Monday, October 01, 2007

Murtha may be forced to eat his words...

Federal judge orders Murtha to testify in Haditha defamation case - The Crypt's Blog -

We all remember Murtha calling Marines accused of killing innocents in Haditha (that have since been found innocent themselves) war criminals and cold blooded murderers in a press conference some time ago. In this article analyzing the liable case against Murtha brought by one of those Marines, the author explains quite well why Murtha cannot be found guilty of liable in this case. Primarily it relates to having nearly complete immunity when speaking as a member of the Senate in performance of his duties. But just as Murtha may not liable or defame me as a computer consultant in a press conference , unless I am being debated in Senate or in reference to particular legislation in which I am involved, Murtha may not defame a Marine unless that case is before the Senate. It was not. Otherwise Senators may liable and defame anyone under any circumstances simply because it was done as the part of an official press conference or communique, as long as that press release or conference were done as part of his official duty and not a citizen. Regardless of the context or pertinence to the Senators duties. Defamation by Senator would then itself become part of the Senators official duties. Carried to it's logical conclusion, it is a circuitous argument that doesn't hold up.

Murtha's responsible and proper statement during his press conferences and TV appearances should have been something along the line of." I do not have any comment on the guilt or innocence of the accused military personnel. I will the allow appropriate legal system and Military investigators to do their jobs, and refrain from statements that might prejudice the outcome of the case. Any statement otherwise by a member of the Senate would be inappropriate and could damage the credibility and esteem of this office." He could then go on with the usual Bush and military bashing refrain without defaming anyone.

Unfortunately I think the author is correct and Murtha is likely to be found innocent and that Marine, as well as the other Marines involved in that case reputations' will be permanently soiled. The result of Murtha's victory in the lawsuit will only serve to set the stain in a court of law. The incredible injustice of that is difficult for me to stomach.

In an honorable world, his groundless attacks on those Marines would carry additional liability on his part due to the incredible power and weight of a Senators words. Murtha should suffer additional penalty because of his position not less. Murtha interfered with an investigation and prosecution in progress that prejudiced it.

I would argue that Murtha's comments were made not in the pursuit of his activities as a Senator, but during his attempts to undermine the troops and provide aid and comfort to the enemy. In a just world Murtha would be found guilty of treason and in violation of his oath of office while a US Senator. Those guilty of treason cannot be held immune to prosecution because of official immunity. Not even a United States Senator.

We live in a time in which, weak, spineless Government officials can get away with adulterous sex with interns and become near billionaires while in office at the expense of taxpayers. are able to destroy the reputations of truly heroic soldiers with complete immunity. I'm desirous of the old days of honorable duals. At least the libelous had to take into account the unlikely but entirely possible ultimate consequence of libelous public attack against another mans honor.

I believe that an aggressive public effort to expose Murtha should be undertaken against him. The flip side of his Senatorial immunity conferred on him by law, is the nearly as broad ability for voters and his opponents to attack him just as ruthlessly.

Let's hope the impossible happens and the courts agree with me. The fact that theMarine were found innocent in spite of the incredibly prejudicial media reports and political attacks proves miracles can happen.
Dr Dave


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The marines were not found innocent. Two of the four were found 'not guilty'. Not guilty means that the prosecution did not prove its case, not that the accused were innocent. OJ Simpson was 'not guility', not 'innocent.' In fact, 8 of the marines were granted immunity for testifying.

The fact remains that the details of the case are very ugly - see

Children were apparently shot in the head at close range.

Legal proceedings continue against two of the marines.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Dr Dave Mason said...

7 of the 8 accused have had charges dropped or been found not guilty. The NY Times printed an updated story on page 8 of an issue not long ago that paints an entirely different picture of the situation in Haditha. Too bad it wasn't on the front page like the first story. The FACTS of the case, were nothing like was originally reported. Check out a slightly different take here:

2:24 AM  

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