Hey, remember the late (and little lamented) Congressman Jack Murtha? The astonishingly greedy and corrupt Pennsylvania Democrat (even for Democrats, he was bad) was in a photo finish with federal corruption charges when he outfoxed investigators by up and dying on them. That put an end into the investigation, but the records of what they uncovered have been unsealed — and it turns out that Murtha was not only as dirty as suspected, but possibly dirtier. But the investigation died with Murtha, as his corrupt little empire quietly faded away. Quite a few of his cronies and lackeys probably should have been indicted, but I’m willing to give it a pass.
One part of Murtha’s legacy, though, that we desperately need to drive a stake through is a certain US warship to be built. The 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship (LPD-26) is to be named the USS John P. Murtha. It’s not too late. The contract for LPD-26’s construction has been awarded, but work has yet to start. And there is plenty of precedent for renaming ships before they’re commissioned — some ships have had their names changed two or three times before commissioning. And naming it after Murtha was already a deviation — the rest of the ships are named for cities. Most notable are LPD-21, USS New York, which carries steel from the World Trade Center in its bow, and LPD-24, USS Arlington, home of the Pentagon — both ships were named in honor of the 9/11 attack sites.
Let’s dump the notion of honoring Murtha and name LPD-26 USS Shanksville, the town where United Flight 93 came to earth, and complete the set. The men and women of our Navy who will serve on LPD-26 deserve better than serving on a ship named in that swine’s honor.