Page 3 of 5   <       >

Journalistic Bomb

"Newsmax reported that Rep. John Murtha, the former Marine who sent Washington into a firestorm last week with a demand to withdraw American forces from Iraq, has a history of demanding retreats. They claim that Murtha himself took credit for the withdrawal of American forces from Somalia following the 'Black Hawk Down' incident, a withdrawal that allegedly inspired al-Qaeda's leaders to pursue active attacks on American assets around the world:

" 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. . . .

" 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. . . . 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.'

"Newsmax doesn't have the greatest reliability, but when it reports on previous public statements it usually quotes accurately. . . . If this is accurate, it shows that far from being a Democratic hawk who just had a road-to-Damascus moment about Iraq, Murtha has a track record of the kind of cut-and-run that has created the problems we have with Islamofascists today."

Look who's sorry today for calling Murtha a coward: It's Mean Jean Schmidt:

"While I strongly disagree with his policy, neither Representative Bubp nor I ever wished to attack Congressman Murtha," she said in a statement. ''I only take exception to his policy position." She's right about Danny Bubp, an Ohio state rep who says he never said what Schmidt said he said.

Wait, this is even better: She's blaming the media!

"Rep. Jean Schmidt says her comments Friday on the floor of the U.S. House have been misinterpreted and that she has been made a scapegoat by a media disappointed that Congress didn't vote to withdraw troops from Iraq," reports the Dayton Daily News .

Gee, I could have sworn I heard her use "cowards" and "Murtha" in the same sentence.

Has Murtha changed the terms of the debate? Check out this Chicago Tribune piece:


<          3           >

© 2005 The Washington Post Company