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Archive for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rep. John Murtha, Iraq war critic, dies at 77

February 9, 2010

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— Rep. John Murtha, the tall, gruff-mannered former Marine who became the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill and later an outspoken and influential critic of the Iraq War, died Monday. He was 77.

The Pennsylvania Democrat had been suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. He died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said.

In 1974 Murtha, then an officer in the Marine Reserves, became the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress. Ethical questions often shadowed his congressional service, but he was best known for being among Congress’ most hawkish Democrats. He wielded considerable clout for two decades as the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending.

Comments

diplomacy205 4 years, 10 months ago

Rep. Murtha was a man of the highest courage. He tried to do what he thought was best.

The story has a typo. He was not a former Marine. He was a retired Marine. Semper Fi

Kontum1972 4 years, 10 months ago

i met John Murtha where i work...he knew the Dog of War just as i do.....

John you will be missed....you are my hero..i will see u in the next world...HuRah..!

Hand Salute..!

jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't a fan of the politics he adopted late in his career, but the man served his country twice. You have to respect that.
Semper Fi, John, and Godspeed.

yankeevet 4 years, 10 months ago

that fool is now with the other fool; kennedy; both worthless; greedy; lyin dogs; rum/scotch drinkers; ; living off the taxpayers...........worthless .................someday i will tell u how i really feel..........

EXks 4 years, 10 months ago

Cheney's obituary will read: war criminal, liar, 5-time draft dodger, never served chicken-hawk, 2 unfinished wars, and responsible for the unnecessary deaths of thousands

GOP = Regressive Evolution, church of Palintology, glen beck tin foil hat syndrome

remember_username 4 years, 10 months ago

The above comments are a perfect example of bi-partisan rhetoric overshadowing the respect due a man who served his country with honor. Congressman Murtha volunteered to serve in Vietnam as a reservist who had already fulfilled a military obligation to his country. This in a time so many others were joining the reserve branches in order to avoid combat. Congressman Murtha may have been accused of flirting with the boundary of political ethics, but only to bring jobs to the district he represented, not for personal gain. He was awarded a Bronze Star (V) and two purple hearts among other decorations for his service in Vietnam, and as a congressman did what he could for the people he represented - all else is pure bull crap. Semper fi, Colonel.

rhd99 4 years, 10 months ago

Like all Americans who served in uniform to protect our freedoms, regardless of political affiliation, Murtha's efforts to keep America safe & free from tyrannical terrorists must not be forgotten. I have deep respect for him & all who have made sacrifices so that our way of life can be protected. May he rest in peace.

sfjayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

He was many different things to many people - but no one can argue that he was correct on his assessment on the Iraq war debacle - and the fact that he didnt want any more marines lives thrown away by a president that knew nothing about what service in the military was all about was a service to the military.

mickeyrat 4 years, 10 months ago

How many of those here who would question Rep. Murtha's honorable service in the "Corp" (sic) would call Oliver North a hero for breaking the law (re: the Boland Amendment, forbidding aid to the Nicaraguan Contras)?

As a reward for breaking his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, a certain Republican party tried to make him a Senator, and when Virginia failed to be duped, he got rewarded with a show on Fox News.

Calling Murtha a traitor for opposing the Iraq War smells rank.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 10 months ago

It is amazing how many Patriotic Americans do not hold respect for a veteran simply because they did not like his political views.

It is proof positive that these people have no morals or values whatsoever, only sides. They will scream patriotism one moment, but ignore it the next just because someone disagrees with them.

They are the worst failures of America.

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 10 months ago

Just because he serve in the military doesn't make him a great servant of the people of PA or USA. Can't remember ever agreeing with him but may be rest in peace.

EXks 4 years, 10 months ago

Some of you old geezers are approaching end-of-life and have one foot in the grave yourselves, expect a visit from Darwin.

Regressive evolution, church of Palintology, glen beck tin foil hat syndrome

remember_username 4 years, 10 months ago

ComradeRedRooster - I must disagree with the perception of some of your statements in that post at 10:40 (except the one about bad haiku - that was spot on). My first thought is that Congressman Murtha was wrong to make comments on an investigation in progress. However, after checking on the facts he appeared to be responding to an already completed investigation by Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell in which the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians were investigated rather than the 15 deaths originally reported by the USMC. 15 of the 24 civilians, including both women and children (ages 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 10, and 14) were killed, after entering the houses of the deceased. Many of those killed were as a result of small arms fire to the head and chest rather than by shrapnel. Thus the statement “They actually went into the houses and killed women and children. And there was about twice as many as originally reported by Times” seems accurate to me. Admission from those Marines granted immunity support the above investigations, as did the many photographs taken from the scene during the investigation.

A Congressman Murtha comment from the same report that you left out said, in part, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," Gen. Bargewell’s report placed the majority of blame on the “rules of engagement”; a excerpt from the report states "Statements made by the chain of command during interviews for this investigation, taken as a whole, suggest that Iraqi civilian lives are not as important as U.S. lives, their deaths are just the cost of doing business, and that the Marines need to get 'the job done' no matter what it takes. These comments had the potential to desensitize the Marines to concern for the Iraqi populace and portray them all as the enemy even if they are noncombatants. . . .” I am certain that Congressman Murtha was well aware of those pressures that can cause a Marine to behave less than honorably and that all too often those that have never been in combat will place the blame of an atrocity on the grunt in the field, not upon the conditions in which he/she must operate. I, for one, do not "cringe" or "curse" John Muthra for calling like he saw it.

BrianR 4 years, 10 months ago

John Murtha served his country and continued in public service until his dying day. Have a little respect. Some of your comments are disgraceful.

supertrampofkansas 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't have much to say about the commentary on here but I can tell you if I was sitting in a foxhole exchanging gunfire with the enemy, I much rather have John Murtha next to me than any of you pansies spitting on the man's grave. That is my 2 cents worth anyway.

tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

I'll miss Murtha the Marine. May God bless him and his family. The uniform services have lost a true advocate.

As for Murtha the politician, I'm glad he is no longer a part of the US congress. He was a corrupt hypocrite of the most vile sort.

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