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Former U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is calling out those go-along-to-get along military leaders he claims are responsible for the botched U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan amidst the practically overnight takeover of the country by the Taliban.
The blame particularly includes, but is not limited to, Marine General Frank McKenzie, the U.S. Central Command boss.
“If I was Joe Biden, I would say ‘the buck stops with me;’ if I was Gen. McKenzie, I would say that the ‘buck stops with me.’ If I was [SecDef] Lloyd Austin, I would say ‘the buck stops with me.’…all three have shirked responsibility,” Scheller said.
“My position is once the generals, Gen. McKenzie specifically…when he recommended to the president that we should have 2,500 troops, there was a responsibility for the military advisor to get the boss to take his plan…so he failed in that ‘soft diplomacy’…so at that point, Gen. McKenzie had a choice. He could have resigned…he had a moral responsibility to resign,” he told Megyn Kelly on the latter’s podcast.
The context for that portion of the discussion was the disastrous decision by Joe Biden to abandon the well-fortified Bagram Air Base for the evacuation.
“I’ve been to Bagram Air Base…it’s hard to even fathom if you’ve never been there how big and important and critical this was. You could have done that whole evacuation and maintained security and never had a problem,” Scheller said, in reference to the requested 2,500 troops to keep the base open.
Operation planners submitted plans to the Biden administration to maintain Bagram, but the Biden and his inner circle instead decided to close down Bagram, he explained, “because they wanted to shrink the force in Afghanistan very quickly.”
Scheller also revealed that the military imposed a gag order on him for four months, but now that he is speaking out, McKenzie is “racing for the exits.”
“But [McKenzie] didn’t [resign], so he obviously thought, based on the restraints that he had, he could pull off the plan. In my opinion, at that point, he is responsible. He is the military guy that’s in charge of that plan doing the withdrawal. He doesn’t get to go back, after the fact, which is what he did, and so, ‘no, I told the president 2,5000, and he didn’t listen to me.’
“Well, you didn’t resign, did you Frank, and you didn’t get him to agree to your plan, did you Frank, so guess what? You’re responsible at this point. It just kind of breaks my heart that this is where we’re at, we’re looking at these general officers, their plans were obviously failing, and we don’t have anyone saying, ‘hey, we messed this up.'”
Scheller also chided Marine Corps commandant David Berger for issuing a memo telling disillusioned-or-worse soldiers, among other things, to seek therapy. “I read that, and it rang so false. He didn’t either understand, or he just didn’t care, why servicemembers were upset. They were upset because the plan fell apart because it was a terrible plan. Anyone can see that.”
Watch the clip embedded below and draw your own conclusions:
“No one is addressing the breakdown at the operational and strategic level, which is the four-star general level, and those people need to be held accountable,” Scheller asserted.
Despite 17 years of exemplary service, Scheller was relieved of duty in August 2021 after posting a viral video on Facebook and LinkedIn that heavily criticized the catastrophic bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul that resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members.
He was thrown in the brig for purportedly violating an agreement to cease criticism against the military on social media, and ultimately pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor-level charges on during his court-martial hearing. The Marines issued him a general discharge, and unfortunately he lost eligibility for a military pension in the process.
Megyn Kelly punctuated that segment of the podcast by recalling with disdain how Biden deemed the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal operation an “extraordinary success.”
During another longform interview, this one on “Tucker Carlson Today” that streams on Fox Nation, Scheller, who described himself as a centrist, noted that through his Authentic Americans website, he plans to back like-minded, accountability-demanding veterans running for political office.
Gold Star parents Steve Nikoui and Shana Chappell, whose son Kareem Nikoui was among those heroes murdered by the ISIS suicide bomber at the airport, have separately demanded the resignation of Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
Parents of Marine killed in Kabul call for Milley’s resignation, question son’s cause of death https://t.co/qYr6yIRm4E
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) January 3, 2022
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