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The Swift-Boating of Rep. Jack Murtha Continues Unabated on FOX News

Reported by Marie Therese - March 20, 2006

On this morning's FOX & Friends First host Steve Doocy announced (in a segment entitled VICTORY STRATEGY) that President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "were all out and about yesterday and they were pretty much painting the same picture of Iraq as was painted just one year after the invasion." The gist of their message was that "they are optimistic" that "victory is at hand" but they are "uncertain about how long it will take to quell the insurgency."

Brian Kilmeade, largely reading from notes, then let loose on Rep. Jack Murtha: "He was speaking on one of the Sunday shows, I think it was Tim Russert [Meet the Press] speaking for about 30 straight minutes. He took three breaths. He repeated himself in a dizzying frenzy of cross-examination, of a fear of cross-examination. Here's how he fee - he is totally against the war, even though he was totally for the war and up until 2004 he was on record just sayin' that we have to change tactics, we have to train the Iraqi forces better, then one day, when he didn't get an answer from a letter to the President, he changed whole-heartedly and he's (sic) became the spokesperson for those who say the invasion should (sic) take place in the first place and we should pull out...."

During Murtha's interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Presshe spoke with authority about a subject he clearly knew a lot about. Here are the links for the online video and transcript.)

In the interview Murtha clearly indicated that he tried to alert Bush in two different letters about the dangers to American troops in Iraq and also offered a variety of possible options for success. He received very delayed responses to both letters, not from Bush, but from a low-level staff person. He noted voer and over again that it was his conversations "off the record" with a wide variety of military personnel that actually triggered his change of heart about his initial decision to support the war.

Yet, despite this, the FOX & Friends viewers were told this morning that Rep. Murtha is such a shallow fellow that he would change his mind based on whether or not the President personally answered his letters!

Gretchen Carlson noted that, despite comments by former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in which he said there is a civil war brewing in Iraq, "the administration back here in the U. S. is, of course, denying that claim ..."

Steve Doocy chimed in to say that Major General George Casey says "we're a long way from civil war in Iraq." He went to read a quote by Donald Rumsfeld from an op-ed he wrote for yesterday's Washington Post, in which Rumsfeld stated that "turning our backs on post-war Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing post-war Germany back to the nazis."

Brian Kilmeade piped up, offering U. S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad's opinion, namely, that the awful misery, desperation and violence in Iraq have pushed the Iraqi politicians into working closer together and, thus, significantly speeded up the process of nation building.

The trio then went on to talk about Iran, which is, as we all know, George Bush's next target in his ill-conceived and, some say, illegal war against the sovereign state of Iraq. Gretchen Carlson argued that talks with Iran would be hopeful for the outcome in Iraq.

Rep. Murtha said during his yesterday: "It's [the administration's] war and what they're trying to do is paint it as if there's progress is order to be able to get out." The FOX & Friends show went out of its way today to make Murtha's point for him, as they aired several segments on the good news out of Iraq.

The first of these segmens was a rose-colored interview with Command Sgt. Major Steve Greer (US Army Special Forces, Ret.) who was upbeat about the numbers and battle readiness of the Iraqi security forces, stating that "the fact that the security forces in Iraq have taken on a very great swath of battle space is a tremendous benefit and obviously a tremendous indication of the progress of the security element."

Steve Doocy dutifully noted that the recently concluded Operation Swarmer "showed that the Iraqi forces could do their jobs," despite the fact that critics of the second largest air strike in the Iraq war, had condemned it as a PR stunt. (Not one shot was fired during the entire operation, as over a thousand helicopters swarmed down on a group of Iraqi farming villages.) Sgt. Maj. Greer, of course, defended the operation, which, to this American, seemed like nothing more than an over-hyped war game exercise. When asked by Doocy whther FOX viewers should believe former Prime Minister Allawi or General Casy and the Vice-President. Greer didn't answer clearly, preferring instead to make dismissive remarks implying that Allawi's comments were the result of sour grapes because he's not longer in power.

The next Iraq segment was entitled "IRAQ: A NATION REBORN" and continued with Sgt. Maj. Greer, who proceeded to make the same kind of snide, dismissive comments about Rep. Jack Murtha:

KILMEADE: "You know, Congressman Jack Murtha has really been the spokesperson. He's really got an illustrious military background and he has now come out vehemently against the war, as you know. Sgt. Maj. Steve Greer is still with us ... and, Steve, I just gotta ask you: When he talks, what percentage of the military men on the ground does he speak for?"

GREER: "Well, I assume he speaks for his constituents in Pennsylvania. But, in terms of the military force, I think even him as a former veteran is really out of touch with the current 21st century soldier out there, who's gonna go into the fire and do what they're told to do and who believe and trust in the confidence and commitment and candor of the professional leaders that are appointed above them, guys like General Casey, General Dempsey and so many others out there who are takin' this fight to the insurgents and tryin' to instill democracy inside of Iraq for a free - for a new, free society in the Middle East. And so when guys like this denigrate the policy and denigrate what is critical progress in this region, a very difficult challenge, when they denigrate these things, I think the soldiers look at that and wonder: 'What are we doin' over there? Why is it that our own elected officials, you know, can't get on the bandwagon and understand that this is a tough fight?' And it's somethin' that the American people aren't gonna give up on and certainly not the American soldier or United States Marine, of course."

DOOCY: "Of course, Sgt. Major, you made a good case there, but when friends of yours or family members say, you know, this doesn't appear to be going well, you know, I see these car bombings and stuff like that, I mean, what really is the alternative? Rumsfeld said yesterday that cuttin' now would be the equivalent of handin' Germany back over to the nazis."

GREER: "Yeah. And he's absolutely right. And I think that's a very pointed description of where we would be if we did cut and run. you know, I think, when you look at Iraq and you look at the progress we've made since toppling Saddam Hussein and what the future is for 25 million people in Iraq, I cannot understand how anybodycan think that this isn't the right path, that this isn't a very noble cause that the Coalition has undertaken and that, if we don't stick this thing out, what we're gonna have, is we're gonna have a safe haven for terrorists and, boy, God help us then, if we do pull out too early. It's somethin' we just cannot afford to do."

DOOCY: "And Sgt. Major, your message to the men and women who wear the uniform who are in Iraq today?"

GREER: "The message is simple and it's the same message all American people should send out is that we owe those soldiers and those Marines and other servicemen in uniform a debt of gratitude that often goes unpaid and I will tell you that your cause is noble and stick out the fight and we appreciate everything you're doin'...."

COMMENT

The GOP must be VERY frightened of Rep. Murtha. I wonder when they'll take the innuendo and smearing to the final stage and drag out some old time veterans to denounce him as a coward and a traitor the way the Swift Boat Vetrans for Lies and Distortion did with John Kerry?

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