We haven’t reported on this as we were trying to gather some info. None being forthcoming, here is a link to a Marine Corps Times story about the disciplinary action being taken against Marine Corps lawyer Major Weirick. If you’ll recall from earlier posts, here and here, Maj. Weirick blew the whistle one alleged unlawful command influnce in the Marine Corps’ prosecution of the insurgent corpse desecration cases, actions that presumably led to charges being dismissed in at least one of the cases.

The Marine Corps has removed from his job a staff judge advocate who publicly accused Commandant Gen. Jim Amos of unlawful command influence in the high-profile cases against eight Marines prosecuted in connection with a war-zone video of scout snipers urinating on enemy corpses.

Maj. James Weirick was also placed under a Marine Corps Protective Order and asked to turn in his personal weapons and submit to a voluntary psychiatric evaluation.

Retired Marine Col. Jane Siegel, Weirick’s attorney, said he had been removed for cause from his post at Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va., following allegations of harassment via email.

. . . .

Siegel said the complaint centered on an email Weirick sent to Peter Delorier, one of Amos’ former civilian legal advisers. In the Sept. 21 email, reviewed by Marine Corps Times, Weirick pleads with Delorier, who now works at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to “come clean” about his role in the alleged manipulation of justice by the commandant’s office.

The “forced” psych eval is a bit much, I thought that went out of fashion 20 years ago as a way to label “troublemakers.”

DOJ has responded to the request by victim’s counsel to disqualify the USNA Superintendent from the role of convening authority in the high profile rape allegations againt three former USNA football team members. Brief here and prior coverage here, complaint here.

Not newsy, but here is an interesting story in the NCO Journal on the facilities at Ft. Leavenworth, the USDB and JRCF. H/t PL

22 Responses to “Military Justice News for Monday, September 30, 2013”

  1. SFC V says:

    I guess the Marine Corps is going to call on the unlawful command influence and raise with a reprisal. Who are the legal advisers on this thing?  I have worked with many judge advocates and not one I can think of would have supported this course of action. 
    In the end it may be that Maj. Weirick didn’t handle this in the best possible way but that doesn’t form a sound basis for relieving him and ordering a psych eval.   

  2. Grey says:

    The article never quoted the portion of the email it described as the most aggressive, so it’s hard to gauge whether he crossed the line into threats and intimidation that would warrant a protective order.  So far it just looks like the same kind of “come clean” type of speech that law enforcement agencies use in criminal suspect interviews.
    I wonder if the psych eval relates to Maj Weirick’s use of the third person in his writing.  That is how he writes at CAAFlog as well, I just took it to be a parody on third person references at OCS and fit reps.

  3. Canada Dry says:

    I’ve followed this story on this site and the articles on MCT and other places. I can’t think of one thing I’ve read in the stories, or one comment from readers that supports the logic behind the CMC’s actions, dispels any notions of reprisal, dispels any notions of command impropriety, or lends support to Gen. Amos and his staff. 
    To the contrary, the reported facts paint the picture of a CMC with an axe to grind, and an agenda to ram forward. A Major is accused of harassment through email and now his career is in jeopardy. The CMC is confirmed to have openly stated a desire to “crush” people before a full accounting of the facts and judgment upon the evidence. Yet, the Major gets an MPO limiting his means of communication and implying he is a bad guy. Decision-makers are moved around like cards in a solitaire game to get the right alignment, information and evidence is withheld or clouded by improper classification, and a Major raises the BS flag. But, it’s the Major that must be evaluated for psychosis and undergo a “risk analysis”?
    In addition to the meat of this case, that has already wrought damages to those with last names less noteworthy than former CMCs, now there’s collateral damage with a Major and his family set on a glide path to destroy his reputation, destroy his career, bring emotional trauma to his family, and imperil their future with regard to salary, retirement, and healthcare. What instrument of justice has or is being properly used to accomplish this? What concept of justice is being served? More importantly – who’s instrument of justice is being used and who’s concept of justice is being served? There is only one answer to that: the CMC’s. This is exactly what Holmes was referring to when he defined tyranny. 
    Notably absent are two things: 1) a clear and concise statement of facts and logical analysis that supports the command actions taken in this case; 2) Congressional officials exercising their oversight and investigative powers to stop this train wreck before it sets some terrible precedents, destroys more families, and dirties the good name of the USMC further.

  4. Lieber says:

    Interesting times. There’s another big MJ story percolating out there. Kind of surprised it hasn’t come this way yet….

  5. Canada Dry says:

    Well, WaPo has the story as well, headline is interesting: “…whistleblower faces vengeance …”
    I wonder what the other MJ story is…maybe there will be another “biggest week in military justice” soon.

  6. Lieber says:

    This paragraph by Weirick was really ill-advised: 
    ““He can’t offer you protection from Weirick. That protection can’t be offered by anyone. Ever,”

  7. Just Sayin' says:

    Department of the Navy improperly referring people to mental health evals as an intimidation tactic is nothing new.  Surprise, surprise, most who are referred come back with a clean bill of health from the docs, but meanwhile everyone remembers that they had to be seen.  The civilians who have been subjected to this abuse were able to sue, but thanks to Feres, the military whistleblowers protection act is a toothless tiger. Some of the verbiage in the e-mail is a little odd, but without context I’m not going to comment.  Other than the actions of the command look a whole lot like the lady doth protest too much.

  8. stewie says:

    Stewie will protect.  Stewie is unstoppable.  Also, squirrels rule the planet in coordination with the Queen of England, the Rothchild’s and Pee-Wee Herman.

  9. Charlie Gittins says:

    Where is the oversight?  Senior leaders running ruthlessly through the rights of a military officer who is an acknowledged whistleblower and no one is even asking any questions.  It is yet another violation of law to retaliate against a whistleblower.  The violations of law by the Commandant and his merry lackeys keeps getting longer.  The old psych eval gambit was popular when most of the current GO’s were JOs, so they probably think it is OK and a pretty neat way to discredit the whistleblower.  Just goes to show you what you need to know about them, their moral compasses and their ethics.  JO’s . . .  are you paying attention to the conduct of your esteemed leaders?  Don’t lose focus — the leaders will “crush” you if you break their china, even if you are doing your duty to support and defend the Constitution.     

  10. TheDailyJAG says:

    Is there anyone who is really surprised by this?  Is there anyone that thinks the Major was more in the wrong that the CMC and his legal counsel. 
    Above, Canada Dry writes that the Major’s career is in jeopardy.  How sweet and optimistic.  I think his career is entirely over.  There is zero chance he’ll ever make O5 with BCNR relief.  And he’ll never be allowed to practice as an attorney in the MJ system again.  At best he’ll be the SPO for some period of time until they can make him go away.
    Regarding the third-person thing: Does anyone remember The Jimmy? 

  11. Canada Dry says:

    I can’t really argue with what TheDailyJAG has written, except for this: what is the point of showing up each day if the conclusion has already been set in stone? You may be right that his career is over. But I believe that’s not an automatic result. Indeed, many senior leaders are depending on people believing everything is set in stone – it makes them give up the fight sooner. They’re counting on that. That’s a plan based on hope and hope is not a method. 
    I say Maj. Weirick should keep fighting. I also say he should appeal his relief and every other adverse matter that will show up in his file. 
    And, lastly, someone in one of the Armed Services Committees should introduce a bill to insure adequate protection for military whistleblowers and a bill that makes mandatory the restitution for current and former service members forced to spend thousands to clear their names, save their careers, get back their careers, etc. That may force a change if the branches have to cough up money every time they decide to go on a witch hunt.

  12. TheDailyJAG says:

    I agree that he should keep fighting.  But, he should also be having some very candid discussions with his family (if he has people that depend on him) and he should definitely have his resumes out.  Right or wrong, if one gets pulled into the bull gear, he or she won’t escape without damage. 
    I guess that’s the hope-for-the-best-but-expect-the-worst scenario.  I expect the sad Major probably wishes he had never heard about this case.

  13. SomeDC says:

    The DailyJAG: he is already selected for 0-5.

  14. Neutron73 says:

    The CMC is really having a banner week, isn’t he?  First he decides to go off on the barracks life:
    And then he has his “guys” light up Weirick with paper that looks like stuff you wouldn’t wipe your butt with.  

    All in all, it is only alienating himself, and making the institution look like it is careening out of control with leadership who appear to have lost the plot.
    Hopefully the fallout will be epic to watch.  In the timeless fashion of former NY Jets linebacker Bart Scott: “CAN’T WAIT!”

  15. FriendOWeirick says:

    Weirick has ALWAYS used his name in the third person as pure schtick.  It’s just quirky and funny, like The Jimmy, from Seinfeld.  I understand a certain general officer sitting atop the Marine JA food chain gave him a PLAQUE referring to him as “The Weirick” when they served at Camp Pendleton.  What was funny then is apparently now grounds for a mental health evaluation.  Unbelievable.
    That whole “you can never escape from Weirick” would only be read as a threat by someone predisposed to see one in order to attempt to discredit him, and it could only be read as a threat by a 7 year old boy.  I believe a more fair reading is “you can never escape from Weirick” equals “I will not stop pursuing justice here so make a choice about which side of right/wrong you want to be on.”
    Some people see the email as a mistake.  Sure.  Unless your intent was to give the government a chance to overreact and hang themselves, which they appear to have done.  Only three reactions could have occurred to Weirick’s email:  (a) they ignore it, which doesn’t change the status quo (b) they overreact to it, which they did and (c) they react rationally to it.  If Weirick judged the chances of (c) to be low, which is a decent prospect given the quality of leadership and legal advice on this whole affair to date, it was really a low-risk, high-reward tactic.  Who’s the dummy now?

  16. FriendOWeirick says:

    Honor:  if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
                                                                    — Ron Swanson

  17. Canada Dry says:

    Interesting Neutron73 points out the week the CMC is having. Here’s another one…http://news.yahoo.com/2-generals-forced-retire-afghan-breach-215517204–politics.html
    Attack at an airfield in Afghanistan a year ago has prompted the CMC to force two generals into retirement, although I’m not sure about the “force” issue. If by force, are they saying it was RILO, retire in lieu of…? 
    Gen. Amos said, “…my duty requires me to remain true to the timeless axioms relating to command responsibility and accountability.” 
    You can’t buy – or make up – this sort of thing.
    I have a feeling those comments will come full circle. 

  18. Capt N.S. Stewart, USMC says:

    @Canada Dry:  I like this idea of introducing a bill to reimburse those who endure unnecessary expenses to compel DoD, DoN, & USMC compliance with US law. I have spent enough already in the effort to cure them of their administrative and legal recalcitrance.  Are active duty personnel allowed to advocate for such an initiative? Can I rely on that whole Whistleblower Protection Act to be treated like a law?

  19. Canada Dry says:

    Active duty personnel advocating for legislation…I think you run the risk of being Weiricked. 
    As for WPA…DoD IG Reprisal Investigations are laughable. Even the head of the DoD IG has commented, previously, that they can’t even follow their own rules and guidelines in determining when reprisal has taken place. I believe it was Congresswoman Speier that mentioned this in comments nested at the back of the 2014 NDAA House Report (HR 1960 maybe?).
    I don’t know why, but I can only guess that investigations of contractor fraud worth millions, aircraft carrier cost overruns etc make for ‘sexier’ stories than command impropriety and reprisal that wreck the lives of servicemembers. Who knows…

  20. k fischer says:

    Fascinating story regarding the plaque indicating awareness of The Weirick’s reputation for referring to himself in the third person.  If I were The Weirick, then I might be inclined to send a photo of said plaque to the Marine Corps Times showing that someone in a much higher paygrade than I believed that my referral to myself in the 3d person was amusing, rather than cause for concern.  Seems like a huge issue that shows the hypocrisy in the actions of those who are against The Weirick who appears to be just doing his job.  
    In fact, consider the following:
    Article 93     Cruelty and Maltreatment: improper punishment might constitute this offense.
    Article 133   Conduct unbecoming
    Article 134   Obstructin justice: wrongfully influencing, intimidating, impeding, or injuring a witness
    Article 81     Conspiracy
    If I were The Commandant and the cronies with whom he discussed this issue, I might be consider that The Weirick could draft and sign a DD Form 458 as an accuser with certain offenses for which The Weirick might have indicia of communications saved on a cloud that would support said offenses.  Now, I don’t know The Weirick, nor do I know anything about this issue, but he appears to not be afraid of anyone.  

  21. k fischer says:

    “It’s always a good idea to demonstrate to your coworkers that you are capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of pain.”  Ron Swanson

  22. Canada Dry says:

    Is it bad form to address this to those advising the CMC:
    “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
    – Ron Swanson