The Scheller Case is America’s Dreyfus Affair

A US Marine officer, Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller, publicly criticized the Biden Administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan which left 13 servicemen and women dead at Kabul Airport. 

He particularly targeted the top brass of the military, a military to which he devoted his energy and his life to serve, for their abysmal performance in the closing days of the Afghan withdrawal. 

Scheller was relieved of his command shortly after he posted a video on Facebook demanding senior officers be held to account for their actions. In the video, Scheller said that he intended to resign his commission. 

Facebook video screengrab

In the video, he is heard saying, “I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”

On September 27, Lt. Colonel Sheller was suddenly arrested and placed in solitary confinement in the military jail at Camp Lejeune, N.C., according to Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Sam Stephenson. 

He is held incommunicado, under a gag order, unable even to speak with his parents. 

Throwing people into solitary confinement has become, it seems, a repeatable tactic to the current Democrat enforcers. 

Under a previous Administration, and under the close, informed, and watchful eye of the current president, political opponents were arrested in the middle of the night or had false charges brought against them and their reputations tarnished. People like Roger Stone, General Michael Flynn, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos.

The Democrats arrested hundreds of citizens who participated in protests at the Capitol Building and placed them in solitary confinement. Hundreds are still held in solitary confinement nine months later. The government demanded that some must plead guilty to charges beyond trespassing even if they had not committed violence or property damage. Released footage, which House Democrats deliberately removed from the evidence presented, shows several of the charged January 6 protesters doing nothing more serious than taking selfies and videos as they toured the Rotunda and hallways. Yet they remain jailed for three-quarters of a year without trial. They have become fodder for a Democrat political fallacy looking for scapegoats in a politically charged prosecution.

Such behavior, whether conducted in military or in political spheres, is deeply corrosive to a democracy, particularly to the one that once promoted itself as a shining city on a hill.

The fate imposed on Scheller is eerily similar to the fate of Colonel Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish French officer who was scapegoated for the crimes of their military establishment and elite officer class.

Dreyfus, despite his rank, was an outsider, as is Scheller.

Dreyfus’s case was built around a traitor who was covertly feeding intelligence to the German enemy. The French military refused to believe that one of their favored officers, one with close access to the elites, would do such a thing. So, they went in search of a sacrificial goat. They found it in Dreyfus. 

In America’s case, the hullabaloo about Scheller distracts attention away from General Milley who, without authority, contacted the Chinese enemy to assure them that he would give them prior notice should his Commander in Chief, the President of the United States, give an order to attack them. 

In Dreyfus’s case, the guilty party was a treasonous officer named Esterhazy and it took an incoming head of the French military intelligence, a diligent officer named Georges Piquart, to reveal the real culprit as Esterhazy. 

By that time, the Jew Dreyfus has been publicly demoted, shamed, and shipped off to Devil’s Island, a penal colony off the shores of distant French Guiana in South America.

When the military ruling class was given overwhelming evidence of the guilt of Esterhazy, and their incompetence and cover-up, they shipped Piquart off to a North African battlefront in the hope that he would be killed.  When he wasn’t, he was imprisoned. 

When Marine Colonel Scheller spoke out publicly to demand accountability after thirteen American military personnel had been murdered in Kabul, the top Pentagon officials did what the French did: they relieved him of his duty and confined him to solitary confinement as the French did with Georges Piquart 123 years ago.  

When rumors began to circle implicating Esterhazy in the treasonous incident, the French military court hastily held a show trial that acquitted Esterhazy of all wrongdoing.

Despite the banishment of both Dreyfus and Piquart, news circulated about a miscarriage of justice and the evidence of a national cover-up in the top ranks of the French military establishment.

I took a courageous journalist, Emile Zola, to write an article in a leading French newspaper titled “J-Accuse!” in which he defended Dreyfus and accused the hierarchy of a cover-up. 

As a result, Zola was accused and convicted of libel, but he escaped to Britain to continue his righteous campaign for justice for Dreyfus and Piquart.

Dreyfus was shipped back to France to face yet another trial by the same establishment. In 1899, he was again court-martialed and found guilty. 

By this time the mood had changed in France and, days after the trial, Dreyfus was pardoned by the French president on all charges. However, it took another seven years before Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstated into the French army, fully twelve years since he was publicly shamed. 

It took individual men of courage to face down the political and military establishment in France to change the public mood and restore justice for both Dreyfus and Piquart.

How many courageous individuals, how many years will it take, to bring justice to Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller and expose the rotten hypocrisy in the top ranks of the Pentagon and the White House?

Let us hope that Scheller will not have to wait for a future president to pardon him.

Barry Shaw publishes The View from Israel.

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