The attorney representing a Marine lieutenant colonel who was jailed for posting videos critical of the U.S. military's leadership regarding the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan told Newsmax on Friday that the Corps ''can't handle the truth.''
Tony Buzbee confirmed that the Marine, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, has a hearing scheduled for Oct. 14-15 on six charges relating to his video Facebook posts — videos in which he criticized commanders over the Afghanistan exit. That exit was marred by chaos and tragedy, including a suicide explosion on Aug. 26 that killed 13 U.S. service members and 170 others at the Kabul airport.
''Certainly Lt. Col. Scheller may have been guilty of lack of tact, but I was wondering, do we want an infantry battalion full of PR agents, just like the general staff we have that are very good at PR but very bad at fighting wars?'' Buzbee, a veteran Marine reconnaissance officer, said on ''Eric Bolling The Balance.'' ''Less than a week from now, I guess we're going to have an airing of grievances.
''They say that what he said is prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the Marine Corps. I respectfully submit that what he said was the truth. And that they just can't handle the truth.''
Scheller, an Afghanistan veteran, is accused of: contempt toward officials; disrespect toward superior commissioned officers; the willful disobeying of a superior commissioned officer; dereliction in the performance of duties; failure to obey order or regulation; and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
Scheller was released from pretrial confinement on Tuesday after spending more than a week in the brig. The release followed intense public criticism and rebukes from several members of Congress.
Military law experts have told Newsmax that the imprisonment was not only unnecessary but disproportionately harsh.
Scheller posted the first of several videos to his Facebook page criticizing military leaders on Aug. 26, the same day as the lethal suicide bombing attack.
Scheller announced during his videos that he intended to bring charges against senior military officials for their actions regarding the withdrawal. On Aug. 29 he declared that he was resigning his commission — after being relieved of command.
In announcing the charges on Wednesday, the Marine Corps issued a statement that addressed a military member's right of free speech.
''In the military, there are proper forums to raise concerns with the chain of command,'' it reads. ''In a general sense not specific to any case, posting to social media criticizing the chain of command is not the proper manner in which to raise concerns with the chain of command and may, depending upon the circumstances, constitute a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.''
Buzbee said the statement was similar to ''most of the vagaries that we've gotten from them."
''I'm much more concerned with generals talking to authors criticizing presidents than I am with a lieutenant colonel who's expressing frustration because 13 people died for no reason,'' Buzbee said, referring to remarks by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, who was quoted in the book ''Peril'' by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa criticizing former President Donald Trump.
''So we're looking forward to the hearing. We're glad that it's public. Again, this could be short circuited. All the secretary of the Navy has to do is say we're going to allow this Marine to leave the Marine Corps honorably, in lieu of a court-martial. But if they want a trial, we're going to have a trial on Thursday morning.''
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