Breaking Pink Hawk's Purple Heart

More on the “swiftboating” of John Murtha

In the “Grape Vine” segment on Special Report tonight Brit Hume noted that the actual attack on Murtha garnered very little attention but the defending of Jack Murtha (who was recently honored with a “Pink Badge of Courage” from liberal anti-war group Code Pink) is drawing quite a bit of press,

The Washington Post headlined a story on Saturday, January 14, 2006… “Web Site Attacks Critic of War”… with the shocking news that:

Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the former Marine who is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, has become the latest Democrat to have his Vietnam War decorations questioned.

Yesterday (1-17-06), E. J. Dionne who “underestimated the viciousness of the Right Wing”, carried the story. He wrote in the Washington Post:

In November, Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat and a decorated Marine combat veteran, came out for a rapid American withdrawal from Iraq. At the time, I wrote: “It will be difficult for Bush’s acolytes to cast Murtha, who has regularly stood up for the military policies of Republican presidents during his 31 years in Congress, as some kind of extreme partisan or hippie protester.”

No, the conservative hit squad didn’t accuse Murtha of being a hippie. But a crowd that regularly defends President Bush for serving in the Texas Air National Guard instead of going to Vietnam has continued its war on actual Vietnam veterans. An outfit called the Cybercast News Service last week questioned the circumstances surrounding the awarding of two Purple Hearts to Murtha because of wounds he suffered in the Vietnam War.

John Kerry, as well as John McCain who faced scurrilous attacks on his war record when he was running against Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary could have warned Murtha, if you’re a Vietnam veteran, don’t you dare get in the way of George W. Bush.

Today, James Webb continued the allegations in the New York Times. He wrote “Purple Heartbreakers” spinning the Murtha story further that Republicans are viciously attacking the democratic poster “hawk” John Murtha.

After all, in recent years extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles. This trend began with the ugly insinuations leveled at Senator John McCain during the 2000 Republican primaries and continued with the slurs against Senators Max Cleland and John Kerry, and now Mr. Murtha.

Military people past and present have good reason to wonder if the current administration truly values their service beyond its immediate effect on its battlefield of choice. The casting of suspicion and doubt about the actions of veterans who have run against President Bush or opposed his policies has been a constant theme of his career. This pattern of denigrating the service of those with whom they disagree risks cheapening the public’s appreciation of what it means to serve, and in the long term may hurt the Republicans themselves.

Again today, the Washington Post carried reactions to make sure you didn’t miss John Murtha’s “swiftboating.”

And, Leftist bloggers are in a snit!

Of course, this isn’t making many headlines, but this whole story can be traced back to a Democrat:

Former Rep. Don Bailey, D-Pa., whom Murtha defeated in a 1982 congressional race after a redistricting, said that Murtha had told him he did not deserve his Purple Hearts, Kurtz and Murray reported.

On Saturday, conservative, Glenn Reynolds, of the popular Instapundit wrote, “I agree that Murtha’s Vietnam record isn’t the issue, and shouldn’t be. Rather it’s his behavior regarding the current war that’s the disgrace.”

Glenn pointed to leading military blog The Mudville Gazette who nailed the Washington Times efforts back on Saturday!

Let me be clear: attacks on Murtha’s Vietnam record are pointless. Murtha’s latest statements against the success of US troops in Iraq speak for themselves; his current behavior renders his past insignificant. Democrats, grown tired of waiting for an attack on Murtha’s war record from the Right, have created their own.

And, although there were questions asked on Saturday, the conservative blogs have since dropped the story.

But, sadly, the “Conservative Hit Squad” is still “swiftboating” John Murtha!

The only question remaining is who will continue the “swiftboating” of John Murtha for the “Conservative Hit Squad” tomorrow?

Will it be the Washington Post, The New York Times, the Huffington Post, Former Democratic Representative Don Bailey, or some other Left Wing website?

Update: (9:00 PM CST) Greyhawk and Mudville Gazette reports on the disgraceful 60 Minutes interview with John Murtha.

PrairiePundit snips at E. J. Dionne. I especially like what he adds about the “swiftboating” claims from the Left.

(This posting was linked to from the New York Times and Real Clear Politics)

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