Ilario Pantano slams Murtha for rushing to judgment on Haditha

posted at 2:14 pm on May 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

A Marine who knows what it feels like to be falsely accused of war crimes calls Jack Murtha onto the carpet:

Mr. Murtha’s position is particularly suspect when he is quoted by news services as saying that the strain of deployment “has caused them [the Marines] to crack in situations like this.” Not only is he certain of the Marines’ guilt but he claims to know the cause, which he conveniently attributes to a policy he opposes.

Members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq need more than Mr. Murtha’s pseudo-sympathy. They need leaders to stand with them even in the hardest of times. Let the courts decide if these Marines are guilty. They haven’t even been charged with a crime yet, so it is premature to presume their guilt — unless that presumption is tied to a political motive.

Murtha was on This Week with George Stephanopolous this morning to talk about Haditha; he used the platform to wonder aloud whether Peter Pace personally ordered a cover-up of the incident — then quickly took it back. Our affiliate, Expose the Left, has video.

I’ve already said I don’t want to beat up on Murtha lest it take the focus off the atrocities that were allegedly committed. But I also don’t want to see Pantano redux. Rick Moran notes a recent example of trumped-up charges against the Marines and urges caution. Dan Riehl has questions about the consistency of some of the facts that have been reported. And Patterico wants to know just how fully Murtha had been briefed before he went on TV and pronounced these guys guilty.

Enough Murtha. If you missed the report on the killings in yesterday’s Washington Post, catch up now. For once, the slur “baby-killer” would seem to be appropriate. Also, if Human Rights Watch is correct, it wasn’t just a five-minute rampage: they claim two separate squads of Marines carried out the massacre over three to five hours. The Daily Telegraph contradicts this, insisting that it was a single four-man team of Marines that was responsible for most of the damage. Regardless, most of the killings appear to have been carried out at close range, execution-style.

I wonder how many Americans, left or right, really care about the Iraqis killed here as opposed to “caring” because it’s politically expedient to do so. Come to think of it, I’d rather not know.

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Mr. Pundit, Drudge is reporting as many as 36 “children” have been held in Guantanamo, some as young as 14. Of course, the “report” is coming from an Al-Jazeera commentator, so who knows. You might want to check it out. Personally, if they were in Gitmo, there’s a reason. Maybe keeping these idiot children (if they are children) there is the best place for them, before they grow up and fly airplanes into buildings. Of course, the Al-Jazeera commentator who was “shocked” by the young ages didn’t say anything about the terrorists who educate then recruit these kids as young as 10. But, hey, what’s an Al-Jazeera guy to do when sympathy has to be garnered?

clyde on May 28, 2006 at 2:22 PM

Murtha is the most disgusting politician of our time.

He has politicized the war in the worst possible way by his irresponsible statements.

My contempt for him is beyond words.

Richard Davis on May 28, 2006 at 2:30 PM

Scum bucket Murtha acts like he’s doing someone’s bidding because they have something on him. He’s in self protection mode and will sell his mother (if he has one) to save his worthless ass.

darwin on May 28, 2006 at 3:24 PM

From the British Press Review

“Why were they on trial at all?” asks the DAILY MAIL. In an editorial the paper describes the case as ” the black farce of the most expensive court martial ever; a botched investigation; lying witnesses, some hoping for compensation; and evidence too weak to be believed”. It says our troops deserve better than hopelessly conducted inquiries with the gullible acceptance of unreliable witnesses. ”
This article and many others were also reported in the Telegraphy, Mirror and Sun newspapers. It involves terrible accusations against British troops that were sensationalized UNTIL the “witnesses” were interviewed seriously. At that point all of the “atrocities” began to be revealed as fiction! The Iraqis involved began making demands for money and trips for their “testimony” which later was found to be fabricated. I say WAIT until the entire investigation is settled. As for Murtha, he is another Jimmy Carter, a blame-America-first, bitter, old man past his sell-by date who is desperate to remain “relevant”.

labwrs on May 28, 2006 at 4:05 PM

James Murtha has become a conniving political opportunist. His war record notwithstanding, and perhaps because of it, he should know better. And our troops certainly deserve better than the likes of him. We have enough enemies in the world without John Murtha’s anti-American flood of vitriol designed and timed to bring the spotlight onto. . . James Murtha.

If some of our troops indeed committed murder in Iraq, a military court and military judges will determine that and decide appropriate punishment -– not James Murtha or his liberal media lackeys, who have already tried and hanged them.

I give the benefit of doubt to the troops and hold contemptible James Murtha and anyone else who prejudges, condemns and pontificates for political purpose.

On the topic of “children” as young as 14 possibly being held at Guantanamo. . . Excuse me, but BOO-HOO!

Islamic fascists, Saudi Wahabi fundamentalists and indeed Muslim children’s parents have proudly and boastfully (see myriad Internet postings and videos) indoctrinated kids with vicious staged videos and taught children AS YOUNG AS THREE YEARS how to shoot guns, hurl bombs, hate and kill Americans and Jews and blow themselves up in homicide bomb attacks!

Those who steal their children’s childhood lose the right to call them children!

In Vietnam, we learned that children might not be what they seem. American soldiers DIED at the hands of those poisoned “children!” Indoctrinated Islamic children are no less dangerous, perhaps moreso, than the Vietnamese. If anyone objects to holding “children” at Guantanamo, he or she ought to instead berate the lunatic fringe Islamics who engineered their participation in war.

ForYourEdification on May 28, 2006 at 4:24 PM

I am a ex-Marine and Murtha is not only a disgrace to his nation he is has committed treason and should be tried. He is aiding and abetting the enemy. I have never been so ashamed of any other ex-Marine.

Wade on May 28, 2006 at 6:17 PM

I admire your stance on this issue AllahPundit and I agree that we should focus on the atrocity not on the talking heads.

I can’t help but notice with great disappointment, however, how many of our former military men turned politicians seem to betray our country, time and again, on some of the most serious issues facing us as a nation. It isn’t just the Murthas, it is the Hagels and the McCains, as well.

tommy1 on May 28, 2006 at 7:03 PM

In response to “I wonder how many Americans, left or right, really care about the Iraqis killed here” (assuming the rumors are true) I believe that most Americans would care to the extent that said Iraqis were not culpable in any manner and thus contributory to their own demise.

The old saying is that when an innocent bystander becomes actively involved, that iindividual is no longer an innocent bystander. Let’s hope the Marines are tried by combat-experienced officers and not some pasty-faced, administrative, politically correct “90 day boy wonders” out to make a “policy” statement.

MaiDee on May 28, 2006 at 7:34 PM

I am more inclined to believe that Murtha is a bit of a dolt that has a good majority of his liberal buddies backstage telling him he is the only one that has the credentials to make any kind of military criticism. I would like to know whose holding the cattle prods and for what position Murtha has sold his soul for. So sad. =(

frreal on May 28, 2006 at 8:54 PM

In former days when information transmission was slower, the investigations would be finished before the media could get ahold of the story. The media also had more integrity and respect for the judicial system.

I think the media should be prosecuted for slander for any statements they make that they cannot back up. These days, people are tried, cross-examined, witnesses heard, and judged by the media even before the truth is known. The media will wait for the truth to be confirmed before reporting news against thier agenda (if they report it at all). If it supports thier agenda, however, it is reported as fact and action demanded as fast as they can get the material to spin and amplify in thier favor.

CountryDoc on May 28, 2006 at 9:11 PM

Mr. Murtha,

May I beg you to spare us some pain?

OK, first, I agree that killing innocence is very bad. But we were not there, so why don’t we keep our silence untilthe case is over? Our military is taking care of it. If you trust our military and respect them, you really should let them do their job. Opening your mouth at this moment, regardless whether you are for the soldiers or against the soldiers, is inappropriate. But this is not what I am against you about. Making rash comment is a mistake we all make once in a while. I cannot hold you accountable for it.

HOWEVER, you should really keep you trap shut until the case is over. Your are way overboard to bring the administration’s policy into account! Can we blame the entire Democratic Party for having a culture of corruption because of one William Jefferson? I won’t. I know I know, you Democrats did it to GOP. But I have to agree with you that Democrats seem to adopt a lower standard of morality….one that condemn others but forgive themselves eagerly.

Please, Mr. Muthra, leave the soldiers out of your own little petty grudge against Bush or against us as a whole. If you don’t respect us, it is fine with me. Please respect the soldiers of the past and present. Please don’t not condemn anyone before a decision is rendered by the military court.

I beg you.

Yours Sincerely,


easy87us on May 28, 2006 at 10:37 PM

Quote _tommy1 on May 28, 2006 at 7:03 PM_:
…and I agree that we should focus on the atrocity not on the talking heads.

Better yet: first focus on whether or not there _was_ an atrocity committed and _then_ upon its degree, those who were involved, and the appropriate punishments.

solitas on May 28, 2006 at 11:38 PM

“Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” – Murtha

Was he talking about the pressure fighting a war halfway around the world while politicians and other public figures on the home front don’t support them?

Uncle Mikey on May 29, 2006 at 8:03 AM

“OK, first, I agree that killing innocence is very bad.”

I can’t argue with that. And I love calling him Muthra, sounds like a movie monster, can I borrow that?

Uncle Mikey on May 29, 2006 at 8:06 AM

A lot of the posts here very conveniently ignore the fact that this story was broken by TIME magazine. The military began investigations only after the report became public. It’s all well and good to harp on the press–not to mention comforting to always have a scapegoat. The real issue is not the alleged atrocities–this is a part of war, sadly, and was ever thus–but why the military needed the prodding of the press to do its job. As much as he is an old gasbag, it appears Murtha was out in front on this one.

honora on May 29, 2006 at 11:28 AM

Better yet: first focus on whether or not there _was_ an atrocity committed and _then_ upon its degree, those who were involved, and the appropriate punishments.

There is no doubt that an atrocity was committed. The only question is by who? It could have been insurgents or an Iraqi Army unit, as well. I should make it clear that I’m not implying the the accused Marines are guilty just yet.

tommy1 on May 29, 2006 at 1:16 PM

I imagine that Murtha and Lee Harvey Oswald are the two ex-Marines, who have caused the most embarrassment to The Marine Corps by the fact that they were once associated with the finest fighting force in the world.

Oswald, by assassinating a president and Murtha rushing to assassinate The Corps for his own gain. Is he trying to out slime-ball the other Democratic warrior, Kerry?

It is just a matter of time that the Liberals, who claim to support the troops, will be screaming “Baby killers”.

Hening on May 29, 2006 at 2:48 PM

Lee Harvey Oswald never shot any president. Arlen Specter is trying to destroy this country today just as much as he did in 1963.

John “Mouth” Murtha is a traitor, plain and simple. How many times did he say, “this can’t be won militarily” in that interview?

He said, “there is no doubt in my mind” about their [the Marines] guilt. There probably isn’t any doubt in his mind that Tooth Fairy is a real person either. He appears to be a man who drinks heavily and likes to hear himself talk. My apologies to honora for bringing it out in the open that the Tooth Fairy is as much of a human being as Murtha is.

He ended with, “nice talking to you.” More like, “at you” because George didn’t get to say much. His spew was like it was scripted. He definitely has an agenda and his “blame it on stress” for their obvious guilt before even being charged is no excuse for opening his mouth.

Murtha is a tarzan. A tarzan is that lil bit of dung that swings from the butt of a dog after a visit to the yard. Now, if America could just wipe its butt in the grass, we’d be rid of him.

RolandHall on May 30, 2006 at 2:30 AM