Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was fired late last week after posting a video on social media in which he demanded that individuals from President Biden’s administration be held accountable for the disaster the president created in Afghanistan.
“[I’m] not making this video because it’s potentially an emotional time, I’m making it because I have a growing discontent and contempt for my perceived ineptitude at the foreign policy-level,” Scheller said. “And I want to specifically ask some questions to some of my senior leaders.”
“If I’m willing to risk my current battalion commander seat, my retirement, my family stability, to say some of the things that I want to say, I think it gives me some moral high ground to demand the same honesty, integrity, accountability from my senior leaders,” he continued. “The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield, let someone down, that servicemember has always rose to the occasion, done extraordinary things. People are upset because their senior leaders let them down. And none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability, are saying we messed this up.”
“If an O-5 battalion commander has the simplest live-fire incident, EO complaint. Boom. Fired,” he continued. “But we have a secretary of defense that testified to Congress in May that the Afghan National Security Force 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 the 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 your hand and say, we completely messed this up?”
“And 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 concluded. “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.”