Murtha’s War Hero Status Called Into Question

I ran across this article this morning. Much of what is called into question sounds vaguely familiar

 

Murtha’s War Hero Status Called Into Question

By Marc Morano and Randy Hall

CNSNews.com Staff

January 13, 2006

 

(CNSNews.com) – Having ascended to the national stage as one of the most vocal critics of President Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq, Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha has long downplayed the controversy and the bitterness surrounding the two Purple Hearts he was awarded for military service in Vietnam.

 

 <snip>

 

A Cybercast News Service investigation also reveals that one of Murtha’s former Democratic congressional colleagues and a fellow decorated Vietnam veteran, Don Bailey of Pennsylvania, alleges that Murtha admitted during an emotional conversation on the floor of the U.S. House in the early 1980s that he did not deserve his Purple Hearts.

 

"[Murtha] is putting himself forward as some combat veteran with serious wounds and he’s using that and it’s dishonest and it’s wrong," Bailey told Cybercast News Service on Jan. 9. Murtha served in the Marines on active duty and in the reserves from 1952 until his retirement as a colonel in 1990. He volunteered for service in Vietnam and was a First Marine Regiment intelligence officer in 1966 and 1967.

 

<snip>

 

"Pretending to be a big war hero and boasting about having medals is a slap in the face to our veterans who were seriously wounded or killed in action," Fox was quoted as telling the Uniontown Herald-Standard in the newspaper’s Nov. 1, 1996 edition. "He campaigned as a war hero and I’ve never seen any documentation that he earned any of these honors," Fox reportedly stated.

 

<snip>

 

The Vietnam veteran even took a swipe at President Bush and Vice President Cheney, neither of whom have actual combat experience.

 

"I like guys who’ve never been there, who criticize us who’ve been there," Murtha said. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don’t like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done."

 

Murtha discussed his own combat experience as a marine intelligence officer in his 2004 autobiography, "From Vietnam to 9/11: On the Front Lines of National Security."

 

"I had been awake more than twenty-four hours by the time we landed. A few hours into the battle, an on-again-off-again event, I could no longer keep my eyes open. I curled up next to a bunker and fell into a deep sleep for about an hour. Even the noise of frequent gunfire didn’t wake me up. (One of my fellow officers told me the next morning that when he hadn’t seen me for an hour or so, he assumed I was dead,)" Murtha wrote of one of his Vietnam combat experiences on page 14 of the 2004 paperback edition of his book. Murtha’s two Purple Hearts are referenced on the back of the book. [What, no secret trips into Cambodia?]

 

<snip>

 

In the Jan. 9 interview with Cybercast News Service Bailey affirmed the contents of his 2002 letter.

 

"The issue here is this idea or pretense that [Murtha] knows combat and he’s got two Purple Hearts. He’s a phony and a liar," Bailey said.

 

Bailey also questioned why Murtha has thus far declined to release his full military records in order to clear up the controversy.

 

"The Marine Corps ought to be able to produce all the orders, the medical stuff, the citations and the orders granting [the Purple Hearts] and everything else. Where is that stuff?" he asked.

 

<snip>

 

The Murtha controversy is reminiscent of the flap surrounding the war record of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. But while critics like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacked Kerry in 2004 because of his anti-war activism of the 1970s, Murtha’s three chief accusers all made their allegations years and in some cases decades before Murtha emerged last November as a prominent anti-war activist.

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=\SpecialReports\archive\200601\SPE20060113a.html

 

I believe there appears to be a pattern developing, or at least, being exposed. War hero Politicians with questionable medals?

 

I don’t know much about the Marines, but I don’t recall Army Intelligence Officers "out in the field (we called it the bush, btw) nearly everyday. My cousin was an Army Intelligence Officer in Xuan Loc while I was up in the Central Highlands. He was in an air conditioned trailer pouring over intelligence everyday.

 

 

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