We have an update on the story Streiff reported earlier about the Marine Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller, who spoke out against the failure of the leadership to speak against the bad moves that had taken place in Afghanistan, after a suicide bombing attack on the Kabul airport killed 12 Marines and a Navy Corpsman. Scheller knew one of the people killed.
Just a refresher on what he said.
"I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, I demand accountability."
A reckoning will come for this catastrophe; military and political. For those of us who fought, it’s too much. pic.twitter.com/JwUl3NRDH8
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) August 27, 2021
“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.’
If an O-5 battalion commander has the simplest live fire incident, EO complaint. Boom. Fired. But we have a secretary of defense that testified to Congress in May that the Afghan National Security Forces could withstand the Taliban advance. We have Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs — who the commandant is a member of that — who’s supposed to advise on military policy. We have a Marine combatant commander. All of these people are supposed to advise.
And 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.” 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?” [….]
But what I’ll say is, from my position, potentially all those people did die in vain if we don’t have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say ‘we did not do this well in the end,’” he said. “Without that we just keep repeating the same mistakes. This amalgamation of the economic/corporate/political/higher-military-ranks are not holding up their end of the bargain.
I want to say this very strongly: I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders ‘I demand accountability.’”
He asked a very good question about Bagram, and it’s become clear now that pulling out of Bagram — a purely political decision — was a very bad idea. But it should have been clear even before all this that it didn’t make any sense.
Below is from a transcript of what Gen. Milley told the press on 8/18 about the decision to abandon Bagram. Contrast it with Biden's claim that the military thought Bagram of little use. We left because Biden wanted the Kabul embassy secured with no additional troops. pic.twitter.com/B3sXxEGtba
— Brit Hume (@brithume) August 27, 2021
Unfortunately, my colleague Streiff’s prediction came true — they just fired LTC. Scheller for what he said, and he likely knew he was risking his career to make that statement.
Scheller posted on Facebook, “I have been relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence.”
A good military man, he accepted what he knew was coming. What courage that took to say that truth to power, knowing what it would cost him. That’s what a hero looks like. But, this shows the deep anger and upset among the corps and frankly, across the military, that these political decisions have caused. They can cashier him, but if they don’t listen to what he is saying, there will be more speaking out and/or they will lose more good people.
He made a further Facebook post a short while ago.
In a defiant follow up post, he writes: “we can’t ALL be wrong. If you agree…then step up. They only have the power because we allow it. What if we all demanded accountability.”
And quotes Jefferson: “every generation needs a revolution” pic.twitter.com/gAiHFlPdND
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) August 27, 2021
But, it sounds like they don’t intend to learn a lesson from this.
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) informed active duty and retired service members that they weren’t allowed to criticize Joe Biden or any of the senior government leadership, as The Daily Wire reported exclusively.
Given the heightened political and social atmosphere surrounding Afghanistan, it is important to remind our uniformed personnel (active duty and reservists on temporary active duty) and military retirees of their responsibilities and obligations under Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Department of Defense Directive 1344.10. While it is vital to protect the constitutional right of freedom of expression for these groups, consistent with mission accomplishment, national security, and good order and discipline, it’s important to remember certain limitations. Namely, uniformed personnel and military retirees are prohibited from disrespecting senior government leadership (e.g. the President, Vice President, Congress, Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries, etc.).
Now, I get active duty to the Commander in Chief. But even retirees? Are they kidding? And I’d like to see any of this kind of a notice going out when it came to President Donald Trump. I seem to have missed anyone being told they couldn’t criticize him. Indeed, we heard the Department of Defense itself being political and going after Tucker Carlson on their own website.
So why this statement now, when it comes to Biden? Maybe because there’s real cause to be angered with his actions — and they want to do all they can to stifle it.
1. Lt Col Scheller is substantively 100% right.
2. When I was in, and if he made this, I would’ve relieved him of command. No politics.
3. But the standard has changed. The leadership changed it. The rule is now uniformed military can do politics. So I would give him a medal. https://t.co/ruHzagEQf0
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 27, 2021