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National Security Desk / Sep. 7, 2016

Classification: Double Standard

A Marine is punished for attempting to warn of a terrorist attack using classified intel.

The case of Jason Brezler is not new, but it’s getting renewed attention in light of Hillary Clinton’s evading prosecution for transmitting classified intel through unsecure email servers. Columnist Michelle Malkin has chronicled Brezler’s case before (here and here). The short of it:

> In 2012, Maj. Jason Brezler, a highly decorated Marine reserve civil affairs officer, sent a classified document through his personal email account to fellow Marines at Forward Operating Base Delhi. The correspondence, which came in response to a FOB Dehli Marine’s request for information, involved the shady history of Taliban-tied Afghan police chief and accused drug lord and child molester Sarwar Jan. Jan had been suspected of coordinating Taliban operations, selling Afghan police uniforms to our enemies, and raping at least nine boys on base. A few weeks after Brezler’s warning, which went unheeded, one of Jan’s teenage “tea boys” went on a shooting spree at FOB Dehli. Marine Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode was shot five times, but survived. Three others died of gun shot wounds: Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, Cpl. Richard Rivera and Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley.

Despite the tip-off, three soldiers were soon slaughtered at the hands of Islamists — the very ones Brezler tried to stop. As if that weren’t bad enough, a board moved to boot Brezler was from the Marine Corps, a decision that’s currently being challenged. As for the connection to Hillary Clinton, we find it in Brezler’s transmitting classified intel through personal email. As Malkin later put it, “Brezler is forced to watch Hillary Clinton get away with massive email security violations, while he’s railroaded for using a personal Yahoo account to try to protect his fellow Marines.”

NPR finally got around to covering the debacle this week. Yesterday the outlet published an online article alongside its Morning Edition in which the editors reluctantly note (near the end): “Internet memes compare his treatment to that of Hillary Clinton, who sent some 110 classified emails from her personal server.” That’s what we call a double standard.

But let’s also not lose sight of the broader significance: This Marine sent a lone email to save lives. Hillary Clinton deleted myriad emails to conceal an event that cost lives. Yet which of them is being reprimanded? There are hardly enough words to describe this gross injustice. Whether Brazier will be able to retain his job will be determined at an upcoming legal proceeding.

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