Tri-State Marine jailed after demanding ‘accountability’ from military leaders over Afghan response
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Northern Kentucky U.S. representative and several other Congress members are calling for the release of a Marine who is locked up in pretrial confinement after making several videos demanding “accountability” for the deaths of 13 U.S. troops in Kabul.
Last month, Lt. Col Stu Scheller, from Anderson, Ohio, posted videos of himself online criticizing military leadership for its response in Afghanistan.
“I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability,” Scheller said in the video. “People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability and saying, ‘We messed this up.’”
Scheller is currently being held in pretrial confinement for violating a gag order after continuing to post videos of his criticism.
His parents reached out to Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) for help getting their Marine son out of military prison, where he’s been held since Monday.
“Knowing he is from the district, I had an opportunity... a chance to speak with his family who reached out to me, and you know, I wanted to be a little bit consoling,” Wenstrup said. “I’m still a member of the military. I’m in the Army Reserves and there are certain things you can and can’t say. And you know, as I looked into this, he came out and said things like ‘I know that I’m going to be in trouble for this, but I need to speak up.’”
Lt. Colonel Scheller’s parents also spoke to Laura Ingraham, the host of Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Wednesday night.
”On Aug. 26, when 13 of our servicemen died at the Kabul Airport, something inside of our son snapped. He was angry,” his father said.
Northern Kentucky House Representative Thomas Massie released a letter he sent to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and signed by 11 other members of Congress calling for an expedited review and removal of Lt. Colonel Scheller from pretrial confinement.
“Given his excellent record and more than 15 years of dedicated service, we do not believe any have seen no evidence that LTC Scheller poses a grave risk of criminal misconduct,” the letter leads.
“To recap my position in the fallout of Afghanistan, I demanded accountability of my senior leaders and I stated then that I understood that I might lose my commander seat, my retirement and my family stability. As it has played out, I have in fact, lost all three of those things,” he said in his last video.
“Looking at the organizations that are so dear to me... the military establishment and the political establishment of the American government I was seeing key leaders who weren’t being held accountable and abusing their positions of power at the expense of the everyday American. Everything that I’ve fought for is countered to that. The future that my sons are going to grow up in is contingent upon the organization being able to evolve - which only happens through accountability.”
According to the Marine Corps Times, Scheller is at the Regional Brig For Marine Corps Installations East at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, pending his Article 32 preliminary hearing.
“The general nature of the offenses being considered at the Art. 32 hearing are: Article 88 (contempt toward officials), Article 90 (willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer), Article 92 (failure to obey lawful general orders), Article 133 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman),” Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for Training and Education Command told the Marine Corps Times.
Scheller had a closed military court hearing Thursday afternoon.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.
Copyright 2021 WXIX. All rights reserved.