I'm still researching and digging my way through stacks of papers. I have to stop myself from going off on a tangent while researching as Murtha's hands are so dirty with pork and corruption that it boggles my mind how he still sits in Congress.
There is another Murtha - NCIS connection that I've not seen reported anywhere else. Gabrielle Carruth works as the executive assistant to John Murtha. She is a member of Murtha's personal staff, the appropriations associate staff and Murtha's policy director. Prior to joining up with Murtha Inc, Carruth spent 17 years in the Navy as a special Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent, examining sexual assaults and white-collar crime. Carruth's husband is also an NCIS agent.
Nothing like a direct link to the NCIS, huh?
I've also been pondering why Murtha would be so hell-bent on pushing for withdrawal from Iraq when most of his campaign money comes from the defense industry. Think about this - It costs big bucks to fight the war in Iraq. This is money that could be used for appropriations. Lack of dough for appropriations impacts the defense contractors and the money available for research and big new technology. This could have an impact on the dollars contributed to political campaigns.
This theory is corroborated by statements made by Rep Joe Courtney (D -Conn) in a March 2007 article about the Pentagon's budget.
"...Courtney, who campaigned on an antiwar platform, warned that hefty bills for the Iraq war could put modernization accounts at risk, leaving the military poorly positioned for potential future conflicts. The Chinese navy's submarine fleet, he said is building two and a half boats annually and could soon surpass the US underwater force in terms of numbers of boats."
Lest one thinks that Courtney is truly concerned about the military, it's important to note that his district includes General Dynamics' Electric Boat outfit.
Also mentioned in the article is Murtha's plans for new military equipment...
"House Armed Services Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee Chairman Gene Taylor D-Miss and House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pa, spoke briefly during a vote on the House floor Feb 8. They hope to boost the Navy's buys of new ships to as many as 12 next year, a 70% increase over the Pentagon's current plan."
"Indeed, Taylor, an ardent shipbuilding industry supporter whose district includes Northrop Grumman's Pascagoulia, Miss. yard...."
Nothing helps with re-election like piling on the pork $$ to your district. It doesn't hurt the old campaign warchest either.
For those that claim a Congressman would never jeopardize his position by flagrant acts of threats of withholding contracts and money for some political favors, here's something to chew on.
Twice in the past year, Murtha has publicly verbally threatened to withhold earmarks and funding for other members of Congress that refuse to toe his hog-laden line. Remember Rep Mike Rogers' little run in with a belligerent Murtha? The famous quote was "I hope you don't have any earmarks in the defense appropriations bills because they are gone, and you will not get any earmarks now and forever."
And there was another less publicized incident regarding Rep Todd Tiahrt (R-KS). Tiahrt voted in favor of Rep Rogers' amendment to kill Murtha's cash cow, the NDIC. Murtha then went on a "finger-pointing tirade" and "threatened to withdraw his support from a defense project associated with the Boeing company in Rep Tiahrt's district"
Would it be too much of a stretch to think that Murtha might react the same way in light of the politically charged atmosphere of the Haditha investigation? I wouldn't put it past him for one minute.