The Marine Corps officer who was tossed in the brig after violating an order to keep quiet following public criticism of the Pentagon’s top leaders has been released from jail but he still faces a court-martial.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is free for the time being but others say that he is really just a “political prisoner” who is being targeted by the Biden administration over his beliefs, according to critics.
Scheller “had been confined without charges in the military jail at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, since Sept. 28 after allegedly violating a gag order,” Newsmax reported.
The news site continued:
Though he was conditionally released on Tuesday afternoon, charges were filed, and he’s set to face them at court-martial, lawyers for his family confirmed to Newsmax, adding that Scheller is also still subject to “the unlawful gag order.” The exact charges have yet to be revealed.
The military’s swift response to Scheller, who called for “accountability” in an online video post after August’s Afghanistan withdrawal, came under fire, and has grabbed the attention of several high-profile defenders.
“They now question why Maj. Gen. Julian Alford of the Marine Corps Training Command would go to such lengths – despite the seemingly modest scope of the allegations concerning Scheller – and make a ‘mountain out of a molehill,'” the news site reported.
“Our hope is [Alford] will see that it will be much better for mental health for all who fought in Afghanistan not to try to bury this guy as a political prisoner for years to come,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told Newsmax.
“The Department of Justice and the Biden administration has probably been the most aggressive at punishing its political enemies – any Justice Department that I’ve ever seen,” said J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, a bestselling author, and a Marine veteran. “If you told me this would happen 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
He used a parallel between some Jan. 6 defendants “not accused of violence” and Scheller who was “sitting in prison because he spoke out on a politically controversial topic.”
“This is not American justice,” Vance remarked. “We’re basically mistreating people because of their politics. We’re using the power of the federal government to punish people for their politics. That’s not American justice.
“Look, whatever your politics, I think people should be speaking out about this stuff, because it’s totally antithetical to our system of equal justice under the law. You can’t go after people because of their politics – but that’s exactly what the Biden folks are doing.”
Shortly after a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. military personnel in Kabul in late August, including 11 Marines, Scheller posted a video online calling out military leaders for the disastrous evacuation effort after 20 years of war in the country.
“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. told the military outlet Task & Purpose.
“He was asking for accountability. In fact, I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-blowing,” the father continued.
The officer’s dad said that in speaking out, his son violated direct orders to keep quiet.
“They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak,” Scheller’s father noted. “He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.”
“Lt. Col. Scheller’s chain of command wants to say you’re not allowed to criticize the generals – that’s one thing,” Vance said. “It’s another thing to throw him in prison for speaking his mind, which is of course is what they’ve done. The punishment is way disproportionate to any crime he committed.
“I don’t think he’d be in prison right now if he hadn’t criticized the actions of the Biden administration.”