The Oregonian jumps into the "War Records" argument today, publishing and Op Ed by Jim Rassmann, (a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, lives in Florence. He served with the Army's 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1968-69).
I am glad they kept the issue alive by publishing such a lame and factless defense. He garners print by attacking an out-of-control right-wing organization...the wildly conservative Cybercast News Service.
"(CNS)...has attacked Murtha, claiming he was fraudulently awarded Purple Hearts for wounds received during two tours in Vietnam."
Actually, if you read the article, CSN is simply reporting the claims of a couple of Murtha associates, who dispute the circumstances surrounding the awarding of Murtha's Purple Hearts, and the varied stories that Murtha has told regarding their issuance. I would call this reporting, and because the left-leaning MSM refuses to investigate these types of discrepancies, (John Kerry, Christmas in Cambodia, a noteworthy discrepancy...lie, that got no scrutiny by the mainstream press), I would encourage CSN and others to look into the matter further. As I stated on Thurs, Murtha can put all this behind him by having the Marines release his records to the press. As a decorated veteran, this is how I would clear up any disparaging charges against my record. Why hesitate? Because elements of his stories may be false...it has happened to better pols.
The feckless MSM should investigate, if only to try to maintain their very limited credibility. I guess left-leaning liars and fakers aren't as interesting to investigate as right-leaning liars.
I also take umbrage with the following from Rassmann...
"Since it is unseemly for a leadership that never served its country in combat to attack the patriotism and veracity of decorated soldiers and sailors who did, this administration has returned to its tactic of finding surrogates to do its dirty work."
I am not doing the administration's bidding, I am acting as a veteran who has earned his awards, and demands nothing less, and nothing more, of Murtha and all veterans. Stolen Valor will sicken the reader as undeserving veterans, and non-serving civilians alike, trash the value of military awards by wearing the heroism of others like hookers wear cubic zirconia and rhinestones. The falsehoods and exaggerations inextricably linked with the undeserved wearing of awards, are meant to garner adulation, praise, and personal gain, by silently claiming that the recipient possesses some personal attribute via the combat decoration he is wearing that he/she does not likely possess in their real persona. In many cases these fakers are rewarded with personal and professional gains... Stolen Valor is replete with examples where the recipient of a high combat honor was afforded opportunities that they would not otherwise have been given.
Is it possible that Murtha's claims about his awards helped get him elected? And if so, is it possible that his victories are ill-gotten? Not worth a look? C'mon...of course it is, and the longer he refuses to give up his full military record...the more it calls into question, not only his awards, but the entirety of his service. Missed drills? Waivers? Special favors? (sound familiar?) What else is there to find in his record?
Again, I respect the fact the Rep. Murtha served his country, but his service, and his subsequent claims about his service MUST be coincident. If he has exaggerated...he needs to be called on it. If he has lied...he needs to be called on it. And if the MSM won't investigate it, then I have no problem with CSN looking into it. And I certainly have no problem calling for the full release of his record. He should not be ashamed to release them...in fact he should be ashamed for not releasing them.
I also find it interesting that, in the interest of full disclosure, Rassmann fails to stipulate, in his short byline bio, that he was rescued by John Kerry during Vietnam, although he conveniently refers to the "...the Swift Boat assault on Kerry during the 2004 election campaign." I think the omission of this connection, and Rassmann's role for the Dems in 2004, is a thinly veiled attempt to slip this piece in as an "impartial" piece...while it is clearly a Dem counterpoint attack to the quickly eroding credibility of Murtha and his war record.
Keep in mind, it is not Murtha's service that is in question; it is how faithfully he has represented that service to America that is in question...as a public servant, there is no reason to obstruct a release of his full record via the Marine Corps...again, not via his staff. If he has faithfully represented himself this should clear up in short order, if he continues to avoid the full release of his records...I will continue to dog him...unapologetically.