Marine Corps retaliates against lawyer who challenged Commandant's command influence allegations

Washington Times:
The Marine Corps officer who filed a complaint against the commandant for intervening in the Taliban urination cases against eight Marines is now the target of reprisals from superiors, his attorney says.

Retired Marine Col. Jane Siegel, who is representing Maj. James Weirick, said superiors have subjected the major to retaliations since it became known that he filed a whistleblower complaint against Gen. James Amos, the commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member.

“Headquarters Marine Corps is undercutting a hero,” Col. Siegel said. “He did the right thing, and they are trying to bury it and him.”

Maj. Weirick, a staff judge advocate at the Combat Development Command at Quantico, Va., accuses Gen. Amos of violating the military edict against unlawful command influence by urging guilty verdicts to the general overseeing the cases.

The major also told the Pentagon’s inspector general that Gen. Amos’ legal advisers unlawfully classified most of the evidence, including potentially embarrassing emails at headquarters, to keep the material away from defense attorneys.

Earlier this month, Maj. Weirick sent an email to a lawyer who had worked on Gen. Amos’ staff, urging him in pointed language to cooperate with investigators.

Marine higher-ups responded Tuesday with a series of retaliations against Maj. Weirick, Col. Siegel said.

• Marines escorted Maj. Weirick out of his office and seized his government computer.

• He was transferred to a nonlegal job as a training officer.

• His new commander suggested that he get a mental health evaluation and report for an interview with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent, to whom he refused to talk.

• The major was ordered not to communicate with officials, including Gen. Amos, and was denied leave.

• He was told to turn over his licensed personal firearms kept at home, which he did.

• The Corps also is doing a risk assessment to determine whether Maj. Weirick is a danger to himself or the base.

“These steps are all designed for a single purpose and that is to undermine the credibility of Maj. Weirick, the credibility of his complaints to the [Defense Department inspector general] and to push him very close to the very edge of being able to drum him out of the Marine Corps,” Col. Siegel said. “I’ve been practicing military justice exclusively for 40 years, 25 of which were in the Marine Corps, and I have never seen anything quite this destructive carried out by people who I considered to be heroes, the commandant of the Marine Corps.”
There is much more.

The message of not messing with the senior Marine Corps officer is apparent.  This case embarrassed the Corps to begin with and it has been further embarrassed by the allegations of command influence.  It always seemed to me that there was an overreaction to the troops pissing on dead enemy fighters.  It should have been handled with ordinary disciplinary measures rather than escalating it to the court martial level.  If the commandant, in fact, insisted on the court martial, there will be a strong argument supporting command influence.  The treatment of Maj. Weirick suggest he is not paranoid and someone in the chain of command is out to get him.


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