Coast Guard Officer Leaks Collision Video

Ok, so it’s not the U.S. coast guard but still.

What would happen if it was a USCG officer? Court Marshall? What are the likely penalties?

A Japanese coast guard officer said he leaked a video to YouTube of collisions between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese patrol vessels because he wanted to show the world what happened. The Sept. 7 incident and subsequent diplomatic spat between Tokyo and Beijing has prompted nationalistic protests in both countries and strained Japan-China ties.

The 43-year-old officer released a statement Tuesday saying he is still convinced he was right to leak footage of the collision that occurred near disputed islands in the East China Seat — though he says it may not have been acceptable as a public servant. The Japanese government had confirmed the footage as authentic although has not released any of its own to avoid further inflaming tensions. A group of legislators saw an edited version of it in a closed session. Police have questioned the coast guard official, and investigators are deciding whether to press charges. So far, he has not been arrested.

The video, which captures scenes of the fishing boat apparently ramming into the Japanese ships amid wailing sirens and orders from the patrol boat to stop, popped up on YouTube about 10 days ago. The footage was widely broadcast on Japanese television. Last week, the officer acknowledged that he posted the video from an Internet cafe in Kobe, in western Japan. His name is being withheld because he has not been arrested or charged. “I just wanted as many people as possible to see the events that are occurring in the Japanese seas so that each person can think about it, make a judgment and take action,” he said in a statement released by his lawyer. “I still believe what I did was right, but I regret it was unacceptable as a public servant.” The incident has dented ties between the major trading partners. Beijing’s reaction to the collision was particularly strident, demanding an apology and compensation. That stunned Tokyo, which countered by demanding payment for damages to the patrol boats. China also postponed talks on the joint development of undersea natural gas fields and imposed a de facto ban on exports to Japan of rare earth elements, essential for making high-tech products.
Investigators reportedly have decided not to arrest the officer as he is unlikely to try to destroy evidence or escape. They also have trouble determining whether the video leak constituted a breach of confidentiality, an official familiar with the case said on condition of anonymity, citing sensitivity of the issue. If charged and convicted of violating laws requiring secrecy by public servants, he could face up to a year in prison or a 500,000 yen ($6,000) fine. National Policy Minister Koichiro Gemba said the officer deserves a severe punishment.“We must take seriously lack of discipline at armed organizations such as the Self-Defence Forces, police and the coast guard, or social order cannot be maintained,” he said Source: ShipNewsClips

Having spent a career in the Coast Guard (US not Japanese :slight_smile: ) I believe it highly unlikely that the US Coast Guard would court-martial an officer for something like this.