Carol Platt Liebau: Utter Irresponsibility

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Utter Irresponsibility

Tonight, Hugh Hewitt's radio show featured a discussion of some incredibly irresponsible comments made by Jack Murtha tonight on Hardball (partial transcript and video here).

Murtha charged that, during a raid in Iraq, American soldiers

went into houses and killed children, women and children. 24 people they killed.

Not surprisingly, Chris Matthews was ready to pop the obvious "My Lai" parallel.

Let's be clear: At this point, few know what happened. I certainly don't. But by any understanding, Murtha's decision to launch such serious accusations on national television is utterly repugnant. Here's why:

(1) He himself doesn't know what happened -- and if he has sources that we don't have, then he should name them so that we can assess their credibility. Apparently, he admits that he hasn't even read the military's investigative reports on the incident.

(2) His premature and intemperate statements will serve as propaganda and fodder for our enemies around the world. "Americans are murdering civilians" will be the cry, thanks to Murtha.

(3) If the reports are wrong and the troops are innocent, he has smeared and slandered heroes who are defending this country.

(4) If he's right, he has done a great deal to ruin their chances of obtaining a fair trial -- and this may be an issue even if, in fact, they're innocent.

(5) By attributing the behavior to "stress," he's perpetuating an unfair and inaccurate myth of soldiers' psychological frailty that was created after Vietnam.

If the soldiers committed the crimes of which Murtha has accused them, they should and will be punished. But it's despicable to assert that the events happened without citing any sources or proof.

It's even worse to do it in a slimy context. After bringing up the alleged massacre, Murtha blames it on "stress" -- which, in turn, he blames on the President. How shameful. Make a drive-by accusation of some soldiers in order to attack the President (and it's a dumb argument anyway: If a postal worker "goes postal", is it the fault of the Postmaster General? Please).

I believe that Americans will see through Murtha's agenda. But it's ironic that so many Democrats -- who are so concerned about the legal rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay -- will have no problem with what Murtha's done.


Blogger wrabkin said...

When these Marines are being held without charges and tortured for months on end, then you have a right to compare them to the prisoners at Guantanamo, and at our other, secret prisons.

Which, of course, we also aren't supposed to know about. Because if you expose the Bush administration in a crime, you are the guilty one.

9:09 PM  
Blogger chezDiva said...

Carol great post. Also, I noticed that you got the first nut that fell from the conspiracy tree - I hope that you don't mind my offering him some advice.

wrabkin, I really want to help you so please slowly remove your tin foil hat and repeat after me - there is no conspiracy - the prisoners in GITMO don't get tortured - they actually are living in better conditions than the marines stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Poison Pero said...

Looks like Murtha (F'er) is trying to become the new "Winter Soldier".

Add that video to this video:

It's a good thing he and his peers in the Democrat Party "support the troops"......It's hard to imagine what they'd do if they didn't.

11:32 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

Truth is not the enemy of freedom. If the deed has been done then let those who perpetuated it spend the rest of their life in the stockade.

There needs to be public statements like this. The US military has a sad history of covering up things like this.

Colin Powell was a young officer who, when investigating what happened at My Lai in Vietnam, happily covered it up. Only later, after calls from outside the military, did the massacre get exposed.

From the evidence so far about Abu Ghraib, CIA detention cells, secret rendering and torture, the idea that some US troops went on a rampage and massacred Iraqi civilians is entirely consistent.

The accusations do need to be out there. It is not their reporting that has hurt America's standing throughout the world, but whether they happened or not.

If America is less safe because of it, then perhaps America shouldn't have invaded and occupied a country that was not a threat to them or their neighbours.

As it stands at the moment, it appears as though ordinary Iraqis were better off under the dictatorship of Saddam.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

OSO, did you really mean, " appears as though ordinary Iraqis were better off under the dictatorship of Saddam."? If so, try saying that to one of the few survivors of Saddam's poison gas attack on Halabja. (11/24/2002) reported that 5000 men, women and children were gassed there on Saddam's orders.

Say it, also, to the families of young women, or any women themselves, who were Odai's victims. SeeBS News reported (7/23/2003) that Odai "had a habit of ordering his guards to snatch young women off the street in order to rape them."

Say it to any of the Marsh Arabs who managed to survive Saddam's overt effort to wipe them out. Human Rights Watch (1/25/2003) reported that "...systematic bombardment of villages, widespread arbitrary arrests, torture, 'disappearances,' summary executions, and forced displacement have reduced the Marsh Arabs from more than 250,000 to as few as 40,000."

Say it to the relatives of Shiites murdered by Saddam. USAID's Andrew Natsios (7/22/2004) said, "Over the past decade and a half, I have seen the aftermath of the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge and the death pits in Rwanda. I can attest to Saddam's tenure as President of Iraq as being equally savage and murderous.

"Since Saddam's regime was overthrown, 270 mass graves have been reported. To date, 53 sites have been confirmed. Some graves contain six bodies; some a score or more. Others are trenches, hundreds of meters long, densely packed with thousands of victims. Hundreds of white bundles contain the bones exhumed from these sites and they line warehouse floors row upon row. Some were fresh victims; others have lain in their graves for over 35 years.

"They contain the remains of Shiites, murdered for their beliefs. They contain the remains of Kurds, murdered for their ethnicity. They contain the remains of Sunnis who dared speak out against the tyranny or were suspected of being insufficiently 'Baathist.' They contain the remains of Kuwaitis, and other victims of Saddam's aggressive wars. They contain the remains of Bahrainis, Egyptians, and Saudis, killed by one who presented himself as the spokesman of Arab solidarity and avatar of Arab renaissance.

"The methods of execution were grisly. Victims are being exhumed with hands lashed together and bullet holes in the back of their skulls. Women and children are being found executed in similar fashion. This butcher did not respect gender or age, motherhood or the innocence of children. He is even reported to have killed over 40 members of his own family."

What is your source for alleging that former Secretary Powell "happily covered up" My Lai?
What "massacre" occurred at Abu Ghraib? What is your source as proof there were/are CIA "detention cells"? Other than the Abu Ghraib abuses, what proof of "torture" have you?

Rep. Murtha is entitled to his opinions, but not entitled to make accusations without providing the basis for them when he is off the House of Representatives' floor. There is a huge difference between political rhetoric and dragging the reputation of the military, whom Rep. Murtha claims to support, through the mud.

Carol hit a home run with her commentary. Yours is still at home plate.

(Apologies, Carol, for using so much of your bandwidth.)

4:11 AM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

Hello Bachbone,

For a detailed examination of many of yoru points, you can read some of my blog articles:

Misled or Stupid?
Iraq suffers under America's heel
Hypocrisy and Mistrust

Reading them is better than me posting and taking up Carol's bandwidth!

4:22 AM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

What is your source for alleging that former Secretary Powell "happily covered up" My Lai? What "massacre" occurred at Abu Ghraib? What is your source as proof there were/are CIA "detention cells"? Other than the Abu Ghraib abuses, what proof of "torture" have you?

I thought I might answer these.

1. Colin Powell and My Lai.

The information about Powell's 1968 cover up is documented in the Wikipedia article about the massacre.

2. The Massacre at Abu Ghraib.

I didn't say anything about a massacre at Abu Ghraib. All I was saying was that, given the fact that Americans tortured Iraqis in Abu Ghraib, then reports of American soldiers massacring Iraqi civilians are not unbelievable.

3. CIA cells and torture.

Read the Wikipedia article on "Extraordinary Rendition" These cells have been reported for at least 4 years all throughout the world. The Bush administration has not denied their existence.

Now that you have the proof, I expect you to change your mind.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Wikipedia: It's on the internet, so it has to be true!

7:44 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Wiki: "about a hundred persons had been kidnapped by the CIA on European territory and subsequently rendered to countries where they may have been tortured."

Sounds like solid proof to me.

Another point, if the US catches these terrorists around the world, and sends them to prisons in the US (or even Club Gitmo), the liberal bleeding hearts will just demand that they be set free and given amnesty. Or at best, given a fair trail in a civilian court, get life in prison, and cost US tax payers $1M/year/"victim".

Know thy enemy

8:06 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

The Republican Leaders in the House of Representatives successfully used Murtha's big mouth month's ago to expose the lunacy of the left.

I suggest they do it again by proposing, debating, and passing a resolution censuring Murtha for this latest outburst.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

OSO, as noted by others, Wikipedia is simply unreliable, often incomplete, sometimes untrue, open to fudging, alteration by someone opposing what has been posted, and subject to elimination of data by someone (politicians and their staff) who don't want certain materials out in the open. Even a Wikipedia co-founder admits it can't be taken as gospel. Wikipedia staff try to police posts, but admit they can't scrutinze every entry, and someone who writes what looks to be scientific and footnotes proficiently can get away with posting trash.

Someone once posted completely untrue info on John Siegenthaler. Rep. Meehan or his staff changed his bio data. Rep. Norm Coleman deleted a reference to his being "a liberal" from his data.

For a look at some of the problems Wikipedia has, go here.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

The report on Haditha from Fox News, "Ali, 76, whose left leg was amputated years ago because of diabetes, died after being shot in the stomach and chest. His wife, Khamisa, 66, was shot in the back. Ali's son, Jahid, 43, was hit in the head and chest. Son Walid, 37, was burned to death after a grenade was thrown into his room, and a third son, 28-year-old Rashid, died after he was shot in the head and chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Also among the dead were son Walid's wife, Asma, 32, who was shot in the head, and their son Abdullah, 4, who was shot in the chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Walid's 8-year-old daughter, Iman, and his 6-year-old son, Abdul-Rahman, were wounded and U.S. troops took them to Baghdad for treatment. The only person who escaped unharmed was Walid's 5-month-old daughter, Asia. The three children now live with their maternal grandparents, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Rsayef said those killed in the second house were his brother Younis, 43, who was shot in the stomach and chest, the brother's wife Aida, 40, who was shot in the neck and chest while still in bed where she was recuperating from bladder surgery. Their 8-year-old son Mohammed bled to death after being shot in the right arm, Rsayef said.

Also killed were Younis's daughters, Nour, 14, who was shot in the head; Seba, 10, who was hit in the chest; Zeinab, 5, shot in the chest and stomach; and Aisha, 3, who was shot in the chest. Hoda Yassin, a visiting relative, was also killed, Rsayef and Hamza said.

The only survivor from Younis's family was his 15-year-old daughter Safa, who pretended she was dead. She is living with her grandparents, Rsayef said."

To this all Carol can add is "SHAME ON YOU JOHN MURTHA." Nice call, Carol--shooting the messenger.

6:43 AM  

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