by WorldTribune Staff, September 28, 2021
An officer in the U.S. Marines who slammed top Pentagon brass for the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan was jailed hours before those leaders were set to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Afghan disaster.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was arrested on Monday and sent to the brig. He is scheduled to appear before a military hearing on Thursday, his father told Task & Purpose.
In a video that went viral on Facebook last month, Scheller ripped into military leadership following the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport which killed 13 U.S. military personnel and nearly 200 Afghans.
The timing of Scheller’s arrest was questioned by Steve Bannon on his War Room broadcast. Bannon said Scheller was sitting in the brig so he wouldn’t have the chance to comment on the military brass, including head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, both of whom testified on Tuesday on the surrender in Afghanistan.
Both McKenzie and Milley testified that Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan was against their personal judgment.
McKenzie testified that he had “recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan” because he believed that pulling the troops would “inevitably” lead “to the collapse” of the Afghan military and government.
Milley testified that his “assessment was, back in the fall of , and remained consistent throughout, that we should keep a steady state of 2,500 [troops], and it could bounce up to, to 3,500 maybe, something like that, in order to move to a negotiated gated solution.”
Neither leader was willing to answer specific questions about their recommendations to Biden and only spoke to their opinions.
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Biden has claimed last month: “No one” recommended that troops stay “that I can recall.”
Following his viral Facebook post, Scheller announced he was resigning his commission and walking away from a $2 million pension after 17 years of service.
“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 Facebook post.
“I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever,” Scheller added, “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 hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up?’ ”
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Scheller wrote on Facebook that he had been “relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence.”
“I have been fighting for 17 years,” Scheller concluded. “I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”
Stu Scheller Sr. told Task & Purpose: “All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud. 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.”