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August 02, 2006

Maligned Marine Sues Murtha For Defamation

Seems like he's pissed off. Not proof of innocence, but kind of doubling down on the hand.

A Marine Corps staff sergeant who led the squad accused of killing two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, will file a lawsuit today in federal court in Washington claiming that Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) defamed him when the congressman made public comments about the incident earlier this year.

Attorneys for Frank D. Wuterich, 26, argue in court papers that Murtha tarnished the Marine's reputation by telling news organizations in May that the Marine unit cracked after a roadside bomb killed one of its members and that the troops "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha also said repeatedly that the incident was covered up.

...

"This case is not about money; it's about clearing Frank Wuterich's name, and part of that is to identify where these leaks are coming from," Zaid said in an interview. "Congressman Murtha has created this atmosphere that has already concluded guilt. He's created this environment that really smells, and he's the only one who has done that."

The move by Wuterich is rare, as statements made by members of Congress generally are protected under the "speech or debate" clause in Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution. But legal experts said the clause grants immunity only for what lawmakers say in legislative proceedings and does not apply to news releases, speeches and other public comments.

I trust, however, that won't stop Speaker of the House Denny Hastert from making an ass of himself by attempting to intervene on Murtha's behalf. Gotta protect those Congressional privileges, even the phantasmal ones.


Thanks to Slatz.


Donate to Diane Irey

The only major candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 12th district not being sued for the politically-motivated defamation of a US Marine.


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posted by Ace at 12:03 AM

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