This blog features information about the political campaign nationally and in the state of Pennsylvania. it will discuss congressional races western PA, but it won't restrict comments to those jurisdictions. On many occasions, it will feature humor, but its main purpose is to "cut the legs off" political jihad. This is a site for political grown-ups of all ages.

Location: Ambridge, Pennsylvania, United States

I have a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester (English and American Literature). I taught for 10 years at various educational institutions (Univ. of Rochester, my alma mater, College of William and Mary, and University of Georgia, where I was also Asst. Ed. of the Georgia Review. Later, I worked as a speechwriter and "thinker" at various large companies, including Phillips Petroleum, Gulf Oil, Aetna, Merck (consultant), and Eli Lilly (consultant), among many others. I'm a full-time writer and political commentator/analyst. Favorite company: AudioTech Business Books. Favorite female: my wife, Patricia Ann Maloney. Favorite politcal candidate: Diana Lynn Irey (PA's 12th congressional district)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Murtha, Haditha and Other Coming Events on Campaign 2008

This week in Pennsylvania: Two Marines from his state received the Silver Star for gallantry, both of them posthumously. One of those Marines, who threw himself on a grenade to protect his buddies, has received a nomination for the nation's highest commendation, the Medal of Honor. Yesterday, one Marine from Pennsylvania was charged with committing a crime last year in Haditha, Iraq.

In coming days, I'll be writing more about Haditha -- and Congressman Jack Murtha's role in making it nearly impossible for the Marines under suspicion to receive a fair hearing. I'll do some thorough investigation into what Congressman Murtha knew (not much, apparently), when he knew it (or made most of it up), and, especially, what Marine senior officers, if any, gave him information.

The issue here is that those officers -- if they exist -- are part of the USMC chain-of-command and could play a role in determining the innocence or guilt of the Marines. If any officers did talk to Murtha, it's essential to determine who they are and which of their superiors gave them preliminary information about the actions that took place at Haditha. Don't expect such details to come from Murtha, at least until he plunks down in a witness chair.

Marines or political officials who made early statements about Haditha almost before the investigation began risked "poisoning the well." John Murtha, with his role as chairman of the subcommittee of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has control over the spending spigot for defense. He's a strong ally of the Speaker of the House.

In short, he has tremendous power to influence defense policy. That should -- but seemingly doesn't -- impose a responsibility on him to make reasoned, informed statements on matters pertaining to defense and the military.

If any Marine is convicted of illegal actions at Haditha, I imagine his first line of defense will involve the unfortunate statements made by Congressman Murtha. Taken in whole, his comments about Haditha are factually wrong and morally despicable.

Truth in blogging: Because of the unfair treatment of the Haditha Marines mentioned above, I plan to contribute to their defense funds and urge others to do the same. "Semper Fi."


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