Today at a White House ceremony, President Bush will award the Medal of Honor posthumously to Navy Lt. Michael Murphy for his heroic actions in combat against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. In June of 2005, Lt. Murphy led a four-man Navy Sea, Air and Land team in a mission to monitor a Taliban leader who directed attacks against American forces. The mission was compromised when three goat herders came across their position. After unsuccessfully radioing for a helicopter to pick up the herders, the S.E.A.L.s had only two choices: either kill the men, or let them go and risk them alerting the local Taliban forces. The S.E.A.L.s decided to let the men go.

The only member of the group to make it out alive, Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, author of “Lone Survivor,” said the S.E.A.L.s knew killing the herders would be condemned by the left wing media back home, and the S.E.A.L.s would most likely be charged with murder. Within a few hours, the S.E.A.L. team was surrounded by 150 Taliban fighters. Lt. Murphy courageously exposed himself to direct enemy fire to call for reinforcements and was killed in action.

The S.E.A.L.s had good reason to be scared of the anti-war movement and the left wing media. Numerous times, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the anti-war left wing in this country wrongfully accused soldiers of murder to advance their political agenda. Marine 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano was all but convicted by the media of murder in April of 2004, until a military tribunal later exonerated him. Democrat Congressman John Murtha called the “Haditha Marines” – who inadvertently killed 24 civilians during a combat raid – cold blooded killers before any investigation ensued. Most of them have since been exonerated of any wrongdoing. Yet Murtha still disgracefully refuses to apologize for misleading the American public and defaming the names of brave warriors.

It is no surprise given this history that the S.E.A.L.s preferred to face an enemy that outnumbered them 35-to-1 than to face the left wing anti-war, anti-American and anti-troop media back home. I have heard the argument that it is patriotic to disagree with the war and attack every Bush administration policy over and over. The result of this, however, puts the troops in more danger and greatly damages the mission. I do believe it is an important aspect of our American political system that people are free to speak out against the government if they feel inclined to do so. But, when troops are demonized to make political points against a president they disagree with, the anti-war left ironically attacks the very people who defend and preserve their right to speak in the first place.

This story is a perfect example of just how much the anti-war movement and the left wing media in this country have a detrimental effect on our troops currently serving in combat. This Monday morning quarterbacking by the anti-war liberals in our country creates a situation where our brave soldiers have to not only worry about the enemy trying to kill them, but also need to worry about what the country will do to them upon their return. The left wing media, in their incessant attempts to discredit the war and the president must not question the split second, life and death decisions that our troops make every day, to do so subjects them to undue danger. If you want to disagree with the war, that is fine. But to call the brave men and women of our armed forces murderers and to scrutinize their every action under fire in a search for nonexistent abuses is detestable. It is a great disservice to our armed forces who deserve our whole-hearted support. We should honor the memory of Lt. Murphy, stand behind our soldiers and win this war against terrorism once and for all.