Marine Corps Commandant Accused of Unlawful Command Influence
By Harold Hutchison
Did the Commandant of the Marine Corps engage in unlawful command influence during the investigation into Marines who were seen on video urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban? That is the question a number of former military officers who served as JAGs are now asking.
In a letter sent to Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA), the chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, the lawyers state, “We are greatly concerned that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, and one or more of his most senior legal advisers appear to have (1) deprived Marines of due process in military justice proceedings; (2) made misleading statements under oath about these activities; (3) engaged in abuse of the legal discovery process investigating this misconduct; and (4) endeavored to besmirch and disparage the reputation and career of the one Marine lawyer who, at great risk to his military career, did the right thing and reported all of this to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense.”
In September, the Washington Times reported that Major James Weirick had been fired and transferred after tipping off defense attorneys and the DOD’s Inspector General to actions by General James Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Charges against Capt. James Clement in connection with the incident and the video were eventually dismissed, but a panel later recommended that Clement be discharged from the Marines.
“We urge you to exercise your oversight responsibilities and fully explore these events so that due process, fundamental fairness, and most of all, integrity, remain most revered within the military justice system and in the traditions of the United States Marine Corps,” the letter by the retired JAGs concluded.
To read the letter, go to: http://www.sofmag.com/sites/default/files/digital_issues/102213_letter_t...