(BAY NEWS 9/CNN) – A single email could end the career of a 32-year-old highly decorated U.S. Marine.
The email exposed an insider threat, and many say it could have saved lives.
Major Jason Brezler is not just a New York City fireman, he's also a highly-decorated officer in the U.S. Marine Reserve, serving four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He is now facing discharge on less than honorable terms after serving 13 years.
"For a man like Jason Brezler, being asked to separate from the Marine Corps that he loved so much, would be an even worse punishment than jail," said Brezler's attorney Kevin Carroll.
Legally, Brezler cannot speak about his case because it's still under review, so his attorney is speaking publicly for him.
Here is what Brezler said what happened.
While at home in the U.S. during the summer 2012, Brezler said he received an urgent message to his Yahoo! email account from his fellow Marine officers in Afghanistan's turbulent Helmand province.
"The subject line of the email he received said in all capital letters with three exclamation marks ‘IMPORTANT: SARWAR JAN'S BACK," said Carroll.
Brezler has a history with Sarwar Jan, an Afghan police commander.
"When Jason was serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he caused Sarwar Jan, an Afghan police official, to be first from that position because he was raping children," Carroll said.
Brezler responded, attaching a classified document, warning the Marines that Jan was a threat. CNN has repeatedly tried to get an official account of was happened next, but every major military agency involved has declined to comment.
The Marine Corps has only said that because of "the mishandling of classified information, Maj. Brezler had been ordered to show cause for retention in the U.S. Marine Corps."
They say his use of an unsecured Yahoo! account breached security, but others say the warning could have saved lives.
"I would have my son," said Greg Buckley, Sr.
Less than two weeks after Brezler sent the Marines that email warning about Jan, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr. was shot and killed along with two other Marines at the same base.
"He was in the gym with his friends just working out, Aynaddin walked in with an AK-47 given to him by the chief of the police, Sarwar Jan, and at about 8:30 at night, on Aug. 10, executed three Marines," said Buckley Sr.
"The only reason that shooter was on that base and had access to weapons was because he was the child sex abuse victim of the Afghan district police chief," said Carroll.
The suspected shooter was reportedly a teenage servant of Sarwar Jan. Afghan officials say they don't know their current whereabouts.
Fourteen months later, U.S. Central Command has yet to publish the results of an investigation into the incident.
The only person facing any charges is Brezler, for using an unsecured email account.
"It's wrong to be going after the one person, who seems to have done, by all accounts, you know, did the right thing," said Rep, Peter King, R-NY.
With so many unanswered questions, many have come to the defense of Maj. Jason Brezler.
"They should be giving him a medal, not prosecuting him," said Buckley, Sr.
Until then, Brezler will focus on his current job, fighting fires and saving lives.
The U.S. Marine Corps has declined to make further comment on Brezler's, with officials saying the silence is to avoid influencing the three officers Maj. Brezler is expected to face at his board of inquiry next month.
The board could recommend either an honorable discharge or a less-than-honorable discharge.
The latter could result in a loss of veteran's benefits, including free healthcare. If the board recommends no action against Brezler, the decision is final.
Copyright 2013 Bay News 9, Jason Brezler, Buckley Family via CNN. All rights reserved.
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