A Marine Corps reservist’s career is hanging by a thread for accidentally sending a warning threat with the use of an unclassified email account, according to supporters. The warning, which was sent out in 2012 by Jason Brezler, revealed that an Afghan police official by the name of Sarwar Jan was a security threat. The warning included allegations of the sexual abuse of minors on U.S. bases inside Afghanistan. An aid to the Afghan official only a few days later opened fire and caused the death of 3 Marines.
Brezler’s supporters say that his career has been a victim of political correctness and a real fear that the uncovering of information as part of his case will reveal the underbelly of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Kevin Carroll, whose law firm Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan is representing Brezler in the case, and in a statement to Fox News said this: ”Brezler’s immediate chain-of-command here in the U.S. did not recommend punitive action, and the Marine command in Afghanistan called for the relevant document in Brezler’s case to be declassified, because there is no information in the document which, if released, would damage national security.”
As soon as next month, Brezler will have to go before a board of inquiry where he could be forced out of the Marine Corps. It would result in an “Other than Honorable” discharge for sending the email from a Yahoo account instead of a secure source, even though Brezler openly reported the accident to his leadership.
Last summer Brezler was contacted by some of his fellow Marines in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. They were asking for information regarding an Afghan Police official by the name of Sarwar Jan who was on a regular basis being allowed on U.S. Bases in an effort to train regional security forces prior to the 2014 withdrawal. Brezler immediately responded to the inquiry with information regarding the official’s unethical conduct.
Back in July, a letter that was written to the Marine Commandant Gen. Jim Amos by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. stating it was believed than Jan was a potential security risk and that Brezler was trying to prevent more bloodshed. King further mentioned in the letter that It is “unfair for Maj. Brezler’s good-faith effort to warn his fellow Marines, of what sadly proved to be mortal danger, to derail his reserve career. The Marines and the (New York City) Fire Department need more good men such as Maj. Brezler, not less,” King wrote.
Despite the controversy of the situation there are still some people standing by Brezler which include the Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer as well as Bing West who is a former assistant secretary of Defense who notified the board of inquiry in September stating that: “Brezler is an unvarnished leader. His unwavering quality comes through to other Marines and to the people and government officials in other lands. As Marines, we exist not to occupy space in cubicles. We’re expeditionary. What counts is what we do in the field.”
Francis Piccoli who is a Marine Corps Reserve Force spokesman who is headquartered in New Orleans made the following statement to Fox News: ”Due to the impending Board of Inquiry for Maj. Brezler, it is inappropriate for me to address this issue at this time other than stating that pursuant to a NCIS investigation that substantiated the mishandling of classified information, Maj Brezler has been ordered to show cause for retention in the U.S. Marine Corps before a Board of Inquiry.”
Will Brezler be acquitted of the case? It’s too early to tell. Even though Brezler has considerable support from others, it is unknown at this time how the case will be addressed, and whether or not he will have to face punishment.