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.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 found a man who served in the Marines during Korean War, yes, but somehow never actually made it to
I found a man with one year in
, not 'up front' but in the rear area, as a staff intelligence offer. Vietnam
I found a man who's no more been in combat, or is a war hero, than I am.
JohnKerry has more combat experience than Jack Murtha.
I know flight attendants who have spent more time in
Danang than him.
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.