The case, to be filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, says Murtha's statements in the press about the case have pressured the Pentagon to pursue charges against Wuterich and other Marines, and to use them as "scapegoats" to prove that allegations of atrocities committed against Iraqis will be pursued, "no matter how baseless."
"The false, misleading and defamatory statements disseminated by Mr. Murtha portray ... Wuterich as a cold-blooded killer, untrained and falling victim to stress, as well as being involved in a cover-up of the tragic events of November 19, 2005," the Marine's lawyers say in the court filing.
"Mr. Murtha has intentionally disseminated with malice his hearsay version of the events of November 19, 2005 with knowledge of the false and libelous nature of the statements contained therein and/or with gross negligence or reckless disregard for the truth," the suit states.
A spokeswoman for Murtha declined to comment, but said the congressman would release a statement later on Wednesday.
Murtha, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, has commented extensively about Haditha. In May, he told ABC News there was "no question" the U.S. military tried to cover up the Haditha killings, and that he would not "excuse murder."Instant karma, Mr. Murtha. Instant Karma.
In the court filing, which Wuterich's attorneys said would be filed on Wednesday, many of Murtha's comments in the press are recounted. According to the filing, for example, Murtha said on NBC, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." (read the whole thing)
Michelle Malkin points to a Hannity interview with the Wuterich family here.