Rebel Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller will plead guilty at his court-martial Thursday over the viral video he posted attacking the botched US pullout from Afghanistan, his attorney has said.
“This case began with a call for accountability and Lt. Col. Scheller will demonstrate to senior leadership how to accept accountability for his own actions,” attorney Tim Parlatore told The Hill.
In the video posted to Facebook, Scheller — who was wearing his uniform — tore into military leadership following the Aug. 26 ISIS-K suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport.
The blast killed 13 US service members, including 11 Marines.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up,’” he said in the searing monologue.
After the clip went viral, Scheller was sent to a military prison and then hit with a slew of charges, including contempt toward officials, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, failure to obey lawful general orders and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
The Marine will plead guilty at his court-martial Thursday because it would “make him a hypocrite” if he did not after his call for accountability, Parlatore also told The Washington Post.
“Our hope is for him to get a letter of reprimand, and no more,” Parlatore said as he sought a deal that would avoid jail time and secure a discharge under honorable conditions.
Scheller already suffered a “totally excessive and unnecessary” week in the brig — and his initial complaints have been completely brushed aside, his lawyer said.
“The real big question that remains is whether all the very important messages that he brought out will be adopted,” Parlatore told The Hill.
“Because … nobody is saying that he said anything that was untrue,” Parlatore stressed, with the only complaint being that he should not have gone public with his online rant.
Scheller, a 17-year infantry officer who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, had conceded in his video that he “had a lot to lose.”
He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.