27 Former Officers Call for Investigation of Marine Commandant Amos

Saturday, November 02, 2013
Commandant General James Amos (photo: Sgt. Ben J. Flores, Marine Corps)

Congress has been asked to investigate the Marine Corps’ top commander, who stands accused of interfering in the prosecution of Marine snipers caught on tape urinating on Afghan corpses two years ago.


Twenty-seven former Marine and Navy officers and lawyers sent a letter (pdf) to the leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services committees, asking for a congressional inquiry into the actions of Commandant General James Amos and his senior legal advisers.


Amos and others allegedly deprived accused Marines of due process, made misleading statements under oath, tried to hide evidence, and attempted to undermine the reputation of a Marine Corps whistleblower who exposed the unethical activities of Marine leaders, according to the letter.


The allegations stem from 2011 when scout snipers in Afghanistan filmed themselves urinating on dead insurgents. The video went viral and caused an international scandal for the Marine Corps.


In response to the incident, Amos embarked on a “Heritage Brief” tour of the Marine Corps in which he condemned the snipers’ actions.


But Amos got into trouble, the letter says, when he demanded that Lieutenant General Thomas Waldhauser, who served as the convening authority on the sniper cases, promise that all Marines involved in the scandal would be thrown out of the service.


Waldhauser refused to make such a promise, prompting Amos to take him off the case.


Also, Major James Weirick, a Marine attorney who informed the Defense Department’s inspector general that Amos and his advisers were engaging in unlawful command influence, was removed from his post after emailing one of the advisers named in his complaint.


“To be sure, Major Weirick should be congratulated, and most certainly not condemned, for bringing these issues to the forefront,” the letter reads. “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 more revered within the military justice system and in the traditions of the United States Marine Corps.”


The letter’s signatories include retired Brigadier General David Brahms, the former staff judge advocate to the commandant from 1985 to 1988, and several attorneys who defended Marines connected to the urination scandal.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Former Marine Attorneys Call for Congressional Inquiry into Actions of Commandant (by Hope Hodge Seck, Marine Corps Times)

Letter to Senate and House Armed Services Committees Chairs

Marines Forbidden to Roll Up Sleeves (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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