That’s the standard that should apply to our employees in Washington, DC. That certainly isn’t the standard that John Murtha holds himself up to, though. After Lt. Col. Paul Ware recommended that the murder charges be dropped against SSgt. Frank Wuterich, people are noticing this glaring deficiency in Murtha:

Recall Haditha. In the spring of 2006, Rep. John Murtha said that Pentagon sources had told him Marines there had murdered 24 Iraqis “in cold blood” and that the cover-up of the November 2005 massacre “goes right up the chain of command.” It was, for a season, the “event” that told ever so many all they needed to know about what was wrong in Iraq. Murtha said it happened because our forces are stretched too thin. It was going to be this war’s My Lai, a dark incantation summing up the whole rotten mess, a one-word dirge of our immediate disgrace and inevitable defeat. Haditha, Haditha, Haditha!

All that was missing were…actual facts, completed investigations and court proceedings.

That’s the polite way of saying that John Murtha either (a) didn’t know what he was talking about, (b) knew what he said wasn’t factual and said them anyway or (c) all of the above. Right now, I’m leaning towards B. I think that John Murtha knew that the facts didn’t support his accusations. I further think that Murtha said those things to get the House Majority Leader’s position.

Further proof that Murtha manufactured this out of whole cloth is Murtha’s own conflicting stories about the coverup. When he first made these accusations, he said that that the cover-up of the November 2005 massacre “goes right up the chain of command.” That presumably meant President Bush and Vice President Cheney. In a later interview with ABCNews’ Charlie Gibson, Murtha sang a dramatically different tune:

GIBSON: Jonathan just mentioned, there’s no charges yet filed against any of the Marines that were in this outfit, but Jonathan mentioned a moment ago, defense lawyers are already saying, well, there’s drone video and there is actual radio traffic to higher-ups that will give a different picture than you have been talking about of this incident. What do you know about that?

MURTHA: I can only tell you this, Charles. This is what the Marine Corps told me at the highest level. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was in my office just last week, so you know, I know there was a cover-up someplace. They knew about this a few days afterwards and there’s no question the chain of command tried to stifle the story. I can understand why, but that doesn’t excuse it. Something like this has to be brought out to the public, and the people have to be punished.

Let’s recap. Murtha first said, without equivocation, that the cover-up “goes right up the chain of command.” That first accusation was authoritative-sounding. In this interview, Murtha backpedalled, saying that he knew “there was a cover-up someplace.” That’s a much less authoritative statement, one which he didn’t have proof of.

That isn’t the only part of the anti-war Left’s case that’s unraveling:

The U.S. military reported last week that troop deaths in Iraq went down for the fourth month in a row, and the Iraqi government reported that civilian deaths
declined by half in September.

What to do? Well, CBS and NBC gave the new casualty figures a few sentences on their evening news programs, and the major papers played the news far from their front pages. Only ABC led with the story. In fact, the Washington Post’s media critic, Howard Kurtz, wondered about the short-shrift the media gave this news after four years of “continuously depressing” news. On CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” he asked the Washington Post’s Robin Wright and CNN’s Barbara Starr whether the news should have received more attention. Perish the thought, they both said; we’re not sure there is a trend yet.

OK, four months is not a trend. But Kurtz then asked the obvious question: If those casualties figures had gone up, wouldn’t that have made front pages? “Oh, I think inevitably it would have,” replied Starr. “I mean, that…by any definition, is news.”

Isn’t it interesting that this trend started right about the time that the Surge was fully implemented? Wouldn’t you think that, considering Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s declaration that the surge had failed, that this is big news?

People living inside the Washington bubble couldn’t bring themselves to think it’s a trend but thinking people know it’s a trend when casualties decline each month for four months. That’s because the information didn’t fit the Bubbleheads’ carefully crafted storyline. There’s no way they’ll admit to it after all their careful crafting.

My dad taught me that “Stupidity is what gets us in trouble; pride is what keeps us there.” I’d change that slightly for this application. Here’s what I’d say about Starr’s being revealed: “Crafting is what got you in trouble. Denying it is keeping you in trouble.” That’s what happens when a correspondent’s first priority is to ‘change the world’, not report the facts.

What’s needed is a new paradigm. What’s needed is for correspondents like Ms. Wright and Ms. Starr to not deny the obvious. What’s needed is for them to not let the John Murthas of the world off so easy. What’s needed is for the truth to be the highest priority.

That new paradigm would be John Murtha’s worst nightmare.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

4 Responses to “The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth”

  • You made some excellent points that I hope will provoke people to actually think for themselves and then voice those thoughts. If I could add my 2 cents worth, it would be: I truly believe that what we read, hear, and see on the War is only about 10% accurate and the rest, opinion-based, fabricated, “Let’s tell them (us) what they should believe.” BOLOGNA information. What’s sad is, I think too many of us Americans allow the Media, in every form, dictate a “reality” that’s far from “what is” and we sit back and just take it all in. If more of us will wake-up, get-up, and speak-up. we can foster change.

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