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.But the most amazing revelation in the Post article is this:
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."
In the court filing, obtained by The Washington Post, the lawyers (for Wuterich) say that Murtha made the comments after being briefed by Defense Department officials who "deliberately provided him with inaccurate and false information." Neal A. Puckett and Mark S. Zaid, suing for libel and invasion of privacy, also wrote that Murtha made the comments outside of his official scope as a congressman.Wow. It will be interesting to see if this allegation can be substantiated.
If so, this has the makings of a major scandal -- that the Pentagon would deliberately give false information to the former chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Defense.