Tuesday, May 30, 2006

You Don't KNOW, Jack.

US Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Cutandrun), the former Marine/34-year Congressman who famously called late last year for a complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, says he knows Marines operating in the Iraqi village of Haditha last November are guilty of a premeditated massacre of 24 innocent Iraqi civilians.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Mr. Murtha declared
"There’s no question in my mind what happened. It was an IED [that] went off. And you’ve got to put this in perspective. Every day they go out, an IED goes off. And when I sanitize it and say an 'IED,' I’m talking about an explosive device goes off. It hurts somebody one day, the next day it kills somebody, the next day it maims somebody, and I see those people in the hospital all the time. So the pressure builds every time they go out.

"So this particular case, an IED exploded, it killed one Marine, and then a taxi drives up, and when the taxi comes up, there’s four or five people in it, and they shoot those four or five people – unarmed. And then they go on a rampage throughout the houses, and kill people. One woman, as I understand it, from talking to the officials in the Marine Corps, was bending over her child, pleading for mercy, and they shot her in cold blood. That’s the thing that’s so disturbing ...

"I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened. There’s no question in my mind about it."
This, before a single Marine has been charged. This, before a single court-martial has been convened. This before a single Marine has been convicted.

"I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened. There's no question in my mind."

Question: If the events had actually transpired exactly as Mr. Murtha says he knows they did, where was al-Jazeera? Wouldn't al Qaeda's own CNN have been on the spot immediately to broadcast videotape of the dead bodies? Is it possible that the dead bodies found upon inspection a day later were caused by the actions of anyone other than the Marines who were on duty in Haditha last November 19?

I'm not saying a massacre didn't occur, and -- because I have no way of knowing -- I'm not even saying that Marines did not massacre innocent Iraqi civilians. But I'd like a court martial to take place before blame is assigned and declarations of guilt are meted out.

Oddly, Jack I'll-convict-before-a-court-martial-has-been-convened Murtha is silent on another rather egregious abuse much closer to home: the case of US Rep. (and fellow Democrat) William Jefferson of Louisiana, who was videotaped by the FBI taking $100,000 in cash, and then found with $90,000 of that loot tucked away in his freezer four days later.

A Google search of the terms "Murtha" and "Jefferson" together reveals ... not a single word uttered by Mr. Murtha in this seemingly open-and-shut case of corruption by a fellow Democrat.

Let's review: Haditha -- no videotape of the alleged crime. William Jefferson -- FBI videotape of the alleged crime. Murtha: Haditha was murder, "no question about it in my mind"; Jefferson -- nothing.

You don't KNOW, Jack.


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