A few weeks back, I informed readers about a case against a Marine facing discharge from the corps who was a former high school classmate of mine.
Well, on December 19 Major Jason Brezler’s fate was decided when a Marine Corps Board of Inquiry concluded that he 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.
This happened in spite of Major Brezler receiving support from congressmen on both sides of the political aisle and endorsements from a former assistant secretary of defense, and Marine Corps generals who were at his board of inquiry.
At question was Major Brezler’s actions in 2012 when he received an urgent email from then-Capt. Andrew Terrell regarding Sarwar Jan, a corrupt Afghan police chief previously known for child sex abuse. Jan had gained access to a Marine base and this email alerted Brezler, who was in the U.S., that Jan was back.
Brezler responded by emailing a brief on who Jan is and sent it with his Yahoo account to those at the base to warn them about Jan.
It was then Brezler was alerted he might have sent classified information. He followed that alert by reporting himself to his superiors.
An NCIS investigation did find a folder on Brezler’s thumb drive that he used when in Afghanistan in 2010.
Two weeks after Major Brezler sent his warning email, one of Jan’s teenage boys he had a relationship with grabbed a rifle and killed three Marines while seriously wounding another.
When testifying on his own behalf, this according to the Marine Corps Times, he said “his name brought me great concern, knowing he was somewhere in the battlespace. I immediately responded.”
He went on to say “his worst fears had come true” when he learned about the attack.
At the inquiry, prosecutors painted a picture that Major Brezler had knowingly kept classified documents for a book he was writing on his Now Zad experiences. Major Brezler said he had taken the documents home by mistake and used the Jan information in his manuscript without realizing it was classified.
His defense attorney showed a Google page with news search results on coverage of this story in his closing statements.
“There are likely millions of people around the country waiting for your decision,” he said, this according to the Marine Corps Times. “Do we want good military character to trump military actions?”
Major Brezler reportedly stood at attention during the board’s recommendation, quietly embracing his father as the courtroom emptied. He had no comment following the decision.
He received an honorable discharge, which does allow him to keep his benefits but does not allow him the honor of wearing the uniform.
So if what he did was “so bad,” then why are they allowing Major Brezler to receive an honorable discharge and allowing him to keep his benefits?
This is why this whole case smells of brass wanting to give Major Brezler the punishment while purposely ignoring the fact that somebody at the base is the one who really dropped the ball and are being protected for some reason.
My heart just breaks for Major Brezler and his family.