Wisconsin Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) signed a letter asking for the release of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who was jailed after criticizing the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Grothman said, “Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller spoke truth to power. Now, he is unjustly sitting in pre-trial confinement.”
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) October 1, 2021
Grothman signed the letter along with 32 other members of Congress, demanding the immediate release of the Marine Corps officer. Stuart Scheller was jailed after he released a video criticizing the secretary of defense and the Biden administration, went viral.
Stuart Scheller opened his video by expressing his “growing discontent and contempt” for what he believes is “perceived ineptitude at the foreign policy level.”
Stuart Scheller said in his video, “People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability and saying ‘we messed this up.’”
It also appears as if Stuart Scheller knew what the consequences of speaking up would be.
He concluded his video by saying, “I want to say this very strongly. I have been fighting for 17 years. I’m willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, I demand accountability.”
As reported by The Tennessee Star, “[Stuart] Scheller is accused of the following offenses under the UCMJ: Article 88: Contempt toward officials, Article 90: Willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, Article 92: Failure to obey an order, and Article 133: Conduct unbecoming, a Marine Corps spokesperson told Task & Purpose.”
Stuart Scheller allegedly violated a gag order when he made the video.
The letter from members of Congress outlined the Rule for Court Martial (R.C.M.) which states that within “24, 48, and 72 hours of confinement, the service member’s commander must make a determination or show just cause that it is reasonably foreseeable that the service member: will not appear at trial, pretrial hearing, or investigation, or will engage in serious criminal misconduct, and that lesser forms of restraint are inadequate.”
They wrote, “[T]his confinement appears to be simply for messaging, retribution, and convenience in flagrant violation of R.C.M.”
The signers asked that Stuart Scheller be “immediately removed” from his confinement, calling his imprisonment a “misapplication of law.”
As reported by The Star, Stuart Scheller’s father spoke out after the arrest had taken place.
“All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” said Stuart Scheller Sr. “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.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Lt Colonel Stuart Scheller” by Robert Gurskis.