Friday, December 21, 2007
Murtha May Be Forced To Testify About Haditha Remarks
Talk about eating your words!
The defense lawyer in the Haditha Case plans to put Congressman John Murtha on the stand under oath over pre-trial remarks he made reguarding the Haditha case, accusing the marines on national TV of being `cold blooded murderers'.
As you know if you've been reading this site, most of the case against the accused marines has fallen apart like a rotten tomato. Eight Marines were originally charged in the case, but all charges were dropped against half of them, and one of them, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich -- who is charged with unpremeditated murder ( I guess we would refer to it as manslaughter in civvy court) in 17 of the deaths -- filed a defamation lawsuit against Murtha last year. If Wuterich is acquitted, Murtha's big mouth may cost him more than just embarrassment.
Jack Zimmermann, an attorney for Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum says he's now concerned that because of the remarks it would be impossible for his client to get a fair trial, since Murtha tried to scramble for cover by claiming he was briefed by the commandant of the marine corps prior to opening his mouth.
"Murtha said (during several media interviews) he was briefed at the `highest levels' that Marines (in Tatum's squad) committed murder, killed in cold blood ... it was another My Lai," said Zimmermann.
Jack Zimmerman wants Murtha to testify under oath, and he also wants a deposition from General Michael Hagee, the retired former commandant of the Marine Corps to find out what he may have said to Murtha or to other marines.
"We don't think there's any congressional immunity here," Zimmermann said. "We want to ask General Hagee, Did you tell him (Murtha) that? Where did he get this? Is he making it up?"
The judge, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Robinson hasn't ruled yet on whether to have the court issue the necessary orders for Murtha to appear and for Hagee to be deposed. If he does, here's betting that Hagee will claim under oath that he told Murtha diddly squat, and that the congressman decided to rant on national TV all on his own.