This is a manufactured news story. Murtha is not a hawk, and hasn’t been for at least a year and a half.
From the May 6, 2004 Roll Call (here’s a Yahoo cache):
Signaling a new, more aggressive line against the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq, Rep. John Murtha (Pa.), the House Democrats’ most visible defense hawk, will join Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today to make public his previously private statements that the conflict is “unwinnable.”
That didn’t stop The Hill from making a big deal of it when Murtha endorsed Howard Dean for DNC chair:
The endorsement of the leading antiwar presidential candidate by one of the Democrats’ most prominent early supporters of the Iraq invasion signals a rehabilitation of Dean’s image in the House and greatly increases his prospects of leading the party, many Democratic lawmakers and aides said.
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is writing letters in support of Howard Dean. Several lawmakers said support by the hardscrabble, old-school Vietnam veteran, who endorsed former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) in the presidential primaries, would compel the DNC to take a second look at the firebrand governor and not simply write him off as an extreme avatar of the party’s antiwar wing.
That was in January, nearly eight months after Murtha joined the party’s antiwar wing. Our esteemed press corps didn’t check up on the Murtha-is-a-hawk spin then, and they didn’t check up on it yesterday, either. Pathetic.
(Hat tip: Kathryn Jean Lopez.)
UPDATE: GatewayPundit has a history of Murtha’s positions on the war.
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