Murtha Was Right About the War Back In 2002:
Check out this article from the September 24, 2002 edition of USA Today, also reprinted (sans attribution) at Veterans For Common Sense. Seems that crazy ass traitor Representative Jack Murtha was offering advice and warnings about the rush to war back then. Can we get a shout out for consistency? Can we get these quotes out there as the pre-war attitude of Democrats?

Congressman who led the charge in '91 hangs back for now
by Kathy Kiely

WASHINGTON -- In 1991, John Murtha helped lead the charge on Capitol Hill for war with Iraq. This year, the Pennsylvania congressman is among the doubters.

Eleven years ago, Murtha was one of the first President Bush's chief Democratic supporters in the effort to win congressional approval for plans to take on Saddam Hussein. He was a member of the president's inner council, advising Bush and his aides on congressional strategy. It was a role that put Murtha at odds with the leaders of his own party.

Today, the powerful backroom dealmaker finds himself in an even more politically lonely position: questioning a war-powers resolution that even most Democratic leaders seem reluctant to oppose. "All of us want to get rid of Saddam," Murtha says. But he believes that the younger Bush "went about it the wrong way."

Bush's father "had his coalition built before he came to Congress," Murtha says. As a result, most of the first Persian Gulf War's cost was shared by U.S. allies. Those nations shouldered more than $ 53 billion of the $ 61 billion war burden, according to the White House budget office.

This time, "it will all be expended by the United States," says Murtha, the top-ranking Democrat on the House panel that funds the Pentagon. He says another war with Iraq will cost at least $ 50 billion. Other estimates say the price could rise as high as $ 200 billion.

Murtha's concerns are all the more striking given his impeccably hawkish credentials. Murtha, 70, is one of the military's best friends on Capitol Hill. He's also one of the few lawmakers who has experienced ground combat firsthand, which is one reason his views command so much respect. Murtha enlisted in the Marines during the Korean War, then volunteered for another two-year stint in Vietnam.

His western Pennsylvania district suffered more casualties than any other in the Gulf War he supported. A Greensburg, Pa., reserve unit, assigned to water-purification duties, was hit by a Scud missile that killed 28 soldiers.

"One guy lived a block away from me," Murtha says. Another casualty he remembers: a young woman who was called up for duty just as she was about to enroll in college, the first member of her family to do so.

Murtha says a key reason for questioning a second Iraq war is strategic. He's worried that it will cost the United States not only money and lives, but also important allies. By moving without international support, Bush could alienate Arab allies, and "we could lose access to the intelligence we need to fight the war on terrorism," he says.

However, as a veteran of wars both legislative and literal, Murtha is puzzled by all the bellicose talk in Washington. Fewer than one-third of members of Congress are veterans; the percentage was more than double that when Murtha arrived on Capitol Hill 30 years ago. He thinks that makes a difference. "I have found that the guys who haven't been there are more likely to vote to go to war," he says.

Nothing he has seen in intelligence reports has convinced him that Bush needs to rush through a resolution, Murtha says. Even so, he has not yet decided how he will vote. Although he has doubts about the president's plans, Murtha says he's reluctant to leave his commander-in-chief isolated in the face of the international community.

"I don't know whether it was intentional or not, but he has put the country in such a box," Murtha says. "He can say, 'You'll undercut me if you don't vote for this resolution.' "

The casualties could be much higher this time, particularly if there is "street-by-street" fighting in Baghdad, Murtha says. But he has no doubts about who will win: "We do have adequate military force to pull this off."