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This article appears in the March 16, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Murtha Now Rove's Target:
How Low Will Karl Go?

Special to EIR

Since his Nov. 17, 2005 introduction of House Joint Resolution 73—which called for American troops to be redeployed from Iraq because they had accomplished all that could be accomplished militarily—Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) has become the number-one target of the notoriously filthy Karl Rove apparatus. Rove, George W. Bush's political hit-man, is close to two of the operatives who ran the attempted "swiftboating" of Murtha through Vets For The Truth (VFTT) during Murtha's 2006 re-election campaign—an operation which has since morphed into a fishing expedition to drum up an indictment of the re-elected Murtha, who now chairs the Appropriations Committee's Defense Subcommittee.

Democratic Party leader Lyndon LaRouche recently commented, "Somebody should go after this 'Swift Boat' crowd that's attacking John Murtha—they're better called the 'Dirty Water' Bunch. They're not the 'Puss 'n Boots' crowd; they're the 'Piss 'n Bush' crowd."

Rove operative Larry Bailey, the former head of "Vietnam Veterans for the Truth" which attacked 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry, is now President of VFTT, cast from the same template to attack Murtha.

VFTT describes itself as a committee organized under the Iowa Presidential Watch 527 PAC Committee, which is headed by Richard Schwarm. Schwarm is described by IPW's website as the "past-president of Iowa College Republicans when he became good friends with Karl Rove.... Of him, Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen wrote, 'Richard Schwarm is one of the few people that Karl Rove has on speed dial.' " The "Iowa" in the Committee's name is a flimsy attempt to distance it from Karl Rove's office.

But the juggernaut targetting Murtha has other dirty connections, through the family of his GOP opponent in the November election, Diana Irey. The candidate's husband, Robert Irey, was a business partner with a major operator in the shadowy world of global weapons trafficking. On Dec. 14, 2006, a month after Murtha won re-election with 61% of the vote, William Irey, Diana Irey's brother-in-law, was arrested on Federal child pornography charges in Orlando, Fla. More on the connections of Murtha's "family values" challenger below.

After the election, the Iowa Presidential Watch Committee recycled its failed "Boot Murtha" campaign into what it calls its "Jail Murtha Project." Ironically, its website urges readers to "Call on the Justice Department to investigate Congressman John Murtha for the sake of national security." Besides pitching for contributions to pay "investigators," the group is also beating the drums for an Ethics Committee investigation of the Congressman.

Murtha, a war hero with 37 years of Marine Corps service, who volunteered for Vietnam in 1966-67 and received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with Combat "V," has advised both Democratic and Republican Presidents on military and defense issues. Andy Ostroy of The Ostroy Report writes that Democrat Murtha is perhaps the most highly regarded defense expert in Congress.

His problems with GOP "Donald Segretti-style" dirty tricks began when he led a public fight for the view of the U.S. military's top commanders that nothing more could be accomplished militarily in Iraq. That pitted Murtha against the Chickenhawk Dick Cheney (with five draft deferments) and his stooge George Bush.

There were multiple Rove connections in Diana Irey's campaign. The campaign took donations through, which belongs to, a member of the Donatelli Group, which has raised money for the Republican National Committee, Bush-Cheney '04, John McCain, and the Rove-spawned Vets for Freedom. Her campaign's public relations section was associated with Creative Response Concepts—the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's public relations firm—in addition to other Donatelli affiliates. The highwater mark of Irey's campaign—though officially, an independent expenditure by VFTT—was a rally in Johnstown, Pa. organized by Vets For The Truth on Oct. 1, 2006, to "boot Murtha." VFTT also took out multiple TV attack ads impugning Murtha's patriotism.

Irey Family Values

Diana Irey is currently running for re-election as a Commissioner of Washington County, Pa. Her husband, Robert Irey, is CEO and one-third owner of CLI Corp., with partners William Stein and the late Dale Stoffel. Stoffel had a long history in weapons trafficking. The Australia Daily Telegraph called him a CIA agent, according to www.the Stoffel also owned and ran Wye Oak Technologies, which was hired to acquire Russian X-31 anti-ship missiles from contacts in Ukraine. Stoffel was paid $6 million to acquire a certain number, and reportedly kept the $6 million despite acquiring far fewer than promised. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered this in a front-page story on Nov. 16, 2003, headlined "Boeing Defense Unit Sues Mysterious Arms Dealer." The court records were sealed, and the case was settled in 2004.

On Dec. 8, 2004, Dale Stoffel and a co-worker were killed in Iraq. A previously unheard of group calling itself the Brigades of the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Stoffel was reportedly working on a $40 million project to build a military facility in Taji—a facility the Department of Defense website claimed was operational on Nov. 22, according to The Weekly Recorder. Killed with Stoffel was Joseph Wemple, an employee of accused child pornographer William Irey's Florida construction corporation, Frank Irey Construction—a connection between the Pennsylvania CLI Corp., and Frank Irey Construction Corp..

The principals of Robert Irey's CLI Corp. are quite active politically, as are many corporate officers who land large Iraq contracts, such as Halliburton. In the ten-month period between July 2003 and April 2004, the three partners of CLI contributed at least $25,000 to Bush-Cheney '04, the National Republican Campaign Committee, and other GOP election campaigns. Robert Irey's CLI grabbed a piece of the millions of dollars available to private contractors in Iraq, through its subsidiary, the CLI Iraq Construction Group, according to the Pennsylvania Progressive. Thus, Robert and Diana Irey owned a business formed to make money off the war John Murtha proposed to end—a fact not disclosed, to EIR's knowledge, by Diana Irey's campaign.

On Dec. 14, 2006, Federal agents arrested William Irey, the brother-in-law of the candidate. William Irey, a Monongahela, Pa. native with a wife and four children, was charged as part of a Federal, nationwide investigation known as Operation Emissary, "focussed on a commercial website offering access to videos and images of hardcore child pornography," according to the press release of Paul I. Perez, the U.S. Attorney for Middle Florida. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review headlined, "Irey family member jailed in porn case."

William Irey's indictment charges: "[T]he defendant herein, did knowingly employ, use, persuade, induce, entice and coerce minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct outside the United States, for the purpose of producing visual depictions...." The search warrant affidavit states that the government's interest in Irey goes back to 2003, when his name appeared as a subscriber in a Belarus-based Internet billing processor tied to child pornography. The U.S. Attorney has filed for forfeiture of William Irey's $500,000 house, and, ordered Irey confined in a lockdown mental facility in Florida until his trial in April 2007. William Irey had been CEO of Frank Irey Construction, Inc., a firm started by his father, which is a major contractor for Walt Disney World.

William Irey is not merely a brother-in-law to the candidate, but a partner in a closely-held string of family businesses. According to the Florida Secretary of State's website, William Irey and the candidate's husband, R.J. Irey of Monongahela, are both officers of CLI Technologies, Inc., an active corporation registered with the Florida Secretary of State in 2000. Robert Irey is also listed as an officer of CLI Engineering Corp. in Florida, an inactive corporation for which Frank Irey Construction, Inc. is listed as the registered agent with the Florida Secretary of State.

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