Murtha, Haditha and Other Coming Events on Campaign 2008
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."