U.S. Marine LTC Stu Scheller, the officer sent to the brig because of a video that went viral in which he demanded accountability from military leaders for the fiasco that unfolded in the U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan, has been released from the brig.
In a statement, Marine Corps spokesman Captain Sam Stephenson, Training and Education Command, confirmed that Scheller was released on Tuesday “as a result of a mutual agreement between LTC Scheller, his defense counsel, and the commanding general, Training Command.”
Scheller has yet to be charged with any crime, however, just hours after his release, his lawyer said to Fox News that his Marine Corps superiors “made an example” of Scheller with their “punitive actions.”
Lawyer Calls the Gag Order on LTC Stu Scheller ‘Illegal’
Scheller was locked up in the Navy brig for reportedly violating a gag order. In the Ingraham Angle on Fox, Scheller’s attorney, Tony Buzzbee, called the gag order illegal.
“He spoke out as you saw and he said many service members both former like myself and current believed – which is the withdrawal from Afghanistan was completely botched and no one took accountability,” Buzbee said.
“You have the general staff, the high brass, basically trying to pass the buck – and so he spoke out.”
“Here’s a guy now that has lost his command, his job, his health care, and his pension. We are talking about more than $2.5 million dollars of retirement that he is essentially going to have to walk away from,” added Buzbee.
Buzbee said Scheller also offered to resign but his resignation was denied by the Marine Corps. He added that once Scheller rocked the boat by speaking out against the higher ranking officers, they deemed him a flight risk. Nevertheless, this is unorthodox since LTC Stu Scheller hasn’t been charged with any criminal offense.
“Once you hurt the general’s feelings, they are punitive – and that’s where it is,” Buzzbee said.
Buzzbee hopes to get an early hearing next week. He pointed out that the Secretary of the Navy, retired Commander Carlos Del Toro, an appointee of President Biden, could order his release from the Marine Corps without forcing him to go through with any court-martial proceedings.
The Video That Rocked the Boat
Scheller posted a video on social media in August after an ISIS-K suicide bomb attack in Kabul killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and over 100 Afghan civilians. In the video, Scheller said senior leaders need to accept responsibility for the withdrawal that he said turned into a disaster.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting responsibility and saying we messed this up,” Scheller said in his video.
According to leaked documents, Scheller is facing potential charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer, contempt toward officials, disobeying a senior officer, and failure to obey an order or regulation (gag order).
Scheller was relieved from duty as the battalion commander for the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, NC, following the video in which he criticized Army General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
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