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 soldiers in connection with Iraqi civilian deaths.
A Marine Corps sergeant [Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich] is suing the 18-term congressman for making the charge, which the soldier (sic) 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.
And it's about time someone in a position of authority said this:
[U.S. District Judge Rosemary M.] Collyer said she was troubled by the idea the lawmakers are immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political careers.
SSgt Wuterich's career with the Marines is ruined, so it will only be fitting if he can take Murtha down with him.