What a slap in the face to our Corps of Marines. Any self-respecting Marine cringed upon learning of the naming an Amphibious Ship (LPD 26) after the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha.
Murtha’s checkered career in Congress is well known, having been tarnished with ethics violations on numerous occasions. Instead of supporting Marines, he actually accused members of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines of “murdering innocent women and children” in an incident on Dec. 21, 2006, in Haditha, Iraq.
Without the benefit of facts, Rep. Murtha, a critic of the war, condemned Marines and made the yet unfounded charges of killing innocent civilians in cold blood. Again, without facts, he tarnished the reputation of Sgt. Frank Wuterich by accusing him of a coverup. He further inflamed the incident by comparing it to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
Why the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, would even consider an unethical congressman such as Murtha is a mystery. Sounds as though politics is “alive and well” in our nation’s capital.
Among Marines there is a saying, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” In other words, there are no ex or former Marines. In the case of John Murtha an exception is hereby tendered.
Surely, the secretary of the Navy will revisit his hasty, unpopular political decision and possibly name the LPD 26 after a more suitable individual, city or notable Marine Corps engagement.