Marine Who Called for Accountability Over Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal Pleads Guilty to All Charges

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Posted: Oct 14, 2021 11:30 AM
Marine Who Called for Accountability Over Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal Pleads Guilty to All Charges

Source: Stuart Scheller/Facebook

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. pleaded guilty on Thursday to all six misdemeanor charges against him relating to his public criticism of top military and civilian leaders amid the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. Scheller first called for accountability on Aug. 26, the day a terror attack in Kabul killed 13 U.S. service members and 170 Afghans.

“I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever, 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,’” Scheller said in the August video, which was posted on social media.

“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.’”

"I’m not saying we can take back what has been done. All I asked for was accountability, for people to comment on what I said and to say, ‘Yes. Mistakes were made,’ he added. “And had they done that I would've gone back into rank and file, submitted, and accomplished what I wanted."

Scheller has been accused of showing contempt toward officials, showing disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of duties, failure to obey an order or regulation, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. (Task & Purpose)

After the initial criticism, Scheller, who announced his resignation Aug. 29, continued to speak out and got thrown in the brig for breaking a gag order. 

If his guilty plea is approved, his sentencing could begin later Thursday. 

“Our hope is for him to get a letter of reprimand, and no more,” Tim Parlatore, one of Scheller's attorneys, told The Washington Post.