Major Brezler’s intent was to save the lives of his fellow Marines. Was his sharing classified information via a personal email account any different from Hillary Clinton having a personal email server with classified information on it?
It appears the system is rigged to protect the politically powerful, while a U.S. Marine is held accountable. Is there a double standard?
In a column titled “Marine who warned of insider attack to be discharged” Gina Harkins, Staff writer for the Marine Corps Times reports:
A lawyer for a Reserve Marine being forced out of the Marine Corps for mishandling classified information vowed to appeal the Department of the Navy’s decision to uphold the involuntary discharge, calling it “obvious retaliation.”
In a case that gained widespread notoriety, Maj. Jason Brezler, a civil affairs officer who had returned stateside, shared classified information with colleagues in Afghanistan in 2012 in an attempt to warn them about a suspected Taliban conspirator. Brezler’s fears proved well-founded two weeks later when an insider attack in Helmand province claimed the lives of three Marines.
Michael Bowe, the lawyer representing Brezler, told Marine Corps Times they learned via email Monday of the decision to uphold the separation. The decision, first reported by The Washington Post, was made by Scott Lutterloh, the acting assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs. Made official on Nov. 24, the decision comes more than three years after Brezler was investigated for sending a classified document from a personal email account. [Emphasis added]
United States Code: Title 18. Section 2071:
(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record filed…in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement following reports that the U.S. State Department is reopening its investigation of the mishandling of classified intelligence by Hillary Clinton and her top aides:
“I am glad that the State Department has heeded the concerns I and nine other senators raised earlier and is reportedly reviewing the status of the security clearances of Hillary Clinton and her top aides, given their ‘extremely careless’ handling of classified information. There’s no question they should all lose their security clearances if they are still active. The State Department now needs to show that it will not let politics interfere with its investigation and that any State Department employee who mishandles classified information will be punished regardless of their rank. No one should be above the rules when it comes to protecting our nation’s secrets, not even the Secretary of State or her top aides. I look forward to a complete response to the questions we raised in our letter to Secretary Kerry about the Department’s handling of this matter and a swift resolution of this case.”
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Major Jason Brezler in Afghanistan is by Cpl. Albert Hunt/Marine Corps.