Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, the Green Beret whistleblower who faced a criminal investigation after he spoke to Congress about the FBI’s dysfunctional hostage recovery efforts, has been allowed to retire from the Army with full honors, which includes the prestigious Legion of Merit medal.
Last week’s private retirement ceremony at the Pentagon ended the government’s efforts to punish Amerine for speaking to Congress about the FBI’s failings when it comes to rescuing or winning the release of American hostages abroad.
“The retaliation against him not only violated his First Amendment right to speak to Congress, but it was an affront to someone who is a true American hero,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). “The Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office failed spectacularly in their watchdog duties, proving yet again that it is an office that acts as a lapdog who rubber stamps clearly retaliatory behavior.”
Amerine’s disclosures to Congress sparked an overhaul of the White House’s policy for hostage recovery. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment added by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) to create an interagency hostage recovery coordinator.
POGO worked with Hunter, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to end the army’s retaliatory investigation.
While the investigation against Amerine is closed, the legal battle continues to remove his name from the criminal database, and hold the Department of Defense Inspector General accountable for its failure to protect him as a whistleblower, Brian said.