RIP, John Murtha

Over the course of his 37-year career in congress, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) appeared on this program several times.

In 2006, just a week after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced his resignation, we talked about "The New Politics of Iraq," with George Packer, of The New Yorker, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and Murtha.

It isn't hard for me to remember that show — or what the political atmosphere was like then. Murtha, who had given — by his count — 143 national television interviews, came out swinging, calling for a definitive timeline on the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq:

We have to adopt a policy that's best for America, not what's best for Iraq. We went into this as a war of choice. We went in with insufficient forces, inadequate equipment and no exit strategy. The exit strategy is the answer to stability in Iraq, and that's to start the redeployment and give them the incentive to take over themselves.

In the years since, we've talked about Murtha more than we talked to him. The chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on defense, he was dogged by corruption allegations until his death, a few hours ago today.

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