Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller has been freed from pretrial detention, but could still face charges for criticizing senior military officials over the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, The Epoch Times has learned.
Scheller was scheduled for a pretrial confinement initial review hearing Tuesday. Military officials planned to conduct the hearing in secret, sparking anger from some media outlets and members of the public.
But prior to the hearing, the Marine Corps agreed to free Scheller, cancelling the pretrial review as a result, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, Scheller has submitted a request for resignation of his commission in lieu of trial to the Secretary of the Navy, the source said, speaking under the condition of anonymity to avoid backlash from the military.
Scheller could still face trial by court martial, the source said.
Scheller captured headlines in late August for criticizing senior military leadership on the handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. His initial video was posted on the same day that 13 U.S. troops and more than 100 Afghans were killed in an attack outside of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
He published another video on Sept. 16, saying that he was calling for “accountability of my senior leaders” over “obvious mistakes that were made.” In that video, Scheller also said he was “submitting charges” against Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie for his role in the disastrous withdrawal.
Scheller was reportedly thrown in the brig on Sept. 27, sparking outrage from some lawmakers and members of the public.
His family has expressed dismay about how the veteran is being treated by his country.
“He is an American war hero. He has fought for his men and women that follow him. He’s fought on the battlefield for them. I believe he has risked his life for his fellow service people and Americans. He is now risking his livelihood for them. He saw a misjustice happening at the top and he felt that they should be held accountable for it,” Cathy Scheller, Stuart Scheller’s mother, said on NTD’s “The Nation Speaks.”
Stuart Scheller’s father, Stu Scheller Sr., said support from fellow Americans will greatly help his son.
The Marine Corps will “win the battle,” he said. “But America is going to help Stuart win the war.”