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Editorial: Clear embattled CO now

Aug. 22, 2013 - 06:33PM   |  
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Lt. Col. Christopher Dixon, the commander whose scout snipers recorded the infamous urination video, has remained in administrative limbo since the scandal erupted 19 months ago. His promotion was frozen. His career has fizzled. And yet Dixon was never accused of wrongdoing.

Senior leaders say they’re awaiting resolution of the last court case tied to the incident — what they’ve called “definitive proof” Dixon bears no responsibility. The irony, of course, is that the handling of these cases has been a failure throughout, tainted by allegations Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and others close to him manipulated the legal process in a bid to ensure punishment for some Marines while showing preferential treatment for then-Maj. James B. Conway, the son of Amos’ predecessor.

Like Dixon, Conway was never accused of wrongdoing, but his treatment has been far different. He was promoted. He was handed a plum new assignment.

The paper trail detailing this mess continues to raise questions about the fairness with which everyone has been treated — especially Dixon, who’s done what most Marines would if in his position: He’s kept his head down and his mouth shut.

Procedurally, his fate rests with Amos, who will consult with several generals and recommend a course of action to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. Huge red flag.

The questions surrounding Amos’ role in this mess raise legitimate concerns about the fairness of allowing him to determine Dixon’s fate. Mabus must immediately step in and extract Dixon from this travesty. It’s not too late for someone to do the right thing.

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