A Marine Lt. Col. who was relieved from his duties for openly criticizing the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan said in an updated post Wednesday that he expects to “do some jail time” if the Marine Corps decides to pursue court-martial.
“The Marine Corps will assign an investigating officer. Most likely a Colonel,” Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller said in the update, according to The Washington Examiner. “Once the investigating officer finalizes his recommendation, the Marine Corps will decide if they should pursue court-martial.”
If it goes to court-martial, Scheller added, “I will be found guilty and will probably do some jail time. This will provide me a valuable opportunity to read, write, and contemplate.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, Scheller posted a four minute and 45-second video to Facebook demanding accountability from the Biden administration and ripping into military leadership over the deadly explosion at Hamid Karzai International Airport that left 13 U.S. service members dead. He also questioned top military leadership’s call in removing troops from Bagram Airbase.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up,’” Scheller said in the video. “I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hands and say, ‘We completely messed this up’?”
“Potentially all those people did die in vain if we don’t have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say, ‘We did not do this well, in the end,’” he continued. “Without that, we just keep repeating the same mistakes. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”
A Politico defense reporter confirmed Scheller was relieved of his duties after the video went viral. “Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who posted a viral video demanding accountability from military leaders over Afghanistan, has been relieved of his duties and will leave the Marine Corps, the service confirms,” Politico reported.
As noted by the Examiner, Scheller’s comments about potential jail time come after he “addressed Gen. David H. Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, on Facebook, saying, ‘I understand you want to court martial me.’”
“General Burger isn’t allowed to comment on the situation or else it will appear as ‘undue command influence,’” he said Wednesday.
“Scheller said he was asked by his commanding officer to be evaluated by mental health specialists on Monday and claimed he complied with the order,” the Examiner noted. “On Tuesday, he issued his written request for a resignation to the secretary of the Navy.”
On Thursday morning, Scheller told his followers that he will be taking some time off social media, and added some “clarification” on why he is speaking out:
I want to clarify the purpose of this whole endeavor: accountability. Without accountability, Marines (Americans) cannot heal and the Marine Corps (America) cannot evolve as an organization. I must acknowledge that the rage escalated in my body very quickly, and perhaps my emotions didn’t always provide the rational clarity the situation required. But maybe… every once in a while… a little rage is required too.
Going forward at this point on my life’s path, I must remain committed to forcing accountability across our senior leaders. I do not trust that reviews done by panels at the political/military level will bring the change we seek. And I do not trust that it will change unless a strong enough force is applied to the system. Major changes are needed. The system needs to be broken and rebuilt. We need fresh blood and perspective across the entire system. Here’s a crazy idea to illustrate my point… what if we allowed the next EWS honor graduate to become the next Commandant? If you say it’s not possible for a young, intelligent, charismatic leader to lead an organization such as the Marine Corps, then I’d say you haven’t been reviewing the history books you tell us to read. If you say it’s not possible because that young officer can’t navigate the political landscape of DC… then I’d say you’re making the point for me. It’s time for a new generation to assume American power. We are ready, and we reject the current system.
“This entire experience has illustrated to me just how hungry Americans are for honesty, accountability, and reform across the government,” he added. “This was expressed to me from ALL political parties. We the people want change. We the people WILL take it. We the people are ALL Americans.”
Notably, exclusive reporting from The Daily Wire’s Chrissy Clark revealed that active duty and retired service members are not allowed to condemn the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, including condemning military leadership and President Joe Biden:
In an email dated August 23, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s (ONI) Chief of Staff told members that per a Uniform Code of Military Justice and Department of Defense Directive clause, they cannot disrespect senior government leadership. This includes the president, vice president, Congress, and the secretary of defense, among others.
The email also states that the policy extends to ONI “civilians.” These members were specifically directed to avoid “being too vocal in criticism of, say, the President.”
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Active Duty, Retired Naval Intelligence Members Told They Cannot ‘Disrespect’ Biden Over Afghanistan Debacle