Captain James Clement commanded a Marine company in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in July 2011. Unbeknownst to him, four of his Marines did something dumb urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters and then crossed the line into blind stupidity by taking pictures and filming it. Well the pictures were released to the press by a Marine that was “offended”. The ensuing fecal storm reached Katrina proportions. Oh, apologies, I should have put a disclaimer up first. “Beware of exploding heads!”
The Marine Commandant, Gen Amos entered the fray in an epic example of micromanagement (and illegal command influence) demanding court martials and moving the case around to find a plaint general to persecute the stupid. Three Marine NCOs who plead guilty received felony convictions, excessive punishment considering the crime. Five more received non judicial punishment.
Clement has been pending a court martial because he had the temerity to refuse non judicial punishment. While waiting for his courtmartial, his lawyer a Major in the Corps brought to light the Corps was classifying e-mail in an attempt to make it difficult for Clement to defend himself. When the lawyer addressed the cover up of command influence he was literally deemed a nut, physically escorted from his office, directed to undergo a psych exam and ordered to surrender his privately owned weapons.
The court martial charges against Clement were abruptly dropped and instead an administrative board was convened to kick CPT Clement out of the Corps. So today, “A U.S. Marine Corps panel is recommending that an officer be forcibly discharged for failing to supervise a group of snipers who posed for a video while urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.”
So, ten Marines casualties to PC. To add insult to injury the Commandant and SMMC released a letter today to the Corps’ NCOs asking for their help “to reawaken the soul of our Corps against an enemy emerging from within our ranks.” The letter went on to say, “98 percent of our Marines are doing the right thing,”. The above is a sterling example of what the other two percent are doing. Obviously Marines shouldn’t be urinating on enemy corpses but felony convictions and expectations that Captains should be supervising individual snipers is what an unreal sensitivity to political correctness is causing.
Clement’s attorneys will appeal his separation while the Commandant’s behavior will be ignored and there will be more PC casualties down the road.Tags: Amos, Clement, command influence, court martial, cover up, micromanagement, NJP, PC, urination