Murtha ship protest

Andrew Malcolm:


As the former owner of a car wash in Johnstown, it's only natural that Murtha's name would go on a combat amphibious transport dock as the first not named for a city. Actually, what....

...Obama appointee Mabus likely had in mind was Murtha's several years in the Marines. Murtha was, in fact, the first House member who served in combat in the Vietnam War, which was unfortunately lost. He received a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

The keel-laying for the Murtha ship is still a year away, and it won't be doing anything worthwhile for three years after that.

But there's a problem. And it's growing. Back in 2005 as part of Murtha's late-breaking opposition to the Iraq war he was for before he was opposed, when a few fellow Marines were accused of killing some Iraqi civilians in Haditha, ex-Marine Murtha announced the soldiers had done it "in cold blood."

Never mind that there hadn't been a full investigation yet, let alone trials.

Despite Murtha's preemptive verdict, eventual charges against six Marines were dropped, one was acquitted and another awaits trial on reduced charges. Other than that, Murtha was bang-on.


Within two days, a Facebook page called "People Against Naming a Navy Ship USS Murtha" acquired some 1,300 followers. Friday morning membership had exploded beyond 6,860.


If a poll of current and ex Marines were taken, I am pretty sure that Murtha would not be their choice for this ship's name or any other ship for that matter unless it was one headed for the scrap heap. This is a slap in the face of Marines who served in Iraq and did not deserve to be labeled by Murtha.


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