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Marine Corps: Whistleblower could be potential Navy Yard-like shooter

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Marine Corps' war against an officer who has accused the commandant of wrongdoing intensified this week: Headquarters identified Maj. James Weirick as a potential Washington Navy Yard-type killer.

Maj. Weirick has accused Gen. James Amos, the top Marine, of violating the rule against unlawful command influence by trying to dictate the outcome of cases against eight snipers charged with urinating on Taliban corpses. The major filed a complaint with the Pentagon inspector general last spring.

Last week, the Corps took a series of actions against Maj. Weirick, a staff judge advocate at the Combat Development Command at Quantico, Va. It relieved him of his duties, seized his computer, told him to turn in his personal firearms, suggested he get a mental health review and ordered an assessment of whether he is risk to himself or the base.

Retired Marine Col. Jane Siegel, who is representing Maj. Weirick, said the Corps is explaining its actions by citing an email her client sent to a potential witness in his complaint. In sharply worded language, Maj. Weirick urged the civilian Marine attorney to "come clean" and testify about alleged corruption in the top echelon.

This week, the Marine Corps Times obtained a statement from Robert Hogue, Gen. Amos' general counsel, who suggested that Maj. Weirick is capable of a Navy Yard-type shooting.

"Like all members of the Navy-Marine Corps team, I am deeply moved and motivated by the recent tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard," Mr. Hogue said in a written statement. "Against the backdrop of that tragedy, I am very concerned for the safety of my clients and staff given the bizarre nature of the communications in this case."

Defense contractor Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist, killed 12 people last month in a shooting at the Navy Yard. He had a history of behavorial problems and gun-related violence.

In an interview with The Washington Times, Col. Siegel called Mr. Hogue's comments "monstrous and an insult to every victim at the Navy Yard."

John M. Dowd, who is representing Capt. James V. Clement, one of the defendants in the urination case, said Mr. Hogue's statement indicates that the actions against Maj. Weirick are coming from the top.

"Hogue outwitted himself with his cute defamatory release against a Marine officer," Mr. Dowd said. "We now know who cooked up the draconian retribution against a Marine lawyer who had the guts to insist that the rules be followed by Hogue."

Maj. Weirick also has charged that Gen. Amos' legal staff unlawfully classified evidence to keep it out of Mr. Dowd's hands, as well as from other defense lawyers.

Col. Siegel said that Maj. Weirick has received excellent fitness reports and has been selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel during his 16-year career in the Corps.

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