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US Marine relieved of duty after demanding accountability in Afghanistan

After the Kabul airport attack, Stuart Scheller demanded honesty, integrity, accountability for senior leaders

Stuart Scheller, a US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, has been relieved of his duties after calling for accountability among senior leaders post Kabul airport attack in Afghanistan.

In a video which went viral immediately, Scheller questioned the senior military leadership for the failures in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of 13 American servicemen, including 11 marines, and at least 170 others in Kabul on Thursday.

Scheller, who has been in the USMC infantry for 17 years, recorded the 4:45 minute video in full uniform and posted it on social media after the horrific suicide bombing at Kabul airport, saying that he was ready to risk his current battalion commander's seat, retirement, family stability "to say some of the things" that he wanted to say.
"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'. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: ‘I demand accountability'," said Scheller.

"I'm not saying we've got to be in Afghanistan forever," he added, “but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up?'"

Demanding honesty, integrity, accountability for senior leaders, the officer said that he knew someone killed in Kabul, but was making the video "because I have a growing discontent and contempt for … perceived ineptitude at the foreign policy level, and I want to specifically ask some questions to some of my senior leaders."

After the video took the internet by storm, Scheller, in a Facebook post Friday, said that he had been "relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence."

"My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do … if I were in their shoes," he wrote. "I appreciate the opportunities AITB command provided. To all the news agencies asking for interviews… I will not be making any statements other than what’s on my social platforms until I exit the Marine Corps."


He added: "America has many issues… but it’s my home… it’s where my three sons will become men. America is still the light shining in a fog of chaos. When my Marine Corps career comes to an end, I look forward to a new beginning. My life’s purpose is to make America the most lethal and effective foreign diplomacy instrument. While my days of hand to hand violence may be ending…I see a new light on the horizon."

Also Read: UN Security Council slams Islamic State for Kabul airport attacks, spares Taliban