A US marine, jailed for attacking the military leadership over America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in a viral video, was just “asking for accountability,” his family has said.
Lt Col Stuart Scheller uploaded a video on his Facebook page on 26 August, lambasting the US military’s decisions when the country was present in Afghanistan and after it pulled out. He has been making regular posts since then, often complaining about being asked to not post.
A statement from a spokesperson for the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command, quoted by defence news website Task & Purpose on Monday, confirmed Mr Scheller is “currently in pre-trial confinement.”
“The time, date, and location of the proceedings have not been determined. Lt Col Scheller will be afforded all due process,” the statement continued.
Meanwhile, the marine’s father said in an interview to the news site that his son was just asking for accountability.
“All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” Stu Scheller Sr, the marine’s father, told Task & Purpose. “He was asking for accountability. I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-blowing.”
He also said his son is now due to appear in a hearing this Thursday.
“They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak,” the father said. “He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.”
The 26 August video posted by the marine garnered a million views and thousands of comments, after which Mr Scheller posted again saying he was flooded with friend requests and messages of support from people.
But it became clear from his posts since then, that he was receiving flak from the military for his videos.
“I have been advised not to make any further statements by all my lawyers, family/friends, and the teams of people trying to push me into different directions following my military career. I also said I would take the week off, and it’s only been three days,” Mr Scheller posted earlier in September.
“What happens when all you do is speak truth and no one wants to hear it. But they can probably stop listening because… I’m crazy… right?” Mr Scheller wrote at the end of another post.
“Col Emmel please have the MPs [military police] waiting for me at 0800 on Monday. I’m ready for jail.”