Monday, June 26, 2006

Jack Murtha: Veteran Ex-Marine Hero or Lying Cowardly Crybaby REMF?

I ran across a reference to an interesting post by Techniguy, in which he describes the results of his own investigation into Jack Murtha's background. Here are the highlights:

I found a man with a couple of years of active duty, and the rest of his 37-year career spent in the Marine Corps Reserve.

I found a man who served in the Marines during Korean War, yes, but somehow never actually made it to Korea.

I found a man with one year in Vietnam, not 'up front' but in the rear area, as a staff intelligence offer.

I found a man who's no more been in combat, or is a war hero, than I am.

Even John Kerry has more combat experience than Jack Murtha.

I know flight attendants who have spent more time in Danang than him.
Techniguy then posts a letter from Congressman Don Bailey to Murtha, whose disgust with Murtha is loud and clear. Congressman Bailey, apparently duped by Murtha into helping to clear House Ethics Committee charges over Murtha's involvement in the ABSCAM scandle (in which Murtha was not charged but was named as an unindicted co-conspirator), details admissions by Murtha to him that his Purple Heart was thoroughly undeserved, among other things:

I'm writing on matters of joint concern. A number of weeks ago I was talking with someone who is a mutual acquaintance and your name came up. It was an unusually frank discussion and I considered it private. I did relate some opinions about you and shared some recollections about experiences with you in Congress. I was, to be honest, critical about how you misled me about ABSCAM where you convinced me you had voluntarily told federal agents about the offer of money to you and I learned later, after I had successfully defeated the ethics charges against you, that you had merely manipulated the system to cooperate with federal agents to avoid prosecution.

I also shared my recollection of when you admitted, back in our corner, that you didn't earn your purple hearts (you indicated you had small scratch on your cheek that wasn't even directly related to an APC that ran over a small anti personnel mine that was behind you). The other purple heart you even declined to explain.

At the time you were feeling particularly vulnerable, because it wasn't too long after you had called me crying and sobbing, thanking me for "saving your life" before the ethics committee. There was no doubt in my mind that you were expressing to me that you did not believe you did anything sufficient to earn the purple heart, and that you didn't want to be active in my efforts to laud Vietnam Veterans that served with us.

Jack Murtha is beneath contempt. He has shown himself to be the archetypal self-centered, self-serving, lying, dishonest, stupid politician. This former REMF should have been booted out of Congress twenty years ago, and now does everything he can to further his own ambitions, and in the process aiding and abetting America's enemies. Shame on him.

Murtha is opposed for re-election by Republican Diana Irey, who says that she has received donations to her campaign from people in 48 states - an amazing fact, considering this is a small congressional district in Pennsylvania. Let's hope that she is successful in relegating Murtha to the same ashheap as Tom Daschle.

Update: Techniguy has this open letter to Murtha from Kurt G. - Gunnery Sergeant, USMC, Retired. It is a thorough and much deserved lambasting by somebody who remembers what it means to be a Marine.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

HotAir Cleans House, Throws Yours Truly Out With The Bathwater

Apparently I am just too clever for my own good. As a result, I find myself banned from posting comments on Hot Air (something that I kinda enjoyed doing, and it added a trickle of traffic to Wambulance too). The sad part is, its all just a misunderstanding. That is, I would prefer to believe that it is a misunderstanding rather than a case of HotAir's AllahPundit being too dense to comprehend nuanced irony when he sees it. Here are the facts...

On June 20, 2006 HotAir's AllahPundit posted this item regarding the tragedy of the 2 US soldiers who had been kidnapped and whose brutally murdered and horribly mutilated bodies were later found. Understandably, the overall reaction in the comment section to this atrocity was heated, to put it mildly. Some commenters expressed their frustration by calling for massive retaliation in the form of carpet bombing the areas of insurgent activity. AllahPundit challenged these assertions, which the commenters then vigorously defended. After following the thread for awhile, I crafted and submitted my own comment:

In the struggle to acquire the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, the only option for success after carpet bombing is to use a sponge and a mop.

inmanjh on June 20, 2006 at 5:04 PM

Is this statement that hard to understand? All I meant was that carpet bombing would kill innocents and eliminate any possibility of support from the Iraqi population. My wife understood what I meant immediately (one of the reasons I married her), as did anyone else with whom I discussed this matter. Hey, I'm obtuse but I'm not that obtuse!

After posting this comment, I went on about my business and didn't give it another thought. The next day I was perusing HotAir and noticed that, instead of a text box for me to enter my comments, it merely stated "You are not allowed to leave comments." Hmm?

I sent an email to AllahPundit inquiring whether my posting privileges had been revoked, and he responded:

"Yes, Jay, it's been revoked. We appreciate your participation but
we're trying to change the tone in the comments section. No hard

No hard feelings? Thats easy for him to say. WTF is this all about? I mull it over while I continue to browse HotAir until I find this comment from AllahPundit in this item (emphasis added):

See-Dubya — Yeah, in quantity. But if you want to kill thousands of Kurds, you could also carpet-bomb them the old-fashioned way. Are the chem shells that much more lethal?
You know, like some of our (ex-)commenters want to do to the Iraqis.

Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 6:07 PM

Ok, now that rings a bell. I go back to the post in which I left my "sponge and mop" comment and read further down into the comments section. Patterico weighs in (emphasis added):

I haven’t read all the comments here, but I have read enough to get the idea that some commenters would like the United States to carpet-bomb civilians, or randomly kill civilians.
You should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. We’re there to help the Iraqis — now you want us to randomly slaughter them like the terrorists do to us?
I shouldn’t have to say this, but that is despicable and outrageous.
I think it comes from you seeing all Iraqis as less than human.
Have any of you met Omar and Mohammed, the folks who run Iraq the Model?
Well, I have. They are inspirational people, fighting for freedom in a land that has known far too little of it, for far too long.
The actions you advocate could kill them. Indeed, you suggest *targeting* people exactly like them.
If you had met them, you wouldn’t be saying this.
I hope that the commenters making suggestions like this get banned.
Patterico on June 21, 2006 at 1:07 AM

This is immediately followed by AllahPundit:

A bunch of folks who have commented in this thread will no longer be joining us in the Hot Air comments section. It’s been a long time coming, frankly; Bryan and I have talked with Michelle about the tone of the comments at some length in recent days and none of us are happy with it.
I’m not going to lecture anyone. You’re all entitled to your opinions, but you’re not entitled to use our space as a platform. There are a million other conservative forums out there.
Registration at Free Republic is indeed free, and they seem to have a higher tolerance for this sort of thing.
Thanks all for your contributions, and best of luck in your new digs. To the rest of you guys: I mean what I say about changing the tone here. If you can’t muster anything except “it’s the goddamned media’s fault” or “we need to let our troops off the leash” or “Michelle looks HAWT,” you have two choices: (a) refrain from commenting until you have something substantive to say or (b) sign up for one of those Freeper accounts I mentioned.
Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 1:08 AM

Now, I can assure you, gentle reader, that your humble correspondent has never wasted his time posting anything as inane as “it’s the goddamned media’s fault” or “we need to let our troops off the leash” or “Michelle looks HAWT.” I pride myself on my measured, carefully crafted posts. So what gives here? Why have I been lumped in with the type-before-you-think-and-then-don't-even-think-that-much-anyway crowd?

I traced it back to my "sponge and mop" post. The only conclusion I can reach is that AllahPundit cleaned house with a very broad brush and swept away more than perhaps he should. Or maybe I'm just deluding myself regarding the quality and content of my own writing. That is a distinct possibility.

At any rate, I will continue to believe that I was unjustly revoked from posting on HotAir until somebody convinces me otherwise. Any takers?

If you should happen to read this post (and I readily concede that not many will) and you feel that I have a legitimate beef, drop AllahPundit a line and give him what-for in my behalf. He isn't answering my mail any more.

P.S. - Like my graphic, above? Nothing inspires like righteous anger, ya know.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Hadji Girl"

And now, a brief musical interlude...