U.S. Marine whistleblower assigned to J7
Published 12:06 am Saturday, July 19, 2014
A U.S. Marine Corps officer who spoke out against the service’s top general and some of his officers has been reassigned from Quantico to Suffolk.
Maj. James Weirick has been assigned to the Joint Exercise Division at the Joint Staff J7 facility off Bridge Road, according to Kathleen Jabs, spokesperson for Joint Staff Public Affairs.
Weirick had previously served with the Quantico-based Marine Corps Combat Development Command, but his orders there ended in June, according to Maj. John Caldwell, a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters.
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The complaint Weirick filed with the Pentagon Inspector General in March 2013 accused Commandant Gen. Jim Amos of taking unlawful measures in a bid to extract stiffer penalties for eight Marines accused of urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters, according to reports.
An infamous video of the incident in Afghanistan’s Helmand province was posted on YouTube.
Weirick reportedly accused Amos of removing a three-star general assigned to oversee prosecution of the Marines after learning he planned administrative nonjudicial punishment for some of the accused, instead of a court-martial.
It was unlawful command influence, Weirick argued.
In a sworn statement, Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the three-star general, said Amos told him he wanted the Marines “crushed,” according to news reports, and took him off the cases after disagreeing with how he was handling them.
The reports state that Amos and his staff have said that the commandant acknowledged his actions were wrong and removed the three-star general for the sake of trying to salvage the reputation of the legal system.
In the end, three of the Marines reportedly pleaded guilty to various charges, and at least five of them received nonjudicial punishments.
The inspector general reportedly dismissed many of Weirick’s allegations, including that a restraining order Marine Corps leaders filed against him amounted to getting even with a whistleblower.
Reports state that the restraining order was in response to an email Weirick sent to one of the commandant’s lawyers. The letter was considered threatening, and the inspector general reportedly said it justified Weirick’s removal from his previous role — at Quantico — of deputy staff judge advocate.
In an email, Jabs, the spokeswoman at Joint Staff, said military service members regularly rotate assignments.
“In his new role, he assists in developing exercise scenarios and storylines that challenge Service and Combatant Command participants in their training and exercise program,” she wrote.