U.S. Marine Corps Retaliates Against Judge Advocate Whistleblower

IN CASE EERILY SIMILAR TO THAT OF CDR WALTER FRANCIS FITZPATRICK, III

by Sharon Rondeau

Maj. James Weirick, a judge advocate of the U.S. Marine Corps, has been removed from his position and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation following his outspokenness on allegations against Commandant James Amos of undue command influence, cover-up and suppression of evidence against eight Marines

(Sep. 27, 2013) — On Friday, the Marine Corps Times reported that Marine Corps Maj. James Weirick, a staff judge advocate who alleged undue command influence on the part of Marine Corps Commandant James Amos against eight Marines accused of abusing Taliban members’ corpses in 2011, was removed from his post and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, among other things.

Twenty-three years ago, CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III was railroaded in a sham court-martial orchestrated by his admiral, John Bitoff, and members of his staff, based on false charges and a fraudulent signature.

The Navy, though well aware that a forgery has been maintained as authentic for nearly a quarter-century, refuses to comment on their continued cover-up and the false conviction used against Fitzpatrick for having spoken out about his superior officers.  Fitzpatrick’s Navy career was ruined as a result.

Fitzpatrick has told The Post & Email that the military “justice” system “is not justice at all” but only a “function of command.”

Weirick’s attorney, Jane Seigel, told the Times that “I think this is a last-ditch effort by some very heavy hitters to completely undermine the credibility of Maj. Weirick. If they push this rock down the slippery slope, he’ll end up out of the Marine Corps.”

Last month, Weirick filed a complaint with the Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General against Amos and his advisers for attempting to influence the outcome of the courts-martial against the eight accused Marines. A general whom Amos had tasked with conducting the investigation against the Marines corroborated Weirick’s claims that Amos wanted “harsh punishment” meted out against the defendants, that Amos “suppressed evidence” and orchestrated a cover-up.

When a military judge ordered Amos’s emails to be made public, the Marine Corps quickly dropped the charges against Capt. James Clement, who was the last of the eight to be disciplined.  Clement’s attorneys had claimed that the case against their client was tainted with “blatant unlawful command influence that denied their client a fair court-martial.”  Lead attorney John Dowd called the case “the largest case of unlawful command influence in the Corps’ history.”

The Marine Corps is a division of the U.S. Navy.

Putative Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed support for Amos at the end of July.  However, in early 2012, Amos had appeared to admit his involvement in the outcome of the cases.

The Marines who have received some form of punishment may have reason to seek new trials or expunging of their records.

Weirick has been ordered to relinquish his personal firearms maintained at his home, undergo a “risk assessment” and the psychiatric evaluation.

One player in the Fitzpatrick court-martial with whom The Post & Email has spoken attempted to convince us that Fitzpatrick was mentally unstable, although he would not speak on the record.  Another hung up on us and then pretended he was not at home.  A third spoke to us at length but refused to go on the record, stating, “If somebody did this [forged Fitzpatrick’s signature], they did bad…”

Through his attorney, Weirick said that he plans to comply with all requests from his chain of command, but in August he said that he “would not back down.”  In addition to the DOD, he had taken his complaint to Congress, after which Rep. Walter B. Jones attempted to obtain information on the status of Weirick’s complaint.

CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III was involuntarily retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994 after a concocted case resulted in a special court-martial and a forgery being placed in his file in 1990. The Navy refuses to admit to the obstruction, deceit and cover-up.

Fitzpatrick had approached his U.S. representative, Norman Dicks, and U.S. Senator Patty Murray, both of whom were told by the Navy that they could not obtain a copy of an incriminating document signed by Lt. Timothy Zeller which stated that “no record” of the communication with Bitoff would be maintained on his computer or in his files.  A year later, Navy Deputy Inspector General Derek Vander Schaaf located and sent the memo to Murray, who forwarded it to Fitzpatrick.

It took Fitzpatrick many years and FOIA requests to acquire many of the documents from his court-martial, with some still kept obscured the Navy nearly a quarter-century later.

When Weirick asked to obtain emails from Amos and his advisers about their possible roles in attempting to fix the outcomes against the Marines, he said, “I lack the power or authority to get the emails and other requested materials in the possession of the Commandant and his staff. To ensure a fair proceeding I need the assistance of those with much greater authority. I should have acted earlier, but I truly believed those with the authority to accomplish this would adhere to the Rule of Law and our shared value of due process. This, sadly, has not been the case. Both civilian and uniformed counsel for the Commandant have thwarted my efforts and remained silent, or possibly assisted in, this unlawful command influence.”

By August, Weirick’s allegations reportedly had “received attention in national media, on Capitol Hill and throughout the Defense Department.”

Media Affairs for the Navy and Army have refused to research, respond to or counter The Post & Email’s assertion of the forgery in Fitzpatrick’s court-martial file.  A formal letter addressed in April 2012 to Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert, a former classmate of Fitzpatrick’s, was met with no response.

Emails to primary participants in the Fitzpatrick court-martial, the creation of the forgery, and to those continuing to keep the deceit obscured have gone unanswered.  Because the allegations against more than 100 former and current Navy and NCIS officers are criminal in nature, they can still be prosecuted.

“Here we see the DNA markers in the case of the Marine snipers as you see in what happened to me,” Fitzpatrick said.  “Whenever you try to stand up and expose the command influence, you are yourself targeted for elimination, and this is what’s happening to Maj. Weirick,” Fitzpatrick said.  “He’s been relieved of his position; he’s been ordered to turn in his sidearms; he’s been ordered to go to a psychological evaluation; these things happened to me as well.”

5 Responses to "U.S. Marine Corps Retaliates Against Judge Advocate Whistleblower"

  1. Robert Laity   Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    I have sent Sharon information on the Military Whistleblower Protection Act which can be obtained by going to the website for the U.S. Navy Inspector General’s Office. See 10USC, Sec.1034. It is a violation of the Act to refer a whistleblower for a mental health evaluation in reprisal for whistleblowing.

  2. thinkwell   Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Your closing comments are solid gold truth, untarnished by the corrosive, defeatist, politically correct new-speak of the minions of aka obama and his puppet masters.

    I would note that the dead feel nothing and are beyond being able to care how the living use what is now nothing more than dead, decaying meat to celebrate that they still are alive to celebrate.

    These cowardly politicians posing as military generals should spend some serious time in the field under enemy fire with the troops under their command before they should be considered qualified to pass judgement on those actually defending the interests and continuance of America.

  3. OPOVV   Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Dear Editor,
    Well, it is indeed a sad day when the Truth is regarded as inconvenient but that seems to be the case for today’s government employees.
    Yet it was always so, at least back in the days of the Vietnam “Police Action (?)”, reference “The Pentagon Papers”.
    For the last thousands of years, those who survived combat have always celebrated their victory over the fallen. Achilles dragged Hector around Troy and our troops urinated on dead Muslims, so what?
    I did the same, as have millions since the beginning of time, so what?
    The Victor celebrates, while the defeated call “Desecrate” and whine to whomever will listen, or, most likely, some unfortunate captive audience or brain-dead Obots who don’t know the first thing about actually being shot at by a complete stranger.
    The point is that this whole thing with Maj. Weirick shouldn’t have ever happened in the first place: our troops “desecrating” the dead is a good thing and should be encouraged because, and this is my personal opinion, celebrating breathing after the chance of never breathing again, is, and get this, really, really FUN!
    OPOVV

  4. Fran   Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    After reading this article there will still be many stupid Americans asking why Snowden didn’t go to Congress or report the illegal activity to his superiors.

  5. richard gorman   Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    So … here are the characters –reborn— running the former USA. We have Hitler via Soetoro ,
    Goebbels via WH STAFF , LAME STREAM MEDIA IN CNN, ABC, CBS , NBC, ETC. , and the SS in form of DHS, IRS, FBI, CIA, ETC. And we have a suspended constitution. Anyone for a game of scrabble? The End is near.

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