Rumored ex-Marine John Murtha, Democrat congressman from Pennsylvania, has become the darling of the cut-and-run crowd for trying to place absurd restrictions on our troops, amounting to withdrawal from Iraq. Were Arab sheiks whispering into his ear?
In case you missed the video on "I Love the '80s," Rep. Murtha was caught on tape negotiating bribes with Arab sheiks during the FBI's Abscam investigation in 1980. The Abscam investigation was conducted by Jimmy Carter's Justice Department, not right-wing Republicans.
On tape, Murtha told the undercover FBI agent: "When I make a f***in' deal I want to make sure that I know exactly what I'm doing and ... what I'm sayin' is, a few investments in my district ..."
It is a profound and shocking fact that Murtha even showed up at this meeting, knowing he was going to be negotiating bribe money with Arabs.
Murtha added that he wanted the investment in his district to look like it was done "legitimately ... when I say legitimately, I'm talking about so these bastards up here can't say to me ... 'Jesus Christ, ah, this happened,' then he (someone else), in order to get immunity so he doesn't go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people and then the son of a bitch all falls apart."
For those of you just joining us, no, this isn't a scene from "The Sopranos." It's an actual conversation between a U.S. congressman and an FBI agent posing as an Arab sheik offering a bribe.
Murtha further said that although he was not prepared to accept cash at that time, "after we've done some business, then I might change my mind." You know, just what you or I or any American might say when offered a cash bribe by an Arab.
The ever-helpful media exposed the Abscam investigation before it could be completed, and consequently we were deprived of the possibility of seeing Murtha on tape stuffing cash in his trousers like the other Democratic congressmen (and one "moderate" Republican) convicted in the Abscam investigation. Or, as Al Gore used to call such a fund-raising procedure, "community outreach."
But Murtha was willing to trade favors in return for investment in his district -- and suggested he might take cash down the line. In other words, Murtha wasn't calling for an immediate surrender of his scruples and principles, but rather a phased withdrawal of them.
In fact, according to a co-conspirator's affidavit, it didn't take long for Murtha to warm to the idea of a cash bribe.