US Marine Corps Urgent Needs
Issue "A less than dazzling procurement
Bill E. Branscum
In August 2007, I was contacted by Titus "Ti"
Casazza, the founder and President of LE Systems, Inc., and LE Technologies,
LLC, 79 George Street, East Hartford, CT, 06108; Phone (860) 291-9630,
Fax: (860) 291-9475. LE Systsems is the manufacturer of the Compact
High Power Laser Dazzler [CHPLD], a non-lethal weapon manufactured
for law enforcement and military applications. Ti Casazza reported
that a competitor’s product had been selected for employment
by the USMC under circumstances that have been widely decried as
highly questionable, and he provided considerable documentation
in support thereof, including materials authored by Major Franz
Gayl, USMC Retired.
Ti Casazza contacted me at the recommendation of Private Investigator
Bernie Soldate due to the enormous amount of material involved in
this case. Investigator Soldate was familiar with various articles
I have written related to complex data management and CaseMap, the
program we use to manage voluminous material. After Investigator
Soldate assisted Ti Casazza in developing the information, they
contacted me seeking a third-party analysis of the voluminous documents
that they had obtained.
The work-product that they had developed was, in fact, voluminous
- and as interesting as it was disturbing.
Some of you, and perhaps most of you, have had cases where you
had a personal, or emotional interest; I think many of us are passionate
about our work. In this case, I felt personally conflicted, and
I felt obliged to disclose those potential personal conflicts to
Investigator Soldate, and Ti Casazza, prior to accepting the assignment.
Specifically, I was the “military brat” of a career
Naval MSC (Medical Service Corps) officer assigned to the US Navy/Marine
Corps base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I grew up there, and graduated
from high school there. As a teenager, many of my friends were from
2/8 Marines (2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment) and I knew several
Marine Corps officers pretty well.
My father retired as a Medical Service Corps officer, I was a "Vietnam
Era" medic and my eldest son is a US Navy corpsman who requested
his current assignment to the United States Marine Corps. The way
the US Marine Corps treats their Navy Corpsmen is legendary; I am
duly proud of him and, inevitable parental concerns aside, I am
comfortable that he is there. In other words, it would be a fair
statement to say that I approached the matter heavily biased - I
simply was not prepared to believe that the US Marine Corps was
corrupt, incompetent, or so indifferent to the welfare of the troops
that they would allow them to be denied the best resources available.
As further explicated in my Report
of Investigation, as supported by the Referenced
Exhibits, there is probable cause to
believe, and I do believe that, whether through corrupt machinations
or otherwise, the USMC materiels selection and procurement process
completely ignored the demands of the USMC General Officers responsible
for fighting in the field, and failed to provide the best available
non-lethal alternative, thereby endangering our troops, and leading
to unnecessary escalation of force fatalities that were both foreseeable,
In preparing my report, I deliberately avoided a discussion of
technical issues for two reasons. First, I do not have the technical
background to support and defend any conclusion that I might offer
and, second, these technical issues were thoroughly addressed in
a Case Study
prepared by Major Franz Gayl, USMC Retired, who was employed in
a civilian capacity as the I MEF FWD Science Advisor during most
of the relevant time period. Major Gayl's efforts to see this exposed
have been at great personal sacrifice; I hope that the concept of
"whistleblower protection" turns out to be more than mere
word play in this case.
Although investigation revealed that the civilians involved in
the materiels procurement process failed to respond to the needs
of the Corps, and the fact that I believe that this situation warrants
criminal investigation notwithstanding, I was gratified to see that
the United States Marine Corps officers involved in this matter
were everything that I have always perceived them to be.