(From CNN- Surprisingly)A Marine staff sergeant linked to the killings of civilians in Haditha, Iraq, is suing anti-war Congressman John Murtha for libel, his attorneys announced Wednesday.
Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich accuses the Pennsylvania Democrat of spreading "false and malicious lies" about him and other Marines on media outlets, accusing them of intentionally killing 24 civilians and then covering the matter up, according to court documents.
A court document quotes Murtha, an ex-Marine, as saying on CNN May 19: "There was an IED attack, it killed one Marine, and then they overreacted and killed a number of civilians without anybody firing at them."
In a response to the lawsuit, Murtha said in a written statement "I don’t blame the staff sergeant for lashing out. When I spoke up about Haditha, my intention was to draw attention to the horrendous pressure put on our troops in Iraq and to the cover-up of the incident."
The troops are caught in ‘a tragic dilemma,’ Murtha said, and find themselves in a degrading situation, with civilian deaths totaling almost 14,000, a 60 percent unemployment in the country, and growing numbers of insurgents.
"This conflict cannot be won militarily. Our troops are caught in the middle of a civil war. It’s well beyond the time to redeploy from Iraq," he said, reiterating his signature theme.