Marine Who Warned Of Insider Threat Should Remain In The Corps, Military Board Says

| August 14, 2019 | 11 Comments

Quil Lawrence jason brezler
Jason Brezler, seated center, holds a meeting with local governors in Afghanistan in 2010. Brezler faced discharge after emailing classified documents over an insecure network. He challenged the Marine Corps’ decision.

One of our ninjas sends us the some good news for Marine Major Jason Brezler. He was separated from service for sending classified information over a nonsecure network. Only powerful politicians get away with this, but in Brezler’s case there are important mitigating circumstances. From the article…

Monique Jaques/Getty Images

Seven years ago, Maj. Jason Brezler sent an urgent message to a fellow Marine in Afghanistan, warning him about an insider threat. The warning wasn’t heeded, and two weeks later, three U.S. troops were dead.

What did attract attention was that Brezler had sent classified information over an insecure network. The Marine Corps then embarked on what would be a multiyear effort to kick out Brezler — claiming it was for mishandling information. Brezler maintained it was retaliation for calling attention to deaths he thought might have been prevented.

The U.S. Navy Board of Inquiry decided to remove Brezler from service with an honorable discharge: Brezler wouldn’t lose any benefits or rank; he just wouldn’t be a Marine anymore.

“In light of my very strong desire to continue to serve and lead Marines, it didn’t feel honorable,” he told NPR in 2016.

So Brezler sued in federal court and won a new hearing. Earlier this month he sat before a board of inquiry again, and on Aug. 9, seven years after he sent the warning to Afghanistan, the panel of military officers ruled in his favor.

I admire his tenacity and desire to serve, but I’ll be very surprised to see his name on a Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel promotion list.

Category: Afghanistan, Guest Link, Marine Corps, Military issues

Comments (11)

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  1. Graybeard says:

    We can hope he promotes, men like him are worth more than gold.

  2. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    That he acted correctly seems so fracking obvious…

    But embarrassed seniors retaliating for an underling being both correct and annoyingly so? Wow. -that- is hard to believe. (Rolls eyes, about 720 or so)

    It is going to take 20 years to fix the mess in our armed forces.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      ^word^ Dodging responsibility and eye rolls are my exercise program these days. IMO immediate promotion to LTC and placed on the 5% list for Colonel. Oh, and hang the SOB that took no action on his intel.

  3. ninja says:

    Am scratching my head about this one as well as having mix feelings.

    Brezler, a Civil Affairs Marine Corps Reservist Officer, was found to have taken classified documents out of Afghanistan during an earlier deployment. He retained them on his personal computer. He also used his personal Yahoo email account.

    As I said, have mixed feelings on this. He did violate security regulation. Trying to figure out why as an Officer and a USNA Graduate he had classified documents on his personal laptop and why he chose to relay a message using his Yahoo account of his concerns instead of notifying a Chain of Command about this.

    I agree with AW1Ed: I will be surprise if he is selected for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserves.

    • MI Ranger says:

      My guess is that the individual documents were not in themselves CLASSIFIED, and that through aggregation they were considered CLASSIFIED. He probably had a list of names of the Officers, and filled in his own info on how corrupt they were.
      By making these annotations, and if some got relieved, but were reinstated this would make them classified and not shareable with our partners.
      Re-instate…give him lots of extra training on the handling of classified documents, and how to classify information. Place him on probation for five years: Any new violations, other than receiving or forwarding improperly marked documents, and he loses his clearance and works in the mail room.

      • ninja says:

        “NCIS searched plaintiffs laptop and hard drive, identifying 106 documents marked classified.”

        https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20161207d28

        “Brezler contends that he accidentally took the classified documents home after his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.”

        https://www.ufanyc.org/cms/contents/view/20127

        How does one “accidently” take home classified documents on a personal laptop?

        The last time I was in the Sandbox, I had an Unclassified Laptop issued to me that had NIPRNET on it. I also had issued a Classified Laptop that had SIPERNET on it.

        We were not allowed to bring personal laptops into the Sandbox, but then again, that ROE was for my Army unit as well as in the timeframe early 2000s, after 9-11.

        Perhaps ROE was different for Marine Corps Reservists as well as the timeframe of 2010 to bring a personal laptop in a theater.

        Just my personal perception based on personal experience of working with Classified Documents.

        • timactual says:

          “How does one “accidently” take home classified documents on a personal laptop?”

          We should consult John Deutsch, former director of CIA. I am sure he had a good explanation.

  4. 2banana says:

    Can he use the Hillary defense?

  5. Sapper3307 says:

    He did bring home and keep some classified documents for his book, think he had more than one?
    Just sayin

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