CENTRAL ISLIP - A Marine from Brooklyn is fighting a discharge order for disseminating classified information, and and he's calling his removal retaliatory.
Maj. Jason Brezler, who is also a member of the FDNY, brought his case to federal court Friday in Central Islip.
Brezler was discharged from the Marines after sending an email with classified information to fellow troops several years ago.
Brezler's attorney says his client sent an email from an unsecured Yahoo account warning fellow Marines about a threat in Afghanistan. Brezler wrote that an Afghan police chief was corrupt.
The defense argues that if the warning was acted upon it may have prevented the deaths of three Marines -- one of whom was Gregory Buckley Jr., of Oceanside.
Less than a month after Brezler sent the email, the three Marines were killed by a servant of that police chief.
The defense says the Marine Corps sought to discharge Brezler after he reached out to Rep. Peter King, of Seaford, about the incident, placing some of his superiors in a spotlight that they did not want to be in.
"Jason Brezler is a hero," Rep. King tells News 12. "The one person who did the right thing and unfortunately is being penalized."
"He had moved on; the Marine Corps had moved on," says defense attorney Michael Bowe. "He had been punished but allowed to continue his career. But as soon as his congressman sent in a letter asking about something, he was sent to a board of inquiry."
Federal prosecutors are insisting that the case is not one of retaliation. A judge requested the government provide evidence within the next 10 days.