current crop of muckraking Republicans, and vote in honest people, conservatives or liberals. There's a lot of chaff the Democrats could be well rid of too, but the leaders of the Republican party realy have no deptsh to which they won't sink, and they're draging the entire nation with them.

Date: 2005-11-19 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doryllis.livejournal.com
And then they had the gall to introduce their little bill...just the one line.

to paraphrase: Withdraw from Iraq immediately

Because of course that's *really* what Rep. Murtho was saying. "Give up now"

-"Misinformation is a weapon of Mass destruction"
Mass Destruction by Faithless

Date: 2005-11-19 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pecunium.livejournal.com
That bill was a piece of theater, meant to shame Murtha, and put him out in the cold.

One, it was a non-binding, "sense of the House" resolution, so even if it passsed it meant nothing, because it had no teeth, it wasn't a law, it wasn't even a real bill.

Two: it was a given that it would fail, thus showing the House, and by extension the people the House represents, are all for the war.

Smoke and mirrors, just ignore the man behind the curtain.

TK

Date: 2005-11-19 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doryllis.livejournal.com
Oh yeah friendly folk.

They kind of remind me of some other duly elected regimes that devolved into stripping rights from folk.

Date: 2005-11-21 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] antiquated-tory.livejournal.com
You might enjoy Wonkette's take on it (http://www.wonkette.com/politics/john-murtha/yo-murtha-notes-on-the-congressional-debate-on-iraq-withdrawal-138337.php), if you haven't read it already.

Date: 2005-11-19 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chris-goodwin.livejournal.com
If Murtha did what they say he did, he hasn't done anything that probably anyone else in the House hasn't done. Even the accusation is part of the game; it's sad that it has to be about this and not about, say, yet another pork project.

It's reprehensible. It's petty. It's destructive of the political system. The ideas stop counting. Duty is maligned, and those who attempt to practice it are to be brought low, while those who shirk it are raised up.

It's also how the administration got re-elected....

Strange question

Date: 2005-11-20 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamcompubear.livejournal.com
What is the minimum PT 1 mile run time to pass? My son and I were discussing it and I was wondering if he was going to be able to pass.

Re: Strange question

Date: 2005-12-08 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pecunium.livejournal.com
The test is two miles, and for a male, 17-21 the minimum time is 15:54.

But that is only measured after one gets in, and at that only after one finishes basic training. To get out of basic training the time is 16:30.

TK

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