Remember when Murtha criticized what was going on in Iraq? Remember how happy we were that there was finally a Democrat who was willing to say something? I, at least, thought, 'hey, this Murtha guy is great'. Well, it's still great that he finally came out and said something. But, the man himself is by no means great.
ABSCAM was the media's name for an FBI undercover operation to catch corrupt lawmakers. Around 1980, agents and an informant met with several lawmakers posing as representatives of a fictional "sheik Abdul" to offer them $50,000 in cash for legislative favors. Murtha was one of the lawmakers who met with them.
Ultimately, six lawmakers went down on corruption charges stemming from the operation, nearly all of them Democrats. Murtha wasn't one of them -- but not, as Murtha implies, because his innocence was ever demonstrated....
In 1980, Tip O'Neill was House Speaker and the center of Democratic power in Washington, George Crile wrote in his book, "Charlie Wilson's War." Murtha was a member of O'Neill's inner circle.
When O'Neill learned that the special prosecutor, Barrett Prettyman Jr., had set his sights on Murtha, "the Speaker immediately summoned [then-Texas Dem. congressman] Charlie Wilson into his office with an offer he couldn't refuse" -- a seat on the House ethics committee....
"[S]hortly after Charlie's arrival the rules of the game changed completely and before [special prosecutor] Prettyman could fully deploy his investigators to move on the Murtha case, he was informed that the committee had concluded there was no justification for an investigation. 'This matter is closed,' proclaimed the newly appointed Ethics Committee chairman Louis Stokes, another of the Speaker's reliables."
Prettyman was stunned, Crile said, and resigned his congressional post in protest. Murtha kept his -- and, come Thursday's secret ballot election among his fellow Democrats, may take the top seat in the House.
I'll try to not be so naive next time. Sorry about that.
His brother also retired a few years ago from a local lobbying job. He then got set up in a new lobbying job in which the person he mainly lobbied was his brother.
Noone ever claimed that the Democrats weren't corrupt. It took them forty years to get to that point, though. It took the Republicans less than ten to get way worse.