Though the Biden administration piled up so many failures over the last month that it's been pushed off the front page, Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan. That follows a completely botched withdrawal that resulted in 13 dead Americans and pallets of taxpayer money promised to the Taliban.
Enter Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller. You may remember him as the officer who spoke out against the deadly incompetence on display and asked for accountability among the military leadership. His plea ended going viral and driving a conversation about the double standards in the military where Pentagon darlings can seemingly do anything without repercussion.
But now there's another twist to the story. Apparently, Scheller has been thrown in the brig, being held in pre-trial detention.
Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller in brig after blasting leaders over Afghanistan withdrawal https://t.co/CUMEjtZKo4
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) September 27, 2021
“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.”
After this story was first published, the Marine Corps issued a statement confirming that Scheller has been sent to the brig.
My reaction to this is complicated. Obviously, you need to have a chain of command and guardrails in place when it comes to those in the military. Discipline and cohesion are key to combat effectiveness. You can't have political arguments breaking out, no matter how detestable and unqualified the president or military leadership may be.
On the other hand, sometimes doing what's right requires a brave person to decide that they are willing to accept the consequences, and Scheller was unquestionably right in what he said. The behavior of US military leaders, including but not limited to the decisions made regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal, has been political and disastrous. That seven children can be droned in order to try to stroke Joe Biden's ego and not a single person is even disciplined is disgusting. That 13 Americans being killed because the Pentagon outsourced security to the Taliban didn't lead to single resignation is disgraceful.
I don't know what lies ahead for Scheller, but I do know that he spoke for a lot of people, in the military and the civilian population, when he pointed out how corrupt the Pentagon and the upper echelons of the military have become. That he's being now being railroaded is only going to cause further distrust among the rank and file. Further, it's perfectly illustrating Scheller's original point. All of this could have been avoided with some basic accountability following the deaths of 13 Americans, but the current president is a coward surrounded by cowards.