Lawmaker Apologizes To Marines For Comments

No, not Jack Murtha, a Republican congressman. The Washington Post reports:

A Republican congressman apologized yesterday to the Marines under investigation in the killings of two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, last November, saying that statements he made about the case were taken out of context and that he did not mean to imply the Marines were guilty of wrongdoing.

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) issued the apology as part of an agreement with lawyers for Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, who alleged that Kline had damaged Wuterich’s reputation.

Wuterich, through his lawyers, has denied any wrongdoing in the Haditha case. None of the Marines involved has been charged.

Wuterich took the unusual step earlier this month of filing a federal lawsuit against Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), alleging that statements Murtha made about the Haditha deaths were libelous…Wuterich had threatened to sue Kline as well. But Zaid said yesterday that Kline responded to a settlement request within an hour of its arrival Aug. 4. Kline wrote that news outlets used incomplete statements that gave the false impression that he had concluded the Marines broke the law…

Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he was briefed on Haditha by Marine Brig. Gen. John F. Kelly, the legislative assistant to the Marine commandant. At the time of the briefings, the official investigations were not complete, and Kline emphasized that “conclusions have not been reached.”

Update: Bruce Kesler has more.

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  1. Jim Addison August 15, 2006
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