Frankly, I don't understand this ruling at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is appealed by the Justice Dept. and/or House general counsel's office on behalf of Murtha. Murtha, who can say some inappropriate things once in a while, was clearly acting in his capacity as a lawmaker when he made the comments and is thus protected by the Speech or Debate Clause from any type of prosecution for official acts.
I think the Politico understands, they simply do not wish to allow any limits on the garbage that Congresspeople can spew. Murtha's comments were, so far as I am aware, based on no documents whatsoever, and no matter whether he was speaking as a public or as a private person were despicable and should be punishable. I think the judge was absolutely correct in this case, especially since the investigating officer in the case has recommended the dismissal of charges against Wuterich and most of the other Marines involved in the case. If Murtha did indeed possess infomration that led him to make thsoe charges, then that is a different story. However, this country still believes in innocent until proven guilty. Wuterich and the other Haditha Marines have not been found guilty, and indeed, most of them have already been either cleared or charges have been recomended to be dropped. It is time for Murtha to answer for his defamatory attacks on these men who are far better men than Congressman Murtha.