We are pleased to announce that some measure of justice was achieved for Katz Banks Kumin client, Lt. Col. Jason Amerine. As reported by ABC News and Newsweek, on October 30, 2015, the Army announced that it was abandoning its criminal probe of Lt. Col. Amerine and had restored his security clearances, which allowed Lt. Col. Amerine to retire from the Army. At his retirement ceremony held at the Pentagon that day, the Army awarded Lt. Col. Amerine the Legion of Merit, which, as ABC News noted, “is rarely presented to officers below the rank of full colonel.”
Lt. Col. Amerine, a Green Beret “whose combat heroics made him a literal Army-brand action figure sold in toy stores and a character in an Army recruiting video game,” led a team at the Defense Department attempting to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban. Frustrated with the team’s progress, Lt. Col. Amerine expressed concerns to Congressman Duncan Hunter regarding the prisoner exchange and the disarray within the government's hostage retrieval efforts. Following his reports to Congressman Hunter, Lt. Col. Amerine’s clearance was revoked and the Army launched an unfounded and retaliatory criminal investigation into whether he violated laws against disclosing classified information.
After his retirement ceremony, Lt. Col. Amerine called on the military and the country to continue the fight to retrieve Americans still in captivity: “The military leaves no service member behind; that is ingrained in all of us. Our country must embrace the notion that America does not leave Americans behind. We need to find our way back to that sense of love and loyalty for our fellow citizens so we can start getting our people home.”