A Marine officer who was sent to military prison weeks after demanding “accountability” for the botched US pullout from Afghanistan was to be released Tuesday, the Marine Corps confirmed.
Marine Training and Education Command spokesperson Capt. Sam Stephenson said in a statement that Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller would be allowed out “as a result of a mutual agreement between Lt. Col. Scheller, his Defense counsel, and the Commanding General, Training Command.”
Stephenson did not provide details of the agreement or the timing of Scheller’s release.
Scheller went viral after he posted a four-minute, 45-second video to Facebook in which he tore into military leadership following the Aug. 26 ISIS-K suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport — which killed 13 US service members, including 11 Marines.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up,’” he said.
The day after posting the video — which had been shared more than 66,000 times as of Tuesday evening — Scheller announced that he was resigning his commission, walking away from a $2 million pension after 17 years of service.
Scheller later claimed that he was ordered to undergo a mental health screening and posted an image of his resignation letter to Facebook, noting that he had requested it take effect on Sept. 11.
On Sept. 16, Scheller made another Facebook post accusing Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) of 13 counts of dereliction of duty leading to the deaths of the service members killed in the Aug. 26 bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Days later, the military and Scheller’s family confirmed that he had been incarcerated.
The Washington Times reported that charges have yet to be formally brought against Scheller, but possible offenses include contempt toward officials; willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer; failure to obey lawful general orders and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
A hearing to determine whether Scheller will be court-martialed was scheduled to take place Tuesday, but the Washington Times reported that media outlets had asked for the hearing to be delayed while a federal court considered their objections to the lack of access.
Meanwhile, a fundraiser for Scheller organized by the Pipe Hitter Foundation had raised more than $2.5 million as of Tuesday evening.