Sunday, November 20, 2005

"MURTHAGATE" - the loud tear-filled call for immediate withdrawal was a smokescreen

A commenter on this blog - "Noble" - suggested that perhaps (1) Murtha's sudden BIG LOUD TEAR-FILLED call for "immediate withdrawal from Iraq," (an OLD position for him, but one that he had NEVER tried to BROADCAST AS LOUDLY OR AS WIDELY BEFORE), AND (2) the sudden "play" it got from the House Democrats - led by Nancy Pelosi the Minority Leader - was a smokescreen intended to BOTH misdirect attention from impending ethics investigations over them both using influence to steer DOD business to their relatives and business friends.

Specifically it seems that Murtha steered business to HIS BROTHER'S LOBBYING FIRM - KSA - and helped Pelosi get a big project for her district which DIRECTLY BENEFITTED A RELATIVE OF HERS.

KJ Lopez of NRO's THE CORNER linked to a JUNE 13, 2005 LA TIMES article about just such an impending investigation: LATIMES (this link is to an anti-Bush blog which excerpted the article; the actual article has"mysteriously" disappeared from the LATIMEs own website) -
LATIMES: "When Congress passed the $417-billion Pentagon spending bill last ear, Rep. John P. Murtha, the top Democrat on the House defense appropriations subcommittee, boasted about the money he secured to create jobs in his Pennsylvania district.

But the bill Murtha helped write also benefited at least 10 companies represented by a lobbying firm where his brother, Robert "Kit" Murtha, is a senior partner, according to disclosure records, interviews and an analysis of the bill by The Times."
ROLL CALL put it this way:
Republican lawmakers say that ties between Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and his brother's lobbying firm, KSA Consulting, may warrant investigation by the House ethics committee...

According to a June 13 article in The Los Angeles Times, the fiscal 2005 defense appropriations bill included more than $20 million in funding for at least 10 companies for whom KSA lobbied. Carmen Scialabba, a longtime Murtha aide, works at KSA as well. KSA directly lobbied Murtha's office on behalf of seven companies, and a Murtha aide told a defense contractor that it should retain KSA to represent it, according to the LA Times.

In early 2004, Murtha reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A company called Lennar Inc. had right to the land, and Laurence Pelosi, nephew to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was an executive with the firm at that time.

Murtha also inserted earmarks in defense bills that steered millions of dollars in federal research funds toward companies owned by children of fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D).
Murtha also flexed his muscles with the DOD to get his boss, Pelosi a big DOD deal for her district:
The agreement came a few weeks after the Navy sent Newsom a letter saying that it was having doubts about going ahead with an agreement that was announced with great fanfare in Washington in January 2002 by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, then-Mayor Willie Brown and Navy Secretary Gordon England.

When he was in Washington last Wednesday, Newsom met in the Capitol offices of Pelosi, the House minority leader, with Pelosi, Navy Assistant Secretary Hansford T. Johnson, representatives of California Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a big gun brought in by Pelosi to convince the Navy the time for delays had passed.

Murtha, the powerful ranking Democrat on the House military appropriations subcommittee, made it clear to the Navy that he wanted a binding agreement signed by Wednesday. Another meeting was held in Pelosi's offices Wednesday, minus Newsom, and the Navy signed the accord.
According to THE HILL Murtha is the number one Democrat money grubber in the Congress from the defense industry:
For the past three years, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has been the No. 1 beneficiary of defense campaign donations in the House and has not fallen below No. 3 for Congress as a whole.

In fact, for just the 2006 cycle, Murtha ranks No. 1 overall, with $188,350 in donations from the defense industry. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) follows with $118,350. In 2004, Murtha ranked behind only President Bush and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, in overall defense-industry contributions, with $284,750.

During the 2002 election cycle, when Murtha was forced to campaign for his seat because of state redistricting that pitted him against a fellow congressman in the primary, he again scored No. 1 in all Congress, pulling in $309,299 in political donations from defense companies.

In 2000, Murtha slipped behind Hunter, who at that point was running for Armed Services chairman. “Murtha walks on water. If you want anything done on the committee, you go to Murtha. Murtha is the reason why the [defense appropriations] bill gets done each year,” said Ashdown about the veteran Congressman known to be a dealmaker who frequently reaches across the aisle.

But Murtha also has raised some watchdogs’ concerns because his brother Robert “Kit” Murtha runs KSA Consulting, a lobbying group that represents some 10 smaller defense companies. In 2004, Murtha’s brother was able to secure $20 million in the defense-spending bill for his clients. Kit Murtha repeatedly has denied working directly with his brother’s office.
I suspect that the tear-filled PR move Murtha made last week was intended to divert attention. My commenter "Noble" put it this way:
I am wondering IF he has Proposed this controversial CUT AND RUN proposal as a smoke screen, so he can come back and tell the public that the Bush White House is investigating him because they are trying to punish him..."

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Unknown said...

Sounds highly plausible to me.

Anonymous said...

Mutha also has a whiney nephew who is an officer in the USMC--this guy is one of the biggest whiners in the Corps and complains about any task that inconviences him. No doubt his whinning has been passed to his uncle. Once during at Q&A in Quantico with Sec of Navy Dalton , Captain Murtha complained that a US naval ship under development had been "Afro-engineered".
Poor judgment is a family trait

Anonymous said...

Yea, a dirty senator. So, what else is new. They're all dirty aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Not a chance. Ethic rules only pertain to evil Republicans. Saintly Dems can't breach ethic rules because 1) they have no ethics; 2) if they had ethics, they would be exempt.

Anonymous said...

Just plain old barf. How low will they sink. How many will die because of their evil crap?

Anonymous said...

Wow Astute!
You really know how to take a ball and run with it!
Great Job!

This info must not be ignored.

Anonymous said...

I listened to Rep. Murtha address the house in the most articulate and tearful way, he mentioned lack of body armor. Wasn't he on the committte that was in charge of procurement? Wasn't his (he)committee responsible for the lack of or quality of the equipment? Jack Murtha and his cronies should carry the can for all of the shortages that he mentioned.
Former Recon Marine that learned not to quit!

Anonymous said...

Yea, a dirty senator

Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, are you? Murtha is a member of the House - not the Senate. Now back to drivers ed and intro to biology for you.

Reliapundit said...

God Bless You Paul Vibe - and everyone who serves and has sevred in our armed forces!

Anonymous said...

Rep. Murtha, a Marine reservist, made his disgusting surrender comments on the same day that five valiant Marines gave their lives.
The Corps should repudiate this big blubbery phoney!
A Navy Srchief

Gandalin said...

Nice work, Noble & Reliapundit, on providing some documentation that on at least one major occasion Representatives Murtha and Pelosi used their political muscle for special favors for her district -- alarming when you consider that their relatives were direct beneficiaries as lobbyists or contractors with the DoD. This does provide a logical explanation for this latest public show by Representative Murtha.

On the other hand, it doesn't fully explain away the dishonest way that the MSM have portrayed Representative Murtha as a staunch pro-Iraq-war hawk who suddenly changed his mind. He's been expressing similar thoughts and positions for almost two years.

The press, it seems to me, is a willing and active participant in the Democrat Party's anti-Bush crusade (or shouldn't that be jihad?) -- they have chosen sides in the conflict.

Finally, it is indeed striking that the histrionic, hysterical anti-(American side of the)-war position is so often accompanied by lachrymose displays. Why all the tears? We all know that big girls and big boys do cry, but don't the performances of Durbin, Voinovich, and Murtha seem like too much?

I'm beginning to wonder if we'll soon see other signs of frontal lobe release. Could it be Alzheimer's disease?

Reliapundit said...

thanks for the compliments!

i'm not sure it's alzheimer's.

i think that when these PHONIES get up and LIE and know deep down that they're lying that it triggers an emotional tension which they cannot bear - and so they CRY.

maybe DR. Sanity can explain this?

Anonymous said...

If Murtha wants our troops withdrawn , the quickest way will be for the murderous terrorists to stop the carnage. Why doesn't Murtha direct his concern to the real enemy and implore them to stop the murder of courageous Americans and Iraquis who only want their country to be free and democratic.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that this man has a 37 year career in the Marines. I read his web site bio which says he enlisted in 1952, commanded a reseserve company later, volenteered for VN at age 32 in 1966 and retired as a Col in 1990 at age 60. Lets see 52 from 90 is 38, round down for start & end month and you get 37 years. First elected to congress in 1974 means he was in congress during his 37 year military career. Something fishy here?

Reliapundit said...

nothing fishy.
he served in the resevres while in congress.
others have done this.

Reliapundit said...

noble: thanks. glad you like what i did with your sugg.

and don't mind i credited you.

Anonymous said...

I believe you can be in the military reserves while serving in Congress......does anyone know for sure?

Anonymous said...

I don't question Mr. Murtha's service, but I question the hype that his 37 years of reserve time makes him a military carrerist. I was a reserve officer with a combat tour and 2 years of active duty command and 2000 flying hours (only about 700 combat) and 13 years of total active service. I left in the late 70's and never looked back. Last year I got a retirement packet with instructions to complete if before my 60th birthday, my retirement date. Mr Murtha may have taken some correspondence courses, or even a few days of training time, but I still don't equate that to a military career like Gen Tommy Franks or Sgt Maj Rambo (yes there is a real Sgt Maj Rambo Special Forces). The press is tying to make the Represenative something that he is not and that that deminishes what he is. He is a Marine with a tour in Viet Nam, 2 Purple hearts and a Bronze Star.

Gateway Pundit said...

I thought her eyes were finally going to pop right out of her head the other night. I really did.

Reliapundit said...

To the anonymous commenter who served 13 years: God Bless You!

And you are right to question Murtha's service record.

Too often things like this get glossed over, and a carrer like Murtha's is unfairly equated with that of Tommy Franks.

Leftists make this kind of logical error ALL THE TIME; they conflate and argue from ambiguity ALL THE TIME -- as when they say stuff like "one man's freedom fighter is anothe rman's terrorist" and extend that to mean that zarqawi's terrorists are MINUTEMEN as michael moore did.

they ILLOGICALLY say that since freedom fighters use violence to achieve their ends and terrorists use violence to achieve their ends that they are therefore MRALLY EQUIVALENT, or that it's ALL SUBJECTIVE.

[but when you tell them that Bush is great, they don't tell you you're being "subjective;" they tell you you are WRONG, anf they are right. WHICH IS PUR HYPOCRISY.]

it's like... they don't even GET what a VENN DIAGRAM is. you know: two circles overlap. the stuff in the overlap is alike. but the stuff NOT in the overlap AIN'T alike.

but leftists typically argue AS IF IT WAS ALIKE.

when they say that "Murtha has a 37 year military career" they want you to equate that with Tommy franks and make Murtha SEEMINGLY UNASSAILABLE. for any reason.

which is BS.

Murtha is to be thanked MIGHTILY for his military service.

but that doen't give him a BYE on anything else.

it doesn't make him right or more likely to eb right on anything else.

or more patriotic or less.

and it shouldn;t count ONE WHIT towards making his STUPID proposal seem better.

his arguments must stand ort fall on their own.

like mine.

like yours.

"arguing from personal authority " is a logocal fallacy and is no sound basis for supporting anyone's policies.

people who never served in the militarty, orwho served in the military but not in caombat may have very good poolicies in warfare. maybe better than someone who served.

their serive is to be applauded. but their ideas must stand on their own.

murtha's DO NOT.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever asked Murtha if the marines at Walter Reed want him to be speaking for them? Or weeping crocodile tears for them? Or offering to surrender for them?

All night on Matt Drudge's radio show, they were playing Murtha's speech to a bunch of college kids, I guess. As a response to Cheney's criticism of Dems who rewrite history, Murtha roars, "I go by Arlington every day, and those tombstones don't have Republican or Democrat written on them, they have AMERICAN!" The audience roars, and I'm thinking "Can't you young bozos see that he's distracting you with schmaltzy irrelevant claptrap that avoids the issue? Can't you see that?"

But then I remember that it's okay; Murtha's one of the good guys because he's a Democrat, and when he says we should betray the Iraqis and dishonor the sacrifices of our troops, he's doing so because he's got moral authority. After all, he served, so he's beyond reproach on everything.

Anonymous said...

This Murtha is a pure "gubmint" man. All that he can possibly milk from the cashcow is what he does; that includes influence, money and personal power. I look at his supposed 37 year military career in that light. Good on him for service in 'Nam. Not belittling that; I'm talking about the rest. As for the moral authority to get away free from his cut and run mantra, I would remind EVERYONE that CHARLIE RANGEL served honorably in the Korean War. What else need be said???

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that all this "stuff" from the democrats this past week oozed out just as Air Force one was going 'feet wet'for the Asian Econominc conference. Some real courage there, no?

As for Mutrha's proposal for force protection, could some rabid reporter ask him where the coalition forces could be redeployed so as to be out of range of IED's?
I have no doubt Murtha could "get back" to them with a list. Which would be a dead give away that he's pulling all this stuff straight out of his anal cavity.

GOd protect our troops from fools and Congress Critters

Anonymous said...

These little "smoke screens" are common practice for both Republicans and Democrats. But, no one does it better than high ranking Dems. The real difference is how transparent the Dem efforts are due to their cosy relationship with the MSM. They know any leaks, obvious feints, ommissions or out right lies will be quickly covered up or diverted by their lefty friends in the media.

Reliapundit said...

good points jimmy b.

example of GOP smoekscreen: many feel that mccain's zeal for campaign fianance was due to his being CAUGHT with keating $$$ during the S&L crisis.

Anonymous said...

Off the subject of Rep. Murtha just a bit. It should be crystal clear to anyone with an I.Q. over 75 that all things emanating from the democratic party are based on one basic theme. That theme is, anyone that disagrees with the liberal party line is bad. Example, Murtha is good & anyone who wants to debate him is bad. After all the democratic party learned their demonization techniques well with their first trial on Dan Quayle. It worked well with him and it appears to still be successful. More examples:, Clinton is good President Bush is bad, after all President Bush got us into war and Clinton would have issued 18 more resolutions to keep us out of war. Yes, appeasement works just ask France. I noticed recently on a speaking engagement overseas that Clinton said that the Iraqi war was a mistake. That while Saddam was probably bad the people that carried out his orders were just decent people trying to make the best of a bad situation.Just let him tell that to the people that spent time in the rape and murder rooms. Oh, and don't forget the insurgents are just ordinary soldiers defending their country from the U.S. invaders. Our soldiers are bad. Abu Grahib, etc. Get the drift?

DiscerningTexan said...

Thank you for your comment. I've often wondered if my quoting entire posts was rubbing people the wrong way. Thanks to your feedback, I am going to start taking more time (=be less lazy) and try and quote key grafs. I know you work hard on what you do and I can appreciate your sentiments. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help further. I am changing the post in question now...

Reliapundit said...

DT: cool.

it's not a huge big deal -becasue the bottom-line is getting the message out.
and you help do that, so you're cool!

but we all like to get the most credit and traffic, and posting the whole thing cuts down on the traffic the origianl blog gets.

i think blogs should be primarily original stuff and links to other stuff. and comment on those links. professor reynolds is the master of that. he rarely writes long posts but is able to communicate a cohesive POV on many issues just by linking with aterse somment.

then again: we all have and need to have our own styles.

anyhow - it'z not a big deal.

i love your blog and thanks for reading mine!

Anonymous said...

More likely than a distraction is the idea that now if an investigation takes place it will be seen as "dirty tricks". He has vaccinated himself.

Reliapundit said...


that's what NOBLE said at the outset - which is whay moitvated me to research murtha and pelosi and post on them in this matter.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with Murtha's Press Secretary. What an extremely rude lady. She didn't even know what his bio said or then his "story". I can't seem to get the two different versions on his web page to jibe. I am beginning to think that this may be another "Harkin/Kerry" resume.

I do honor his service as I honor all of our military. But, that doesn't give him the right to turn Iraq into another Somalia.

Anonymous said...

From NewsMax:

Rep. John Murtha Urged Somalia Pullout in '93

After terrorists attacked U.S. troops in Mogadishu, Somalia 12 years ago, anti-Iraq war Democrat, Rep. John Murtha urged then-President Clinton to begin a complete pullout of U.S. troops from the region.

Clinton took the advice and ordered the withdrawal - a decision that Osama bin Laden would later credit with emboldening his terrorist fighters and encouraging him to mount further attacks against the U.S.

"Our welcome has been worn out," Rep Murtha told NBC's "Today" show in Sept. 1993, a month after 4 U.S. Military Police had been killed in Somalia by a remote-detonated land mine.

The Pennsylvania Democrat announced that President Clinton had been "listening to our suggestions. And I think you'll see him move those troops out very quickly."

Two weeks later, after 18 U.S. Rangers were killed in the battle of Mogadishu, Murtha visited U.S. forces in Somalia.

Upon his return he proclaimed to the world that the Mogadishu defeat had a devastating impact on the Rangers' morale.

"They're subdued compared to normal morale of elite forces," Murtha said. "Obviously, it was a very difficult battle. A lot of Somalis were killed, but it was a brutal battle."

Murtha said the U.S. had to no choice but to pull out now, explaining, "There's no military solution. Some of them will tell you [that] to get [warlord Mohamed Farrah] Aidid is the solution. I don't agree with that."

The comments were eerily similar to Murtha's assessment of U.S involvement in Iraq last week, when he declared, "the U.S. cannot accomplish anything further militarily. It is time to bring [the troops] home."

Taking Murtha's advice back then, however, turned out to have deadly consequences for U.S. security.

In a 1998 interview with ABC's John Miller, Osama bin Laden said that America's withdrawal from Somalia had emboldened his burgeoning al Qaida force and encouraged him to plan new attacks.

"Our people realize[d] more than before that the American soldier is a paper tiger that run[s] in defeat after a few blows," the terror chief recalled. "America forgot all about the hoopla and media propaganda and left dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat."


opine6 said...

How many more "decorated Vietnam Vets with distinguished war records" can the Dems pull out of their a$$ as pawns? For a party that says they respect our military, they sure don't mind using them to do their dirty work. Thing is, their pawns end up with clay feet. Kerry, anyone?

Pelosi is a disaster as a strategist. And just because you are a veteran, doesn't make you a good military strategist.

Reliapundit said...

noble - another great comment; it proves that nurtha is a long-time cut'nrun guy, and NO HAWK.

i guess Murtha only likes defense SPENDING and not actually when the GREAT TROOPS we train use the stuff we buy to actually KILL our sworn enemies!

Anonymous said...

"frontal lobe release"

I like it. I like it a lot.

And here I thought Murtha was strategizing on a speculation that we'd begin withdrawing troops soon and wanted it to look like a democrat win rather than something that had been planned all along anytway.

I suppose it could be a little of both.

Anonymous said...

Murtha = ABSCAM

Anonymous said...

You people are crackers.

Don Rumsfeld = murdering psychopath.
George Bush = Fundi retard.

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