Support rallies for soldier who faces disciplinary hearing for sending classified information from his personal email which could have saved three lives

By  Ashley Collman

PUBLISHED: 23:32 EST, 26  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 23:34 EST, 26 October 2013

A well-intentioned honest mistake could cost  Major Jason Brezler his position as a Marine reservist.

Maj Brezler found himself in hot water last  summer when he responded to an email from  troops in Helmand Province,  Afghanistan who were inquiring about a local police chief named Sarwar Jan.

Jan was being given access to the base in  Delhi as part of the U.S. military’s exit strategy from the country.

Maj Jason Brezler, pictured in the middle on the right, will face a Marine hearing as early as next month for accidentally emailing classified information via his personal email accountMaj Jason Brezler, pictured in the middle on the right,  will face a Marine hearing as early as next month for accidentally emailing  classified information via his personal email account

 

Maj Brezler had prior knowledge of Jan, and  immediately replied to warn his fellow marines about the dangerous police chief  with ties to the Taliban. He also  reported that Jan was a noted child abuser and there were allegations he  sexually abused minors on U.S. bases in the past.

Immediately after sending the email, Maj  Brezler realized he had made a mistake and shouldn’t have sent the message from  his personal Yahoo email account. He  reported himself to the Marines and is now facing judgement. He could face a  Board of Inquiry hearing as early as next month where he will need to argue his  case for remaining a Marine.

But punishment for the email is causing an  uproar among politicians and high-ranking military leaders since his email was a  harbinger for a deadly attack carried out at the forward operating base in Delhi  by one of Jan’s boy assistants.

The assistant, who is believed to be one of  Jan’s sexual-abuse victims, opened fire in a base gym on August 10, 2012 and  killed three American soldiers: Staff Sergeant Scott Dickinson, Corporal Richard  Rivera and Lance Corporal George Buckley, Jr.

Warning: Shortly after sending a warning email to soldiers in Helmand Province about Sarwar Jar, one of Sanwar Jar's assistants shot and killed three soldiers on the base. Above, the body of victim Staff Sgt Scott Dickinson is brought back to the U.S. 

Warning: Shortly after sending a warning email to  soldiers in Helmand Province about Sarwar Jar, one of Sanwar Jar’s assistants  shot and killed three soldiers on the base. Above, the body of victim Staff Sgt  Scott Dickinson is brought back to the U.S.

 

Maj Brezler lives in New York and in addition  to being a Marine reservist, is a New York City fireman.

Kevin Carroll, Maj Brezler’s lawyer who is  working pro bono, said it was ‘inconceivable that a combat Marine and New York  City fireman, such as Jason Brezler, would have lied or stayed silent when  marines in Afghanistan sought his advice on an emergency force protection  issue.’

New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand and  Representative Peter King have both written letters backing their fellow New  Yorker. Rep King called it ‘unfair’ that  Maj Brezler would be punished for his ‘good-faith effort to warn his fellow  Marines.

‘The Marines and the (New York City) Fire  Department need more good men such as Maj Brezler, not less,’ Rep King  wrote.

Other military leaders have come to Maj  Brezler’s defense, describing him as a model Marine.

Bing West, the former assistant secretary of  defense for international security affairs and who has written several  non-fiction books about the military, said Major Brezler ‘has brass balls. We’d  like to believe that’s the definition of a marine, but I’ve seen Brezler in  action.’

He also described the time he saw Brezler  ‘brace a punk police chief and drag away a young teen who was being used as a  sex slave’. U.S. military in the area were able to convince the provincial  governor to depose that police chief.

Doing the right thing: Several politicians and high-ranking military officials have written to defend Maj Brezler's actions. Above, another picture of the casks of the three Marine victims from the shooting at FOB Delhi being brought back to the U.S. 

Doing the right thing: Several politicians and  high-ranking military officials have written to defend Maj Brezler’s actions.  Above, another picture of the casks of the three Marine victims from the  shooting at FOB Delhi being brought back to the U.S.

 

Maj Gen Larry Nicholson, the commanding  general of the 1st Marine Division and Brig Gen Richard Simcock have also spoke  up for Maj Brezler.

‘Jason is a selfless, fearless and dedicated  Marine officer. He accomplished much, for so many, with little regard for  himself. I urge board members to take into consideration these aspects of his  character and prior service in deliberations,’ Maj Gen Nicholson wrote.

Brig Gen Simcock called Maj Brezler a  ‘principled man of integrity who is not swayed by peer pressure or personal  gain’.

The Marine Corps Times also published an  editorial in favor of leniency for Maj Brezler.

‘Brezler’s treatment sends the message that  in the Marine Corps there’s no room for honest mistakes. That’s a dangerous  precedent to set in any line of work, but most assuredly in the military where  even four-star generals will acknowledged that an understanding commander showed  them some leniency along the way.’

A spokesman for the Marine Corps Forces  Reserve declined to comment on Maj Brezler’s impending hearing.

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