Friday, September 26, 2008

oh, I just love it! Murtha's gonna have a spasm

At least I can hope so:
One of the Marines cleared in the killings of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha plans to sue his congressman today for statements he says defamed him and other members of his squad.

Former Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, 24, of Canonsburg, will file a civil lawsuit against U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Johnstown, who was widely quoted two years ago saying that eight Marines carried out a cold-blooded killing of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town on Nov. 19, 2005.

Charges were later dropped against all but one of the Marines, with a military prosecutor calling allegations against Mr. Sharratt "incredible."

Let the roasting begin!


martywd said...

Sorry for being negative but I very much doubt Murtha will ultimately be found accountable for his slanders?   Democrat Pols especially and for the most point seemed to be allowed to slide, no matter how outrageous their actions?   In Murtha's past, Abscam comes to mind.

Firehand said...

I know the chances of a real courtroom ass-reaming is low, but there's always hope. And it's got to burn him something fierce to actually have people holding his words up in public AND holding him responsible for them.

markm said...

Any remarks that were made in a session of the House or it's committees are immune from any kind of legal action. It's in the Constitution. OTOH, step outside the chamber and talk to reporters, and he's as liable as you or me would be.

OTOH, libel and slander suits are darned hard to prove. Statements of opinion are fully protected by the 1st Amendment, so you can sue only over statements that are clearly allegation of facts. If Murtha was being clever (or just lawyerly) that may eliminate almost everything he ever said about anything... Finally, once you've winnowed it down to a plain statement of fact that is clearly in error and clearly damaging to the plaintiff, you may or may not have something worth going to court with - even if the applicable laws don't allow the defendant to claim it was just an honest error as a defense, the jury isn't going to award much damages if they believe it could have been an honest error.

OTOH, if you can get enough veterans on the jury...