The Army has charged Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn with murder for allegedly shooting a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in 2010.
This comes more than two years after Golsteyn admitted during an interview with Fox News that he killed the Afghan man because he feared the suspected bomb-maker would murder an Afghan tribal leader if released.
Golsteyn has been recalled to active-duty after being placed on excess leave following a board of inquiry’s June 2015 recommendation that he receive a general discharge, said US Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer.
“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” Bymer told Task & Purpose on Thursday. “Maj. Golsteyn is being charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.”
A redacted copy of Golsteyn’s charge sheet was not immediately available, Bymer said.
Golsteyn’s attorney Philip Stackhouse tweeted on Thursday that his client had been charged with pre-meditated murder, which is punishable by death.
It is the latest twist in a case that has dragged on for nearly nine years. Golsteyn first admitted during a polygraph test for a CIA interview that he had killed an unarmed Afghan man after a tribal leader told him that the man had built a bomb that killed two Marines.
Golsteyn believed that the Afghan man would kill the tribal leader in retribution for identifying him, so Golsteyn executed the man off base, the Washington Post reported. After initially burying the man, Golsteyn and two other soldiers later dug up the remains and burned them.
Army Criminal Investigation Command initially did not find enough evidence to charge Golsteyn, but an investigation was re-opened after the Green Beret talked about the killing during an October 2016 interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier.
When Baier asked Golsteyn if he had killed the Afghan man, Golsteyn replied, “Yes.”
“It is an inevitable outcome that people who are cooperating with the coalition forces, when identified, will suffer some terrible torture or be killed,” Golsteyn said.
In a statement to Task & Purpose last month, Golsteyn said the allegations him have already been resolved.
“This vindictive abuse of power must know no limit,” he said. “My hope is that Army leadership will stop this vindictive plan and effect the retirement that is pending.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Defense Department's authority to prosecute retired service members for crimes they commit, even after retirement.
The court on Tuesday chose not to hear the case of a retired Marine who was court-martialed for a sexual assault he committed three months after leaving the service in August 2015. By not accepting the case, Larrabee v. the United States, the court upheld the status quo: that military retirees are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A formation of U.S. Army soldiers with III Corps and Fort Hood honor the American flag as they lower it during the Retreat ceremony March 27, 2014. Retreat is conducted at the end of the day, every day, to honor the flag, which is raised during the Reveille ceremony each morning. All activity on the base stops for the duration of both ceremonies as soldiers pause, face the flag, and salute. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ken Scar)
Soldiers and their spouses told Fort Hood brass and housing officials Thursday night about horrific conditions inside on-post housing, ranging from blooms of mold and lead paint to infestations of snakes and cockroaches and dangerously faulty window screens.
When President Trump spoke of Islamic State last week, he described the group as all but defeated, even in the digital realm.
"For a period of time, they used the internet better than we did. They used the internet brilliantly, but now it's not so brilliant," the president said. "And now the people on the internet that used to look up to them and say how wonderful and brilliant they are are not thinking of them as being so brilliant."
Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment and killed in action in Iraq in 2003, is depicted in a photo illustration alongside the Distinguished Service Cross medal, which he is slated to posthumously receive for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (U.S. Army)
The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.
HANOI (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told the U.S. secretary of state he did not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons, a former CIA officer involved in high-level diplomacy over the North's weapons was quoted as saying on Saturday.