Safe Mode: On
Marine Suing Rep. Murtha Over ‘Slanderous’ Haditha Comments Tells His Side

Marine Sues Congressman for Slander Over Haditha Comments
Thursday, September 25, 2008




June 17: Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, left, arrives with wife Alissa Chessani for his hearing at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in San Diego County.
PITTSBURGH — A former U.S. Marine sued a congressman for slander on Thursday, saying he damaged his reputation by saying he and his comrades killed women and children "in cold blood" in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.

Former Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt filed the federal lawsuit against Rep. John Murtha in Pittsburgh. Sharratt claims the comments by the high-ranking Pennsylvania Democrat made on news shows in May 2006 also violated his constitutional rights to due process and presumption of innocence.

Sharratt, 24, was initially charged with three counts of premeditated murder but was exonerated after a full investigation and a hearing. He was honorably discharged last year.

"Sharratt, in being labeled repeatedly by Murtha as a 'cold-blooded murderer,' and by Murtha outrageously claiming that the Haditha incident was comparable to the infamous (My Lai) massacre of Vietnam, has suffered permanent, irreversible damage to his reputation," the lawsuit states.

Military prosecutors have said two dozen Iraqis, including women and children, were killed in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, after one Marine died and two others were wounded by a roadside bomb. Murtha, a former Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran, spoke out about the killings, saying that troops in Iraq were being put under too much pressure.
Sharratt said he has received hate e-mails and been called a "baby killer" when he goes out in his hometown in suburban Pittsburgh.

Murtha's office said the congressman had no comment on the lawsuit.

Sharratt is the second Marine to sue Murtha over his comments about Haditha. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the only person still facing charges in the Haditha case, sued Murtha for defamation in 2006. That lawsuit is pending.

In his lawsuit, Sharratt accuses Murtha of repeatedly saying on CNN, NBC and other outlets that Sharratt and his fellow Marines "overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Murtha said the Haditha killings were comparable to the March 1968 My Lai massacre, when American servicemen killed as many as 504 Vietnamese villagers, Geary said in a statement.

Sharratt and Geary denied any civilians were killed on purpose, and Sharratt said he didn't witness any civilian deaths. Sharratt and his father, Darryl, said that he killed three insurgents, two armed with assault rifles and a third about to retrieve a rifle.

Murtha didn't name Sharratt, but media members were able to identify him from the congressman's comments and other information, said Sharratt's attorney, Noah Geary, at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Four enlisted Marines, including Sharratt, were originally charged for their roles in the killings and four officers were charged in connection to the investigation. One officer was acquitted and charges have since been dropped against everyone else except Wuterich, whose case is pending.

Wuterich has pleaded not guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter. He is accused of ordering his men to clear several houses with grenades and gunfire, leading to the deaths of women and children.

A veteran congressman, Murtha was hawkish on war issues for decades but has come to believe the U.S. should leave Iraq as soon as possible. He is known for bringing money and jobs, especially in the defense industries, to his district in rural Pennsylvania.

He faces Republican William T. Russell, a career Army member who left the service two years short of retirement, in the November election. Russell

Loading the player ...
Embed CodeSwitch Player
Plays: 7891 (Embed: 0)

Added: Oct-1-2008 
By: bellava
In:
Iraq, News
Tags: Rep, Murtha, slander, siut, Haditha, iraq,
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (load item map)
Views: 9703 | Comments: 25 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
You need to be registered in order to add comments! Register HERE
Sort by: Newest first | Oldest first | Highest score first
Liveleak opposes racial slurs - if you do spot comments that fall into this category, please report them for us to review.
  • Murtha panders to the sheep. He may have pandered one too many times. We'll wait and see.

    That old treasonous bastard should be hanged behind the courthouse as soon as the sentence is read.


    Too many stupid (sheep) liberals have suckled at his old hairy teats to dismiss his crimes against this nation with a slap on the wrist.


    He should be "strung-up",drawn and quartered,then pissed on.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • If you aren't in the shit at the time it goes down, you have no right to talk about the actions of those who were. End of discussion. Sue the fuck and the best of luck.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Murtha judged this kid in the media for political points...low life piece of shit move no matter how you cut it.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Murtha lost my respect. He's a douche now.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • No way he can win. He will only be discredited and made to go away. Your rights? what rights.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • I could look at her all day.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Murtha is scumbag old fuck. I hope you get justice and he must pay you big time.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Send that baby face back to Iraq and let them dish out a punishment for what he has otherwise got away with.

    Posted Oct-2-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Murtha is the poster child of the extreme left and a master of douchebaggery. Send him to Iraq without escort and announce his arrival.

    Posted Oct-2-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • You can't be "retired" as a LCpl. And the facts remain that this was a unit that had fought in Fallujah in "The Push". These guys had a "certain way" of dealing with "perceived threats" (no one enters a room until something goes INTO the room that explodes).

    The "main shooter" SSGt Wurtrich is STILL in the brig at Camp Pendleton and STILL facing charges...and remains charged in the deaths of the 24 civilians.

    Fog of war is a big deal...but spea More..

    Posted Oct-2-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • murtha = putz

    Posted Oct-2-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • I hope Murtha goes fucking broke from being sued. I hope he kills himself from loosing everything. I hope that or one of these marines looses it and kills murtha in cold blood. He is a traitor and a fuck tard.

    Posted Oct-2-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Typical libtard blind ideology. COLD BLOODED MURDERER? or Marine hero? Fvck murtha and all other blind hypocrites.

    put murtha in front of a firing squad for his treasonist acts.

    Posted Oct-7-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • amazing the denial and lies of fox (meegan"the beautifull liar")and justin

    Posted Oct-12-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • I'm sure if you asked Enron to investigate and try its own employees the blame would be shifted to one or two lower level employees and that would be that.

    Just like what happened with Abu Ghraib. As if no chain of command existed in that regard.

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (-1) | Report

  • the military regularly downplays or covers up massacres, whether intended or accidental, of civilians. it's how they play the "information warfare" game

    i wonder what the families of those 24 dead Iraqi civilians, who did not deserve having their doors kicked down in response to an IED attack, think about his court case

    ***

    "They ranged from little babies to adult males and females. I'll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood. This left something More..

    Posted Oct-1-2008 By 

    (-2) | Report

    • You, Sir, exemplify the inane pseudo-intellectuals who think they are so much smarter than everyone else, but really just regurgitiat the same old tired azz ideological rhetoric.

      We are fighting a war against an enemy who DELIBERATELY commingles with and hides behind civilians. Sometimes, innocent people die. that is regrettable, and traumatic for our Marines as well.
      It is a well documented fact (google palestinian media)that one of our enemies' main tactics is to draw us into a rection tha More..

      Posted Oct-2-2008 By 

      (-1) | Report