An officer who sent emails to Marines in Afghanistan warning them to beware of an Afghan police chief with ties to the Taliban has been honorably discharged.
I love the Marine Corps but it seems they got this one wrong. A simple letter of reprimand would have sufficed for MAJ Brezler.
Major Jason Brezler was attempting to warn other Marines about Sarwar Jan, a child molester, who subsequently set up one of his “Tea Boys” named Aynoddin to gun down unarmed Marines in the FOB gym with Jan’s own AK-47, as we reported here. Three Marines were killed, and one survived.
According to the Marine Times,
“Although Maj. Jason Brezler received support and endorsements from congressmen, a former assistant secretary of defense, and even Marine Corps generals at his board of inquiry, a panel of three officers recommended Thursday that he be separated from the Marine Corps with an honorable discharge”.
“After three days of testimony and arguments and more than two hours of deliberation, the board found that Brezler, a Reserve officer and New York City firefighter, had demonstrated substandard conduct, misconduct or professional or moral dereliction, and conduct unbecoming an officer by failing to observe correct protocols for handling classified information. He doesn’t deserve to stay in the Corps, they concluded.
The charges were brought against MAJ Brezler relating to events set in motion in 2012 when he received an urgent email from then-Capt. Andrew Terrell regarding Sarwar Jan, a corrupt Afghan police chief with known Taliban ties and a penchant for child sex abuse who had gained access to a Marine base.
Brezler was attending a graduate school seminar in Oklahoma at the time and subsequently fired off a classified briefing document about Jan from his Yahoo account. When another officer who received the email raised the alarm about sending the document over a nonsecure network, Brezler reported himself to his superiors and cooperated with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe into the classified material spillage.
Just seventeen days after Brezler sent the document about Sarwar Jan, three Marines were dead and one seriously wounded.
But the real question is, who was it that did not heed MAJ Brezler’s warning? Therein lies where the real investigation should be aimed. It seems to me that “firing” MAJ Brezler who, albeit used a non-secure means, sought to do what we want leaders to do: protect our men and women in combat zones — and trust me, I have experience in this type of scenario.
My counsel to MAJ Brezler is this, you are a hero to many and you did what was right. You can always look at yourself in the mirror and know that you represent the finest traditions and values of your Marine Corps. I know it hurts right now and you feel betrayed and abandoned, but, ruck up, you are and shall always be one of The Few, The Proud, a United States Marine. Semper Fi, Ooh Rah! And Jason, always know, karma is a bitch.