For speaking out against the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller could face a lengthy prison sentence. Meanwhile Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, is calling for his release and fair treatment.

After his visit to Scheller in the Brig, Gohmert said on “Fox & Friends Weekend” that the Marine officer seemed in good spirits and was surrounded by fellow service members who “actually like” him. The problem, however, is with the upper military leadership and their priorities.

“We discovered they had a psychological operation to try to turn social media against him,” he said. “It’s incredible. Instead of worrying about the well-being of their troops, they’re worried about how they’re doing on social media.”

“They’re more worried about their image in social media than they are in their troops that got killed in Afghanistan,” he went on. “It is really abysmal what this leadership of this military has turned into.”

In the viral video that got him in trouble, Scheller expressed the same sentiment. On Aug. 27, the Marine made a public statement about how he believes leadership should be held responsible for the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left 13 service members “die in vain” and thousands of Americans and Afghan allies stranded.

Instead of negotiating an honorable discharge for Scheller, the Marine Corps has threatened to “burn our son,” according to his parents. Even allowing Scheller to resign would be a punishment, according to Gohmert, but military leadership is saying “that’s not enough.”

“This leadership thinks they’re going to stick it to Stuart when they’re doing all kinds of damage,” he said. 

Gohmert suggested that this kind of lashing out from the military is causing future Marines and service members to think twice before enlisting.

“Look what they do to people [who] stand up,” he said. “They’re a bunch of cowards but look at what they do to somebody who does have courage.”

According to the congressman, Scheller’s detention will be reviewed over the next few days in the hopes that the military will realize “this is not the way to go.”

“You don’t want to be meaner than you treat the enemy,” he said.

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