WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) made the following statement in support of statements and a resolution introduced by Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA).  Today in an effort to muzzle and dishonor Rep. Murtha, House Republicans have redrafted Murtha’s resolution and offered their altered version of the Murtha resolution version on the House floor. 

“I have known Jack Murtha for nearly thirty years and I have enormous respect for his patriotism and his expertise on military matters.

“I’ve heard Jack Murtha speak about what is going on in Iraq and about the adverse effect that this war is having on our military and our nation’s security.  I agree with him that it is time for us to start bringing our troops home, and I support his proposal to do so.

“This is a war that was based on false and misleading intelligence from the Bush Administration about Iraqi nuclear weapons, and which has been bungled at almost every stage by incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the White House and the civilian leadership at the Pentagon.  Our brave troops deserve better than to be asked to continue risking their lives for a mistake.  At this point it has become clear that our troop presence in Iraq is making the situation over there worse, not better.  The Iraqi people need to know that the U.S. is going to end its occupation of their country, and that they need to assume responsibility for their own security.  

“The Republican’s actions on the House floor today are a continuation of their deliberate misleading of the American public.  They are simply refusing to have a real debate on the Murtha resolution.

“Mr. Murtha has called for a debate on the redeployment with troops consistent with their protecting their security and the security of our country.

“What we have here today is not a debate on the Murtha resolution.  This is a Republican attempt to undermine Jack Murtha and all who are willing to speak the truth about the war.  This is a partisan tactic to avoid having a real debate on the war in Iraq – a debate the Republicans fear they are losing.

“We should get our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible, consistent with ensuring their safety.  Instead of continuing this diversion, which has only harmed America’s international reputation, we should refocus our nation’s energies on capturing Osama bin Laden and disrupting and destroying the Al Qaeda terrorist organization that was responsible for the September 11th attacks.”

November 18, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness