The first of several hearings was held today for a Marine Corps reservist officer who warned fellow marines about the threat of an Afghan officer with Taliban ties just days before a teenager associated with the man killed three marines.
In 2012, Maj. Jason Brezler received an email from Marines in Afghanistan saying that a shady Afghan police chief Brezler ran out of town in 2010 had recently reappeared. According to the email, the police chief, named Sarwar Jan, was being given access to a military base. Brezler responded to the email warning that Jan was a threat.
After sending the email, Brezler quickly realized he'd sent classified information through a non-classified medium. He immediately reported his misstep to authorities. His warning was ignored.
Three days later, a 15 year old accomplice of Jan's walked into a base gym with an AK-47 and opened fire. He killed three marines.
Though Brezler's warning was validated, he still faces a possible discharge for sending his message through a non-classified medium.
In a e-message to CNN, Marine Col. Francis Piccoli wrote that because of "the mishandling of classified information, Maj. Brezler has been ordered to show cause of retention in the U.S. Marine Corps before a Board of Inquiry."
Brezler has received an outpouring of support from all who know his story. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently wrote a letter defending his actions.
"Maj. Brezler was in a position where lives were in danger and time was of the essence, and in the end his assessment of the threat proved accurate," Gillibrand wrote.
Brezler has also received support from the parents of one of the marines shot by Jan’s associate.
"I personally feel he tried to save my son and his fellow Marines," said Gregory Buckley Sr., father of slain Marine Gregory Buckley Jr.
If Marine leaders had heeded Brezler’s warning, Buckley says, "I would have my son. I would have my boy with me today."