In the same week it was discovered that presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has close to 1,000 emails filled with classified material on a personal email account being examined by the FBI, a former classmate of mine once again made national headlines for in essence two emails filled with classified material.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that a senior Navy Department official has made a decision to “force a Marine Corps officer out of the service for his handling of classified information.”
The decision was made by Assistant Navy Secretary Juan M. Garcia against my former high school classmate, Major Jason Brezler.
Brezler’s lawyer, in a statement to The Blaze, said they are looking to move the case to a “real court” to prove that retired General James F. Amos and his generals illegally retaliated against Major Brezler due to being more concerned about politics and their own careers than the lives of fellow Marines and “the service of a good Marine who did the right thing.”
A lawsuit is nearing a federal court date that was filed by the family of Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley. The late Marine’s family alleges that the service ignored Brezler’s warning about a corrupt police chief that was abusing children and his belief that Sarwar Jan posed a threat to the base.
In August 2012, Major Brezler received an urgent e-mail 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 e-mail alerted Major Brezler, who was in the U.S., that Jan was back.
Major Brezler had Jan removed from power in another district when he was deployed to Afghanistan between 2009-2010.
Brezler responded by e-mailing 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 e-mail, 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.
The teenage shooter, Ainuddin Khudairaham, has since been arrested but sentenced to just 7 1/2 years of confinement. At the time of the shooting, the shooter allegedly said “I just did Jihad.”
At the original 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.
In August 2015, Representatives Mike Coffman and Peter King had recommended for President Barack Obama to declassify Major Brezler’s email, which would have helped to drop the case with the document being labeled as “over-classified.”
What is also forgotten in this case is that Major Brezler reported the situation at the beginning. One might wonder if he would be where he is now if he hadn’t reported himself. Major Brezler is seeking whistleblower protection as it appears the book is being thrown at him.
Families of the men who were lost are not backing down from their fight to have Major Brezler’s name cleared and to have his service status restored.
Major Brezler is still serving his country as a full-time firefighter with the New York City Fire Department as well as being a member of the Marine Corps Reserve before the recent ruling.
I will continue to write editorials as these cases continue involving my friend.
It’s the least that I can do for a man who has served our country while it appears some of our military leaders have turned their backs on him to save face.
It’s not right and my hope is that his name eventually gets cleared and that his military status gets corrected.
I still get frustrated hearing more and more stories about Hillary Clinton’s email debacle and she has yet to receive even a slap on the wrist for her situation. Meanwhile, a man who served our country proudly is getting the book thrown at him. It’s not right.