Marine in trouble over emailed document on Afghan sex abuser; Charges against Hillary called more serious

Special to WorldTribune.com

In a case that analysts say bears a striking resemblance to Hillary Clinton’s email disaster, a Marine officer is facing dismissal for mishandling classified material on his computer.

Marine Reserve Maj. Jason Brezler is fighting the charges against him and has filed a complaint in federal court, saying that Marine generals unfairly singled him out, citing statistics that show Marines often wrongly stored classified information and went unpunished, according to a Washington Times report by security correspondent Rowan Scarborough.

Marine Reserve Maj. Jason Brezler speaks with children attending school at the district center in Now Zad, Afghanistan, on Dec. 15, 2009. /1st Marine Division Public Affairs
Marine Reserve Maj. Jason Brezler speaks with children attending school at the district center in Now Zad, Afghanistan, on Dec. 15, 2009. /1st Marine Division Public Affairs

According to the report, Brezler is the officer who, “while a graduate student in Oklahoma, sent a warning email via his laptop to intelligence officers in Afghanistan in 2012. He messaged that Sarwar Jan, a corrupt Afghan police chief, should not be allowed to stay on Forward Operating Base Delhi. Jan smuggled arms to the Taliban and sexually abused boys,” Brezler’s dispatched dossier said.

Brezler had previously played a key role in Jan’s removal from another U.S. base in Afghanistan. This time, however, Brezler’s warning was ignored.

Two weeks after the warning email, “one of Jan’s ‘tea boys’ walked into the base gym and fatally shot three Marines in cold blood. The killer proclaimed he was carrying out jihad,” Scarborough wrote.

An intelligence officer in Afghanistan reported Brezler to higher-ups for sending classified information over his personal laptop. A Navy criminal investigation found he had other classified documents stored in the computer.

Charles Gittins, a former Marine and criminal defense attorney, said Clinton’s mishandling of classified material “was a far more egregious violation of law.”

“Maj. Brezler violated regulations by maintaining classified information on a personal laptop computer,” Gittins, who is not involved in the case, said. “My personal opinion is that his was a minor infraction that resulted from combat conditions that didn’t allow access to classified systems.

“Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, as secretary of state, had access to all of the systems meant to protect classified information, and she and her staff knowingly stored secret and top-secret information on an unsecured server.”

Brezler “was treated in an entirely disproportionate way,” his Manhattan attorney, Michael J. Bowe, said in an April 25 complaint that aims to persuade a judge to overturn a Marine Corps decision to oust him.

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