Blood and the Brig
A few days after America’s controversial withdrawal from Afghanistan, the commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, made a video and a series of Facebook postings in which he accused the top military brass of the crime of dereliction of duty for bungling the withdrawal from Afghanistan and causing the deaths of 13 marines.
Scheller was ordered to stop and take his complaints through established military channels.
He did not stop He made two more videos critical of the top generals and was thrown in the brig at Camp Lejeune for a week. Sheller was finally allowed out on Monday October 4th with the possibility of court martial on six charges of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Now Scheller and his attorney are bargaining for a punitive general discharge instead of court martial and more time in the brig.
At first glance this looks like a freedom of speech issue. At least that’s the way it’s been portrayed in everything from Fox News to NBC. But it’s more than that.
On January 6th militant groups like the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters responded to a call from president Donald Trump to gather at the capitol and to have “a wild time,” which is code for a violent spree. The president had lost an election and some believe he was trying to inspire an armed insurrection, an uprising that would keep him in power.
Investigations have revealed two key things:
- first, that veterans trained in the art of killing participated in the failed January 6th insurrection; and
- second that the number of men and women currently in the military who sympathize with militia groups and violent insurrection is large. Some military men have been so sympathetic to militia groups that they have actually funneled weapons from army warehouses to these organized extremists.
In other words, if we don’t exercise caution, we could have a civil war. Our last civil war 160 years ago killed 700,000 Americans. A new civil war could kill far more.
Lt. Col. Scheller is highly articulate and profoundly moral, profoundly committed. And he points to a form of corruption in the military that could kill our troops and cause America to lose if there’s ever an armed confrontation with Russia or China.
He explains that generals know that when they retire from the military, they will be offered high-paid jobs with big defense contractors like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. They will be offered a very big bribe.
This means that when these generals are in command of buying weapons, they take the side of the military industrial complex companies. Which means they go for overpriced weapons systems delivered years late with enormous flaws but weapons that funnel huge profits into the military companies’ bank accounts. This is a system of corruption that Scheller is right to protest.
But what the press of the right and the left do not tell you about the Scheller case is that Stuart Scheller appears to advocate the violent overthrow of the American government.
Yes, you can advocate violent revolution in America. That’s freedom of speech. But you cannot do it while you are armed, dangerous, and an officer in the American military.
Warns Scheller on his Facebook page,
The lions are home from war. And the lions aren’t assimilating to your system anymore We reject your system. Every generation needs a revolution. if the government doesn’t serve the interests of the people, it’s the people’s obligation to throw off the old form of government. The system needs to be broken and rebuilt. It’s time for a new generation to assume American power.
Scheller concludes, “We are ready, and we reject the current system. Follow me, and we will bring the whole fucking system down.”
Scheller’s statements are powerful And in one almost hidden phrase he adds that he wants to achieve his goals by constitutional means.
But Scheller also implies that we need a violent revolution like the revolution of 1775. And he implies this over and over again.
On this he is wrong. Americans can’t afford to have a bloody revolution executed by military men who have been trained to kill.