Pelosi supports Murtha as Maj. Leader because of his national security/war on terror credentials. Has she forgotten he was willing to be bribed by Arabs? From The Hill.
Speaker—in—waiting Nancy Pelosi (D—Calif.) threw her support behind Rep. John Murtha (D—Pa.) for majority leader Sunday, giving a significant boost to Murtha in his race against Rep. Steny Hoyer (D—Md.).
"Your strong voice for national security, the war on terror and Iraq provides genuine leadership for our party, and I count on you to continue to lead on these vital issues," Pelosi wrote Murtha Sunday in a letter obtained by The Hill. "For this and for all you have done for Democrats in the past and especially this last year, I am pleased to support your candidacy for majority leader for the 110th Congress."
As the House Democrats' unchallenged leader, Pelosi has considerable sway over her colleagues. She and Murtha have long been close allies, but until now, she had not interfered in the majority leader race.
Has Ms. Pelosi forgotten that this paragon on national security issues and purported fighter in the war on terror was an unindicted co—conspirator in the ABSCAM investigation of the late 1970s and 1980. Recall that he appeared very interested in the idea of being bribed by what he believed to be Arab oil potentates (in reality, FBI undercover investigators) but wanted to protect himself from being arrested in the future.
He waived off the initial offer of a bribe but seemingly only because he wanted to ensure the bona fides of the people who were offering him the bribe. He said he might be interested in taking the money at a later date after they do more business together.
The New Republic wrote,
More troubling is Murtha's role in Congress's last massive corruption scandal: the 1980 Abscam case. Murtha was videotaped meeting with an FBI agent masquerading undercover as an Arab sheik. When the "sheik" offered Murtha $50,000 in exchange for help gaining U.S. residency, Murtha demurred, saying he wasn't interested "at this time"——but suggested he might rethink it after getting to know the sheik better. Murtha later admitted he'd hoped the sheik might "invest" money in his district, which might be legal but certainly doesn't sound pristine. The Justice Department named Murtha an unindicted co—conspirator, and, when the House Ethics Committee ultimately voted not to bring charges against him, the Committee's special counsel resigned in protest. It doesn't help matters that Murtha was one of exactly four Democrats to vote against their own caucus' motion last month promoting a tougher ethics reform bill than a sham Republican version. Abscam may be ancient history, and no sinister confluence between Murtha's work and his brother's lobbying has been established. Still, Murtha may not be an ideal leader——symbolically, at least——for a party determined to reform a "culture of corruption
So the man who Nancy Pelosi lionizes as a national security expert and a defender of America from terrorists appeared to be ready and willing to accept bribes from Arab businessmen and oil potentates. Murtha failed to report this meeting and sequence of events to the FBI. Since Arabs are the main source of terror in the world today and he was willing to sell out to them, anyone have a problem with that?
Apparently, Nancy Pelosi appears not to.
Ed Lasky 11 13 06