navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook snapchat-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square googleplus history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share share2 sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

Report: IG finds Marine Corps commandant did not show favoritism

November 23, 2013 (Photo Credit: image Credit)

The Pentagon inspector general has determined that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos did not show favoritism toward the son of his predecessor as the service investigated an embarrassing war-zone video last year, according to a report published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

The decision comes eight months after a Marine attorney, Maj. James Weirick, filed an explosive complaint accusing Amos and members of his legal team of seeking to influence the outcome of several cases connected to the video, which shows four Marine scout snipers urinating on dead insurgents in Afghanistan.

As first reported by Marine Corps Times, Weirick’s complaint also alleged that during the Marine Corps’ investigation of the video, Amos exhibited preferential treatment to ensure the promotion of then-Maj. James B. Conway, who was executive officer of the scout snipers’ unit during that deployment. Conway is the son of retired Gen. James T. Conway, the service’s 34th commandant.

The IG concluded Amos’ conduct was “reasonable under the circumstances,” according to paperwork reviewed by the Journal. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Marine official familiar with the situation said Thursday night that the Journal’s report is accurate and that the IG’s decision is at least a week old.

It’s not immediately clear whether the Pentagon IG’s office considers the matter closed entirely. Citing unidentified senior defense officials, the Journal’s report says “they don’t believe” there are any other investigations into Amos’ conduct.

However, Weirick’s complaint further alleged the commandant’s legal advisers sought to classify evidence assembled during the urination video investigation in violation of an executive order, signed by President Obama, defining what constitutes classified national security information and what does not. Earlier this month, Weirick also filed a complaint with the Information Security Oversight Office asking officials there to address the matter. The agency, which answers to the president, is responsible for policy and oversight of the government’s security classification system.

A spokesman for Amos, Lt. Col. David Nevers, declined to address specific questions about the Journal’s report, signaling a desire to respect an ongoing process.

In a brief statement, Nevers said: “Discipline, accountability and engaged leadership are the touchstones of our Corps. The American people expect no less.”

James B. Conway is now a lieutenant colonel in command of an infantry battalion based in Hawaii. Conway was never accused of wrongdoing; however, he was promoted to his current rank and allowed to take a new assignment while other officers in the unit were kept in administrative limbo. Weirick’s complaint said this may have constituted “selective prosecution.”

Weirick’s attorney, Jane Siegel, said she was aware of the Journal’s report but had not seen the paperwork referenced in it. She said his allegations involving Conway are not the sole element of Weirick’s complaint, noting he also claims to be the victim of reprisal, which is banned by federal whistle-blower protection provisions.

“This makes me question the extent and integrity of that investigation,” Siegel said. “... It’s very confusing what the DOD IG is doing. I would expect more from a neutral and superior organization.”

Next Article