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Murtha’s Latest Angry Accusation & the Media’s Bias on Iraq

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:17 pm - May 20, 2006.
Filed under: Media Bias,War On Terror

If you want (yet) another sign of media bias, all you needed to do was to sign onto AOL. For the past twenty-four hours, during the same period the Iraqi parliament confirmed that nation’s first full-term elected government, AOL l”Top News” headline was about the Pentagon Probe of an alleged massacre by Marines. The sub-title to the article includes a quotation from Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha, a longtime critic of the Iraq war. As AOL’s leading with an article about an investigation long underway (but not yet concluded) call its objectivity into question, Murtha’s remarks call his own commitment to the troops into question.

To be sure, we may find out that such a massacre occurred. But, by claiming that it happened while the incident is still under investigation, this Democrat shows that, in his hunger for headlines, he assumes the worst about our armed forces. As Smash reports (via Instapundit), Murtha’s comments are most improper given that providing “inside knowledge of an ongoing UCMJ investigation . . . might prejudice it.”

Other bloggers have been less sparing in their condemnations of the Pennsylvania Democrat. Gateway Pundit finds it “sad that this “war crimes conspirator” is the best the democrats have to offer on Defense.” Hugh Hewitt agrees with Smash, being unable to imagine “a more irresponsible statement . . . given that the investigation is still open.” California Conservative simply calls him a “traitor.”

It is clear that Murtha wants to spin this story not as one faulting the Marines in question for what would be (if his allegations are accurate) despicable conduct, but as one faulting the Bush Administration for deploying them. If the investigation shows that the Marines in questioned murdered innocent Iraqis, I pretty much agree with Flopping Aces that “they should all be hung and quartered” for dishonoring the Corps.

When we look more closely at the investigation — and the alleged crime — we find, however, it does not fit into Murtha’s interpretation of nearly everything coming out of Iraq — i.e, that it is (yet) another sign of America’s failed policy there. In fact, what comes out is the story the media missed about Abu Ghraib two years ago. First, even a good government can’t entirely prevent human beings, working under its authority, from acting out their own evil impulses.

The second thing that comes out is what the military can do — what it has done both with this incident and the crimes at Abu Ghraib. It can investigate the charges and prosecute the perpetrators. Let us recall that the military launched an investigation of the crimes at Abu Ghraib more than three months before the media broke the story. It subsequently brought charges against those responsible. They’re all now serving time in prison.

The Pentagon even investigated its own conduct. While the Schlesinger Commission faulted the military for inadequate supervision of the prison, it cleared the Administration of involvement in the crimes committed there. So, before we jump to conclusions and make wild accusations (as Mr. Murtha has done), let’s await the outcome of the investigation. Knowing Murtha’s record as a partisan critic of the war, the media confirms its bias by highlighting his allegations — and downplaying the good news coming out of Iraq.

If MSM, however, accurately — and completely — reported what’s happening in Iraq, it would upset their narrative of Iraq as Vietnam, a failure of American military policy, the only template they have for describing the current conflict.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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21 Comments

  1. I posted another Murtha article here. I titled it “Murtha Must Go.”

    Comment by Gary Gross — May 20, 2006 @ 7:34 pm - May 20, 2006

  2. #0 – In fact, it was the military which broke the Abu Ghraib story, to the media.

    There will always be a few bad apples doing a few bad things. That’s one of the reasons war is bad and we avoid it. But clearly, we (the U.S.) are running an open system where torture is de-valued and punished. Saddam Hussein ran the opposite. Anyone who can’t see that has a “moral equivalency disorder” of the worst kind. Period.

    Comment by Calarato — May 20, 2006 @ 8:15 pm - May 20, 2006

  3. As I have said before, you can’t send a few hundred thousand people even to Disneyland without there being some loose nuts in the mix. Add to that the pressures of war, and unfortunate things happen. However, Murtha should resign in disgrace IMHO. He had no business discussing the case until the investigation had been completed. And the Marines will take care of this. They have a record of promptly and fairly dealing with these things as they have come up.

    That does not however, clear the Bush Administration of wrong-doing. Nor does the Schlesinger Commission report, which had a deliberately narrow focus. It does not explain away for example, why waterboarding is considered an acceptable interrogation tactic. Or why kidnapping and rendition of prisoners to countries that are known to torture, such as Saudi Arabia, is a continuing practice that innocent civilians have been caught up in on more than one occasion.

    I predict that in the last days of his office, the Bush Administration will be issuing a lot of preemptive pardons. Or his successor will.

    http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia/search/search.html

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — May 21, 2006 @ 12:11 pm - May 21, 2006

  4. “However, Murtha should resign in disgrace IMHO. He had no business discussing the case until the investigation had been completed. And the Marines will take care of this.”

    Indeed.

    “Or why kidnapping and rendition of prisoners to countries that are known to torture, such as Saudi Arabia, is a continuing practice that innocent civilians have been caught up in on more than one occasion.”

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! Wrong answer.

    Cite one proven case (a mainstream news article NOT later debunked, with a civilian name) where a civilian, NON-Saudi national was sent to Saudi Arabia for torture that the United States intended, desired or benefitted from in any fashion.

    Obviously, my belief-in-advance is that either (a) you won’t be able to, or (b) if you think you are able to and you do provide some kind of citation, rational people will find on examination that it doesn’t hold up.

    But I do want to compliment you on a couple things, Gryph.

    Although you continued your false slanders of the United States in the second half of your post, still, (1) you took the right stand in the first half, and, (2) you got through the post without using ad hominems or curse words. I honestly appreciate (or acknowledge you for) those things.

    Comment by Calarato — May 21, 2006 @ 12:47 pm - May 21, 2006

  5. Gryph, in just under three years, you’ll be proven wrong on the pardon issue.

    And I wouldn’t trust the ACLU as a source on this topic given its left-wing drift over the past few years.

    Fair point about the Schlesinger Commission, but in this post, I was addressing Murtha and Abu Ghraib, not the general allegations of torture leveled against the Administration.

    Glad we agree on Murtha — and the Marines — though.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 21, 2006 @ 1:14 pm - May 21, 2006

  6. #4 – P.S. for Gryph -

    I will be travelling most of today / tomorrow – so – if you cite a case where the United States sent a civilian, NON-Saudi national to Saudi Arabia for torture that the United States intended, desired or benefitted from in any fashion – my analysis of it may be delayed. I’m sure Dan, Matt, NDT or someone can look into it.

    If, by chance, you should wish to change the subject to “CIA prisons in Eastern Europe” – please note in advance that even hostile European Union investigators can’t find any sign they are a real story. (New York Times article here. Boston Globe article here.)

    Comment by Calarato — May 21, 2006 @ 1:18 pm - May 21, 2006

  7. (Sorry, the BG article is actually bylined by the Associated Press. Whoi are even more Bush-hostile outfit – I’m sure they reported the prisons’ non-existence reluctantly.)

    Comment by Calarato — May 21, 2006 @ 1:24 pm - May 21, 2006

  8. #4 – Very last P.S., I promise :-)

    I would like to apologize for a particularly awful construction in #4, “false slander”. It was a typo. There is, obviously, no such thing as a true slander!!!

    In my mind, I had the phrases “slanders of the U.S.” and “false claims about the U.S.” side by side. They mashed in my fingers, and I failed to catch it during edit.

    Comment by Calarato — May 21, 2006 @ 2:06 pm - May 21, 2006

  9. “And I wouldn’t trust the ACLU as a source on this topic given its left-wing drift over the past few years. ”

    I’m not asking you to. But you can look up the released Government docucments and corraborate them with other sources.

    Caraloto
    Here is a German kidnapped citizen.

    Khaled El-Masri
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_El-Masri

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — May 21, 2006 @ 4:02 pm - May 21, 2006

  10. Murtha has even earned the title “ex-Marine” from quite a few and that’s hard to do. It’s usualy reserved for soldiers who do things like masacre innocent women and children.

    Comment by Synova — May 21, 2006 @ 8:35 pm - May 21, 2006

  11. What do John Murtha and Duke Cunningham have in common?

    They are both deserve America’s contempt… and I consider them both to be ex-patriots who, for different reasons, should be stripped of their US citizenship. Just when I thought Murtha couldn’t slink any lower, he does it. He makes NancyPelosi look like a screaming war hawk and a whore to the flag-wavers. Murtha and Moore and Belafonte –media celebrities without moral relevancy.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — May 21, 2006 @ 8:58 pm - May 21, 2006

  12. #9 – Gryph – Pathetic.

    Since reading comprehension of my question wasn’t your strong suit, I will repeat it:

    Cite one PROVEN case (a MAINSTREAM NEWS ARTICLE NOT LATER DEBUNKED, with a civilian name) where a civilian, NON-Saudi national was SENT TO SAUDI ARABIA [the nation you had cited in #3 as "practicing torture"] for torture that the United States intended, desired or benefitted from in any fashion.

    (words unchanged; emphasis added)

    The Khalid El-Masri case is not only unproven, it’s placed in significant question by the mainstream news citations I gave in #6.

    And, more than that, IT DOES NOT ADDRESS MY QUESTION.

    I knew you couldn’t come up with a case. I was right.

    You lose.

    Comment by Calarato — May 22, 2006 @ 2:13 am - May 22, 2006

  13. (And of course that’s not important… What’s important is that America loses – as you and others like you, Gryph, continue to spread sick immoral slanders.)

    Comment by Calarato — May 22, 2006 @ 2:15 am - May 22, 2006

  14. #12 Calarato — May 22, 2006 @ 2:13 am – May 22, 2006

    #9 – Gryph – Pathetic.

    The Khalid El-Masri case is not only unproven, it’s placed in significant question by the mainstream news citations I gave in #6.

    Actually, it is your response that is pathetic. No surprise.

    Aside from the fact that your citation in #6 did not mention the al Masri case at all, al Masri did not claim that, after he was abducted by CIA agents in Macedonia, he had been taken to a secret prison in Eastern Europe. His claim was that he had been taken to Afghanistan and held there for a number of months. His case has been reported in recent days in the German media because his legal case for compensation from the US government was recently thrown out by a US federal court (more on that later).

    In addition to the al Masri case, there was the case of Maher Arar, who held dual Canadian-Syrian citizenship. He was kidnapped by US officials at NYC’s Kennedy airport while on transit from Tunisia to his long-time home in Montreal and sent to Syria. While in Syria, he had been tortured and eventually released by the Syrians.

    Moreover, there is the case of Jose Padilla–you know, the American citizen, who was a supposed “terrorist,” who was transferred to military custody after having been in civilian custody for a month. The transfer was miraculously announced by John Ashcroft from Russia while he was on a trip there. After the transfer, Padilla had been kept incommunicado–even from his lawyers. Even American citizens aren’t safe from being abducted by their own government.

    Those are only three cases of which I am aware.

    According to reports here in Germany, the al Masri US federal court case was dismissed merely on the basis of the Bushies’ malAdministration’s claim that going to trial would require the divulgation of information that was vital to “national security.” They provided no evidence to that effect, merely the assertion. And the US federal court bought their argument. Tying all of the above together, it is clear that, to the Bushies and their supporters–and, apparently the US judiciary–the US government can abduct anyone they want to (yes, even American citizens) anywhere in the world, send them wherever they want to, and all that they need to do to avoid supervision by a supposedly independent US judiciary is to assert a claim of “national security.” Heimat Sicherheit. The “H” and the “S” (umgekehrt, selstverstaendlich) somehow reminds me of a phrase from Germany of the 1930s.

    Comment by raj — May 22, 2006 @ 10:40 pm - May 22, 2006

  15. Hate to burst your apparently inpenetrable bubble, but the Pentagon has CONFIRMED to Congressman Murtha that the story about the massacre is true. Not that you care about American military massacring innocent women and children. We’ve only killed 180,000 so far… guess that’s not enough for you guys, yet.

    [Do you have a link for this? --Ed]

    Comment by Michael the AAOT — May 24, 2006 @ 2:48 pm - May 24, 2006

  16. To PATRICK GRYPH:

    I AGREE, MURTHA IS A DIRTY ROTTEN TRUTHTELLER!
    HE’S FOLLOWING A PATH OF DISGUSTING INTEGRITY AND HONESTY.
    REAL AMERICANS CAN’T ABIDE SUCH AN AGENDA.

    Comment by Michael THE AAOT — May 24, 2006 @ 2:50 pm - May 24, 2006

  17. PATRICK: YES, THE MARINES WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS…. PROMPTLY.
    THE BROOMS ARE AT THE READY AND THE CARPET CORNER IS LIFTED….. READY FOR ACTION! SEMPER FI!

    Michael THE AAOT

    Comment by Michael the AAOT — May 24, 2006 @ 2:52 pm - May 24, 2006

  18. Hate to burst your apparently inpenetrable bubble, but the Pentagon has CONFIRMED to Congressman Murtha that the story about the massacre is true

    That would no doubt be from the same source as the fake Army veteran video.

    Comment by rightwingprof — May 24, 2006 @ 5:43 pm - May 24, 2006

  19. Michael if WW2 were today would you support Americas entry into it?Tell me please a war u think was worth fighting.
    In any war there are accidents and innocents killed. Unintentionally we hope. The French helped us throw off a tyranical British yoke. Were the French wrong? Were any innocents killed during the birth of this nation?
    Did you see the video of servicemen criticising Murtha and his collegue and asking them to quit speaking for the armed men and women. Because that soldier said morale was high and they were doing miraculous things in Iraq for an very appreciative people. Some of us stress the positives, you stress the negatives. It’s a free country.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 24, 2006 @ 10:03 pm - May 24, 2006

  20. Haditha may be true, but it should be left to a full investigation before the story is told in MSM. Of course that won’t happen – that would mean waiting for all true facts to come to light and when it comes to Iraq, MSM just can’t report truthfully and factually. A point I find disgusting and reprehensible. No wonder Bush’s standings are low and approval of us being Iraq has diminished with the lies that make the front pages! To all the lefties reading this blog, let me remind you that it is Memorial Day Week-end. Drop the rhetoric and give a veteran a hug and say thank you!

    Comment by Luv2Box — May 26, 2006 @ 9:00 pm - May 26, 2006

  21. I just wish these comments could be made much more public,but even the worst critics would only use the information to their benefit . What is the answer? I!m talking about the news media specifically.

    Comment by Joe Monahan — January 17, 2007 @ 11:34 am - January 17, 2007

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