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Former U.S. Marine Lt. Col Stuart Scheller, the Marine who was ousted via a general discharge for speaking out openly about President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, has one and only one regret.
Speaking with Fox News this week, he said that his only regret was being so emotional when he spoke out in late August.
“I wish I hadn’t been so wrought with emotion. I would have toned down the inciting language, so people would have focused more on the message,” he said.
Understandably upset over the ramifications of the president’s botched withdrawal, Scheller had begun lashing out on videos posted to social media after the Kabul 2021 Kabul airport attack left 13 of his fellow Marines dead.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 30, 2021
In these videos, he pilloried both the administration and the Pentagon’s top brass.
“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?'” he said in one video.
“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?'”
A day after the first video went up, he was relieved of duty. Soon after, he was court-martialed.
“The firestorm began Aug. 26 when Scheller, dressed in uniform, posted a video on social media ripping his bosses for the ISIS-K suicide bombing at Kabul airport that left 13 service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians dead,” according to Fox News.
“He was relieved of his command the next day but kept posting videos critical of military leadership until he was court-martialed and placed in the brig for nine days. He ultimately pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor-level violations of military law on Oct. 15.”
Two months later on Dec. 23rd, he was formally ousted from the military via a general discharge, which is better than a dishonorable discharge but still significantly worse than an honorable discharge.
“I thought it was unfair. … [I]nstitutions who can’t hold themselves accountable lose the moral authority to determine honor,” he said of the discharge.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 29, 2021
But what happened afterward was even worse, not that he has any other regrets besides the one about him being emotional.
“I lost my retirement, I lost my marriage, I lost all my friends in the military, I lost my wife and I lost my way of life, but what if everybody remains silent — then where are we?” he said to Fox News.
Looking back, Scheller said that blame for the debacle in Afghanistan lies with multiple parties, from President Joe Biden up top to U.S. Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie and even members of Congress.
“Gen. McKenzie was unable to convince the President and the National Security Council that Bagram Airbase should have remained open and manned, and he should be held accountable for that,” he said to Fox News.
“Why hasn’t anyone been held accountable? Until I see change, I’m not going to stop. This will be a lifelong journey.”
One that his wife has refused to embark on with him.
“He hasn’t figured out where his path will lead — but it won’t be with his wife, who moved away with their three sons, 11, 9 and 7,” according to Fox News.
“Their split has been amicable, and after everything she has sacrificed, she’s entitled to a calm life, he said. Scheller, on the other hand, may write a book about the military or pursue a career in foreign diplomacy. He has time to figure it out, he said.”
Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” early Wednesday morning, Ainsley Earhardt argued that no matter what, “he is a hero.”
“This is what change is all about. That is a true hero. He actually stood up. And I think big things are in store for him. He said he might write a book. I hope he runs for office. He was saying what we were all saying on the news,” she said.
“We’re allowed to say it. We have freedom of press. We’re allowed to say that. But in the military, you’re not allowed to, I guess, criticize the rank and file of the people above you. I understand that, and I respect that rule too. But I also respect what he’s doing, and he’s doing this to implement change,” she said.
She added that she’s confident he’ll get married again because he’s a “cute man.”
“I think he’ll get married again. Maybe his ex-wife will take him back and they will reconnect. I don’t know. But he’s a cute man, he’s very smart and he’s wiling to lose everything for a good cause and sticking up for his beliefs. This is true character.”
Concluding his remarks to Fox News, Scheller said, “I really enjoyed being a Marine. I love America and I love Americans. This didn’t come from a place of anger. This came from a place of love.”
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