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Marine whistleblower moves to new duty station

Jul. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Maj. James Weirick
Maj. James Weirick (Courtesy of Maj. James Weirick)
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The Marine at the center of an undue command influence controversy has moved to a new duty station in Suffolk, Virginia, according to a Marine Corps official.

Nearly 10 months after he was removed from his job, Maj. James Weirick, a staff judge advocate, will serve in the Joint Force Development, a command that advances future operations between military services.

The move came about a month after the Defense Department inspector general did not substantiate Weirick’s claims that he was removed from his job following his criticism of how the Corps’ top leaders — including Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and his advisers — were handling the now infamous scout sniper case.

The saga began in March 2013, when Weirick filed a complaint with the Defense Department inspector general alleging that Amos and his top advisers exerted undue command influence in the case of the Marine snipers who filmed themselves urinating on Taliban corpses. About six months later, Weirick was removed from his job after sending a bizarre email to Peter Delorier, a former civilian legal adviser to Amos. In the email, Weirick urged Delorier to be “honest and truthful.”

Weirick argued the move was backlash for filing the IG complaint. But in June, the IG found that while Weirick faced multiple unfavorable personnel actions, he was not removed from his job as an act of reprisal.

Weirick’s new duty station puts him under the command of Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, who is now director of Operational Plans and Joint Force Development for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

“I could not be more honored than to be serving under Lt. Gen. Waldhauser, who exemplifies our values of honor, courage, and commitment,” Weirick told Marine Corps Times in a statement. “Most importantly, all of this is just a distraction from the underlying issue, that Marines pleaded guilty at court-martial, and were administratively separated, without being provided the discovery due process demands. That injustice has always been the focus of my complaint.”

Weirick also said his transfer to a position with the joint staff, with retention of his top secret clearance, “illustrates the disingenuous nature” of Marine officials’ decision to place him under a restraining order following his email to Delorier, and a later public statement from Amos’ civilian legal adviser Robert Hogue that justified the decision with a reference to the Washington Navy Yard shooter who killed 12 people with a shotgun last September.

In his original DoD IG complaint, Weirick alleged that Amos removed Waldhauser, who was originally tapped to oversee the prosecution of the snipers, when it became apparent the three-star didn’t plan to punish the Marines harshly enough.

That portion of Weirick’s complaint is still outstanding and remains under investigation.

In May, federal officials found another portion of Weirick’s complaint, which alleged that Amos illegally classified materials in connection to the snipers’ cases, to be unsubstantiated. In November, the IG found that Amos did not show favoritism to then-Maj. James B. Conway, who was executive officer of the scout snipers’ unit during that deployment. Conway is the son of retired Gen. James T. Conway, the service’s 34th commandant.

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