Monday, January 16, 2006

Kill the Messenger : Radical Anti-American Web Site Attacks Murtha

Cybercast News Service, a radical anti-American website, has begun an enormous ad hominem attack on Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the former Vietnam Marine and winner of two Purple Hearts who has criticized George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq--like nearly two thirds of Americans.

CNS--hiding their former identity as the "Conservative News Service"--reports that an "investigation" calls into question the circumstances surrounding Murtha's injuries in Vietnam for which he was decorated.

In another story, CNS inaccurately refers to Murtha as an "un-indicted co-conspirator" in the Abscam scandal of 1980--Murtha was, in fact never indicted, nor was he charged with conspiracy or even referred to in any legal documents as a conspirator. An Associated Press profile of Murtha found on USAToday's website says
Murtha was the only congressman involved in the complex case to emerge without facing criminal charges. He declared he was innocent, saying he had "met with two men who I believed had a substantial line of credit that could provide up to 1,000 jobs for the district. I broke no law. I took no money." A grand jury and the House ethics panel cleared Murtha of any wrongdoing.
The anti-American right-wing blogosphere have picked up these stories and are running like crazy. They are also taking public offense (whining and crying) at charges of a "Swift-boat"-like smear campaign. The shoe, I think, fits.

The ad hominem attack is a favorite of those who are desperate to avoid the truth. When you have no case, no evidence to back up a flimsy argument ("the war was a good idea and its going great"), attack the character of the person who calls your argument into question. The anti-American right has to attack Murtha--and Cindy Sheehan, and anyone else mentioning the sad fact that the emporer has no clothes--because they can't argue the reality of what he says.

Kill the messenger.

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