Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the former Marine who is an outspoken critic
of the war in Iraq, has become the latest Democrat to have his Vietnam War
In a tactic reminiscent of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth assault on
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) during the 2004 presidential campaign, a
conservative Web site yesterday quoted Murtha opponents as questioning the
circumstances surrounding the awarding of his two Purple Hearts.
David Thibault, editor in chief of the Cybercast News Service, said the
issue of Murtha's medals from 1967 is relevant now "because the congressman
has really put himself in the forefront of the antiwar movement." Thibault
said: "He has been placed by the Democratic Party and antiwar activists as a
spokesman against the war above reproach."
Cindy Abram, a spokeswoman for Murtha, said, "We certainly believe that
the questions being raised are an attempt to distract attention from what's
happening in Iraq." As for how Murtha won the Purple Hearts, she said: "We
think the congressman's record is clear. We have the documentation, the
paperwork that proves that he earned them, and that he is entitled to wear
Cybercast is part of the conservative Media Research Center, run by L.
Brent Bozell III, who accused some in the media of ignoring the Swift Boat
charges, but Thibault said it operates independently. He said the unit,
formerly called the Conservative News Service, averages 110,000 readers,
mainly conservative, and provides material for other Web sites such as
GOPUSA. "We won't run anything against anybody if we don't have the goods,"