No accountability for congressmen - THAT's the problem here!

Court Says Marine Can’t Sue Murtha

WASHINGTON - A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that a Marine cannot sue a U.S. lawmaker for defamation after the congressman accused his squad of war crimes and murdering Iraqi women and children.

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich claimed Rep. John Murtha damaged his reputation by saying the squad he was leading killed women and children "in cold blood" in Haditha, Iraq, on Nov. 19, 2005. Wuterich is charged with nine counts of voluntary manslaughter and other allegations for the attack.

Murtha and the Justice Department argued the congressman has immunity from the lawsuit because he was acting in his official role as a lawmaker when he made the comments to reporters. A three-judge panel on U.S. Court of Appeals agreed.

Military prosecutors have said two dozen Iraqis, including women and children, were killed in Haditha after one Marine died and two others were wounded by a roadside bomb.

At a news conference in May 2006, Murtha predicted that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show the Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in Haditha. He did not mention Wuterich or any other Marines by name.

Murtha, who is opposed to the Iraq war, has said he made the comments to draw attention to the pressure put on troops in Iraq and efforts to cover up the incident. Murtha is a decorated Vietnam veteran and retired Marine Reserves colonel who was re-elected in November to an 18th full two-year term.

Wuterich filed the lawsuit in 2006, saying Murtha had inaccurate information about the fight. He is the only person still facing charges in the Haditha deaths.


GR4U - Well so much for everyone being equal under the law! John Murtha is a disgrace, but apparently his constituents don't think so. He is definitely someone whose face I would spit in were the opportunity to ever present itself.


The Other Mike S. said...

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.Seems as though defamation of character doesn't extend to the ruling class....

BrianF said...

It's kind of funny that this decision came out at the same time that The Lightworker wants to put lawyers for the CIA on trial.