A North Carolina congressman is demanding answers from the Department of Defense for its lack of response to questions surrounding the forced ouster of a Marine Corps Reserve officer who sent classified material to warn Marines in Afghanistan about potentially dangerous individuals.
“If I had of known sooner about the Defense Department’s decision to kick out (Marine Reserve Maj.) Brezler, I would have raised hell,” Congressman Walter Jones, R-N.C., said. “Because he was only trying to help his fellow Marines and they are throwing him under the bus.”
Assistant Secretary of the Navy Scott Lutterloh made the decision Nov. 30 to uphold a board of inquiry recommendation to separate Brezler, a New York City firefighter, for sending classified material over his personal email account to warn Marines with Camp Lejeune’s 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, of a corrupt Afghan police chief named Sarwar Jan three years ago, according to a report in the Washington Post.
One of Jan’s teen Afghan servants later carried out an insider attack that killed three unarmed Marines and wounded a fourth who were working out at the base gym Aug. 10, 2012. The shooter, Ainuddin Khudairaham, was tried as a juvenile and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in July 2014.
Jones sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter calling for the complete exoneration of Brezler and asking about about an unflattering New York Times article that reported U.S. Marines and Army soldiers were allegedly told to ignore the sexual assault abuses on Afghan children by Afghan troops aboard U.S. military installations in Afghanistan. The child sex abuse claim was also part of a string of corruption charges made in 2010 by Brezler when he had previously worked with Jan.
“I am very upset and disappointed because I had sent a letter on September 29th to Defense Secretary Ash Carter and I have already called his office regarding this decision and I blame myself for not keeping a better eye on this,” Jones said. “ … If I had known that six weeks after I had written the letter that I had not gotten a response, I would have personally called.”
Department of Defense spokesmen Army Lt. Col. Joseph Sowers told The Daily News back in October they had received the correspondence from Jones and are in the process of responding; however, no reply or notification was sent to Jones’ office.
“The department received 14 different requests for information from Congressional members regarding this topic. Rather than responding individually at different times, we decided to complete all responses and provide simultaneously,” Sowers said via emailed response to a follow-up inquiry from The Daily News regarding the notification to Jones’ office and the decision to dismiss Brezler from the military. “We will respond directly to the office of all Congressional members that requested information.”