|Maj. James Weirick|
Last month Marine Corps Times reported – “Maj. James Weirick had seen enough. In March, after months of observing how the Marine Corps was prosecuting eight Marines implicated in war-zone controversy, he sent a six-page complaint to the Pentagon’s investigative agency alleging a variety of malfeasance by the service’s top general and his senior advisers.
The major, a staff judge advocate in Quantico, Va., assigned to the cases, urged the Defense Department inspector general to investigate how the Corps was handling its cases stemming from a video showing four scout snipers urinating on dead insurgents in Afghanistan. He alleges Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, or others working on his behalf, sought to ensure harsh punishment for the Marines facing charges and suppress evidence. To Weirick, this raised questions about the fairness of these legal proceedings.
His complaint also noted that it appeared Amos exhibited preferential treatment toward one of the officers in the scout snipers’ unit: then-Maj. James B. Conway, the son of Amos’ predecessor as commandant, retired Gen. James T. Conway. During the battalion’s deployment, the younger Conway served as executive officer for 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“I lack the power or authority to get the emails and other requested materials in the possession of the Commandant and his staff,” Weirick writes in the complaint. “To ensure a fair proceeding I need the assistance of those with much greater authority. I should have acted earlier, but I truly believed those with the authority to accomplish this would adhere to the Rule of Law and our shared value of due process. This, sadly, has not been the case. Both civilian and uniformed counsel for the Commandant have thwarted my efforts and remained silent, or possibly assisted in, this unlawful command influence.”
The complaint specifically names Amos and five other senior officials: Gen. Joseph Dunford, who was assistant commandant until becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan this year; Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary, the staff judge advocate to the commandant and director of the Judge Advocate Division at Marine Corps Headquarters; Col. Joseph Bowe, Amos’ deputy staff judge advocate; and civilian legal advisers Robert Hogue and Peter Delorier.
These explosive accusations have received attention in national media, on Capitol Hill and throughout the Defense Department. They’ve also made life difficult for Weirick and Col. Jesse Gruter, his direct supervisor during most of the last year. Both allege they’ve come under fire from senior Marine officials as a result of Weirick’s complaint, according to emails and other documents obtained by Marine Corps Times as part of a months-long investigation into the allegations surrounding the commandant."