Only one person has been fired in the wake of President Joe Biden’s planned withdrawal from Afghanistan — a Marine Corps officer who demanded accountability.
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) August 30, 2021
Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson commented on the disparity Monday, saying that it was “the definition of dishonorable” and asking, “What’s the point of having a military that doesn’t bother to rescue its own citizens?” (RELATED: Marine Who Risked Career To Call Out Top Brass Over Afghanistan Walking Away From $2 Million Pension)
“There are the people responsible for what has happened the last couple of weeks. A pullout that could not have been more ineptly managed than if you’d intended to screw it up,” Carlson continued. “That would be Joe Biden and his many incompetent lieutenants, some of whom seem deranged. What is their punishment? How many have been fired? How many have resigned? How many have even apologized? That’s the best place to start always. So far, to our knowledge, none. Not one. In fact, so far as we can tell, the only military leader to suffer so far for this disaster is a Marine Corps LTC called Stu Scheller.”
Carlson went on to say that Scheller had not made the decisions that led to abandoning Bagram Air Base or leaving American citizens and allies behind — rather, his crime was posting a video to social media.
Marine LTC Stuart Scheller was relieved of his command — and subsequently resigned his commission — after posting a video on LinkedIn demanding that someone in senior leadership be held accountable for the disastrous withdrawal that left American citizens and Afghan allies behind to the mercies of the Taliban.
Remarkable video from Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller calling out senior leaders on Afghanistan. “People are upset because senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying ‘we messed this up.'” pic.twitter.com/rgtp8OncCX
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) August 27, 2021
“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’?” Scheller asked.
Scheller also said in his video that he knew he was risking his career by making his comments publicly — stepping outside the chain of command to voice his complaints was technically insubordination and would likely be cause for his senior leadership to lose trust in his ability to lead.
Within 24 hours, Scheller announced that he had been relieved of his command — and he said that, had he been in their position, he would have taken the same action against an officer who had behaved in such a manner. But he stood by his comments, arguing that losing his own career was a price he was willing to pay if it meant other people might stand up and demand accountability.
Scheller followed up by resigning his commission, effective immediately, and forfeiting his pension and all military benefits.
The White House, when asked whether anyone was set to be relieved of duty or even criticized for mistakes made in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan, said that there were no plans for any disciplinary actions.
“Does [Biden] believe he was given bad advice, will he ask for resignations from his generals given the high cost of American and Afghan lives?” a reporter asked press secretary Jen Psaki.
“No to both of those questions,” Psaki replied.
The American people appear to disagree. According to a recent YouGov poll, 68% of Americans and 55% of Democrats believe that Biden and his administration handled the Afghanistan withdrawal “badly.” The numbers are even higher among veterans (75%), independents (76%) and Republicans (84%).