By A.D. Carter
‘Follow me and we will bring the whole F***ing system down,” is how Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller ended his ten minute follow-up video Sunday. In this same video, Lt. Col. Scheller resigned from his position in the United States Marine Corps, stating his resignation was, “effective immediately.”
In his first original viral video posted to facebook, Lt. Col. Scheller asked top leadership for accountability for its failure in handling the situation in Afghanistan. Americans, Afghan Americans, and our allies have been left behind with their lives at risk to that of the Taliban. Scheller, along with many other service members, politicians and citizens around the globe, are outraged over the handling of our departure from Afghanistan.
Scheller’s resignation from the Marine Corps doesn’t mean it should be the end of his very valid questioning about the accountability of the Defense Department leadership’s role in its failed Afghanistan withdrawal.
Is it wrong to hold those accountable who have failed the will of the people and have caused heartbreak to those families who have lost loved ones due to the way we departed Afghanistan?
On April 27th 1961 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, President John F. Kennedy gave one of his most significant speeches “The President and The Press.” President Kennedy announced that “No official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press and the public what they deserve to know.”
This quotation seems to be in contradiction with what is currently happening to Lt. Col. Scheller. He has been attacked for voicing his opinion by top ranking officials. He knew he would face backlash from his superiors but he spoke out anyways. They called for his resignation and he obliged.
But he isn’t the only one facing the silence. It seems as if our current Administration is trying to silence those who are expressing their grievances. This is happening on social media, as well as the failure of the administration to address the very real concerns about the U.S. withdrawal from its longest war.
Chrissy Clark from The Daily Wire disclosed a letter regarding Scheller’s public video,
“In an email dated August 23, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s (ONI) Chief of Staff told members that per a Uniform Code of Military Justice and Department of Defense Directive clause, they cannot disrespect senior government leadership. This includes the president, vice president, Congress, and the secretary of defense, among others.”
Is this what we have come to? A nation where opinions are silenced? A nation where mistakes and malfeasance are covered up? These are not the ideals and values President Kennedy expressed in his speech.
As a new administration you should have the humility to admit when you’ve done wrong, just as the Biden administration has. The Biden administration has lost at a game of chess giving up military equipment to the Taliban and put many of innocent lives at risk. President Biden would be smart to look at the past administrations and learn from their mistakes. Whether you have been in politics for five years or 40 years we can all learn something from one another. If President Biden can take away one thing from the catastrophic failure in Afghanistan it is what President Kennedy stated. No member of President Biden’s administration including the military should cover up the mistakes made, their transparency is required if they want to regain the trust of the American people.
Lt. Col. Scheller only asked for accountability to be held and for honesty from the administration. Scheller served 17 years in the armed forces and has laid his life on the line to protect our freedoms here in The United States of America. To be reprimanded by those who are supposed to be there in support of him seems to be that of what a fascist government would do.