The Huffington Post has learned the Bush administration recently asked high ranking military leaders to denounce Congressman John Murtha.
"The Huffington Post has learned" almost certainly means that one of Arianna's D.C. buddies told her that. Not exactly my idea of high journalistic integrity.
Nonetheless, the story rings true for me. Using active duty and retired military types to spread the conservative public line is nothing new. And being "asked" to do something like smear an opponent of the administration doesn't exactly amount to a direct order, but it might as well be. If you don't do what you're "asked," you can kiss your next promotion goodbye, and any lucrative job you may have had in the military industrial complex. And if that next promotion or job might have financed your kids' education and futures, well, you can kiss that goodbye too.
So if you're asked by the people in power to do something unscrupulous, you damn well better do it.
This is the State of the Union in the Year of our Lord 2005.