“Unlawful command influence by the commandant” cited in USMC Urination Prosecution

The Marine Corps Times posted a pretty explosive story this morning explaining how and why Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos stripped a three-star general of his authority to prosecute the Marines who has taken video of themselves urinating on dead Taliban fighters in 2011.

Documents obtained by the paper include a declaration signed by Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, who was removed from overseeing the case against the Marines by Gen Amos after he refused to kick the accused Marines out of the Corps.

The Times writes that:

The commandant wanted the Marines “crushed,” Waldhauser says in his statement, and asked if the steps Waldhauser was taking would result in their dismissal from the Corps. When Waldhauser pushed back, the statement continues, Amos threatened to remove him from the case, he said, and later directed the assistant commandant to deliver the news to Waldhauser that he was doing exactly that.

The commandant’s decision to reassign the cases was not explained publicly before now. In May, a source within the commandant’s office told Marine Corps Times that Waldhauser was removed from the job because his future role as the defense secretary’s adviser was of supreme importance and he needed time to prepare. That explanation proved untrue.

There’s lots more here, click through for the whole thing.


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Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
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