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Friday, November 18, 2005
  MSM Ignores Murtha’s Long History Of Opposition to the Iraq War
As reported by the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker, the network evening news broadcasts tonight all lead with Congressman John Murtha’s (D-Penn.) call for the removal of American troops from Iraq. Yet, they seemed disinterested in focusing much attention on Rep. Murtha's “denouncement” of the Iraq war more than a year ago. (Please see a May 10, 2004 CNN story stating, “Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, in a news conference with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the problems in Iraq are due to a ‘lack of planning’ by Pentagon chiefs and ‘the direction has got be changed or it is unwinnable.’") Maybe most important, the networks totally ignored the fact that Rep. Murtha has been expressing disgust with the Bush administration’s prosecution of this war since six months after it started.

Rep. Murtha first voiced his displeasure with how things were going in Iraq on September 16, 2003, when he called for the immediate firing of President Bush’s defense leadership team. The network news organizations this evening chose not to inform their viewers of this, and, instead, implied that Rep. Murtha was a "hawk" that has always supported this war, and that his statements today were recent revelations.

Quite the contrary, the New York Times reported on September 17, 2003 (link courtesy of Common Dreams.org):

“One of the strongest Democratic supporters of the invasion of Iraq joined the growing offensive against the administration's postwar planning today, demanding that President Bush fire his defense leadership team.

“The Democrat, Representative John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, a decorated Vietnam veteran, said that he had been misled into voting for the war by incorrect information from top administration officials and that the president had also been misled.

"’You can't fire the president unless you're in California,’ Mr. Murtha said. ‘But somebody recommended this policy to him, and he took the recommendation. Somebody has to be held responsible, and he's got to make the decision who it was.’"

The following day, Rep. Murtha went on MSNBC’s “Hardball” to discuss his views on this subject with Chris Matthews. In this interview, not only did Rep. Murtha state that he would not have voted for the war resolution knowing what he knew "now," but also, contrary to assertions made by many members of Congress of late -- as well as much of the mainstream media -- he saw "all" of the intelligence reports: "I mean, I'm not blaming anybody else because I saw all the intelligence reports. All of them indicated we had imminent danger."

 
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