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gunnut
08 Feb 10,, 22:28
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., dies at 77
Vietnam veteran, lawmaker was an outspoken critic of the Iraq war

updated 1 hour, 35 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Murtha, an influential critic of the Iraq War whose congressional career was shadowed by questions about his ethics, 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. One of Congress' most hawkish Democrats, he wielded considerable clout for two decades as the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending.

Murtha voted in 2002 to authorize President George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq, but Murtha's growing frustration over the administration's handling of the war prompted him in November 2005 to call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," he said.

Murtha's opposition to the Iraq war rattled Washington, where the tall, gruff-mannered congressman enjoyed bipartisan respect for his work on military issues. On Capitol Hill, Murtha was seen as speaking for those in uniform when it came to military matters.

Born June 17, 1932, John Patrick Murtha delivered newspapers and worked at a gas station before graduating from Ramsay High School in Mount Pleasant.

Military service was in Murtha's blood. He said his great-grandfather served in the Civil War, his father and three uncles in World War II, and his brothers in the Marine Corps.

He left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines, where he rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island, S.C., and later served in the 2nd Marine Division.

Murtha moved back to Johnstown and remained with the Marine Reserves until he volunteered to go to Vietnam. He served as an intelligence officer there from 1966 to 1967 and received a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

After his discharge from the Marines, Murtha ran a small business in Johnstown. He went to the University of Pittsburgh on the GI Bill of rights, graduating in 1962 with a degree in economics.

He served in the Pennsylvania House in Harrisburg from 1969 until he was elected to Congress in a special election in 1974. In 1990, he retired from the Marine Reserves as a colonel.

"Ever since I was a young boy, I had two goals in life — I wanted to be a colonel in the Marine Corps and a member of Congress," Murtha wrote in his 2004 book, "From Vietnam to 9/11."

Murtha's criticism of the Iraq war intensified in 2006, when he accused Marines of murdering Iraqi civilians "in cold blood" at Haditha, Iraq, after one Marine died and two were wounded by a roadside bomb.

Critics said Murtha unfairly held the Marines responsible before an investigation was concluded and fueled enemy retaliation. He said the war couldn't be won militarily and such incidents dimmed the prospect for a political solution.

"This is the kind of war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people," Murtha said. "And we're set back every time something like this happens."

In 2008, the Republican Party used Murtha's words against him in TV ads aired less than a month before the election. The ads cited his criticism of the Haditha incident as well as his comment about "racist" voting tendencies of many western Pennsylvania residents. Still, Murtha handily won his 18th full term.

Ethics complaints
Murtha was a perennial target of critics of so-called pay-to-play politics. He routinely drew the attention of ethical watchdogs with off-the-floor activities from his entanglement in the Abscam corruption probe three decades ago to the more recent scrutiny of the connection between special-interest spending known as earmarks and the raising of cash for campaigns.

Murtha defended the practice of earmarking. The money, he said, benefited his constituents.

Murtha became chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee in 1989. The same year Paul Magliocchetti, a former subcommittee staffer, left Capitol Hill to found the now-defunct PMA Group. The lobbying firm, which specialized in obtaining earmarks for defense contractors, was one Murtha's biggest sources of campaign cash.

Murtha became chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee in 1989. The same year Paul Magliocchetti, a former subcommittee staffer, left Capitol Hill to found the now-defunct PMA Group. The lobbying firm, which specialized in obtaining earmarks for defense contractors, was one Murtha's biggest sources of campaign cash.

In 2007 and 2008, Murtha and two fellow Democrats on the subcommittee directed $137 million to defense contractors who were paying PMA to get them government business. Between 1989 and 2009, Murtha collected more than $2.3 million in campaign contributions from PMA's lobbyists and corporate clients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money.

Shortly after the 2008 election, the FBI raided PMA's offices as part of a criminal investigation. In a separate development in January 2009, FBI agents raided the offices of a defense contractor from Murtha's district — Windber-based Kuchera Defense Systems Inc. — that had received millions of dollars in earmarks sponsored by Murtha while contributing tens of thousands to his campaigns.

A year later, Kuchera was suspended from bidding on government contracts because of allegations that it paid more than $200,000 in kickbacks to another defense contractor.

Around the same time, the House ethics committee was investigating the link between PMA-related campaign contributions and earmarks, but it had not named a subcommittee to look into possible violations by individual lawmakers.

Murtha's critics recall the Abscam corruption probe, in which the FBI caught him on videotape in a 1980 sting operation turning down a $50,000 bribe offer while holding out the possibility that he might take money in the future.

"We do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't," Murtha said on the tape.

Six congressmen and one senator were convicted in that case. Murtha was not charged, but the government named him as an unindicted co-conspirator and he testified against two other congressmen.

Murtha's district encompasses all or part of nine counties in southwestern Pennsylvania and embodies the region's stereotypes of coal mines, steel mills and blue-collar values.

Constituents credited Murtha with bringing jobs and health care to the region, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars for local industry, hospitals and tourism. Critics derisively nicknamed Murtha the "king of pork" and said he used his position on the defense subcommittee to win favors.

Murtha often delivered Democratic votes to Republican leaders in exchange for the funding of pet projects. He wasn't shy about such deals, once saying that "dealmaking is what Congress is all about."

In 2006, when the Democrats captured control of the House for the first time in 12 years, Rep. Nancy Pelosi endorsed Murtha to become majority leader. Pelosi, D-Calif., went on to be elected as the first female House speaker, but caucus members picked Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., as their leader.


Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., dies at 77 - Capitol Hill- msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35299741/ns/politics-capitol_hill/?GT1=43001)

TopHatter
08 Feb 10,, 22:32
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., dies at 77 - Capitol Hill- msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35299741/ns/politics-capitol_hill/?GT1=43001)

Managed to skip out of an Abscam conviction by the skin of his teeth...couldn't wait to raise the white flag during the Iraq War...probably the undisputed king of earmark pork...

Let me know where they bury him so I can spit on his grave. The country is a safer place.

gunnut
08 Feb 10,, 22:40
Managed to skip out of an Abscam conviction by the skin of his teeth...couldn't wait to raise the white flag during the Iraq War...probably the undisputed king of earmark pork...

Let me know where they bury him so I can spit on his grave. The country is a safer place.

I wanted to wait for maybe 24 hours before I start dumping on him. :tongue:

zraver
08 Feb 10,, 23:10
Not me, how many people died because his comments on Iraq gave the insurgents faith to keep up the fight just a little bit longer? Add this to his corruption and it equals good riddance.

surfgun
08 Feb 10,, 23:16
Cheers!!!

gunnut
08 Feb 10,, 23:29
Wow you guys are ruthless!!!:eek:

zraver
09 Feb 10,, 01:34
How much consideration did he give the troops he put in danger in order to advance his own political goals?

gunnut
09 Feb 10,, 01:55
How much consideration did he give the troops he put in danger in order to advance his own political goals?

Probably none. But of course Code Pink will tell you he wants to bring them home where it's safe.

I think Murtha was a scumbag. I will pee on him even if he's not on fire. I just thought I should wait until at least the body is cold before I piss on him.:tongue:

First Teddy. Now Murtha. Washington is better today than yesterday.

TopHatter
09 Feb 10,, 02:56
First Teddy. Now Murtha. Washington is better today than yesterday.

I wonder what the odds are on Barbara Boxer getting thrown out of office....

Blue
09 Feb 10,, 03:45
I am so glad to come home tonight and find like minded individuals!!!

I had not caught any news today and my wife asked me this afternoon if I had heard about the politician that died. I said no, who was it? She couldn't remember and I hadn't heard so I figured no one special.

Driving back from Ft Scott KS this evening in a friggin BLIZZARD and listening to Mark Levin, fox news led thier thier top of the hour newsbreak with JOHN MURTHA!! My wife sitting next to me about jumped out of her skin when I whooped, smacked my hand on the dash and exclaimed "HELL YEAH!!!! One more stinkin crooked bastard down!!"

Hope him and Teddy are getting what they deserve in hell!!:)

I feel like justice is on a roll, wonder whos next? Bet Pelosi is keeping a close eye on her cholesterol and blood pressure, the hag!!!:biggrin::biggrin:

Blue
09 Feb 10,, 03:48
I wonder what the odds are on Barbara Boxer getting thrown out of office.... Not as good as the odds of getting hit by a snowplow right now!:biggrin::biggrin:

ASparr
09 Feb 10,, 04:30
Usually I just lurk here for the hell of it but even I need to say something.

You guys are disgusting. A long serving member of the United States Congress just died in office after a lifetime serving his country. A former marine with the silver star, Cross of Gallantry and Distinguished Service Medal. Regardless of what you think about his policies and his politics, the man is a decorated former marine who has spent his entire life in the service of his nation. You, you who purport to be patriotic former soldiers who love their country, now stand and spit and disparage the memory of a man, marine and statesman not yet cold from death.

Yeah, yuck it up fellas. A great day for our country.

Blue
09 Feb 10,, 05:14
Usually I just lurk here for the hell of it but even I need to say something.

You guys are disgusting. A long serving member of the United States Congress just died in office after a lifetime serving his country. A former marine with the silver star, Cross of Gallantry and Distinguished Service Medal. Regardless of what you think about his policies and his politics, the man is a decorated former marine who has spent his entire life in the service of his nation. You, you who purport to be patriotic former soldiers who love their country, now stand and spit and disparage the memory of a man, marine and statesman not yet cold from death.

Yeah, yuck it up fellas. A great day for our country.

A long time SELF SERVING member of congress. Regardless what he did as Marine, was forever tainted by what he did as a politician. There are plenty of heroes to look up to, I suggest you go find another because here is you goddam hero in all his glory!

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ASparr
09 Feb 10,, 05:19
A long time SELF SERVING member of congress. Regardless what he did as Marine, was forever tainted by what he did as a politician. There are plenty of heroes to look up to, I suggest you go find another because here is you goddam hero in all his glory!

He's not my hero. At no time did I ever voice any support for him, his policies or his past actions.

The man is dead. Not being sad he is dead and showing respect for him is one thing. Jumping for joy and celebrating is barbaric and shameful.

astralis
09 Feb 10,, 05:57
IMHO, we should give credit where it's due: he was a good Marine but a lousy excuse for a Senator, pandering to his constituents (while insulting them) at the cost of everyone else.

ASparr
09 Feb 10,, 06:01
I would agree with that statement, though a minor nitpick: he wasn't a senator, he was a representative.

Blue
09 Feb 10,, 06:06
IMHO, we should give credit where it's due: he was a good Marine but a lousy excuse for a Senator, pandering to his constituents (while insulting them) at the cost of everyone else.


I would agree with that statement, though a minor nitpick: he wasn't a senator, he was a representative.

Heheh.....Aren't you a beltway boy astralis??:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

astralis
09 Feb 10,, 07:03
eric,

what can i say, the snowcalypse has fried my brain!? :biggrin: :P

Blue
09 Feb 10,, 07:08
eric,

what can i say, the snowcalypse has fried my brain!? :biggrin: :P

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

JAD_333
09 Feb 10,, 11:06
IMHO, we should give credit where it's due: he was a good Marine but a lousy excuse for a Senator, pandering to his constituents (while insulting them) at the cost of everyone else.

He wasn't a lousy Senator. He was a lousy member of the house. :) And you, a Washington insider. :rolleyes: I kind of go along with ASparr. It is unseemly to revel in a man's death even if he was pain in the patoot. Afterall, he has a grieving family who may well come across our little jigs while browsing the web for comment on his death.

And ASparr, ease up on the righteousness. We felt betrayed by the man at a crucial time.

JAD_333
09 Feb 10,, 11:09
eric,

what can i say, the snowcalypse has fried my brain!? :biggrin: :P

More brain frying on the way. :))

JAD_333
09 Feb 10,, 11:11
What's everyone doing up at this hour?

tim52
09 Feb 10,, 16:21
It is unseemly to revel in a man's death even if he was pain in the patoot.

I would agree. Unfortunately I think the sentiments expressed here reflect how bitter and twisted we have become. I for one vote for a little more civility.

Dreadnought
09 Feb 10,, 16:29
Managed to skip out of an Abscam conviction by the skin of his teeth...couldn't wait to raise the white flag during the Iraq War...probably the undisputed king of earmark pork...

Let me know where they bury him so I can spit on his grave. The country is a safer place.

*One must give him credit for being a former Marine Officer. Although I certainly dont agree with some of his comments about our troops and never will.

*As far as pork goes TH you have no idea. Especially the earmarks to his sons company and an airport in the middle of nowhere that could only land private planes.

*Didnt care much for the man nor his brash comments, Pa deserved a better Representative but not this way.

astralis
09 Feb 10,, 17:01
JAD,


And you, a Washington insider.

ouch, what a mean, hurtful thing to say about anybody :biggrin:

zraver
09 Feb 10,, 17:37
IMHO, we should give credit where it's due: he was a good Marine but a lousy excuse for a Senator, pandering to his constituents (while insulting them) at the cost of everyone else.

and Cunningham is an ace, I am not going to weep when he passes either. They buried their honor is the pigshit of politics.

texasjohn
09 Feb 10,, 18:20
I would agree. Unfortunately I think the sentiments expressed here reflect how bitter and twisted we have become. I for one vote for a little more civility.

I second that vote. Let's rise above all that. He gets to meet his maker, just like we all will someday.

TopHatter
09 Feb 10,, 18:46
Usually I just lurk here for the hell of it but even I need to say something.

You guys are disgusting. A long serving member of the United States Congress just died in office after a lifetime serving his country. A former marine with the silver star, Cross of Gallantry and Distinguished Service Medal. Regardless of what you think about his policies and his politics, the man is a decorated former marine who has spent his entire life in the service of his nation. You, you who purport to be patriotic former soldiers who love their country, now stand and spit and disparage the memory of a man, marine and statesman not yet cold from death.

Yeah, yuck it up fellas. A great day for our country.

Sorry, but a peice of shit is a piece of shit.

John Murtha was a piece of shit.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham was a piece of shit.

Long serving? How about self-serving?

Man? Marine? Statesman?

He can lay claim to Marine. Too bad he spat on and disparaged his own service, both by his actions and by his words.

Spit on his grave? I think I'd rather piss on his grave.

YellowFever
09 Feb 10,, 23:16
Any contribution he made as a Marine was vastly outweighed by the disservice he did to America with his self righteous speeches wrt to Iraq.


I'm not reveling in his death but I am over-joyed that he can no longer harm the country anymore.

surfgun
09 Feb 10,, 23:57
Word has it either his intestines were either nipped or ruptured during surgery. So he was finally poisoned by the same shit that he has been using to poison this country with, for decades!

surfgun
10 Feb 10,, 00:53
Usually I just lurk here for the hell of it but even I need to say something.

You guys are disgusting. A long serving member of the United States Congress just died in office after a lifetime serving his country. A former marine with the silver star, Cross of Gallantry and Distinguished Service Medal. Regardless of what you think about his policies and his politics, the man is a decorated former marine who has spent his entire life in the service of his nation. You, you who purport to be patriotic former soldiers who love their country, now stand and spit and disparage the memory of a man, marine and statesman not yet cold from death.

Yeah, yuck it up fellas. A great day for our country.

When one has dog crap on one's shoes, isn't it OK, to be glad that you managed to get that crap off of your shoe?;)
Any good that he did as a Marine, he did a very good job at diminishing it, through the way he exploited his country while in the House.

ASparr
10 Feb 10,, 03:28
Friends, WABbits, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Murtha, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
So let it be with Murtha.


My personal feelings wrt Murtha are irrelevant. As far as I'm concerned, a former marine and current US Congressman just died. Period. His legacy will live shamefully on, but for now, I ask for at least a little respect at his passing.

If you disagree or don't want to do that, that's fine. I just hope the people you know have a little more respect for you when you die, and I hope the same for myself.


---

Sorry, I tend to be self-righteous and it's a bad habit. But it's hard not to be when you're so gosh-darned arrogant. :P

Old World Order
10 Feb 10,, 04:22
I didn't always agree with his politics, but he tried his best to do well by his constituents, and will be missed. RIP

TopHatter
10 Feb 10,, 05:05
My personal feelings wrt Murtha are irrelevant. As far as I'm concerned, a former marine and current US Congressman just died. Period. His legacy will live shamefully on, but for now, I ask for at least a little respect at his passing.You may ask...but with Murtha's record...Sorry, but I don't see that happening.

As for getting respect due to a Congressman...you're kidding right? If we were talking about someone like Larry Pressler I'd see your point.

I've got more respect for a piano player in a whorehouse. At least he's working for his paycheck.

If you disagree or don't want to do that, that's fine. I just hope the people you know have a little more respect for you when you die, and I hope the same for myself.I'm hoping that by the time I kick off, I won't have a record like Murtha's staring my surviving friends in the face.


Sorry, I tend to be self-righteous and it's a bad habit. But it's hard not to be when you're so gosh-darned arrogant. :P*shrug* You're free to be self-righteous just as we're free to be gosh-darned arrogant. ;)

ASparr
10 Feb 10,, 05:20
You may ask...but with Murtha's record...Sorry, but I don't see that happening.

As for getting respect due to a Congressman...you're kidding right? If we were talking about someone like Larry Pressler I'd see your point.

I've got more respect for a piano player in a whorehouse. At least he's working for his paycheck.

I admit -- I laughed at the piano player comment. :tongue:

Congressmen are.... theoretically the mechanisms through which the people make their voices heard in our Republic. Are most congressmen horribly corrupt, incompetent and opportunistic? Indeed, to a level I dared not fear was possible. But as long as I pledge my allegiance and indeed my life to my country and her Constitution, I will show the proper respect accorded to the office that these, less then honourable men occupy. As much as it may turn my stomach to do so.


I'm hoping that by the time I kick off, I won't have a record like Murtha's staring my surviving friends in the face.

I'm sure you wont -- you certainly seem more honorable then certain congressmen (all) -- but my parents drilled and drilled the old "do unto others" maxim til I was blue in the face and I guess it stuck with me.


*shrug* You're free to be self-righteous just as we're free to be gosh-darned arrogant.

Glad to know, but I certainly didn't mean to imply you all were arrogant -- I was referring to myself. Though, as I'm sure time will tell, I am no grammar whiz.

Shek
10 Feb 10,, 13:38
Brutes in Suits (http://cafehayek.com/2010/02/brutes-in-suits.html)


Your favorable front-page remembrance of the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha inadvertently testifies to the abysmally low standards to which politicians are held (“John Murtha dies; longtime congressman was master of pork-barrel politics,” Feb. 9). By your own account, Mr. Murtha was the “King of Pork.” He was known for skillfully using Congressional procedures to earmark funds for his district – that is, to prompt Uncle Sam to take money from Americans at large and give it to the relatively small number of Pennsylvanians who elect Mr. Murtha to office.

His justification? “I take care of my district.” Nothing here about spending taxpayer money wisely; nothing about the general welfare; nothing about principles or fiscal responsibility.

If Mr. Murtha on his own had traveled the country picking pockets, robbing banks, and burgling houses, only to bring the booty back to western PA and share it with his friends, he would have been rightly despised as a common criminal. But because Mr. Murtha joined forces with persons having similarly questionable morals, who together pass off their thievery as “lawmaking,” he’s celebrated in your pages – celebrated for doing, save on a grander scale, exactly what is done by common thieves.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Blue
10 Feb 10,, 16:13
Sorry, but a peice of shit is a piece of shit.

John Murtha was a piece of shit.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham was a piece of shit.

Long serving? How about self-serving?

Man? Marine? Statesman?

He can lay claim to Marine. Too bad he spat on and disparaged his own service, both by his actions and by his words.

Spit on his grave? I think I'd rather piss on his grave.

100% agree!!

I am actually happy and relieved that he's dead. He was exactly as you describe and the "brutes in suits" that Shek posted puts it well also.

It is a shame when the only way one of these bastards can be rid of is when they finally die of age and ill health!

I call the passing of he and Teddy a good omen of a new era dedicated to freedom and our founding principles and putting these power hungry, lying, self-serving, sacks of shit either in the grave or delegating them the pages of bad history. Either way, the American people(who get it btw) get relief from the outrageous, illogical dogma these socialists have thrust upon us in the name of progress and fairness, which it has been neither!:mad:

Bluesman
10 Feb 10,, 17:45
I guess I have such low expectations of politicians that I never really held the pork thang against Murtha. ABSCAM revealed how venal he was, and if his constituents were of a mind to forgive him for his obvious corruption, well, what say do i have in the matter?

But what really made me recoil from one such as he was his 'slow bleed' strategy. He referred to the blood of US troops, NOT the terrorists'. It was a cynical and dare I say EVIL attempt to lose the war in Iraq, but to make sure his party wouldn't take the blame for it, like a straightforward cutting off of funds would have done. IF the Democrats were so convinced that Iraq should be abandoned for the good of the country, instead of for their own political fortunes, thought to wax when Dubya was stuck with a defeat, then they had the means to do that. But they didn't have the courage.

I think the guy was a rat and a disgrace to his Corps, and his prejudicial comments about his former brothers were just a confirmation of what he plainly was: a Democrat politician that would do anything to those that he owed his loyalty to so that he could retain political power, and gain more. His country and his Corps came second behind his ambition.

RIP, John Murtha. May we never see another of your kind rise - and sink - to the level you attained.