Rumsfeld and Murtha Lock Horns:

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) has not backed off his opposition to the war in Iraq, most recently challenging Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a Capitol Hill budget hearing. Murtha said that he agreed “terrorism is the No. 1 priority,” but that he thinks “we’re inciting terrorism” in Iraq. He cited a list of negatives, from Iraqi unemployment to scarce drinking water, as evidence. Rumsfeld abbreviated his prepared opening remarks, choosing to respond to Murtha’s assertion. “The idea that you should paint a picture and hang crepe over it, that everything’s horrible in Iraq is not true,” asserted Rumsfeld. He acknowledged that military leaders have to “find that balance between having enough forces to do the job and not too many that you’re contributing to the problem” Rumsfeld maintained that the end will not be “a pretty picture,” but it will “be an Iraqi picture.” Turning the country over to terrorists or back to the Saddam crowd, he said, is “just fundamentally unacceptable.”