Sept. 24, 2008
Haditha Marine prepares
to sue Murtha,
Former Marine Lance Corporal Justin Sharrat files suit
A local Marine cleared in the
deaths of civilians in Iraq says Congressman John Murtha made
public comments that were unproven, untrue and unfair.
Now, Lance Corporal Justin
Sharratt is planning to file suit in federal court against
Murtha on Thursday morning.
The suit accuses the congressman
of slander and violating the Marine's right to a fair trial
and due process.
Sharratt was one of eight Marines
charged after 24 Iraqi civilians were killed in Haditha. He
was charged with three counts of unpremeditated murder.
It's alleged in the lawsuit that
before the outcome of the case, Congressman Murtha made
Three years after the deaths,
seven of eight Marines have been cleared, including Sharratt.
There's now a website, JustinSharratt.com, to let the world
know that he has been cleared.
The eighth Marine is still waiting
for his day in court.
KDKA contacted Murtha's office for
comment on this suit but there's no word back from them yet.
Haditha Marine prepares
to sue Murtha, Time Magazine over smear
most of the eight
Marines charged in
the Haditha, Iraq, incident now exonerated, the
highest-ranking officer among the accused is considering a
lawsuit against Democratic Rep.
John Murtha, who fueled the case by declaring the men
an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk host Michael
Savage, the lead
attorney for Lt. Col.
Jeffrey Chessani said he and his client will look into suing Murtha
and the Time magazine reporter, Tim McGuirk, who first published the
accusations by Iraqi insurgents...
The Time magazine story, according to
Rooney, was planted by an insurgent propaganda agent. Publishing of the story was
soon followed by a May 17, 2006, news conference by Murtha. The
congressman announced he had been told by the highest levels of the
Marine Corps there was no firefight and Marines "killed innocent
civilians in cold blood."
"All the information I get, it comes from the
commanders, it comes from people who know what they're talking about," Murtha
told reporters at the time.
Murtha's assertions, however, conflicted with
results from the military's own investigations. An initial probe by
Army Col. G.A. Watt found no
indications coalition forces "intentionally targeted, engaged and killed
noncombatants." Later, Army Maj. Gen. Aldon Bargewell found no cover-up.
Nevertheless, the Marine Corps eventually brought
charges against Chessani and seven other Marines.
But now the cases against Lance Cpls. Stephen Tatum
and Justin Sharratt, Capts. Randy Stone and Lucas McConnell and Sgt. Sanick P.
Dela Cruz have been dropped. First Lt. Andrew Grayson has been acquitted,
leaving only the case of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich untested in court and
Chessani prosecutors facing the hurdles of the appeal process.
WND previously reported a military jury of seven
officers acquitted Grayson of all charges.
The ruling by Col. Folsom yesterday followed a
previous decision in which he confirmed evidence of unlawful command influence.
The evidence indicated two generals who controlled
Chessani's case were influenced by Marine
lawyer Col. John Ewers, who was
allowed to attend at least 25 closed-session
meetings in which the case was
Rooney was asked by Savage why he thought Murtha, a
former Marine himself, accused the officers and enlisted men.
"In my opinion, it's clear it was done during the
election cycle, it was done to bolster himself in the party," the attorney said.
"He was vying for a leadership position, and if he had to throw some Marines
under the bus to do so, that was the cost of power for him."
Haditha charges dropped against top Marine officer
Military Judge Col. Steven Folsom dropped all
charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, who was accused of violating a lawful
dereliction of duty, at a hearing at the
Camp Pendleton Marine base in Southern California.
Folsom's decision means that, out of eight Marines
originally charged in December 2006, six have won dismissals of their charges
and one has been cleared at court martial.
The accused ringleader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich,
still faces court martial. The proceedings against him, however, have been put
on hold pending the appeal of a pretrial ruling.
Folsom threw out the charges against Chessani, a
44-year-old Colorado native, after finding that a four-star general who oversaw
the case could have been influenced by an investigator who later became his
Marine acquitted of all charges
in Haditha killings
A court martial on Wednesday
acquitted a US Marine for his role in the deaths of 24
civilians in Haditha in Iraq in 2005, the sixth man to be
exonerated in the affair, a military official said...
Lieutenant Andrew Grayson, 27, was declared
"not guilty on all charges" by a jury, said a spokesman for
the Camp Pendleton military base in southern California where
the hearing started on May 28.
Grayson had been charged with making false
statements and attempting to fraudulently separate from the
Marine Corps. He was also charged with obstruction of justice,
but the military judge dismissed this charge Tuesday...
... Six have now had charges against them
dropped, while charges of murder against squad leader Frank
Wuterich were changed to the lesser offense of manslaughter.
Wuterich faces trial later this year, along with Colonel Jeffrey
Chessani, the highest ranking officer accused over the incident who has been
charged with dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order.
April 16, 2008
Rep. Murtha, 75, calls McCain, 71, 'too
with seven presidents," Murtha told a union audience. "When they come in, they
all make mistakes. They all get older."
"This one guy running is about as old as me," he said, drawing laughter and
applause. "Let me tell you something, it's no old man's job."
Feb. 26, 2008
Watchdogs plan to protest Murtha's fundraiser today
Three watchdog groups are planning to protest Rep. John Murtha’s (D-Pa.)
fundraising event Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington, Va.
Every year, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Defense panel
holds two fundraisers for his campaign: a dinner in February and a breakfast in
the fall. Both events garner a wide range of participation from defense industry
This year, however, Americans for Prosperity, Citizens Against Government Waste
(CAGW) and the National Taxpayers Union are holding a rally in front of the
hotel where the fundraiser is being held to “display their displeasure with Rep.
Murtha ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz,’ ” according to a press release.
The groups called Wednesday’s event “a swanky fundraising dinner with
pork-barrel-seeking defense lobbyists.”
Feb. 21, 2008
Top Porker for 2007
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) was named
"Porker of the Year" for 2007 on Wednesday by the taxpayer
watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).
The organization, which promotes
fiscal responsibility and federal earmarks reform, conducted an
online poll of 3,400 people about members of Congress. The often
controversial Murtha, chairman of the House subcommittee on
defense appropriations, won with 63.4 percent of the votes cast,
according to CAGW.
In FY 2008, which began last October,
Murtha secured 72 earmarks worth $149.2 million for his district,
according to CAGW.
"For flouting the rules and playing
games with reform, while filing spending bills with pork and
arrogantly threatening anyone that challenges his authority, Rep.
Jack Murtha is the 2007 Porker of the Year," the CAGW announcement
A spokesman from Murtha's press office
could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
No other lawmaker came close to
Murtha's vote tally.
Feb. 18, 2008
PBS 'Frontline' airs in-depth Haditha program
PBS's "Frontline" will air an in-depth program tonight at 9 about
the 2005 killings in Haditha, Iraq.
The piece, titled "Rules of Engagement," hopes to provide an
evenhanded look at the incident, which involved a squad of Marines
under Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, a former Meriden resident.
The Marines allegedly killed 24 Iraqis, some of whom may have been
insurgents, during the Nov. 19, 2005 incident. Wuterich has said
he and his men followed standard combat procedure.
The idea that the Haditha killings were a straightforward
massacre of innocents is incorrect, according to Arun Rath,
the producer, writer and director of "Rules of Engagement."
The initial media coverage - following an announcement by U.S.
Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania that the Marines had killed
"innocent civilians in cold blood" - focused on the evidence
against the men, Rath told the Record-Journal Monday.
As evidence in the Marines' favor came out, however, there was
little additional coverage, he added. Wuterich is suing Murtha
The Frontline piece was originally going to focus on civilian
casualties in Iraq and only use Haditha as an example, Rath
said, but his investigation led him to believe there was more
to the killings than met the eye.
"The biggest dramatic detail compared to the initial version
was just how intense a day of fighting it was in Haditha,"
Rath said. "We do have a number of witnesses saying that (the
Marines) were coming under fire, including Iraqi witnesses. It
appears that this was an all-out insurgent push to retake the
The program includes footage from an aerial drone that circled
the area during the incident and an interview with an
intelligence officer who explains the fight going on in
Haditha at the same time.
Feb. 16, 2008
Clinton and Obama advised to court Murtha personally...
Some of the loyalists who orbit John P. Murtha , D-Pa., in the
back corner of the Democratic side of the House chamber are
holding off until their political godfather taps Obama or
... Murtha said he and fellow Pennsylvanians
Mike Doyle and Robert Brady will vote as a bloc.
“That’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
Brady backed him up and suggested there could
be more in that camp.
“Mr. Murtha speaks for a lot of us, including
myself,” he said. “If that’s what Mr. Murtha says, then I’m with
Kaptur, who serves on the Defense
Appropriations subcommittee with Murtha, said Clinton and Obama
should court Murtha personally.
“If I were the candidates, I would be asking
him,” she said. “I wouldn’t send emissaries.”
Feb. 15, 2008
The year in earmarks
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has
received campaign contributions from
each (sub. req.) of the 26 groups for whom he requested
earmarks in the recent defense spending bill. An analysis by
Roll Call shows that since the beginning of 2005,
PACs and employees of those groups have given Murtha $413,250,
of which $100,750 came "in the two weeks leading up to March
16, the original deadline for lawmakers to file their earmark
requests." (Roll Call)
Feb. 15, 2008
Pittsburgh's WTAE, Channel 4 News
Critics believe Murtha-backed defense center a waste
A Team 4 investigation found millions of your
tax dollars going to a local government agency that many in
Washington, including President George W. Bush, believe is a waste.
But a powerful local congressman has kept the money flowing.
In July 1977, a flood devastated Johnstown, killing 80 people and
destroying the downtown. Many businesses never recovered,
including the Penn Traffic department store.
But in the early 1990s, U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown,
persuaded Washington to move a new federal agency, the National
Drug Intelligence Center, into the old department store.
Now, more than 300 people work there, and it's one of Johnstown's
"Our payroll represents several million dollars a year to the
Johnstown economy," said Michael Walther of the NDIC.
That's good for Johnstown, but critics said the NDIC has not been
good for taxpayers...
Feb. 14, 2008
New York Times
Lawmakers put out new call for ear marks
Representative John P. Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, obtained
$176 million in earmarks — more than any other House member except
Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, who is now a senator.
... More than 80 percent of Mr. Murtha’s earmarks were in the 2008
Defense Department spending bill. He is chairman of the
appropriations subcommittee where the bill originated.
Matt Mazonkey, a spokesman for Mr. Murtha, said he believed that
the $176 million figure was “too high,” but he refused to provide
his own tally.
Mr. Murtha’s re-election campaign is holding a fund-raiser for him
on Feb. 27 at a hotel in Arlington, Va., near the Pentagon. About
300 people, including many military industry lobbyists, plan to
attend. The invitation stipulates a contribution of $1,500 for an
individual and $5,000 for a political action committee.
Lobbyists often say they feel obliged to make campaign
contributions as a way of gaining access to lawmakers to present
their arguments on earmarks and other issues. Asked if there was
any connection between giving money to Mr. Murtha and receiving
earmarks, Mr. Mazonkey said: “Absolutely not. None at all.”
Jan. 14, 2008
New York Times
Pork King Murtha keeps his crown
The new earmark disclosure rules put into effect by Congress
confirm the pre-eminence of Representative John Murtha at
procuring eye-popping chunks of pork for contractors he helped
put in business in Johnstown, Pa.
The Pennsylvania Democrat, a power player on defense
appropriations, exudes pride, not embarrassment, for
delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in largesse to
district beneficiaries. They, in turn, requite with hundreds
of thousands of dollars in campaign donations.
Mr. Murtha led all House members this year, securing $162
million in district favors, according to the watchdog group
Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Nov. 30 ,2007
Murtha's comments on 'surge' a problem for Democrats
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), one of the leading anti-war voices
in the House Democratic Caucus, is back from a trip to Iraq
and he now says the "surge is working." This could be a huge
problem for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other
Democratic leaders, who are blocking approval of the full $200
billion being sought by President Bush for combat operations
in Iraq in 2008.
Murtha's latest comments are also a stark reversal from what
he said earlier in the year. The Pennsylvania Democrat, who
chairs the powerful Defense subcommittee on the House
Appropriations Committee, has previously stated that the
surge "is not working" and the United States faced a military
disaster in Iraq.
Murtha told CNN on July 12, following a Bush speech, that the
president's views on the success of surge in Iraq were
Nov. 30 ,2007
Murtha says surge is working in Iraq
"I think the 'surge' is working," the Democrat said in a
videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the
president's decision to commit more than 20,000 additional
combat troops this year. But the Iraqis "have got to take care
Nov. 2, 2007
Federal earmarks fill coffers of PA nonprofit
John Murtha and Concurrent Technologies
Concurrent Technologies began two decades ago doing
metalworking research in Pennsylvania's struggling rust belt. In the years
since, the Johnstown, Pa., company has become a federal contracting chameleon.
It is an intelligence adviser, an environmental consultant
and a software engineering specialist. It has trained mine-detecting dogs and
managed religion-based initiatives. It oversees construction projects, organizes
conferences and studies ways to use hydrogen for fuel in Pennsylvania and South
Carolina. Missile-defense research is part of its portfolio. So is the
development of special armor for combat vehicles in Iraq and "solid waste
technology" in Florida.
And it is a nonprofit charity.
Behind the rise of Concurrent is Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.),
chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, who
helped arrange funding to launch the organization in 1988. Murtha has since
arranged millions of dollars more in directed congressional appropriations
called earmarks. Now Concurrent has nearly $250 million in annual revenue and
Concurrent is a prime example of how to marry entrepreneurial
savvy, influence on Capitol Hill and arcane procurement rules to create budget
magnets in congressional districts. Unlike many other big contractors,
Concurrent pays no income tax on most of its revenue. Unlike nonprofit,
federally funded research-and-development corporations, it is not chartered by
the federal government.
Concurrent's lobbying firm, PMA Group, is run by a former defense subcommittee
aide, Paul Magliocchetti. Since 1997, Concurrent has paid Magliocchetti and PMA
about $3 million for lobbying and consulting services, according to tax
documents filed with the government.
In the past four years, Congress has directed at least $226 million to
Concurrent in earmarks, according to records compiled by Taxpayers for Common
Sense. This year, Murtha and four other lawmakers proposed $18 million more in
earmarks for the firm.
pg. 1, Wall Street Journal
Murtha Inc. - How Lawmaker Rebuilt Hometown on Earmarks
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- If John Murtha were a businessman, he'd be
the biggest employer in this town.
The powerful U.S. congressman has used his clout on Capitol
Hill to create thousands of jobs and steer billions of dollars in federal
spending to help his hometown in western Pennsylvania recover from devastating
floods and the flight of its steelmakers.
More is on the way. In the massive 2008 military-spending bill now before
Congress -- which could go to a House-Senate conference as soon as Thursday --
Mr. Murtha has steered more taxpayer funds to his congressional district than
any other member. The Democratic lawmaker is chairman of the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which will oversee more than $459
billion in military spending this year.
A review by The Wall Street Journal of dozens of such contracts funded by Mr.
Murtha's committee shows that many weren't sought by the military or federal
agencies they were intended to benefit. Some were inefficient or mismanaged,
according to interviews, public records and previously unpublished Pentagon
audits. One Murtha-backed firm, ProLogic Inc., is under federal investigation
for allegedly diverting public funds to develop commercial software, people
close to the case say. The company denies wrongdoing and is in line to get
millions of dollars more in the pending defense bill.
Mr. Murtha has steered at least $600 million in earmarks to his district in
the past four years, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan
Washington group. The nonprofit group estimates he's sent $2 billion or more
to the district since joining the appropriations committee.
There's no evidence that Mr. Murtha personally profits from the hometown
spending he rams through Congress. He ranked No. 333 in net worth among the 435
members of the House in a 2005 analysis by the nonprofit Center for Responsive
Politics. But his campaign coffers have risen since he became chairman of the
defense-spending panel. In the first nine months of this year, Mr. Murtha's
campaign committees have reported contributions of more than $1.05 million.
John Murtha's Kingdom of Pork
the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee
on Defense, has dubiously funneled billions of taxpayer
dollars to his hard-luck hometown.
Defense contractors have found that if they open an office
there and hire the right lobbyist, they can get lucrative,
Career Army man to challenge Murtha
After nearly three decades in the military, William T. Russell’s latest mission
has brought him to Johnstown.
The career Army man, just two years short of retirement, has left the service
and moved to the Flood City in order to mount a political campaign against
veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. John Murtha...
...While Murtha’s encounters with wounded soldiers have
solidified his stance on Iraq, Russell said a similar
encounter left him with the opposite impression: To withdraw
from Iraq, he argues, would render the sacrifices of those
“I think Mr. Murtha is just flat-out wrong,” Russell said.
The Republican also cites, as Irey did, Murtha’s public
accusation that U.S. Marines murdered innocent civilians in
the Iraq town of Haditha in 2005.
The congressman, Russell contends, is “playing right into the
hands of this enemy.”
On his Web site, Russell takes that line of thought a step
further and attempts to raise the stakes for next year’s
“In this war against Islamic radicalism, the political battle
of the 2008 election in the Pennsylvania 12th Congressional
District is a critical turning point,” he said.
Murtha renew calls for war surtax
Murtha renewed his call for a surtax to fund the Iraq War, an idea Pelosi has
shot down, and he cautioned against bringing up legislation to condemn the
Armenian genocide, a measure Pelosi supports.
On Wednesday, Pelosi appeared to acquiesce to one of Murtha's demands,
indicating that the vote on the Armenian bill was now in doubt.
Murtha tells Pelosi NOT to allow Turkish genocide vote
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — Support for a House resolution
condemning as genocide the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 continued to
weaken today as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who only days ago vowed to bring the
measure to the floor of the House, signaled that she may be changing her mind.
“Whether it will come up or not, what the action will be,
remains to be seen,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill today. Her
uncertainty stood in sharp contrast to her earlier pledge to bring the measure
to the floor if it emerged from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which it
did a week ago by 27 to 21.
Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members
from both parties have been withdrawing their support from the resolution, which
had been backed by the Democratic leadership.
The measure’s prospects were weakened further today when
Representative John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who heads the
Appropriations subcommittee on military matters, spoke out against it.
“What happened nearly 100 years ago was terrible,” said Mr.
Murtha, who has urged the speaker not to bring up the resolution for a vote. “I
don’t know whether it was a massacre or a genocide, but that is beside the
Al Qaeda and Haditha bombshell: What the
MSM didn't tell you
You won’t hear about this from John Murtha, but you’ll read
it first on the Internet. Nathaniel Helms at
Defend our Marines has an exclusive report on the battle in Haditha that the
...Helms’ reporting is a damning indictment of the American
media as propaganda tools and fools.
Read the whole thing.
Make sure to fax a copy to John Murtha:
814-539-6229 — District
202-225-5709 — Washington
And, of course, don’t look for the NYTimes to put this on the
Al Qaeda In
exclusive article by Nathan
report – apparently overlooked by a Washington press corps awash in leaked
Bargewell documents and secret Naval Criminal Investigative Service reports –
shows that Marine Corps intelligence operatives were advised of the scheme to
demonize the Marines by an informant named Muhannad Hassan Hamadi. The informant
was snared by 3/1 Marines on December 11 2005 and decided to cooperate...
The prosecutors in the case against eight Marines charged
with murder and cover up at Haditha still maintain the besieged infantrymen
acted solely out of malice and poor judgment when they killed 24 Iraqis there.
The prosecution’s investigation was launched after a story by Time magazine
reporter Tim McGirk on March 6, 2006 accused the Marines of cold blooded murder
in retaliation for the death of a brother Marine.
McGirk received his video “evidence” and contacts from two
known Iraqi insurgent operatives already under observation by Marine Corps
counter intelligence teams. One of the Iraqi witnesses McGirk relied on had just
been released from almost six months captivity for insurgent activities and the
other witness was considered a useful intelligence tool by Marines listening to
him talk on his cell phone. McGirk never interviewed the Marines, who ironically
had prepared a similar intelligence summary in anticipation of his canceled
Marines recommend no murder charge in Haditha/Wuterich case
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - An investigating
officer has recommended that no murder charges be brought against U.S. Marine
Corps Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich in connection with a massacre of civilians in
the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005, defense attorney Mark Zaid said on Thursday.
Wuterich had been earlier accused of being the ringleader of troops who killed
24 Iraqi civilians in the November, 2005 incident. "The recommendation was for
lesser charges, none of which include murder," Zaid told Reuters in a telephone
Murtha must testify in Haditha Marine's defamation case
A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case
against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a
sworn deposition in the case.
A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for
alleging ''cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' by unnamed soldiers in
connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
The deaths became prominent in May 2006 when Murtha, who
opposes the Iraq war, said at a Capitol Hill news conference that a Pentagon war
crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians
in the town in 2005.
The Justice Department wanted the case dismissed because
Murtha was acting in his official role as a lawmaker. Assistant U.S. Attorney
John F. Henault said the comments were made as part of the debate over the war
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said the congressman
might be right, but said she won't know for sure unless Murtha explains himself.
She did not set a date for Murtha's testimony but said she would also require
him to turn over documents related to his comments.
''You're writing a very wide road for members of Congress to
go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons
and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?''
Collyer said, adding later, ''How far can a congressman go and still be
Collyer said she was troubled by the idea the lawmakers are
immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political
Bob Novak: "King Corruption" Reigns
Republicans returning to the House floor on Friday morning
Aug. 3 after their walkout the night before were surprised to
find as presiding officer the Democrat they call "King
Corruption": Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, master of
earmarks and backroom deals.
Rep. Ed Pastor, a 64-year-old eight-term Democrat from
Phoenix, Ariz., who is affable and well-liked by Republicans,
had been scheduled to preside. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
fearing parliamentary tricks by Republicans, put her muscleman
Murtha in the chair.
Murtha's performance as non-partisan presiding officer ran
true to form. On a voice vote, Murtha ruled for Democrats when
obviously more Republicans were on the House floor. He
subsequently ordered a roll call vote, though members rising
in support clearly fell short of the 44 required. After that
ruling was challenged, Murtha declared: "The chair's decision
is not subject to question."
Hot Air Audio: Rep. Murtha's office hangs up when asked about
the Haditha Marines
Murtha nabs $150M pork
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations
defense panel, has secured the most earmarked dollars in the
2008 military spending bill, followed closely by the panel’s
ranking member Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.).
Even though Young secured 52 earmarks, worth $117.2 million —
and co-sponsored at least $27 million worth of others —
Murtha’s 48 earmarks amount to a total of $150.5 million,
according to a database compiled by the watchdog organization
Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS)...
...Murtha, the defense industry’s darling, has been known
throughout his tenure on the defense panel to shell out a
large number of earmarks. His biggest earmark in the bill is
$23 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC),
a move that sparked a fierce fight with Rep. Todd Tiahrt
(R-Kan.), who earlier this year voted in a private meeting to
strip Murtha’s earmark.
The Bush administration requested $16 million to shut down the
center, which is in Murtha’s district, because it replicated
the work of a similar center...
...Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) got her share of pork
projects — 11 projects valued at $37.3 million.
July 16, 2007
Bob Novak: Sham Earmark Reform
Considering the Interior Appropriations bill June 26, the
House kept alive 11 egregious earmarks. Rep. John Murtha, king of Democratic
earmarkers, kept $1.2 million for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage
Preservation Commission in Hollidaysburg, Pa. (by a 343 to 86 vote), and
$150,000 for W.A. Young & Sons Foundry in Greene County, Pa. (328 to 104)...
...Moving on to Financial Services Appropriations June 28, the House voted
335 to 87 to continue Murtha's raid on the Treasury: $231,000 for the Grace
Johnstown (Pa.) Area Regional Industries Incubator.
July 15, 2007
Defense firms like Murtha's district
As chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, the 17-term
Democrat is one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, and he uses that
power to deliver federal money to his congressional district as well as to his
political allies across the country...
...In 2005, 190
contractors in Mr. Murtha's district received $228 million in government
projects, placing the district in just 236th place among all 435 congressional
That's because large
defense companies do the bulk of their business elsewhere. Northrop, for
instance, has its corporate government relations offices in Arlington, Va., in
the district of Rep. James Moran, a Democrat who also sits on the appropriations
committee with Mr. Murtha. Mr. Moran's district ranked No. 1 on
fedspending.org's 2005 list, garnering
close to $17 billion in contracts.
July 13, 2007
Marine's Parents Want Murtha Censured for Haditha Remarks
The parents of a U.S. Marine accused
of killing three Iraqis execution-style in Haditha in
late 2005 said Thursday they would ask Congress to
censure Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) for saying that the
Marines "overreacted" during the incident and killed
civilians "in cold blood."
"It's too late for an apology,"
Darryl Sharratt of Canonsburg, Pa., told Cybercast News
Service after the hearing officer in the case, Lt. Col.
Paul Ware, released an 18-page report recommending that
all charges against Sharratt's son, Lance Cpl. Justin
Sharratt, be dismissed because his actions "were in
accord with the rules of engagement and use of force."
Sharratt said that he, his wife
Theresa and other supporters of their 22-year-old son
were planning to visit Martha's office, and "we're going
to ask for more than an apology."
"We need this man censured by our
Congress," he said, because "he denied my son -- and the
other Marines involved -- their constitutional rights to
a fair trial and a presumption of innocence."
Roger Hughes, chairman of the
Presidential Watch Political Action Committee -- the
umbrella organization for the "Boot Murtha" and "Expose
Murtha" campaigns -- told Cybercast News Service that he
-- "unlike Murtha" -- would not comment on the Haditha
He did say, however, that "Murtha's
remarks about the guilt of these people having killed
civilians in cold blood is very reminiscent of John
Kerry's Senate testimony" in 1971, when the current
senator from Massachusetts stated he'd heard Vietnam
veterans say they had "randomly shot at civilians" and
"razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis
"That hasn't proven to be true,
either," Hughes added.
"Censure is too good for Murtha on
this alone," Hughes said, even without considering such
things in his past as questions regarding his war hero
status and involvement in the Abscam scandal.
July 10, 2007
Investigator: Drop Haditha charges against Sharratt
July 10, 2007... CAMP PENDLETON – An
investigator has recommended that all charges be dismissed
against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, accused of killing three
Iraqis execution-style in Haditha.
written report, Lt. Col. Paul Ware says the evidence shows that Sharratt's
actions on Nov. 19, 2005, “were in accord with the rules of engagement and use
June 18, 2007
Army, manufacturer face criticism over combat vehicle Stryker
"An Army vehicle controversial since it was
conceived in the late 1990s is facing mounting scrutiny from
military experts and a leading government watchdog amid a
recent spike of American casualties in Iraq.
"...since March, when Stryker brigades were
deployed in Iraq's violent Diyala province, casualties
associated with the vehicles have been rising steadily. They
have been found to be particularly vulnerable to automatic
weapons fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). One
infantry company stationed in Diyala lost five Strykers in
less than a week, the Associated Press reported last month.
"Still, about 700 soldiers and nearly 100
Stryker vehicles have been deployed to Diyala this year as
part of the "surge" of 30,000 additional U.S. troops."
May 28, 2007
Robert Novak column: Jack Murtha's friends
"Murtha's earmark requests attest (as required by the new
reforms) that "neither I nor my spouse had any financial
interest" in either project. What he did not attest was that
officers and employees of Concurrent Technologies contributed
$56,475 to Murtha from the 2000 election cycle to the present.
That includes $4,500 from CEO and President Daniel DeVos and
$5,000 from Vice President Emil Sarady."...
"The test for Democrats is what they will do about Murtha now
that it is known he rewards contributors with federal funds."
May 24, 2007
Murtha sends Rep. Rogers an apology note
"Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania sent a
note of apology to Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan Wednesday, the day
after a divided House denied Rogers a vote to officially reprimand the powerful
"Members and aides on both sides of the aisle
continued to speculate that Rogers or another Republican will eventually call on
the ethics committee to formally investigate last week's flap, even after
Tuesday's partyline vote to prevent debate."
May 23, 2007
LA Times: Murtha's Misstep
"It doesn't help the Democrats' image that this
dispute over Murtha's comments originated in an earmark, a
special-interest provision widely seen as part of the "culture
of corruption" decried by Democrats in the last election.
Rogers angered Murtha by trying to scuttle $23 million for the
National Drug Intelligence Center, located in Murtha's
district and regarded by the Bush administration as
duplicative of other agencies. "
May 22, 2007
Democrats avoid vote on reprimanding Murtha
"Democrats managed to table a resolution
declaring that Mr. Murtha, somewhat incongruously referred to
as "the gentleman from Pennsylvania," had violated the
"safety, dignity or integrity of the House" in his treatment
of Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan.
"The vote was 219 to 189, mostly along party
lines, with 13 lawmakers simply voting "present."
May 20, 2007
Pelosi defends Murtha Vs. GOP reprimand
"Pelosi, D-Calif., said she had "no idea what actually happened" during a noisy
exchange in the House chamber last week between Reps. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and
Mike Rogers, R-Mich."
"What I do know is that Congressman Murtha has - enjoys - an excellent
reputation in the Congress on both sides of the aisle," said Pelosi..."
May 18, 2007
Dem. Rep. Murtha accused of ethics violation
GOP Rep. Mike Rogers says Murtha vowed to block
funding for his district
"Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who for six years served as an FBI special
agent investigating public corruption as a member of the Chicago
bureau's organized crime unit, says that Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.,
chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on
defense, violated House ethics rules Thursday for threatening to strip
any funding for Rogers' projects after Rogers pushed for the
elimination of a government center in Murtha's home district."
Democrats bend rules, break pledge
"So far this year, Democrats have frequently prevented Republicans from offering
amendments, limited debate in the committee and, just last week, maneuvered
around chamber rules to protect a $23 million project for Rep. John P. Murtha
Murtha calls for return of the draft
during Wolf Blitzer Show/CNN -
vote against the volunteer army.”
ought to not have a select few who volunteer.
everybody ought to be obligated to serve.”
think [the draft is] absolutely needed
Dealing With Congressman Inc.
NY Times editorial points to corrupt Murtha
"As the Democrats regain power in Congress next week
they would be wise to look to one of their own — Representative John
Murtha of Pennsylvania — for ironic inspiration in enacting the ethics
reforms they promised voters. Even in the minority, Mr. Murtha made
himself a legend at mastering the same quid pro quo culture that
Democrats denounced in running against the Republicans’ manipulations
of Washington’s money trough. His deliverance of masses of pork to
favored campaign donors and lobbyists has been laid bare in a report
by The Washington Post, detailing the sort of classic money churn that
helped drive the Republicans from power."
December 25, 2006
Nonprofit Connects Murtha, Lobbyists
Pg. 1, Washington Post
"For a quarter of a century, Carmen Scialabba labored for Rep.
John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), helping parcel out the billions of dollars that came
through the House Appropriations Committee, so when the disabled aide needed a
favor, Murtha was there.
"In 2001, Murtha announced the creation of Scialabba's nonprofit
agency for the disabled in Johnstown, Pa. The next year, with Scialabba still on
his staff, Murtha secured a half-million dollars for the group, the Pennsylvania
Association for Individuals With Disabilities (PAID), and put another $150,000
in the pipeline for 2003, according to appropriations committee records and
former committee aides. Since then, the group has helped hundreds of disabled
people find work.
"PAID has become a gathering point for defense contractors and
lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and
for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money
obtained by Murtha.
"Lobbyists and corporate officials serve as directors on the
nonprofit group's board, where they help raise money and find jobs for
Johnstown's disabled workers. Some of those lobbyists have served as
intermediaries between the defense contractors and businessmen on the board, and
Murtha and his aides."
Watch the full
Murtha/ABSCAM FBI tape:
see Murtha-Haditha timeline
(click to enlarge)
Murtha video archive
"You know, we do business for a while,
maybe I'll be interested..."
Watch the full
54-minute 1980 Murtha/ABSCAM FBI surveillance tape
"killed innocent civilians
in cold blood"
the troops have even been
charged with a crime!