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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Murtha Gets a Pass - For Now

Why those in power keep protecting this old gasbag I'll never know...

A judge has ruled that attorneys for a Marine lieutenant colonel cannot interview Democratic Congressman John Murtha over comments he made about an attack that left 24 Iraqis dead in Haditha. Attorneys for Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani wanted to depose Murtha about his claims that the Marines killed “in cold blood.”

Needless to say, Chessani's lawyers were not pleased and issued this statement...

“This entire prosecution is politically motivated and stinks to high heaven. Denying us the right to take Murtha’s deposition so that we could show undue command influence, as well as denial of our request for production of documents in the possession of Lt. Col. Chessani’s superiors makes it impossible for us to render this loyal Marine officer the effective assistance of counsel he deserves — they are attempting to throw him under the bus. In many ways this is a trial like the one in Alice in Wonderland—the verdict first and then the trial.”

But that doesn't end it - not by any means. Lt Col Chessani's attorneys are going to pursue this angle including some of the "interesting" ties to NCIS, Sec of Navy Winter and Northrop Grumman and how they could have impacted the Haditha investigations. From the same press release...

Congressman Murtha holds significant influence over military appropriations and in the past has boasted he can get the Pentagon to do what he wants.

Murtha is the same person caught on tape negotiating bribes with Arab Sheiks during the FBI’s 1980 Abscam investigation – he was an un-indicted coconspirator in that case. Clearly, the Haditha incident provided ammunition for his well known anti-war stance.

Murtha also has ties to Navy Secretary Donald Winters. Winters had over 65 NCIS investigators assigned to investigate Lt. Col. Chessani and the Marines charged in the case. The NCIS Director claimed that to be the highest number of investigators assigned to an investigation in the history of the NCIS.

Hmmm.... who was it that broke the story of Murtha's connections? Oh yeah - it was me!
Connecting the Dots Between Murtha and the Haditha Prosecutions

Today this little blurb was released by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste and guess what? There's another Murtha/Northrup Grumman deal...

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today responded to congressional complaints about news that the $35 billion air tanker contract to build the country’s next generation of air refueling tankers would be awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp. and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. Members of Congress have reacted angrily to the surprise announcement, claiming that the deal unfairly penalizes the Boeing Company, which was the losing bidder in the deal.

For example, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-Pa.) threatened to kill the deal at his hearing yesterday, saying, “All this committee has to do is stop the money, and this program is not going forward.”

“Chairman Murtha’s bravado is typical of members of Congress who load up spending bills with earmarks and think they know better than the Pentagon how to spend the taxpayers’ money. The tanker contract was never considered competitively until the Air Force review, because Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) inserted a no-bid $23 billion leasing deal into the 2002 defense appropriations bill. Fortunately for taxpayers, that deal was scuttled,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.

This man has no shame... But then again we've known that for a LONG time.
Hat Tip to Smoothsailing and RedRover!

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