News & Politics

Trump Will Review Case of Green Beret Charged With Murdering a Suspected Terrorist

(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Former Green Beret Maj. Matthew Golsteyn has been charged with murdering an Afghan man suspected of building a bomb that killed two Marines in Afghanistan. Now, Donald Trump says he will review the case.


The incident came up during a polygraph for a 2011 CIA job interview, The Washington Post reported, saying Golsteyn admitted to killing the bombmaker. However Stackhouse has disputed how the admission was characterized by Army officials.

Golsteyn was on “excess leave” from the Army until last Monday, when he was called up for active duty and then charged on Tuesday, according to Stackhouse.

After several news stories about the charges, Trump then weighed in on Sunday.

Trump’s tweet could also cause problems for the military prosecution of Golsteyn since the commander in chief does not usually weigh in on ongoing cases to avoid undue influence on the process.

“The allegations against Major Matt Golsteyn are a law enforcement matter,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told CNN. “The Department of Defense will respect the integrity of this process and provide updates when appropriate.”

Golsteyn appeared on Fox News in 2016 and admitted killing the man, which led to his current difficulties. Why the Army took this long to charge Golsteyn is a mystery.

The alleged murder occurred in Helmand Province — a hotbed of the insurgency at the time — after a bomb exploded in a market killing two Marines.

The next day, two Afghan men walked up to the US military compound with the suspect bound. They said he was responsible for the attack.

The man, however, was released when no bomb-making material was found. But not long after, he was shot while walking along a path in Marjah.

Initially, an Army investigation could find no one who could corroborate Golsteyn’s claim to have killed the bomb maker, nor could it find any remains of the Afghan.

But investigators said “Golsteyn committed the offenses of murder and conspiracy based on the interview provided by the CIA,” according to a Sept. 29 Army memo.

Golsteyn says he was concerned that the Afghan informants who turned him in were in danger from the bombing suspect.

I suppose a strict reading of the rules of engagement and international law would require some kind of trial. But should the major really be punished for killing the enemy?