- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy says it is forging ahead with its decision to name a warship for the late Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, despite protests the decorated Vietnam War veteran was disloyal in his 2006 accusation that Marines had murdered Iraqi civilians.

Three Facebook sites opposing the Navy’s April 2010 decision bristle with thousands of angry postings. The Navy website with the announcement drew critical comments. The Washington Times voiced its outrage in an editorial titled “Sink the Murtha.”

But the Navy is standing firm.

A spokeswoman for Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Mr. Mabus is sticking with his decision to name a warship for Murtha, who was a retired Marine Reserves colonel and the powerful former chairman of a House defense appropriations panel. He died in February 2010 at age 77.