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Haditha, John Murtha, show trial

John Murtha–First the guilty verdict, then the trial

By John Burtis
Friday, June 2, 2006

Yep, Judge John Murtha, one time war hero, Democratic activist, anti-war recidivist, former Marine, Kerry crony, and the latest golden boy in the liberal press, has pronounced that the activities in Haditha, Iraq, constitute a war crime and that all the participants are guilty of murder.

Further, just to make sure that my father's generation is riddled with war criminals as well as the Vietnam generation, whose veterans were so successfully sullied by the likes of John Kerry and Oliver Stone, with additional help from Ms. Jane Fonda nee Hanoi, Mr. Murtha also announced a bit ago that the Allies committed a shocking level of atrocities in our bombing of Nazi Germany.

Murtha, in his vicious condemnation of our fly boys, unleashed, apparently, without the aid of medication, left out the often shabby and distasteful behavior of the Nazis and the reasons why we fought Hitler. But such equivocation would be tantamount to absolving my father for his participation in the Allied victory. And Mr. Murtha seems bent on a course designed to damage every American fighting man he can with participation in some sort of an atrocity.

When I listen to Mr. Murtha, his tarring of his "beloved" Marines for war crimes for which no one has been yet charged, I am struck by the similarities with Mr. Josef Stalin and his great show trials of the 1930s.

Although the current Democratic Party possesses no one in a position similar to or with the talent of a Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, certainly not those with the obvious deficiencies of Kerry, Reid, Gore, Clinton or Schumer, to say the least, save for Mr. Howard Dean, who truly believes he occupies one. Mr. Murtha does do a pretty good imitation of Andre Vyshinsky, the chief judge and interlocutor at the trials of the Bukharinites and the other great show tribunals.

The key elements of a well run show trial were these--the determination of the guilty verdicts long before the trials began, the selection of the methods of execution far in advance of the proceedings, the packing of the court with shills, who would shout demands for the maximum penalties for the accused throughout the procedures, propagandistic press accounts about the sheer genius of the prosecutors and the judge, and a fawning boot licking party of approval spurring the whole shabby affair along.

And brother, Judge Murtha, his court jesters and coat holders sure fit the show trial bill.

Judge Murtha has already determined that every Marine that entered Haditha, a hotbed of insurgency in the Sunni triangle, on the day in question, is already guilty of murder--his highly placed and confidential sources tell him so. And with this mountain of evidence, he is proceeding with his charge.

He is not rushing to judgment in this case, he's just calling the affair an atrocity right out of the box and overlooking any exculpatory evidence, which is only now being unearthed in the two painful military investigations being undertaken. Information like the radio calls which indicate that the outfit was under fire when the abomination was said to have taken place.

His jury, made of such unbiased members as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the wild decibel raving cable news shows like that vaunted truth machine, CNN, is running stories in utter congruence with Judge Murtha's immediate findings of guilt--which they are only too happy to produce in their ceaseless quest to sully every man and woman in the service of our country, to further tar and feather a wounded Mr. Bush and to insure that the use of military force in the future will remain covered in the shame of Haditha, My Lai and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, his willing handpicked dupes in the audience, like the liberal parrot Chris Matthews and that travesty of a broken newsman David Gregory, mirror in every respect those same treacherous shills who were liberally sprinkled in Vyshinsky's court and cried out for the full vengeance of the state to be visited on each hapless defendant.

Of course, we have the Democratic Party acting, in this case, just as the Communist Party did in the USSR, serving at the beck and call of the judge, trumpeting to all and sundry of the great patriotic duties being fulfilled in the people's tribunal, what wonderful proceedings they are to watch and learn from, and what a great man Judge Murtha is. Judge Murtha is a war hero and is the only man, save for the people's hero's Kerry and Clinton, capable of determining guilt before the evidence is even found and weighed.

And the evidence, like Comrade Vyshinsky's, will include hearsay, rumors, rumors of war, past behavior, and the problems at My Lai, difficulties in Korea, Patton's slapping of an enlisted man, the shabby treatment accorded the Japanese on Tarawa, Sgt. York's shooting of some Germans before he took the rest of them prisoner, the unfair sneaking up on the British at Trenton, Washington's misbehavior on the road to French held Ohio, and an enumeration of other derogatory submissions, which continues to grow under Judge Murtha's loose rules of evidence.

There will be a list of prior military deficiencies which Judge Murtha will hold for all to see, like Senator McCarthy held a famous list of communists in another era, but which he will then promptly secret away.

However, the Judge has also ruled that any evidence showing anything other than guilt cannot be entered by the defense until after the verdict has been rendered.

Additional witnesses waiting to testify for the prosecution, if needed, include those gasconades on American defense--William J. Clinton, defrocked Army Ranger Jessie MacBeth and any surviving members of the Winter Soldiers.

In the end, regardless of whether the Marines involved are absolved, share responsibility, or are found guilty under the UCMJ, they have already been convicted in the media's people's court, where Judge Murtha has presided over a colorful and raucous show trial, where the verdicts were already determined long before he called this rump tribunal to order.

And it is this stigma, applied so thickly and with such ease by a former soldier, as much as any other, which the Marines will carry forever.

John Burtis is a former Broome County, NY firefighter, a retired Santa Monica, CA, police officer. He obtained his BA in European History at Boston University and is fluent in German. He resides in NH with his wife, Betsy. John Burtis can be reached at:

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