Category Archives: Military

Leaked Documents Designed to ‘Hurt Lt. Col. Scheller’

By Ken Silva    October 8, 2021

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller’s defense team has criticized military officials for leaking case documents ahead of an Oct. 14 trial by special court-martial, saying that the leak is designed to harm Scheller’s reputation and distract people from his calls for accountability for senior leadership’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.

Earlier today, Task and Purpose published a story based on leaked documents that purport to show Scheller’s support for the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots.

Scheller’s Jan. 6 comments do not come from his public videos or statements made on his social media, but rather an alleged conversation he had with an unnamed executive officer, according to the Task and Purpose story.

One of Scheller’s attorneys, Timothy Parlatore, told The Epoch Times that the alleged conversation was taken out of context. Scheller was only commenting on how the Jan. 6 situation could have been worse, according to Parlatore.

Parlatore said the leaked legal documents are designed to “hurt Lt. Col Scheller” ahead of his trial. The U.S. Marine faces charges of contempt toward officials, disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of duties, failure to obey order or regulation, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

“It’s something I’ve seen plenty of times in other cases. When the public narrative isn’t going towards the government’s preferred narrative, they have a tendency to selectively leak documents to try to change that narrative,” Parlatore said, adding that the documents may not have come from the prosecution, but from other military officials.

Along with facing criticism for leaving behind Americans, allies, and billions of dollars of weapons, senior officials have also come under fire in recent weeks for making false and misleading statements about a botched Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul that killed innocent Afghan civilians.

For weeks after the strike, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted the bombing was a “righteous strike,” and that any civilian deaths resulted from secondary explosions.

But after a Sept. 10 New York Times investigation raised doubts about the veracity of the military’s claims, the Department of Defense later admitted that the drone strike killed 10 civilians, seven of which were children—and no terrorists.

At a Sept. 29 congressional hearing, Milley and two other top military officials further made the stunning admission that they knew “within hours” that the strike had killed civilians—suggesting that they knowingly lied about the incident for weeks.

“We knew the strike hit civilians within four to five hours after the strike occurred, and U.S. Central Command issued a press release saying that,” Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie said on Sept. 29, contradicting numerous earlier statements that officials had no indication of civilian deaths until later.

“When people in the military like Lt. Col. Scheller stand up and demand accountability, when they say you all screwed up, when they point out General Milley’s statement that Afghanistan’s not going to be defeated by the Taliban—well, he ends up in a brig, and you all end up in front of us,” Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said during the Sept. 29 hearing.

“And your [Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s] former employer Raytheon ends up with a lot of money, and we have poured cash and blood and credibility into a Ghani government that was a mirage.”

Scheller’s attorney Parlatore said he wanted to remind the public that this is what his client’s case is about: an attempt to hold senior military leadership accountable.

“An entire generation of warriors went over there. We gave our youth, our health, our limbs and in some cases our lives. With the events of the past couple of months, there should be some accountability for why things went down the way they did, and to provide some accountability and peace for these warriors who have given so much,” Parlatore said.

“And of course that extends to this drone strike. Why was it presented as a “righteous strike”?

Parlatore added that his client is willing to accept accountability for his actions. He thinks senior military officials should do the same.

“He didn’t just talk the talk, he’s going to walk the walk and accept accountability—as he would hope others would do,” Parlatore said.

Ken Silva covers national security issues for The Epoch Times. His reporting background also includes cybersecurity, crime and offshore finance – including three years as a reporter in the British Virgin Islands and two years in the Cayman Islands. Contact him at ken.silva@epochtimes.us

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_breakingnews/leaked-documents-designed-to-hurt-lt-col-scheller-defense-counsel_4039056.html?utm_source=News&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-10-08-3&mktids=9de3620dfdb7a0a2cabfb1d7b0320b49&est=Bp0UWGRhjz9z1evLWVilhxktDdTof1FGZQC/nYFTWXYHKohec6SmwCx6dl2LmQ==

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Stuart Scheller: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

Stuart Scheller: Video Criticizing Military Leaders on Afghanistan Goes Viral

This post speaks for itself. mrossol

Stuart Scheller is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps who was relieved from duty after he shared a video on Facebook criticizing military leadership for their handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

“I can’t possibly respond to the overwhelming response,” Scheller wrote on his Facebook page after his dismissal. You can watch his video later in this article. It’s gone viral, and it’s led to a flood of support on social media for him as the country reels from the deaths of 13 Marines and service members in Kabul (you can see tributes to those fallen service members here).

“Facebook has stopped allowing me to accept friend requests. But I’ll offer you one more thought… Last night when I posted the video I immediately had multiple Marines call and ask me to take down the post. ‘We all agree with you Stu, but nothing will change, and it will come at a huge personal cost to you.’”

He added: “Obviously I didn’t take it down. Now that I’ve had time to process… I’ll offer this… we can’t ALL be wrong. If you all agree… then step up. They only have the power because we allow it. What if we all demanded accountability?” He then shared this quote: “Every generation needs a revolution”✊🏻🇺🇸 Thomas Jefferson.”

In the video, Scheller chastised military leadership.

“I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever, 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,’” he said in the video.

“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.’”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Scheller Told Military Leaders, ‘I Demand Accountability’

Scheller started his video with the caption, “To the American leadership. Very Respectfully, US.”

He started out explaining his experience. He served in Marine infantry for 17 years. He was the battalion commander with the advanced infantry training battalion at the time of the video. Scheller recorded his video just as news broke about the explosion in Kabul.

“One of those people who was killed was someone I had a personal relationship with,” he said. He did not go into additional details about that. I’m not making this video because it’s potentially an emotional time. I’m making it 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.”

“I feel like I have a lot to lose,” he said, adding that he thought through “what might happen to me…if I had the courage to post it. But I think what you believe in can only be defined by what you’re willing to risk.”

“I have been fighting for 17 years,” said Scheller. “I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: ‘I demand accountability.’”

He said he was “willing to risk my current battalion commander’s seat, my retirement, my family stability to say some of the things that I want to say.” He said that would give him “some moral high ground to demand the same honesty, integrity, accountability for my senior leaders.”

He read from a letter written by Marine commandant David Berger, who wrote, “was it all worth it?”

“I’ve killed people, and I seek counseling and that’s fine,” Scheller said. “There’s a time in place for that. But the reason people are so upset on social media right no is not because the Marines on the battlefield let someone down that service member has always rose to the occasion and done extraordinary things, 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 lower level soldiers get fired.

“We have a secretary of defense [Lloyd Austin] that testified to Congress in May that the Afghan national security force could withstand the Taliban advance. We have [the] joint chiefs [of Staff], the commandant is a member of that, who’re supposed to advise on military policy. We have a Marine combatant commander. All of these people are supposed to advise.”

Scheller said he was “not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan for ever, 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’?

“I’ve got battalion commander friends right now that are posting similar things, and they’re saying, wondering if all the lives were lost, if it was in vain, all those people that we’ve lost over the last 20 years…Potentially all those people did die in vain. If we don’t have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say, ‘We did not do this well in the end,’ without that we just keep repeating the same mistakes,” he said.

“This amalgamation of the economic-slash-corporate-slash-political-slash-higher military ranks are not holding up their end of the bargain.”

2. Scheller Wrote That He Was ‘Relieved for Cause Based on a Lack of Trust & Confidence’

Scheller revealed he was “relieved for cause” on August 27, 2021, the day after he posted the video.

“To all my friends across the social networks,” he wrote. “I have been relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence as of 14:30 today.My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do… if I were in their shoes. 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 continued, “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. y 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. Semper.”


3. Scheller Served in Iraq & Helped Evacuate Americans From Beirut

According to his Facebook page, Scheller “studied Military Sciences at Marine Corps University” and “studied Accounting at UC Lindner College of Business.” He went to Anderson High School and lives in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

In earlier August, he wrote on Facebook, “To every school teacher who told me violence was never the answer… I wish you were teaching in Afghanistan right now to see the depth of your misguided world view.”

According to his bio, “LtCol Stuart P. Scheller graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelors in accounting. He began Officer Candidate School in January 2005. After completing Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Infantry Officer Course, he checked into 1st Battalion, 8th Marines in December 2005.”

“After checking into 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, and assuming the duty of platoon commander, LtCol Scheller conducted a deployment on the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He participated in the Non-Combatant Evacuation of American citizens out of Beirut during the 2006 Israeli/Lebanese conflict. Then the following year, he was assigned the role of Alpha Company Executive Officer and deployed to Ramadi, Iraq. Of note, during that time the infantry companies moved to a four infantry platoon construct, so LtCol Scheller, in addition to his Company Executive Officer duties, was also the Fire Support leader, and also served in this capacity during a Mojave Viper and the Ramadi deployment.”

The bio adds: “In 2008 LtCol Scheller checked into the School of Infantry East, Infantry Training Battalion. He spent six months as the Weapons Instructor group OIC, and a year and a half as the Echo Company Commander.”

It continues, “In 2010 LtCol Scheller sought out an Individual Augment deployment to Afghanistan. He was the Counter-IED team leader for the organization JIEDDO. He spent a year in Paktika and Ghanzi provinces while supporting the Army’s 101st Infantry Brigade. He was the infantry subject matter expert for EOD and Route Clearance Platoon operations. From July 2011 to June 2012 LtCol Scheller attended resident Expeditionary Warfare School. Following Expeditionary Warfare School, LtCol Scheller augmented Officer Candidate School as a platoon commander for a 10 week class.”

The bio continues,

In September 2012 LtCol Scheller checked into 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines and served as the Company Commander for Headquarters and Service Company. During this Company Command tour, he completed the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployment. Following the deployment, in November 2013, LtCol Scheller assumed the duty as Weapons Company Commander. During his Weapons Company Command tour, he completed an Infantry Training Exercise and a Unit Deployment East.

In August 2015, LtCol Scheller checked into The Basic School. During his three year tour, he served in many capacities, to include Operations Officer, Company Commander, and Warfighting Director.

In July 2018, LtCol Scheller attended resident Command and Staff College where he earned a Masters in Military Science.

In July 2019, LtCol Scheller checked into Marine Special Forces Command and assumed the duties as the Executive Officer of 2nd Support Battalion. Of note, the Battalion Commander spent the majority of the tour deployed on a Special Operations Task Force, allowing LtCol Scheller the opportunity to lead the battalion stateside.

In June 2020 LtCol Scheller checked into 6th Marine Regiment and assumed the duties as Operations Officer. During this time the Regiment supported four battalions and completed a Service Level Training Exercise.

In June 2021 LtCol Scheller checked into the School of Infantry East, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, as the commanding officer.


4. Scheller Helped Invent a Mold to Make Ribbons Attach More Easily to Uniforms

On Facebook, Scheller wrote that he was “owner and Founder at The Perfect Ribbon” as well as “Infantry Officer at U.S. Marine Corps.”

An article Scheller shared on Facebook from Military Influencer.com explained The Perfect Ribbon. It said that Marine Maj. Stuart Scheller came up with a product to take “the hassle out of uniform preparation.”

He helped create a mold that “would allow a service member to put attachments on ribbons easily and in regulation.” He made the mold with a military officer friend named Zach Rohlfing.

The invention “caught fire,” he said.

5. Scheller Is Receiving a Lot of Support on Social Media

Scheller’s video has received hundreds of comments and many shares as it’s started to go viral on social media. “This is what happens when you speak the truth! You knew what would happen going into this but you had the courage to do the right thing and stick to our Corps Values! Semper Fi,” wrote one person on his Facebook comment thread.

Here are some of those comments:

“Absolutely honored and proud of you for saying what needed to be said. The cost of incompetence is permanent for those young men.”

“You threw it on the line and if big government takes it away. Many service members / veterans are willing to give. We have your back financially and any other way.”

“Real leaders are hard to come by, we must stand with them.”

“Thank you sir. This is the example of a leader of character I look to.”

“Thank you for so eloquently stating what we civilians are asking ourselves. Thank you for your service. I am the wife of a retired Army officer and mother of two army officers.”

“Thank you for voicing what so many of us feel. Semper Fi! I’ve got your 6, Sir!”

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A New Coalition to Advance U.S. Global Interests

WSJ 4/28/21  By Elliot Abrams

The U.S. is at a critical crossroads when it comes to the defense of American freedom, security and prosperity. Around the world, the U.S. faces significant national-security threats. Chief among them are revisionist powers, the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and transnational terrorism and crime—all made more dangerous by renewed great-power competition with, and myriad threats posed by, the Chinese Communist Party.

None of these challenges will disappear if America abandons the international role it has maintained since World War II as the superpower leader of the free world. Each threat requires U.S. leadership if the country’s security, economic interests, and values are to be protected. That is why today I am joining with 75 other national security scholars and practitioners to launch the Vandenberg Coalition, a new network committed to advancing a strong and proud American foreign policy.

The coalition brings together people representing diverse approaches, experiences and political views. All share a belief in the U.S. role in world affairs and a deep concern that the Republican Party needs to adopt a forward-looking foreign policy for today’s unprecedented security environment—an approach that draws on the best successes of all previous administrations while learning from the failures. Those of us joined in this effort split during the Trump years: Some (including me) served in the administration; some were “never Trumpers.” But we were never divided over the importance of American global leadership, and today we reassert that unity in advancing U.S. national interests.

Vandenberg’s philosophy is based on six principles:

First, American security depends on leadership. The U.S. must remain the most powerful and influential nation in the world. Tempting though it may be, threats won’t simply go away if America retreats into isolationism. On the contrary, these challenges are likely to get worse.

Second, a strong America is a safe America. The U.S. must have a well-funded, effective military and security infrastructure to protect its people and deter aggression.

Third, strategic cooperation serves U.S. interests. Robust alliances among sovereign nations and the strategic use of multilateral institutions advance American security. The U.S. alliance system is a huge asset that must be strengthened.

Fourth, free and fair trade advances the prosperity and security of the American people. The U.S. must sustain its defense industrial base, lead efforts against predatory economic practices such as intellectual-property theft experienced in recent decades at the hands of China, and promote respect for the rules of international trade and commerce.

Fifth, we support a proud U.S. foreign policy that champions American values without apology.

Sixth, foreign policy should be responsive to all Americans—not only those in Washington or with the clout to hire lobbyists. The effect of trade deals on employment, for example, should weigh at least as much on policy makers as their effect on the corporate bottom line.

The coalition will promote this foreign-policy approach through vigorous engagement with elected officials, candidates, policy makers and the public. Our governing board, advisory board, and staff represent an array of universities, think tanks and previous administrations. This includes the highest levels of the Trump administration, both Bush administrations, and the Reagan administration. Our board itself shows this: It is comprised of Eric Edelman, Matt Pottinger, Kristen Silverberg, Kathryn Wheelbarger and myself. Vandenberg is a coalition in the truest sense, unifying a range of men and women in common cause to advance the principles and policies that we believe will strengthen our nation and protect Americans.

Mr. Abrams served in the White House and State Department in the Reagan, George W. Bush and Trump administrations. He is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-coalition-to-advance-u-s-global-interests-11619649120?mod=opinion_lead_pos7

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US Criticizes China After Latest Military Incursion Against Taiwan

This is an encouraging sign! mrossol

The Epoch Times – 1/24/2021

 
 

TAIPEI, Taiwan—The U.S. State Department has voiced concerns about China’s continued military aggression against Taiwan, after China breached the island’s air defense zone with 13 military aircraft.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Jan. 23.

He added: “We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”

Beijing’s coercion against Taiwan is nothing new, as the Chinese communist regime claims the self-ruled island as a part of its territory and has repeatedly threatened to use military force to bring the island under its fold. However, the coercion intensified under the Trump administration, which elevated engagement with Taiwan through more arms sales and the lifting of restrictions on U.S. contact with Taiwanese officials.

Chinese jets violated Taiwan’s airspace about 380 times in 2020 and have continued to carry out such incursions on a nearly daily basis this year, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.

On Saturday, less than a week into Joe Biden’s presidency, China made its largest-scale military incursion this year, when the Chinese regime sent 13 military aircraft—eight bomber planes, four fighter jets, and an anti-submarine aircraft—to fly over Taiwan’s southwest waters.

Taiwan is a de-facto independent nation-state, with its own democratically elected government, military, currency, and constitution.

“The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan. The United States maintains its longstanding commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances,” Price added.

Washington ended its diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979 but has maintained a robust relationship with the island based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which was signed into law by former President Jimmy Carter in April 1979. The TRA authorizes the United States to provide the island with military equipment for its self-defense.

In 1982, former President Ronald Reagan also made six security assurances to Taiwan, including that the United States pledges not to set a date for ending arms sales to the island, and that it would neither consult Beijing on any arms sales nor revise the TRA.

It remains to be seen how President Joe Biden will maintain U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said during his Senate nomination hearing on Jan. 19 that Beijing would be making a “grievous mistake” if it decided to use military force against Taiwan.

“We need to make sure that they [Taiwan] have the means to deter aggression,” Blinken said. He added that he would like to see “Taiwan even more engaged in the world.”

On Jan. 21 in a daily briefing, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying voiced opposition against how Taiwan’s de-facto ambassador to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim had attended Biden’s inauguration ceremony.

Hua said China was “firmly against” any official interactions between the United States and Taiwan. She also called on the U.S. government to “prudently and properly handle issues relating to Taiwan.”

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the State Department for its support via Twitter on Jan. 24.

“Based on shared values & interests, we’re committed to our partnership with the #US in furthering peace & stability in the #IndoPacific,” the ministry said.

Also on Sunday, Taiwanese lawmaker Wang Ting-yu applauded the State Department for its powerful statement on his Facebook page. He added that it was worth watching any concrete military or political actions the U.S. government might take next with regards to Taiwan.

Wang also added that the Chinese Communist Party was “testing” the new Pentagon chief with its large-scale military incursion against Taiwan on Saturday.

On Jan. 22, the Senate confirmed Biden’s nominee, Lloyd Austin, as the new Secretary of Defense.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-state-department-criticizes-china-after-latest-military-incursion-against-taiwan_3668833.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-01-24-2

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