A 13-year Marine Reservist and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan is looking at the end of his career in the corps because he used the wrong e-mail account to warn his fellow Marines about an Afghan police officer who not only posed a security threat to the Marines — he was a known child-rapist.
Maj. Jason Brezler, 32, who is also a New York firefighter, was in grad school last year when he got an e-mail from some fellow Marines in Afghanistan. The subject of the e-mail, according to a CNN report, was, “IMPORTANT: SARWAR JAN IS BACK!!!”
Who was Sarwar Jan and why were the Marines, stationed in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand Province where Brezler had served two years earlier, so alarmed by him?
Jan was a police commander whom Brezler got fired from his job for sexually assaulting schoolchildren. But that wasn’t all. Brezler (pictured) had information that Jan was working not for the U.S. forces with whom Afghan police supposedly stood side-by-side — but for the Taliban.
Brezler fired off the information he had about Jan in an e-mail to his Marine buddies in Helmand Province. The problem was, he sent the e-mail from a Yahoo! account.
Information about any “imminent threat” is considered classified and must be sent from a secured e-mail account, according to regulations.
Brezler’s e-mail warned his fellow Marines that the nefarious Afghan policeman did indeed pose a serious threat to them.
As soon as he realized his screw-up, Brezler went to his superiors and told them what he had done.
Now, he faces a board of inquiry who will decide whether to kick him out of the Corps on grounds of “substandard performance of duty and misconduct, or moral or professional dereliction.”
As for the “imminent threat,” Brezler was right. Despite his warning, on August 10 of last year one of Jan’s teenage “assistants” opened fire on the Marines, killing three of them and severely wounding another.
While Brezler’s fate remains uncertain, he has some powerful backers, including top Marine officers, congressmembers and bestselling author Bing West who wrote a book about Marines in Afghanistan and saw Brezler in action.
In a letter supporting Brezler, West said he witnessed the Marine, “brace a punk police chief and drag away a young teen who was being used as a sex slave... To be short and to the point: Brezler has brass balls.”
Brezler’s lawyer, Kevin Carroll, believes his client will be exonerated.
“There is no evidence, or even allegation, that the information Jason Brezler emailed to fellow security-cleared Marines was disclosed to the enemy,” Carroll told the Marine Corp Times. “It is not yet even clear that this information was properly classified.”
SOURCES: CNN, Marine Corps Times, Fox News