Friday, March 27, 2009

Murtha Award Sparks Outrage

I've posted twice on former Navy Sec. Donald Winter's disgraceful action granting the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award to Marine slanderer Dem Rep. Jack Murtha. ( See here and here)

At both posts you can access a site where you can read and sign an online petition expressing opposition to what Winter's did.

JinC Regular Tarheel Hawkeye, a recipient of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award, originally intended to return his award to the Navy.

However, in response to commenters here who urged him not to give up an award he earned, he's holding on to it and writing the Navy Secretary asking for an explanation of how and why Murtha was selected for the award.

While the story of Winter's award to Murtha has not yet been picked up by most MSM, JinC Regular cks informs that Fox News has reported on Winter's action.

And yesterday, a mil news site that gets heavy traffic, reported the story.'s report began - - -

In one of his last moves before leaving office March 13, then-Navy Secretary Donald Winter quietly awarded 19-term Democratic congressman John Murtha (Pa.) with the service's highest civilian honor.

Citing Murtha's "courageous leadership, vision, and loyalty to the men and women of the Department of the Navy," Winter presented the influential chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense panel with the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award, an honor bestowed in "those extraordinary cases where individuals have demonstrated exceptionally outstanding service of substantial and long term benefit to the Navy, Marine Corps, or the Department of the Navy as a whole," a Murtha release stated.

The award generated little publicity when it was given to Murtha in early March, but as news of the honor trickled out, some veterans groups ignited a firestorm of protest.

Poll: Should the Navy reconsider Murtha’s award

The primary reason for their ire stems from the congressman's statements in May, 2006, that a squad of Marines who responded to an IED ambush and short firefight in Haditha, Iraq, rampaged through the village, murdering civilians "in cold blood."

Murtha made those comments in the heat of the 2006 congressional mid-term election campaign, in a move some political analysts saw as an attempt to stoke the anti-war vote for a Democratic takeover of the House. The former Marine and distinguished Vietnam veteran continued his accusations in follow-up media appearances before an official Pentagon and Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation had been completed.

When the dust settled more than two years later, six of the eight Marines and Sailors accused of crimes in the Haditha incident had their cases dismissed, one was found not guilty and the last has been continued indefinitely.

The Navy did not respond to a request for comment on the award or the backlash from veterans groups by post time.

Murtha has refused to recant his accusations or apologize to the Marines he accused of war crimes. When asked by in late 2007 whether he regretted his initial statements and owed the exonerated Marines and Sailor an apology, Murtha refused to comment, saying the cases were still being adjudicated....

[One] influential veterans group has reacted strongly against the award, crafting a petition to lobby the Navy to rescind it.

Vets for Freedom, a group that generally supports the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, called Murtha's award "appalling" and his accusations against the Haditha Marines "vile and despicable."

"Congressman John Murtha should apologize for slandering the Marines of [3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment], and for undermining the efforts of those servicemen and women who fought in Iraq," the online petition states. "If he does not, the Secretary of the Navy should rescind this award as a sign of his unwavering support for those who served in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom."

So far more than 35,000 supporters have signed the online petition.'s entire report's here.


Anonymous said...

John: A couple of typos: in the head, "outrage" and the former SECNAV is Winter, not Wright.

Anonymous said...


Why on earth would Navy Sec. Donald Winter grant the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award to Jack Murtha? It boggles the mind.

Murtha must have requested it. Do you suppose Arlen Spector was involved?


Anonymous said...

Murtha calls his constituents a bunch of stupid rednecks and they re-elect him. Murtha calls the heroic Marines defending our country murderers and the former Secretary of the Navy (a Republican) gives him a prestigious award. What's wrong with this picture? What's wrong is that the people no longer have a bloody thing to say or do in the governance of the United States. Slugs like Murtha are in the ascendancy and Saint Barack rules the roost. Hope? We can only hope we can survive this train-wreck.
Tarheel Hawkeye