Monday, February 26, 2007

Neocon Hypocrisy

Recently, in a local newspaper, a conservative columnist held Representative John Murtha up to ridicule for having said that U.S. Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” in Iraq. He went on to say that Murtha had determined the guilt of these Marines without benefit of charges, trials or convictions. However, he continued to slander Murtha by reminding his readers of the FBI investigation from years ago when Murtha and other Congressmen were offered bribes.

This is my letter to the editor in response to his column:


This paper's recent column (R-J 2/25/07) is a “must read” for anyone needing an object lesson in Neo-conservative hypocrisy. The focus of the column was Rep. John Murtha for stating that U.S. Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” in Iraq without the need or benefit of charges, trials, or convictions of the accused.

The columnist's attack against Murtha for his lack of jurisprudence only serves to demonstrate his own keen deficiency of the same. He cites an FBI investigation that videotaped Murtha and other members of Congress in a sting operation to illustrate Murtha’s unsavory character. Yet in doing so he repeats the exact behavior for which he chastises Murtha. The FBI investigation did not result in charges, trial, or conviction of Congressman Murtha.

If it serves no other purpose, the editorial illustrates the divergent philosophies of the Neo-conservatives and the rest of us. Extremists on the Right do not see the glaring injustice of their worldview and their willingness to misuse any information, and just about anything else, to their advantage. What is inappropriate for Democrats, Liberals, Progressives and Moderates is totally acceptable for them. First Amendment rights are privileges the rest of us may lose when the nation’s security (or partisan politics) demands it, but it is the unassailable touchstone of the punditocracy.

Once rare, this level of duplicity has become commonplace in certain segments of the media and it is for the rest of us to not let it go unchallenged. It is unfortunate for this columnist as well as his readers that this must be pointed out however, those of us who still believe in the possibility of a just form of government have a duty to hold to civilized standards and demand the same of columnists.