Congressman John Murtha gave a press conference yesterday to repeat his usual sound bites: there is no progress in Iraq, Republicans will (someday) abandon the President, etc., etc.
One reporter was not with the program. The Hill reports today…
Conservative writer Jeff Gannon, who was in the audience, challenged Murtha on another statement he had made, that Marines in Haditha had killed Iraqi civilians ‘in cold blood.’ Charges have been dropped against several Marines, though others remain charged with murder. Gannon asked Murtha if he would apologize, and Murtha refused.
“The trials are not over yet,” Murtha said, reddening slightly in the face.
Also in response to Gannon, Murtha tersely deemed inappropriate the newspaper advertisement taken out by the liberal group MoveOn.org criticizing commanding Gen. David Petraeus as General Betray Us. Without elaborating, Murtha said Yes when asked if he would distance himself from the ad.
Murtha also took issue with the administration’s reports of military progress in Iraq, though he voiced no criticism of Petraeus.
“The administration now appears content with running out the clock,” Murtha said. “I have seen no progress. No progress.”
Thank you, Jeff Gannon. You were the only reporter to challenge Murtha yesterday and you are the first reporter to challenge Murtha about his “they killed innocent civilians in cold blood” slander. Well done, sir. Now if only others will follow your example.
C-Span has the video here. The Haditha question comes at 39:20.
Here are stills with text:
August 8: Dear Mainstream Media: You and Congressman Murtha must set the record straight
May 17-30, 2006: Murtha’s Own Words