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Hearing for Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller is held in SECRET as politicians demand his release

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A first trial for Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller – who was jailed for ignoring orders to stop publicly criticizing Afghanistan’s withdrawal from Afghanistan – will be held in secret as dozens of congressmen demand his immediate release.

Scheller, 40, was arrested Monday and jailed in the Camp Lejeune brig for allegedly violating four military laws by refusing orders to stop posting critical videos on social media.

He will appear in court in North Carolina for the first time today at 3:30 p.m., but the public — including elected officials and the media — will not be allowed to attend.

The lack of transparency does not sit well with the impartial Justice Warriors Caucus, an official congressional group that advocates for service members who have been wrongfully imprisoned.

“We believe the military is trying to do this behind closed doors without proper oversight,” Derrick Miller, executive director of the caucus, told Dailymail.com. “Nothing prohibits people from being admitted to this judicial proceeding.

“The fact that they’re trying to do this behind closed doors should be troubling every American.”

A military spokesman told Dailymail.com that private procedures are “standard for first-review hearings.”

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was jailed Monday in a North Carolina brigade for defying orders to stop publicly criticizing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. He served in the Marines for 17 years

A secret hearing will determine if he can be released from Lejeune camp incarceration (pictured)

A secret hearing will determine if he can be released from Lejeune camp incarceration (pictured)

Rep.  Louie Gohmert says his captivity

Rep. Louie Gohmert says his imprisonment “appears to be for messaging, retaliation and convenience.” The brig is pictured

At least 36 congressmen have signed a letter calling for Scheller’s release in an initiative led by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who said the Marine’s jail term “appears to be for messages, retaliation and convenience.”

Scheller’s commander is required by law to reasonably justify his imprisonment within 72 hours, Gohmert said in his letter to the Marine Corps. Commander Gen. David H. Berger.

“Given its outstanding track record and more than 15 years of dedicated service, we do not believe and have seen no evidence that LTC Sheller poses a serious risk of criminal misconduct,” Gohmert wrote.

“For the above reasons, we request that LTC Scheller be released from pre-trial detention and housed in the least restrictive form of housing.”

Scheller, based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, was three years after his retirement when he posted a scathing video criticizing superiors on August 26, the same day the 13 US troops were killed in Kabul.

After being ordered to stop posting on social media, he again cracked down on military and civilian leadership in a Facebook post on Saturday, inviting commanding officers to throw him in jail.

Derrick Miller of Justice Warriors Caucus Says Case Affects Every American

Derrick Miller of Justice Warriors Caucus Says Case Affects Every American

Miller emphasized the view of Scheller being imprisoned despite no Americans being held responsible for the August 26 ambush, or a more recent U.S. drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including children.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration and with this process in general, when you look at what happened during the withdrawal in Afghanistan and the soldiers who sadly lost their lives and the families who will never see their loved ones again,” he said. he said. .

“No high-ranking official responsible for the withdrawal has ever been held accountable. We recently saw a drone strike that killed all civilians, which was initially touted as a military success, but no one was held accountable.”

He added: “But if you look at Lieutenant Colonel Scheller and other cases where someone was directly hit or raised a problem with the behavior of the commando, they are automatically beaten with accusations or deprived of their liberty behind closed doors, where people can’t see what’s going on.’

Colonel Maura M. Hennigan, director of the Marine House Liaison Office, said in an email obtained by Dailymail.com that the hearing for the initial review will be conducted by “a neutral and independent military magistrate.”

“These proceedings are generally not public and do not involve witness statements,” Hennigan said in the email. “The military magistrate will assess whether continuation of the pre-trial detention is necessary, considering several factors.”

A source close to the case says Scheller is in an area of ​​the brigade that is normally for killers

A source close to the case says Scheller is in an area of ​​the brigade that is normally for killers

Scheller's mom wonders if he's being treated like a 'political prisoner' for speaking out

Scheller’s mom wonders if he’s being treated like a ‘political prisoner’ for speaking out

It's not clear whether Scheller will be allowed to spend time in the prison's outdoor area, which includes fitness equipment and a basketball court.

It’s not clear whether Scheller will be allowed to spend time in the prison’s outdoor area, which includes fitness equipment and a basketball court.

Considerations include: the nature and circumstances of the suspected offenses, the weight of evidence, Scheller’s local ties to the community, his character and mental state, and track record.

The court will also look at the likelihood of a flight and whether Scheller is likely to commit “even more serious criminal misconduct” if he is released, she said.

Stuart Scheller Sr., the Marine’s father, said he does not believe his son will be released from prison.

“They want to shut up,” he told Dailymail.com.

“They are under fire from many, many people across the country and have come together.”

Cathy Scheller, his mother, has wondered why he gets such hash treatment, despite not hurting anyone.

“He didn’t kill anyone. You go through your whole list of reasons why he should be in jail, but talking isn’t one of them,” she told Dailymail.com. “I’m going to get seditious here, but I wonder, is he a political prisoner?

‘I do not know. I never thought of political prisoners in the United States.”

“The people at the brig have been very respectful,” a source told Scheller

A military indictment charges Scheller with contempt for officials, willfully disobeying a superior officer, disobeying orders or regulations, and conduct that is unbecoming of an officer or gentleman.

He is being held in an area normally reserved for suspected murderers, a source close to the case said.

The brig on the base brig at Camp Lejeune is not a pleasant place to be, said a man who once worked there.

“If you’ve murdered someone or molested a child, you generally spend most of your time in special quarters in a cell staring out the window,” Anthony Ricciardo said in a 2018 Reddit post.

“Lukewarm food is brought to you and every now and then a library cart comes for you to pick out a book to read.”

The remand facility was rebuilt in 2012, replacing a 44-year-old prison with the “latest and best features,” the Marines said as it celebrated its opening.

Scheller's father said he doubts he will be released from the brigade

Scheller’s father said he doubts he will be released from the brigade

The Marines have touted the facility as a suite of correctional programs, fitness training, counseling, religious programming, and more.

It was not clear whether Scheller has access to any of those programs due to COVID-19 protocols, although a source close to the Dailymail.com case told him he was treated “very well”.

“The people at the brigade have been very respectful and very professional with him, and he has no complaints at all, except that he is in prison,” the source said. “The people there have been very friendly.”

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