Report: Lt. Col. Scheller charged with six crimes for blasting military leadership on botched Afghanistan withdrawal

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According to reports, the Marine Corps has filed six charges against Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller over his comments on leadership mistakes that marked the botched Afghanistan withdrawal. 

Fox News reported that Scheller will face a misdemeanor-level special martial for his viral videos that blasted both civilian and military leadership. The charges were referred by Maj. Gen. Julian D. Alford and came just one day after Scheller was released from the brig at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.

Scheller was fired from his command at one of Camp LeJeune’s infantry training battalions after posting the videos to Facebook and LinkedIn. The videos were posted in response to the bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport, which took the lives of 13 U.S. service members.

Scheller is accused of displaying contempt toward officials, disrespecting superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of his duties and failure to obey an order or regulation, and displaying conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.

The Marine Corps contends that members should use their chain of command to voice concerns, not publicly criticize the leadership on social media. 

However, many of defended Scheller as his case winds its way through military courts, which has helped the Marine raise funds through the Pipe Hitter Foundation.

A source familiar with the case told the Washington Times that Scheller is said to be “doing great” and has been “energized by the support of rank-and-file Marines.” The source also indicated that the Marine has not softened his stance, adding:

“If the generals in charge of the Afghanistan debacle thought a week in an air-conditioned jail cell was going to stop his calls for accountability, they are sorely mistaken.”

Scheller has also been defended by his parents, who say he was only demanding accountability from military leaders. Scheller’s father, Stu Scheller Sr., said in a statement:

“All our son did was 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.”

The Marine Corps said Scheller is being punished for the manner of his dissent. Marine Capt. Sam Stephenson said in a statement:

“Posting to social media criticizing the chain of command is not the proper manner in which to raise concerns. Orders and directives regulate the conduct of members of our military and ensure good order and discipline.”

The time between now and the court-martial is likely to be of negotiation. A source “with knowledge of the discussions” reported that Scheller is hoping for an honorable discharge. Greg Rinckey, a former Army prosecutor and Judge Advocate General’s Corps defense attorney said:

“I think it’s very likely that they will accept a resignation in lieu of a court-martial.”

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said the case shows the need for reforming the military justice system. He added:

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice was created to facilitate the exigencies of war, but is now too often abused and merely strips our soldiers of their constitutional rights.”

Prior to being released from pre-trial confinement, more than 30 House Republicans issued a letter to Marine Corps Commander Gen. David Berger asking that Scheller be released from confinement. Many of the members made their own statements on Twitter. Congressman Ben Cline wrote:

“It’s outrageous that the only military official who has borne any consequence over the botched Afghanistan withdrawal is Lt. Col Scheller, who sought accountability from civilian and military leadership. My colleagues and I demanded he be removed from confinement immediately.”

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Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller who was fired for demanding accountability from senior leadership, expects to “do some jail time”

September 2nd, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Marine Lt. Col. who was relieved from his duties after openly criticizing the Biden administration’s botched and dangerous withdrawal from Afghanistan has announced that he expects to “do some jail time” if the Marine Corps decides to pursue court-martial. 

In his recent update, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller said:

“The Marine Corps will assign an investigating officer. Most likely a Colonel. Once the investigating officer finalizes his recommendation, the Marine Corps will decide if they should pursue court-martial.”

It 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.”

Reportedly, the Marines confirmed Scheller’s “situation is currently under investigation,” but declined to provide further details to the Washington Examiner. According to Capt. Sam Stephenson a spokesman for the Training and Education Command:

“The Marine Corps is not providing any additional information regarding Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller. His situation is currently under investigation and being handled appropriately by his chain of command and therefore, we cannot comment further.”

Stephenson added:

“As Marines decompress from the gravity of events in Afghanistan over the week, it is important for those struggling to speak with their fellow Marines, their chain of command, or seek counseling.”

Scheller’s updated claims come less than 24 hours after he addressed Gen. David H. Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps on Facebook, saying, “I understand you want to court martial me.” He added:

“General Berger isn’t allowed to comment on the situation or else it will appear as ‘undue command influence.'”

Scheller said he was asked by his commanding officer to be evaluated by mental health specialists and claimed he complied with the order. A day after receiving the order, he issued a written request for a resignation to the secretary of the Navy.

In his initial video, Scheller demanded accountability from the Biden administration and ripped into military leadership over the deadly explosion at Hamid Karzai International Airport that left 13 U.S. service members dead. He said:

“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.'”

He added:

“I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank and file 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.”

A Politico 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.”

Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw responded to the incident by saying:

“This guy is all class. He knew what the consequences would be. His concerns are not wrong. Many people feeling the same lack of accountability. When the dust settles that accountability must happen.”

A few days after announced that he issued his written request for resignation, he told his followers that he will be taking some time off social media and added some “clarification” on why he was speaking out. He said:

“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.”

He added:

“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 will change unless a strong enough force is applied to the system. Major changes are needed. The system needs to be broken and rebuilt.”

He continued:

“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.”

He concluded:

“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.”

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Say his name: U.S. Navy corpsman Maxton Soviak. He was murdered by terrorists in Kabul. He was 22.

September 2nd, 2021

UNITED STATES- On Friday, August 27th, the family of the Navy corpsman who was killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside the Kabul international airport, identified the fallen hero as Maxton Soviak.

Soviak, a Navy hospital corpsman in his early 20s, was killed in the blast while stationed outside Hamid Karzai International Airport.

He had been helping to oversee the evacuation of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies. 

Soviak’s last Instagram post, which was written 11 weeks ago, shared a chilling message beside a photo of him decked out in military gear with two other service members. The post read:

“It’s kill or be killed. definitely trynna be on the kill side.”

A woman who identified herself as Soviak’s older sister and who goes by Marilyn Soviak on Instagram, wrote a heartbreaking post about her younger brother’s death:

“I’ve never been one for politics and I’m not going to start now. What I will say is that my beautiful, intelligent, beat-to-the-sound of his own drum, annoying, charming baby brother was killed yesterday helping to save lives.”

She added:

“He was a (expletive) medic there to help people and now he is gone and my family will never be the same. There is a large Maxton sized hole that will never be filled.

He was just a kid. We are sending kids over there to die. Kids with families that now have holes just like ours. I’m not one for praying but damn could those kids over there use some right now. My heart is in pieces and I don’t think they’ll ever fit back right again.”

Soviak was a graduate in 2017 from Edison High School, where he was on the honor roll and football team. The school said in a statement:

“Max was a good student who was active in sports and other activities throughout his school career. He was well respected and liked by everyone who knew him.”

His alma mater played an away game against Bellevue, where both communities honored his bravery and sacrifice. Before the game started, the announcer said:

“One of the soldiers killed in that attack was combat Naval medic Max Soviak, a 2017 graduate of Edison High School. We lower our flag and take this moment of silence to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice he made to protect our freedoms.”

Edison head football coach Jim Hall, who remembers Soviak as a leader, said in a statement:

“Max was a kid that really wore his heart on his sleeve. You know, he was a passionate kid, as a football player, he was always full tilt, 100 miles per hour, fearless.”

In addition to football, Soviak participated in wrestling, track, tennis and was in the school band. School officials said he studied electrical technology through the E-HOVE career center his junior and senior years. Soviak previously worked as a lifeguard and a maintenance technician. 

https://twitter.com/freeamerican06/status/1431778502634844162

His decision to serve his country did not come as a surprise. Hall said in a statement:

“That was a fit for him. I think he loved it. He loved a challenge, physical challenge, you know, mental challenge.”

Edison Local Schools Superintendent Thomas Roth added:

“He just loved life. He was out there and enjoyed things and he was helpful to others. As I think we all can see from what happened yesterday, he was always there to help other people. He wanted to be of service and that’s what he did.”

His family released a statement, saying:

“On behalf of the entire Soviak family, we want to thank all those who have extended their support and prayers on the loss of our son, Max.

Max was a wonderful son who loved his family, his community, and was proud to serve in the U.S. Navy. He was excited about the opportunities the Navy would offer him and planned to make the Navy a career.”

The statement added:

“We are incredibly proud of his service to our country. As we mourn the loss of our son, we also mourn for the loss of the Marines and Soldier who were killed and pray for the speedy recovery of all those wounded in Afghanistan.

Words cannot express how heartbroken we are with this news and we will miss Max tremendously. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family and we respectfully request that you honor our privacy. Thank you.”

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Rep. Crenshaw: Biden essentially telling Americans to “brave” Taliban checkpoints

August 27th, 2021

During a recent appearance on Breitbart News Daily, Rep. Dan Crenshaw levied numerous criticisms toward the Biden administration’s handling of evacuating Americans from Afghanistan, saying that President Biden is essentially telling Americans to “brave” Taliban checkpoints in a “dangerous country the size of Texas.”

Rep. Crenshaw founds many faults associated with the evacuation efforts ongoing in Afghanistan.

One of which is the message the current administration is sending by telling Americans in Afghanistan to simply deal with the checkpoints run by the Taliban:

“Kabul is just one city in a very large and dangerous country the size of Texas. If you told everybody in Texas they had to get to Houston to get out and they had to brave checkpoints the entire time, that’s not really a great message to your fellow Americans.”

“The short-term priority is getting other people out. You do that by basically saying, ‘We’re going to do it.’”

When remarking on the size of Afghanistan, another point of contention Rep. Crenshaw raised was what he believes to be a strategic failure in only leaving a single location available for Americans to exit the country:

“I also keep advocating for retaking certain air bases. I think we should retake Bagram. We should retake some bases further west…Our bases are often kind of in the middle of nowhere.

They’re not like in the middle of the city the way Kabul airport is. It would be a strategic advantage to have those and just give people we want out…a different place to go.”

Rep. Crenshaw is also not a fan of President Biden adhering to a publicly stated deadline to be completely out of the country, saying that armed forces should remain in the country until “we’re satisfied that we’ve got everybody who should be getting out, out. If anybody screws with us, we tell them we will meet them with deadly force. That should be our very simple policy.”

The Republican representative also touched on how badly military leaders and officials described America’s objectives and accomplishments in Afghanistan over the past two decades, saying this contributed to sentiments that America was involved in an “endless war”:

“We were actually meeting strategic objectives [in Afghanistan], but the big failure of the last 20 years was the failure of political leaders and military leaders to actually explain that to people, and I think that led to this highly emotional reaction to even one single troop [or] one single soldier out there in the belief that it means we’re in a so-called endless war.”

Rep. Crenshaw further explained that it’s difficult to even call what American was doing in Afghanistan a “war” in recent years, noting the minimal skirmishes and casualties:

“It’s hard to call this a war when we haven’t lost a soldier in 18 months. Before that, an average of six deaths a year since 2014.

You’re losing a hell of a lot more soldiers to accidents stateside. We were really in more of a stalemate, which was actually pretty low cost to the United States, but that actually reaped a significant benefit.”

Another aspect that is perturbing to Rep. Crenshaw is how he feels that President Biden may be genuinely “afraid” of the Taliban, remarking on how the president can’t muster up the courage to speak negatively about the group:

“Biden just can’t say anything bad about the Taliban. It almost seems like he really is afraid of them, and he believes he has no leverage. He forgets he has the entire might the U.S. military at his disposal if the Taliban screw with us, and he just refuses to acknowledge that fact.”

Rep. Crenshaw added that President Biden’s approach to the Taliban is representative of a “longstanding” approach to foreign policy that Democrats employ, which he said is the “policy of appeasement”:

“This has been a longstanding issue with Biden. The Democrats’ foreign policy in a lot of ways, which is…is the policy of appeasement, a policy of, ‘We’ve just got to treat them like they’re our peers and be nice to them, and then we’re going to hope for the best outcome.’”

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Oliver North says Taliban has names, addresses, and phone numbers of those who worked with U.S. in Afghanistan

(Originally published August 21st, 2021)

During a recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity”, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North proclaimed that the Taliban has managed to gain access to identifying information of those who helped the U.S. while America was present in Afghanistan.

During North’s appearance on the show, he dove into the sorts of information that has fallen into the hands of the Taliban:

“They’ve got lists. They’ve got the names and phone numbers of every one of the folks who worked with our country for the last 20 years. They’ve got the banks records; they’ve got it all – thanks to the embassy. That’s the number one issue.”

The reference to “the embassy” that North made was of course referring to the U.S. Embassy located in Kabul that was hurriedly evacuated earlier in August.

NPR previously reported on August 13th that embassy staff in Kabul were instructed to destroy any and all “sensitive material” – everything from computers to physical documents.

However, from what North says, the Taliban were able to retrieve copious amounts of information from the abandoned embassy:

“It’s been reported that the Taliban has captured the payroll data in the American embassy and the Kabul banks, showing the names, addresses, and phone numbers for locals now being hunted down.”

“Sean, I’ve been in touch over the course of the last several days with folks who are now – got at least 1,000 Afghan nationals who worked very closely with us. Some of them were my interpreters when I was on the air with you from Afghanistan.”

“We’re trying to get them out before they’re hunted down. And now, the enemy has got the addresses and phone numbers – and they’re calling them up, trying to entice them to come on over. They come over, they’re dead.”

During the interview, North also aired out concerns on whether there’s truth to rumors about Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani intelligence officials working with the Taliban regarding weapons that they acquired from various military bases in Afghanistan:

“Is it true that the Taliban are using captured U.S. drones, like the Switchblade and others seized at the Bagram airbase and other U.S. bases, that are now being reverse engineered by Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani intelligence officers? Because that’s a major hazard going forward.”

North then questioned “if anyone in the U.S. government” is listening to the cries for help coming from resistance groups opposed to the Taliban in Afghanistan:

“The armed resistance units forming in the Pandur Valley are appealing for help. I’m wondering, is anyone in the U.S. government answering the phone. If not, why not? Call me, I’ve got their numbers. They’ve called me.”

Based upon the ongoings in Afghanistan, North says that President Joe Biden should “step down” if he doesn’t know how to address the matter, but also noted that who would be taking his place if he does is equally concerning:

“Here’s the bottom line, nobody seems to remember the lessons learned from the capture of our embassy in Saigon in April of ’75 or Tehran in ’79.

If Biden can’t figure out how to deal with these problems, he ought to step down. The scary part of that Sean is in every case of a president not finishing his term, you know who becomes the president. That’s a scary prospect, too.”

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Report: Biden said “F- that, we don’t have to worry about that” when asked about duty to protect Afghan girls in 2010

(Originally published August 19th, 2021)

According to reports, a 2010 exchange between then-Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, revealed that Biden said, “Fuck that” when questioned about America’s obligations to help protect girls in Afghanistan.

Back in March, Atlantic reporter George Packer shared a report where he cited the journal of Richard Holbrooke, where Holbrooke had asked then-Vice President Biden weather America had any obligations to help young girls who could fall victim to subjugation in the event that Afghanistan reverted to the days of Taliban control.

Biden’s response at the time was quite crude and seemingly devoid of emotion, cavalierly saying, “Fuck that” and justifying the take by referencing the United States’ withdrawal from Southeast Asia in 1973:

“Fuck that, we don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it.”

While those comments were made in 2010, it’s apparent that now-President Biden’s attitude hasn’t shifted from that crude statement years ago.

When defending the harsh criticism he’s received over the past few days following the overthrow of the Afghanistan government and restored power to the Taliban, President Biden made a similar reference to Vietnam as he did in 2010 about the rationale to exit the country:

“Our leaders did that in Vietnam when I got here as (a) young man. I will not do it in Afghanistan. I know my decision will be criticized but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president.”

CNN reported on August 19th that President Biden’s approach to Afghanistan is resulting in him “struggling against an intensifying examination of his judgment, competence and even his empathy over the chaotic US exit from Afghanistan.”

CNN contributor Stephen Collinson added that the president is “failing” to defend how he so badly botched the exit from Afghanistan, adding that the sheen of ‘at least he’s not Trump’ has completely worn off at this point:

“Biden is failing to adequately explain why he so badly failed to predict the swift collapse of the Afghan state. And his credibility has been sullied because his confident downplaying of the risks of the withdrawal has been repeatedly confounded by events. Seven months into his term, Biden no longer gets credit simply for not being Donald Trump.”

In an interview between ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and President Biden on August 18th, Stephanopoulos reminded the president of his confidence back in July when he claimed that a Taliban takeover following the U.S.’s exit was “unlikely”:

“Let’s get right to it. Back in July, you said a Taliban takeover was highly unlikely. Was the intelligence wrong, or did you downplay it?”

President Biden’s response was kind of all over the place, saying:

“I think — there was no consensus. If you go back and look at the intelligence reports, they said that it’s more likely to be sometime by the end of the year. The idea that the tal — and then it goes further on, even as late as August. I think you’re gonna see — the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others speaking about this later today.”

Stephanopoulos again reminded President Biden of his exact words just last month:

“But you didn’t put a timeline on it when you said it was highly unlikely. You just said flat out, ‘It’s highly unlikely the Taliban would take over.’”

Overall, the situation in Afghanistan is not putting any sort of positive light on Biden’s presidency, as even media outlets known for being favorable to his administration are now producing reports that frame his handling of Afghanistan as generally unfavorable.

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