New 'Murtha Lied' Website posts 'hateful' emails after liberal blogs start digging
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Sunday June 25, 2006
A new Website devoted to the "lies" of Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha went live a few days early in order to post "hateful" emails sent by readers of liberal blogs that were tipped off early and had already begun digging into the site's background, RAW STORY has found.
Although the original url for the Website was to be www.murthalied.com, a few days ago, one of the site's founders, retired Navy Captain Larry Bailey, purchased a new url at BootMurtha.com. Bailey served as president of Vietnam Veterans For The Truth, which attacked 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry's military record, on the heels of the more well-known Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.
In 2004, the term "swift boating" entered the modern lexicon, which the online community encyclopedia Wikipedia defines as "an ad hominem attack against a public figure, coordinated by an independent or pseudo-independent group, usually resulting in a benefit to an established political force."
"Specifically, this form of attack is controversial, easily repeatable, and difficult to verify or disprove because it is generally based on personal feelings or recollections," Wikipedia continues.
Last November, Murtha authored a resolution to pull the troops out of Iraq, and the Republican Party quickly turned on the conservative pro-military Democrat, who retired as a decorated colonel in the Marines. The Republicans put together their own resolution, which varied from Murtha's, in order to "embarrass" Democrats into voting for it.
At the time, Kerry warned those on the right not to attempt to "swift boat" Murtha.
"I won't stand for the swift-boating of Jack Murtha," said Kerry. "There is no sterner stuff than the backbone and courage that defines Jack Murtha's character and conscience."
According to Bailey, "Murtha Lied" will be devoted to recent statements made by the Congressman regarding Iraq, and, in particular, the alleged massacre at Haditha.
"At the moment we don't know enough about Murtha's service record to say much of anything about it," Bailey told RAW STORY.
Murtha and Haditha
Murtha upset many on the right when he claimed that there was a Haditha "cover-up," and some called him a liar since there was an ongoing investigation. However, a formal military investigation wasn't launched until March after Time magazine had begun investigating it.
"There was no firefight," Murtha said in a televised news conference back in May. "There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
To this day, the official Marine statement on the killings still claims that a Marine and fifteen civilians were killed by a roadside bomb blast, even though death certificates, leaked reports and pictures indicate that most of the victims - close to two dozen and some just young children - were shot at close range in the head.
Expose those involved
Sean-Paul Kelley, editor of The Agonist, a community blog online since September of 2002, was one of the first to "track down and investigate and expose those involved in this enterprise," with the help of his readers and fellow bloggers.
Kelley's post They're Gonna Swiftboat Murtha contained an email address and picture for Amanda P. Doss, the site's manager, along with information about her past work and connections.
"The person who set up the site is one Amanda P. Doss, and a quick google search turns up this site: www.operationstreetcorner.com, which is a wonderful site, as Billy found out, dedicated to: 'The Vietnam Veterans' Grassroots Campaign Against John Kerry and Jane Fonda, traitors to our country,'" wrote Kelley.
Earlier today, Doss fired back by posting some of the emails she received which she characterized as "hateful and even threatening."
"I would like to share some of hateful and even threatening emails I have recently received due to these blogs, before this website was even created," Doss wrote. "Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, please feel free to email these 'sweethearts' and let them know how proud of them you are for the way they represent the Democratic party."
"Interesting that a political whore would pick a name like streetcorner'. I've wonder who you'll be doing on the corner," wrote one emailer.
"You vile 'swiftboaters' (translation: idiot cowards and despicable liars) will get your asses kicked all over the media this time, you are the lowest form of human beings there could possibly be, and on top of that YOU are just plain ugly," wrote another. "Please crawl under a rock and die."
Bailey was surprised when informed by RAW STORY that Doss went live with the site, but though he doesn't want to detract from the intended purpose of the site, he understood why Doss went ahead, since she was very upset with some of the emails she had received.
Liberal bloggers respond
"I don't regret putting her email address in my post because her email address was widely available," Sean-Paul Kelley told RAW STORY. "What I regret was that people used her email to send her nasty comments instead of trying to engage her in a substantive debate."
In fact, personal information about someone connected to Doss was posted by one Agonist reader, and Kelley immediately deleted it.
Taylor Marsh, a blogger and author who hosted a radio show called "The Antidote to Right Wing Talk" ("now on hiatus" according to Marsh's Website bio), also has done some digging into "Murtha Lied."
"...Republicans like their soldiers serving, silent and standing for photo ops, not talking back," Marsh wrote at her blog. "When a vet speaks out he's targeted. Murtha is just the latest."
In a phone interview, Marsh talked about both the nature of the anti-Murtha site itself, and Doss' posting of the "hateful" emails.
"They can print emails and we can print emails," Marsh told RAW STORY.
Marsh even has a section at her eponymous Website devoted to the hate mail and threats she has received through the years.
"You Godless Bitch...I hope you die the worst possible death in retribution for the slander you espouse," wrote one emailer. "I would love to see you die by the hands of the heartless people you defend, why don't you travel to a foreign country, get kidnapped and raped, and die?"
At her site, Marsh reports that a former Vietnam Veterans For Truth associate has ties to Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army and who authored the resolution which the Republican Party misrepresented as Murtha's.
(NOTE: A second article based on interviews with Bailey, Marsh and others will be posted at RAW STORY in coming days.)