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Jury clears Lane County publisher in libel suit.



Byline: Karen McCowan The Register-Guard

WALTERVILLE - A South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures


Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15.
 jury decided this week that a small Lane County publisher owes no damages in a $700,000 libel lawsuit against it that was backed by a fraternal fraternal /fra·ter·nal/ (frah-ter´n'l)
1. of or pertaining to brothers.

2. of twins; derived from two oocytes.


fra·ter·nal
adj.
1. Of or relating to brothers.
 organization for current and former U.S. military special operatives.

The U.S. District Court jury ruled Monday that seven retired Green Berets Green Berets
 or Special Forces

Elite unit of the U.S. Army specializing in counterinsurgency. The Green Berets (whose berets can be colours other than green) came into being in 1952. They were active in the Vietnam War, and they have been sent to U.S.
 failed to prove that they had been defamed by Kris Millegan's Trine Day Press of Walterville and author Daniel Marvin. The civil suit, backed by the Special Forces Association, centered on the book "Expendable Elite: One Soldier's Journey Into Covert Warfare" by Marvin, a retired U.S. Army Special Forces lieutenant colonel. He also had been named in the lawsuit.

Each of the plaintiffs sought $100,000 in damages over the book, which said the men illegally fired into neutral Cambodia in 1966 and nearly committed mutiny mutiny, concerted disobedient or seditious action by persons in military or naval service, or by sailors on commercial vessels. Mutiny may range from a combined refusal to obey orders to active revolt or going over to the enemy on the part of two or more persons.  during the Vietnam War Vietnam War, conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. .

The jury of four men and four women also ruled against damages sought by Marvin in a countersuit coun·ter·sue  
tr.v. coun·ter·sued, coun·ter·su·ing, coun·ter·sues Law
To bring proceedings against (a plaintiff) in direct opposition to a suit brought against onself.
 over the plaintiffs' statements that his book was "100 percent lies."

After returning from the Charleston, S.C., trial, Millegan said he and Marvin considered the verdict a victory.

"Neither Trine Day or Col. Marvin were found guilty of libel," Millegan said. "Our defense was truth."

Millegan said the jury returned its unanimous verdict in about two hours.

Marvin said the verdict vindicated his story that Americans were fighting in Cambodia early in the war, that the Green Berets were poised to help assassinate as·sas·si·nate  
tr.v. as·sas·si·nat·ed, as·sas·si·nat·ing, as·sas·si·nates
1. To murder (a prominent person) by surprise attack, as for political reasons.

2.
 Cambodian Prince Norodum Sihanouk, and were ready to fire on friendly forces rather than surrender a base and put a tribe of allied Vietnamese natives into jeopardy.

"I'm glad to see the victory of truth over evil," Marvin said through tears Monday as he spoke to a reporter for the Charleston Post and Courier.

But David Collins, attorney for the seven plaintiffs, said Marvin's claims remain in doubt because the jury didn't rule whether his book was true, only on whether the seven ex-Green Berets were defamed. Collins said the men may appeal the verdict.

Marvin retired from the Army in 1973 and said he broke his promised silence on covert operations after his conscience bothered him following his conversion to Christianity Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a previously non-Christian person to some form of Christianity. The exact understanding of what it means to attain salvation varies somewhat among denominations.  in 1984. He said his 2003 book detailed how covert operations are "masked to permit, even sponsor, assassination Assassination
See also Murder.

assassins

Fanatical Moslem sect that smoked hashish and murdered Crusaders (11th—12th centuries). [Islamic Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 52]

Brutus

conspirator and assassin of Julius Caesar. [Br.
, outright purposeful killing of innocents, illegal use of force and bizarre methods in combat operations."

Millegan said he and Marvin spent more than $50,000 in legal fees to fight the libel charges. If the plaintiffs had won, he said, the damages would have bankrupted his small press, which has published just eight books and sold a total of 40,000 copies since its creation four years ago.

Schuyler Kropf of the Charleston Post and Courier contributed to this report.
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Title Annotation:Courts; Seven retired Green Berets had sued the small company and the author of a book about Vietnam era covert warfare
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 2, 2006
Words:472
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