US Marine Who Publicly Slammed Biden's Hasty Afghanistan Exit to 'Plead Guilty' at Court-Martial
© Blogger photo Facebook/@Stuart Scheller/screenshot videoStuart Scheller to the American leadership
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller had been put in the brig after publishing a series of videos where he condemned the Biden administration’s abrupt US troop exit from Afghanistan, which resulted in the Taliban* seizing power in mid-August following a rapid advance on government forces.
A Marine officer sent to the brig for publicly criticising the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will plead guilty to several charges filed against him, reported The Hill, citing his attorney.
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr. is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina. He faces a court-martial on six violations: contempt toward officials, disrespect toward the superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying superior commissioned officers, dereliction in the performance of duties, failure to obey and order or regulation, and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.
“This case began with a call for accountability and Lt. Col. Scheller will demonstrate to senior leadership how to accept accountability for his own actions,” said Tim Parlatore, one of Scheller's attorneys.
According to the attorney, he is working on an agreement to obtain Scheller an honourable discharge or a discharge with honourable conditions. A possible plea deal was first reported by Coffee or Die Magazine and The Washington Post.
After spending a “totally excessive and unnecessary” week in prison, Scheller should only get a letter of reprimand and no additional punishments, believes the lawyer.
“The real big question that remains is whether all the very important messages that he brought out will be adopted because, while the Marine Corp. leadership can sit there and say” he shouldn’t have taken his comments online, “nobody is saying that he said anything that was untrue,” added the attorney.
Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was relieved of command after a video of him criticising senior US officials for “failures” in Afghanistan went viral. The Facebook post in August came after 13 service members were killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport during the massive evacuation that was launched after Taliban Islamist group swept to power in the wake of the US and NATO exit.
Scheller, dressed in uniform, had echoed bipartisan criticism directed at the administration of President Joe Biden, and stated that “senior leaders” had let people down. However, he underscored, “none of them are raising their hands and accepting responsibility and saying “we messed this up””.
He rebuked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley for the “bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield”, and for not anticipating the swift fall of the Afghan National Security Forces in the face of the Taliban offensive.
© WANA NEWS AGENCYMembers of the Taliban Intelligence Special Forces guard the military airfield in Kabul
Members of the Taliban Intelligence Special Forces guard the military airfield in Kabul
© WANA NEWS AGENCY
The following day Scheller was removed from command of the advanced infantry training battalion at Camp Lejeune “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command”, according to Maj. Jim Stenger, a spokesman for the Marines. He was subsequently thrown in the brig to await military trial for contempt.
The former officer attempted to resign, in a written request, and relinquish his $2 million pension, but his request was denied by the military. After Scheller was released on 5 October, his spokesperson release a statement saying:
“Lt Col Scheller remains subject to the unlawful gag order previously issued by his commander Col David Emmel. Lt Col Scheller has submitted a request for redress regarding the unlawful order to his command. Lt Col Scheller has submitted a request for resignation of his commission in lieu of trial to the Secretary of the Navy. Numerous members of Congress have urged the Secretary to accept this request.”
It was added that Scheller appreciated the support of his legal team, family and friends, Members of Congress, the Pipe Hitter Foundation and the Marines, as well as the American people. The Piper Hitter Foundation has raised $2 million for his defense. The Washington Times reported that Scheller's initial court appearance was delayed after protests from the media that they would not be allowed to attend.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.