The Washington Post has made a significant disclosure in the ongoing case of Marine Major Mark Thompson (CAAFlog news page), who faces a second general court-martial after he invited the Post to look into his case: It published the audio of the final interview between Thompson and the Post reporter.
During a 45-minute interview in January — previously excerpted and now published in full online — reporter John Woodrow Cox showed Thompson copies of the text messages he uncovered and repeatedly asked Thompson why he had lied about Stadler’s late-night visit to his Annapolis home during her graduation weekend.
“I simply had to,” Thompson said in the recorded interview. “When they were coming after me for 41 years, I can’t begin to say, you know, how terrifying that is.”
If he’d been convicted of the rape charge, he might have faced a sentence that long. During the interview, Thompson continued to maintain that he had not had sex with either woman and offered more explanation for not divulging the text messages.
“If I were to say, acknowledge that I thought they were flirtatious, that moved me on the scale closer towards, well, it was probably a relationship,” he said. “So I avoided anything that looked like it could be unduly familiar or flirtatious.”
When Cox again pressed Thompson on why he’d lied, the Marine asserted that he was “never questioned” about his final encounter with Stadler. The reporter reminded Thompson that he had been asked about it both at the administrative hearing and “multiple times” by The Post.
“I simply wanted to distance myself,” Thompson said, “from anything that would look like there was more familiarity than there was.”
The audio is somewhat difficult to understand because of background noise.
The article also discusses one of the charges against Major Thompson: that he engaged in conduct unbecoming in violation of Article 133 by misleading the Post reporter.