Swift Boating Part Deux

The Swift Boat crew is back, this time with a different name and a different target.

The new group, “Veterans for Truth” is now going after outspoken Iraqi War critic John Murtha starting at a planned ralley in Murtha’s backyard in Johnstown, PA in October.

Murtha, a retired Marine Reserve colonel, in 1974 became the first Vietnam veteran elected to Congress. He’s been known for his strong support of the military and on defense issues, working quietly behind the scenes with Republicans and Democrats alike.

But that changed late last year when – with mounting American casualties – he went public and called on the Bush administration to withdraw troops from Iraq and redeploy them nearby. His comments brought an eruption of emotions, both pro and con.

Bailey, in an interview from North Carolina, said he and other vets who were active in the 2004 Swift Boat campaign didn’t get interested in Murtha’s race until he went public about a Pentagon war crimes investigation.

In May, Murtha said the investigation would show that Marines had killed more than a dozen innocent civilians “in cold blood” Nov. 19 in the town of Haditha.

Bailey said those remarks were highly prejudicial “without any due process.”

Just when you thought it was again safe to be a Democratic veteran with an opinion…

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