Less than 100 hours after Democratic Congressman John Murtha passed away, one of his hugest critics decided to replace her butter knives with sharper blades.
"Sufficient time has passed since John Murtha’s death to reckon with his true record. No tears for the wreckage, poison, and damage to the public trust he left behind," conservative pundit Michelle Malkin wrote at her blog Friday morning, before posting a copy of her latest syndicated column.
After the longtime Pennsylvania congressman's death was reported on Monday, Malkin's initial post only contained a few subtle politically-motivated remarks.
"I’ll let my archives on his political career speak for itself," Malkin wrote. "For now, condolences to the Murtha family."
After posting a message by Murtha's GOP challenger, William Russell, which announced that his campaign "was immediately initiating a moratorium on all political media activity for the next five days in respect," and hoped that "the passing of Mr. Murtha be treated with the utmost respect and decency by all," Malkin ended her blog post Monday with the following retort: "Yes, we can show Murtha’s family more decency and respect than he ever showed the Haditha Marines."
On Friday, Malkin went back to full-on attack mode.
Malkin's syndicated column, "John Murtha: Requiem for a corruptocrat", regularly published in over 100 newspapers nationwide, begins,
We are not supposed to speak ill of the dead. But those whom the deceased viciously smeared and humiliated deserve to be defended. Entrenched Democrat Rep. John Murtha passed away on February 8 after a botched gall bladder surgery. He has been hailed as a “military advocate” (Associated Press) and “one of the greatest patriots ever to serve in Congress” (former Democratic congressman Harold Ford). These obsequious obituaries leave out inconvenient truths:
John “Jack” Murtha was an unrepentant smear merchant and corruptocrat to the bitter end."
Malkin maintains that because most of the Marines implicated in the November of 2005 Haditha killings had charges against them dropped, Murtha was wrong to "open the military-bashing floodgates around the world" by declaring in 2006, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."
"Murtha, the so-called 'military advocate' went to his deathbed refusing to apologize or retract the attacks on the Haditha Marines (several of whom unsuccessfully sued him for libel to restore their honor)," Malkin writes. "Decent people would call this intransigent treachery. Murtha’s friends apparently consider it great patriotism."
As in most of her anti-Murtha columns, Malkin ignores the fact that a three-month probe commissioned by the Pentagon did support some of the late congressman's charges that the Marines engaged in potentially "criminal conduct."
"I found no direct evidence of any orchestrated effort or any effort on the part of any individual above the squad level to cover up this incident. I did find that individuals above the squad level were complicit, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in attempts to hide criminal conduct. Leaders from the platoon through the 2nd Marine Division level, particularly at the Company and Battalion level, exhibited a determination to ignore indications of serious misconduct, perhaps to avoid conducting an inquiry that could prove adverse to themselves or their Marines. . . ." Army Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell's report stated.
Malkin's column concludes,
From his character assassination of innocents to his insatiable appetite for pork and power, Jack Murtha embodied everything that is wrong with Washington. If only the culture of corruption he serviced could be buried six feet under with him."