Marine Who Criticized Biden Admin’s Afghanistan Withdrawal is Jailed
Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller only asked for those in charge to accept responsibility and admit they messed up the withdrawal.
Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller went viral on August 26 when he posted videos of himself criticizing the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal.
Scheller’s family told Task & Purpose he is in jail:
“All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” said Stu Scheller Sr. “He was asking for accountability. In fact, I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-blowing.”
He said that his son is expected to appear before a military hearing on Thursday.
“They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak,” the senior Scheller said. “He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.”
Scheller posted this video on Facebook on the day a suicide bomber killed American service members at the Kabul airport.
Scheller said he had a personal relationship with one of the men killed in the bombing. But he made the video because he has a “growing discontent and contempt” for those at the foreign policy level.
Scheller admitted he faced significant risks for the video, but he knew he had to do it. All he wanted to do was ask questions to those in charge.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down,” stressed Scheller. “And none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up.'”
Welp. The government came down hard on Scheller. He offered his request for resignation on August 31.
On September 25, Scheller informed his friends and followers that the military demanded he “refrain from posting any and all material, in any form without exception, to any social media.”
In the same post, Scheller let out his feelings about former Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, along with Generals Mattis, Petraeus, and Flynn. He hammered many others for trying to portray him as crazy.
He ended the post: “Col Emmel please have the MPs waiting for me at 0800 Monday. I’m ready for jail.”
Scheller has not posted since September 26.
Many supported Scheller, but others criticized him for calling out the chain of command in public.
Scheller Sr. said people had applauded his son:
However, Scheller Sr. said the “botched” withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has likely struck a nerve for anyone who has served in the military over the past 20 years.
“I’ve had Vietnam veterans contacting me applauding him for his courage because they too want to know: Was it all worth it?” the elder Scheller said. “And by demanding accountability and honesty from his senior leaders, that’s all he was asking. And the way the Marine Corps has dealt with it: They have now put him in jail.”
The Marine Corps confirmed it brought in Scheller:
After this story was first published, the Marine Corps issued a statement confirming that Scheller has been sent to the brig.
“Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. is currently in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune pending an Article 32 preliminary hearing,” said Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for Training and Education Command. “The time, date, and location of the proceedings have not been determined. Lt. Col. Scheller will be afforded all due process.”
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He dared speak truth, an act of bravery these days.
Why settle for merely being incompetent when you could be inept AND corrupt? Well done, Pentagon.
They refused his resignation because he must be destroyed by the very institutions he dared criticize. Yep.. that’s the military. If he had 25-50 other officers standing firm and doing the same thing. the USMC would have a more difficult time with what is sure to be the “unstable and disgruntled, lone officer” angle. And yes, I’m well aware he’s not bringing his grievances quietly and properly through the chain of command. Had he done that, the results would be similar but no one would know it ever happened.
1 disgruntled officer is a discipline problem. Fifty are a mutiny. They would put that down good and hard!
He is jailed as a warning to all of what is coming. Submit or be punished.
He did more than speak the truth. He acted. Now we will see if he gets left behind as a POW.
He wants to be jailed and punished as an example of accountability that is lacking in the senior ranks.
I don’t know where to go on this one. He is setting bad precedents, but the left wouldn’t even know what a precedent was if they weren’t looking for something new to break.
No he isn’t, not in the full context of the situation. Had the USMC simply accepted his resignation, placed him on leave while they took a week to expedite his paperwork for approval then maybe we could discuss precedent. He did exactly what he should have, faced with what he considered unethical behavior he attempted to resign his Commission. The USMC didn’t accept it. The leadership of the USMC has set the conditions for everything that follows from that refusal.
If they don’t want more bad PR they should reconsider their actions. Instead they have seemingly decided to engage in punitive actions beyond allowing him to simply walk away. IMO, they are going to use every lever they have to make him an example which means more drama, more subtle and not so subtle harassment via UCMJ and petty administrative actions. Pre trial confinement? Not appropriate but they will impose it because they can, not because it is warranted.
If you are suggesting that I’m saying he should be imprisoned then the answer is absolutely not.
I was referring to whether or not open dissent in the ranks of the military is something that should be encouraged or even tolerated. The proper recourse is to discharge him from the military in the means that the military sees fit. I do not at all agree with his incarceration.
Open dissent and/or criticism of SR leadership, including POTUS, is a violation of the UCMJ. He knew he was sacrificing his career when he made the first video. The USMC then proceeded to take each step he and everyone else with knowledge about how the brass operates expected. He them tendered the resignation of his Commission.
The USMC should have cut their losses and accepted it thus denying further grounds for legitimate criticism. Instead they played the psych evaluation card and gave him more ammo to fire at them. Now he is in pre trial confinement and likely on a bogus ‘suicide watch’ protocol.
He is using the opportunity and publicity to address a compare and contrast between his situation and that of SR leadership. He is using information operations to shape the PR battlefield in an expert manner. The USMC is allowing a lone O5 to make them look heavy handed and foolish by his use of insurgent tactics. Which in itself speaks to the failure of the USMC as an organization to understand how to successfully fight a counter insurgency campaign.
Rule one is don’t create more insurgents by pissing people off. The USMC is failing the most basic test. He is successfully making himself into a martyr, which appears to be one of his goals. One guy has the USMC dancing to his tune. This process will not end the way the USMC/DoD leadership want.
Thank you CommoChief for your excellent post. My thoughts are there must be one particular person who is orchestrating this. They may be in the chain of command within the Marine Corps or it may be someone higher up.
May take, reading his complete published social media statements is that the USMC is giving him exactly what he wants. I think he wants a Courts Martial and not just make a simple statement and a walk away. I have lots of retirement ceremonies where officers and senior enlisted have blaster senior leadership only to just disappear into irrelevance.
I agree with CommoChief’s proposed proper course of action by the USMC, and it would be the smart thing to do, but I don’t think his intention is to go hence quietly into the night, and provoked his detention.
The USMC placed a “gag order” on his use of social media. He decided he would not comply. He intends to use the Courts Marshall to indict his leadership and demonstrate accountability. He demands to be held accountable for his actions – fine, then so should everyone else. I think, like Socrates, if they opened the door to jail, he would not walk out. .
PS: I have seen many men willingly sacrifice themselves on the battlefield, but it is rare, even for these same men, to sacrifice their careers. For some reason, a desk makes a coward of men.
3rd Reich: “… the new Prussian-dominated Reich. What the “typical German” is often thought to lack are the individualist virtues of tolerance and respect for other individuals and their opinions, of independence of mind and that uprightness of character and readiness to defend one’s own convictions against a superior which the Germans themselves, usually conscious that they lack it, call Zivilcourage, of consideration for the weak and infirm, and of that healthy contempt and dislike of power which only an old tradition of personal liberty creates.“
“The Road to Serfdom”, p.167, F. A. Hayek, 1944.
The man is no Prussian. See “The Politics of the Prussian Army: 1640-1945”, Gordon Craig
Now I guess we’ll find out why those Marines got blown up. He had not been clear about this earlier and sounded to me like he was objecting to the general idea of withdrawal. I am glad he is laying these charges, probably based on a fair idea of what actually happened, and it will be investigated, because Austin and Milley knew, and the Marines in danger were not warned.
One million of us on the National Mall in DC carrying torches and signs stating “pitchfork…coming soon” would send a powerful message.
We have to use the THREAT of violence, the “shot across the bow” to remind them who they work for.
With all due respect, I kinda figure that we are beyond that because we have had examples of the Security Forces of the State desperately desiring just that so that they could claim the necessity for a clampdown and purge. If nothing else, DC really is not America and if they are to be opposed, it probably should be on ground where they are not entrenched already. YMMV
A day late and a dollar short. Antifa/BLM has already raised the bar beyond that point. Anyone who lags behind will not be taken seriously.
It would have been embarrassing for Dementia Joe if this guy was invited to the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings while Woke Milley was trying to cover for the illegitimate lying regime
But that would have required Republicans to y’know… actually DO something.
He knew before he did it that he would get in trouble. Apparently, he didn’t expect this much trouble.
He underestimated the pusillanimity of his leadership.
Or, he’s just playing a longer game than you see right now.
Good order and discipline. You can’t make exceptions for any reason or you have no military.
“Permission to speak freely, sir?” is allowed.
I will give that to you, if you are willing to admit that what General Milley did is even worse. The LtC tried to resign, the General organized a mutiny. Which is more destructive of good order and discipline?
Scheller should be treated the same as any of the military officers who spoke up against Trump or hindered his actions.
Scheller’s treatment should be less severe, because he did not interfere with or degrade an ongoing operation in any way. He just objected afterward.
Does anyone know if a gofundme type thing was set up for his family?
I figure gofundme with shut it down but there has to be something?
If Biden was a real president (or even a real man for that matter) and if he had an ounce of compassion he would show justice and pardon this man. But unfortunately that will not happen, for this man is white and conservative and is up a creek without a paddle,
Why would Biden even do that? This man represents something that will take him down faster than a trans-woman wrestler.
Unlike Eddie Gallagher, Ltd Col Schiller can’t even rely on the President having his back.
Now don’t give me this bullshit about process. His leadership fuck up the norms of military leadership by concentrating on fighting THEIR true enemies (Americans not Democrats) instead of fighting Americas enemies (China, the Taliban, Iran etc).
So in essence fuck those sons of bitches.
I think this is different. Schiller does not want Biden behind him. Would you? I would want to keep him squarely in my foresights at all times.
I think Schiller is deliberately provoking his detention and trial. He intends to be held to account for his actions, and in the process demand others are also equally held. This is his task and purpose.
As stated above, I think if the USMC opened the doors of his jail and looked away, he would not walk out. He wants his day in court and wants to be convicted because that is what accountability demands, and so highlight the lack of it in the ranks our our civilian and military leadership. The USMC is giving him what he wants.
If I am correct, this is a profile in courage.
Vindman….I seem to remember something about that name.
Well, there’s yer trouble.
My heart goes out to this man, he is a political prisoner and will have no rights a criminal prisoner would even have.
Just as a point of order, those arrested January 6 have been denied every constitutional right that is mandatory for the most viscious felon. He is a political prisoner, but none of us have rights anymore.
Notice that the brass is being very cagey about the “time, date, and location of the proceedings.” A mass public demonstration outside the gates during the trial would not be in their best interests.
Nope. Too much attention is on him to disappear him. He’ll have his Article 32 hearing and we’ll get to see which charges they’re going to lay out. He’ll get a lawyer and he’ll get to present his “case”.
Someone pointed out that normal people tend not to agressively protest their governments because the response will likely destroy their life.
Until they hit a point where the destruction of their life is less painful than enduring their government’s actions. Then they go all the way, because if you are going to lose everything for it, you go for it with everything you have.
I think this is just the beginning.
For the first time since my enlistment over 57 years ago, I am officially an ex-marine.
The Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister resigned over the withdrawal after the lower house of parliament passed a motion of censure against the government. We can’t even get one freaking person to accept any responsibility either in the administration or military.
The military is making a mistake here. Wouldn’t surprise me if the orders to reject his resignation and haul him into a court martial came from the Secretary of Defense or someone in the White House who wants to make an example of him.
The mistake is that by bringing him up on charges instead of letting him go they are turning him into a martyr. The country is rather unified in being upset over what happened in Afghanistan. (media scum not withstanding) Lot’s of people blame Biden, Gen. Milley and the top of the military. Now you’re going to court-martial and potentially sentence this Marine to prison? After 13 Americans were killed? After a missile slammed into a man and his family killing seven children? After the horror or a botched withdrawal? And no one, not one general or politician, paid any price for the debacle? That’s not good politics.
If I’m Trump or whoever is running for the GOP in 2024 I’d ride this all the way into the White House with a promise to pardon the Lt. Col and release him from prison the first day I took office. Yeah, he might have been wrong to speak out before resigning but clearly sending him to a court-martial and than a potential prison sentence was a political move and not actual justice. That’s how I’d frame it.