A federal judge has overturned the Marine Corps decision to discharge Marine Maj. Jason Brezler for mishandling classified information. In July, 2012 Brezler used his personal email address to send classified information about Sarwar Jan, an Afghan police chief that was reportedly trafficking young boys in a sex-slave ring, to Forward Operating Base Delhi in Afghanistan to warn fellow soldiers of his deviant behavior.
Two years prior to sending this email, Brexler kicked Sarwar off a different U.S. military base for alleged corruption, links to the Taliban, and reports of him trafficking the young boys. Less than one month after sending the information via his personal email account, a boy that was allegedly used a sex-slave in Sarwar’s trafficking ring went on a bloody rampage; killing Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, 29, Cpl. Richard Rivera, 20, and Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley.
The incident was reported on by Marine Corps Times and led to what was called a “massive media whirlwind” by military officials. Brezler told his commanding officer about the classified warning he sent to the forward operating base and was relieved of command. He was also given an unfavorable fitness report. Five days later Brezler was asked to appear before the board of inquiry, leading to his discharge.
Brezler claims that he was not allowed access to records relating to his claim and that he was not able to provide evidence to defend himself. He states that appearing before the board of inquiry was a retaliatory reaction from the military. Not having access to this information was a major disadvantage for Brezler. U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco stated in court:
“For example, if communications prior to the Marine Corps Times article indicate that the Navy did not contemplate a BOI [board of inquiry] , or indicate an affirmative decision not to initiate a BOI, such communications would be highly relevant to Major Brezler’s claim that the BOI was retaliatory,”
The judge ruled that, since little notice was given, and the government withheld several relevant documents that were relevant to the case that the Military:
“clearly prevented Major Brezler from fully and fairly litigating his retaliation claims”
The most recent ruling states that Brezler will remain in the Marine Corps and that a new board of inquiry hearing will be held. This time Brezler will have all of the necessary information and evidence to adequately defend himself. Brezler’s lawyer, Michael Bowe, told the media:
“This is a stunning rebuke of the fundamentally unjust proceedings to which this decorated Marine was subjected for over three years,”
The Marine Corps have not commented on Judge Bianco overturning the original ruling to discharge Brezler.