A military judge on Friday blasted the Marine Corps’ handling of the case of an officer who criticized the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan via videos posted to social media.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller a day earlier had pleaded guilty to six charges stemming from videos he posted to Facebook and LinkedIn in which he demanded accountability from those in leadership over the messy evacuation.
But instead of taking the prosecution’s punishment request — where Scheller would have had to forfeit $5,000 of pay a month for six months and receive a letter of reprimand — Marine Corps judge Col. Glen Hines Hines only directed he forfeit $5,000 pay for one month, Military Times reported.
In explaining his decision, Hines said in Scheller’s videos showed a “confused” and “significantly frustrated” man instead of a potentially violent service member the military portrayed Scheller as in charge sheets, according to the outlet. . .
But the judge also called out the Marines for placing Scheller in the brig prior to the trial, a move that raised the “specter of unlawful command influence,” and created intense media scrutiny that doesn’t happen for “99 percent” of other courts-martial, Military Times reported. (Read more from “Military Judge BLASTS Marine Corps’ Handling of Officer Who Criticized Afghanistan Withdrawal” HERE)