Now then: You’ve probably read about Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, who recently sacrificed his career, pension and benefits to call out the incompetence of the military leaders who botched the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Well, he’s made some interesting statements following his relief from his position and subsequent resignation of his commission. Watch the entire video statement here. My take on it is this: He’s got something in mind. Excerpt:
In a tell-all video posted on social media, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller acknowledged he was sacrificing a comfortable retirement by criticizing the way the withdrawal was handled.
“I could stay in the Marine Corps for another three years, but I don’t think that’s the path I’m on. I’m resigning my commission as a United States Marine, effective now,” Scheller said. “I am forfeiting retirements, all entitlements, I don’t want a single dollar. I don’t want any money from the VA. I don’t want any VA benefits [even though] I’m sure I’m entitled 100%.”
Scheller ignited a firestorm of controversy Thursday for posting a less than five-minute video in which he went after top military brass for not taking responsibility over an ISIS attack in Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of 11 Marines, an Army soldier, a Navy corpsman and 169 Afghans.
“I’m not saying we need 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’?” Scheller said last Thursday. “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’?”
Speaking to the pushback he had received from that video, Scheller said all he was asking for was “accountability of my senior leaders when there are clear obvious mistakes that were made.”
But here, this is the bit that jumped out at me and should jump out at you:
He reiterated that he was forfeiting a potentially $2 million pension fund for the rest of his life by going through with his actions, but warned that going after “stability and money” makes one a “slave to the system” and makes you compromise on your principles.
“I don’t need a single dollar. I just need every single person that’s willing to go back outside the wire every single day to wear a blue-collar and just go into work every single day and feed their families. Those are the people that I need,” Scheller said. “Follow me and we will bring the whole f***ing system down. I am honorable and you can ask any Marine who served with me for 17 years. I dare you to ask them all and find out what I’m made of. We’re just getting started.”
Take a look at what Colonel Scheller has in front of him in that video: A chessboard. Now, as to this statements, there are two that are key:
I just need every single person that’s willing to go back outside the wire every single day to wear a blue-collar and just go into work every single day and feed their families. Those are the people that I need,” Scheller said. “Follow me and we will bring the whole f***ing system down.
I am honorable and you can ask any Marine who served with me for 17 years. I dare you to ask them all and find out what I’m made of. We’re just getting started.”
He’s planning something. Now that something may well be an entry into politics; he sure would be far from the first veteran to ever do so. He may be considering some other kind of activism. And no, I don’t think he’s planning to foment a rebellion – at least, not yet.
But his use of the “we” and the chessboard – very, very interesting indeed. Bear in mind what chess is, at its heart – a game of military strategy.
My take on Colonel Scheller is this: This is a man who has just taken on a mission. We’ll have to wait a bit to see what shape that mission takes, but he sure seems to have one, and I suspect holding accountable the military leaders who fucked up the Afghanistan withdrawal is only a part of it. And a self-directed man, a Marine, with that kind of motivation, could well make himself a force to be reckoned with. So, Semper Fi, Colonel Scheller; we will watch your new career with great interest.
We live in interesting times, True Believers.