I visited John Murtha’s Congressional district office in Johnstown yesterday and delivered these emails, as promised, with Darryl Sharrett’s on top of the stack.
For the benefit of anyone new to this web site or to this thread:
On May 17, 2006, Congressman Murtha said Marines had, “killed innocent civilians in cold blood,” in Haditha, Iraq.
Darryl Sharratt lives in the district that Congressman Murtha represents.
Mr. Sharratt’s son, Marine Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt, is under investigation for the November 19, 2005, deaths of civilians in Haditha.
The investigating officer has strongly recommended that the charges against LCpl Sharratt be dismissed.
On July 10, 2007, Congressman Murtha’s office stated that, “Congressman Murtha doesn’t have a statement because the investigation is still ongoing.”
I went to Congressman Murtha’s office yesterday to inquire, not to protest.
While his greeting was professionally friendly, the eyes of man at the reception desk slightly narrowed as I stated my purpose. He could not comment, took the emails, and disappeared for ten minutes beyond a closed door.
The man he returned with was courteous and our 30-minute conversation was conducted in a civil tone throughout. He mostly listened and reinterated Congressman Murtha’s position: the “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” comment was often taken out of context and the stress our troops were under contributed to the deaths of civilians.
If I had spoken with Congressman Murtha directly, I would have asked him to describe the honor he felt last year when he publicly prejudged United States Marines as cold blooded murderers, long before the investigation was complete, and in light of the investigating officer’s recommendation to dismiss LCpl Sharratt’s charges.
His senior aide never said it yet I left believing that Congressman Murtha’s silence now, his refusal to comment this year about an ongoing investigation is a rock and a hard place, an untenable political position of his own choosing. He can never apologize.
We are beginning to learn that some or perhaps all of the Haditha Marines were engaged with the enemy or perceived threats. They could not cut and run. Their oath, training, and rules demanded that they engage and stay in the fight. (You can learn more here, at the War Chronicle.)
John Murtha, the civilian politician, is up for reelection next year. I believe that if he breaks political “cover,” if he fails to act “bravely” and hold his position, he thinks he will be caught out in the open during a primary or the general election next year. The only “honorable” thing to do, in John Murtha’s mind, is to dig in, fight and win, or die a politcal death in place.
Related previous posts:
July 23, 2007: Haditha Marine Father has a Conversation with John Murtha
July 18, 2007: Father of slandered Marine emails Congressman Murtha
July 13, 2007: Marine’s Parents Want Murtha Censured for Haditha Remarks
July 12, 2007: Congressman John Murtha should apologize or resign, or both