LtCol Korsak deserves our respect and support as a community of lawyers.
What he appears to have done was his job. His actions are or should be, the norm. Article 1137, U.S. Navy Regulations requires the reporting of offenses, and I suspect the other Services have something similar. Oh, wait, there seems to be an AFI 51-401 of some relevance--duh. So, as I scroll down I get to para. 4.1.
4.1. Individual Responsibilities. All military and civilian personnel who, in the course of their duties, discover information that might reasonably be viewed as a violation of the law of war will report that information to their immediate commander. Such reports may be made through other channels, such as Security Forces, judge advocate, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, or inspector general. Contractors shall similarly require reporting through the chain of command by contractor personnel. If the immediate commander appears to be involved or reporting to that commander is otherwise not feasible, personnel must report the incident to the next higher command authority. In instances where it is unreasonable to report within the chain of command, personnel shall report to the servicing staff judge advocate, Inspector General, Air Force Office of Special Investigations or to a sister Service counterpart of one of these offices.
I am struck by the phrase, "might reasonably be viewed[.]" This strikes me as not requiring proof BRD or BaP.
That he then took his concerns to the IG and Congress is protected activity (and encouraged by an AFI on point). See also 10 U.S.C. § 1034.
As to the correctness of his legal interpretations and advice, I don’t know. Nor do you. Until there is a full public accounting for the strike and its aftermath, I think we should be careful about dumping on LtCol Korsak for following AF regulations and doing his duty.
To repeat one of my favorite quotes from Charles Dickens, in Hard Times, “Now what I want is, Facts.. . . Stick to Facts Sir!”
Sincerely, Phil Cave.
Speaking for himself to himself.
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