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Green Beret charged with murdering suspected Taliban bomb-maker will finally get his day in court
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
Golsteyn's court-martial on charges of premeditated murder will begin on Dec. 2 at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, according to a Thursday news release from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
In February 2010, Golsteyn allegedly executed an Afghan villager who an Afghan tribal leader had identified as bomb-maker who had killed two Marines earlier that month. According to the Washington Post, Golsteyn and two other soldiers later exhumed the victim's remains and burned them.
But while Army documents indicated that Golsteyn had admitted during a 2011 CIA polygraph test that he'd killed the man, it took eight years and two separate Army investigations to actually bring the decorated Special Forces officer to trial.
Following the 2011 polygraph, Army Criminal Investigative Command opened an investigation into Golsteyn's alleged admission, which civilian lawyer Philip Stackhouse dismissed as a "fantasy," per Army Times. The Army closed its investigation in 2013, and the polygraph only became public knowledge in 2015.
"At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a 'U.S. Military hero,' Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder," Trump wrote. "He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas."
Trump's announcement appeared to come in reaction to a segment by Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth that asked whether the Army was "betraying Maj. Matthew Golsteyn."
"A decorated war hero who fought for our country overseas, now a suspected war criminal," Hegseth said in opening the segment. "Former Green Beret Maj. Matt Golsteyn could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Taliban bomb maker while overseas in 2010."
Indeed, Golsteyn claimed during a February 2019 interview with Hegseth that he had "conducted an ambush" when he engaged the unarmed target.
"Over these years, what the Army – particularly this time, the United States Army Special Operations Command – seems to be intent on doing is characterizing an ambush as murder," Golsteyn said. "What Army special operators and regular Army, like infantry soldiers, have done over the last 15 years, those routine combat actions are now being characterized as murder."
The new acting secretary of the Navy said recently that he is open to designing a fleet that is larger than the current 355-ship plan, one that relies significantly on unmanned systems rather than solely on traditional gray hulls.
President Donald Trump, speaking during a closed-door speech to Republican Party of Florida donors at the state party's annual Statesman's Dinner, was in "rare form" Saturday night.
The dinner, which raised $3.5 million for the state party, was met with unusual secrecy. The 1,000 attendees were required to check their cell phones into individual locked cases before they entered the unmarked ballroom at the south end of the resort. Reporters were not allowed to attend.
But the secrecy was key to Trump's performance, which attendees called "hilarious."
Riding the high of the successful event turnout — and without the pressure of press or cell phones — Trump transformed into a "total comedian," according to six people who attended the event and spoke afterward to the Miami Herald.
He also pulled an unusual move, bringing on stage Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who Trump pardoned last month for cases involving war crimes. Lorance was serving a 19-year sentence for ordering his soldiers shoot at unarmed men in Afghanistan, and Golsteyn was to stand trial for the 2010 extrajudicial killing of a suspected bomb maker.
Retired Col. Charles McGee stepped out of the small commercial jet and flashed a smile.
Then a thumbs-up.
McGee had returned on a round-trip flight Friday morning from Dover Air Force Base, where he served as co-pilot on one of two flights done especially for his birthday.
By the way he disembarked from the plane, it was hard to tell that McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, was turning 100.
The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.
On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.
A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.