John Fund adds a twist to my article last month on Congressman Murtha’s involvement in the Abscam scandal (and without a nod — no love from a fellow TASer): a short part of George Crile’s book Charlie Wilson’s War.
In it, Crile reported that Speaker O’Neill was responsible for placing Charlie Wilson on the Ethic Committee to quash the probe on Murtha. The problem with this passage (and the reason I didn’t use it) is because is cannot be corroborated. Crile, as Fund mentions, died this year. Fund reports that he talked to Crile before he died and the author maintained the accuracy of his account. But Charlie Wilson won’t corroborate it. He offered Fund “no comment.”
In fact, the only guy with a sharp memory about what happened on that the Ethics Committee, former Congressman Don Bailey, claims that he was responsible for stopping the probe, persuading his colleagues (or at least the Democrats) of Murtha’s innocence.
Without decent corroboration, it is difficult to say that Crile’s account of Charlie Wilson’s role in the Murtha investigation is accurate. Crile did not footnote. Is it the untold story, or the grandiose ramblings of Wilson, not exactly your strongest character witness? Who knows.