Murtha Sued for Defamation

A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition about his comments alleging “cold-blooded murder and war crimes” by unnamed (marines) in connection with Iraqi civilian deaths.

A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for making the charge, which (he) claims is false. Murtha, who opposes the Iraq war, made the comment during a May, 2006 Capitol Hill news conference in which he predicted that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.

Murtha’s office declined to comment on the ruling. A Vietnam veteran and retired Marine Reserves colonel, Murtha has said his intention was to draw attention to the pressure put on troops in Iraq and efforts to cover-up the incident.The Justice Department wanted the case dismissed because Murtha was acting in his official role as a lawmaker. Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Henault said the comments were made as part of the debate over the war in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said the congressman might be right, but said she won’t know for sure unless Murtha explains himself. She did not set a date for Murtha’s testimony but said she would also require him to turn over documents related to his comments.

“You’re writing a very wide road for members of Congress to go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?” Collyer said, adding later, “How far can a congressman go and still be protected?”

Collyer said she was troubled by the idea the lawmakers are immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political careers.

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070928/ap_on_go_co/murtha_suit;_ylt=ApwqBIq45HwJOTMpkpvh86SyFz4D

This is just the latest in Murtha’s slander saga. He was confronted by Jason Mattera of Young America’s Foundation, who asked him whether he will apologize to the exonerated marines:

Link to the video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=b-ZLcrOvzJM

The transcript:

JASON MATTERA: Congressman Murtha? Jason Mattera, Young America’s Foundation. Now that the murder charges against Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt and Steven Tatum have been dropped in the Haditha incident or are in the process of being dropped, would you like to issue an apology for saying that they “killed innocent civilians in cold blood”?

MURTHA: The trial is still going on.

JASON MATTERA: Justin Sharratt and Steven Tatum, the two men you accused of murdering innocent civilians in cold blood —

MURTHA: The trial is still going on.

JASON MATTERA: No. No, the charges are in the process of being dismissed.

MURTHA: I don’t know what’s going on.

JASON MATTERA: They’re in the process of being dismissed.

MURTHA: Out! Out!

JASON MATTERA: Do you like besmirching our troops, sir? Do you like besmirching our troops, sir?

MURTHA: You been in the service? I enlisted in Korea, and I enlisted in Vietnam.

JASON MATTERA: Sir, you accused them of murdering innocent civilians in cold blood. That’s something that would come from Al Jazeera, not a congressman, sir.

Murtha quickly enters an elevator and makes a hasty retreat.

What Mattera said is right on the money. With mindless idiots like Murtha, Reid, Pelosi, and Durbin, undermining the efforts of brave U.S. troops in this war against Islamofascism, who the hell needs Al Jazeera?

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