Murtha Men Give New Meaning to Legislative Liaison

The Marine Corps has named Col. Brian Murtha to the Corps’ office of legislative liaison. These are the guys that interact with and inform lawmakers on behalf of the Marine Corps. We think of them as the Corps’ lobbyists, though what Marine isn’t.

But it’s not every day the nephew of a lawmaker who is a retired Marine and a lightning rod for controversy enters so overtly into the families’ D.C.-based business.

Col. Brian Murtha, meet Pennsylvania Rep. John “Bring Home the Bacon” Murtha.

According to the Marines, Col. Murtha is the deputy legislative assistant to the commandant. His boss is a two-star select. This young fox is in neither the House nor the Senate-specific hen houses. Such a move would have raised more than eyebrows.

It appears no legal or ethical lines have been crossed by having Murtha the Younger serve in the Corps’ lobbying headquarters. Regardless, the choice either was truly inspired or incredibly aloof, smacking of entitlement. Of all the gin joints in the Marine Corps, Commandant Gen. James T. Conway sent Baby Murtha to the one office whose job it is to cajole money from his uncle. (And Uncle Jack is … chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee on defense)

Do you think the Marines were aware of this?

A recent New York Times article reported that Uncle Jack and Brian live in the same condo complex in Arlington, Va. (Could former Marine and Va. Sen. Jim “Women Can’t Fight” Webb be too far away? Maybe they toss back a few cold ones and barbeque together?) The paper also noted this is not the first time where relatives have ended up on opposite sides of the table. Ah, but the New York Times may have underestimated the Murtha men. For Uncle Jack and the boy there is only one side — and more often than not, it’s probably Uncle Jack’s. Though Murtha might not be the only lawmaker with relatives who have interests in the decisions made on the Hill, none seem to rise to the level of Marine lobbyists (there’s that word again) tugging at defense purse strings. And isn’t that what it’s about with Congress — the money? The Marine Corps probably could accept changes in policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and might even survive with terminating laws that laugh in the face of the Constitution (like combat exclusion). Fund their precious Corps, and they’ll shuffle off to Afghanistan.

So The Gun Club has forgotten about Murtha’s Haditha comments that indicted the Marines involved as murderers prior to their trials? A Faustian Pact for a buck.

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