The military has rejected an appeal to return retired Major Matthew Golstein a medal for gallantry, a Special Forces soldier ex-President Donald Trump pardoned for his alleged assassination in Afghanistan. It had been one among three high-profile cases during which Trump intervened on behalf of soldiers accused of war crimes.
The decision about Golstein, which reached last June, wasn't announced by the military as president in Trump's final months, but has been revealed in documents released to USA Today. The military also declined Golastin's request to revive its Special Forces tab, marking his service as a member of a selected unit, and a letter of reprimand imposed in his personnel file.
Golstein, a Green Beret , was charged with killing a suspected bomb maker who was ordered to be released in 2010 after being questioned in Afghanistan. Golstein admitted during an interview to hitch the CIA that he had killed the person . It triggered a military investigation that led to a murder indictment , but Trump's pardon canceled his court martial.
Golastin appealed in December 2019 to reinstate his Distinguished Service Cross, which was second after the Medal of Honor for gallantry in battle. Initially, Golastine was awarded the Silver Star Medal for hegemony, but was upgraded after a review.
Trump took the explanation for Golsten and two other service members accused of war crimes whose stories were put within the conservative journalism . Golastien and military lieutenant Clint Lorence were trampled on, and rearranged for Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher. Trump's extraordinary intervention in matters of military justice led to the Pentagon's upheaval, resulting in the firing of Naval Secretary Richard Spencer in Gallagher's case.
The Army board's decision on Golstein, obtained by a researcher and shared with USA Today, shows that the panel has denied all its claims. The board cited a letter from the Department of Justice in its case that Trump's pardon didn't clear Golastine's record."The presidency may be a symbol of forgiveness and doesn't imply 'innocence," the board wrote. Army spokesman Colonel Gabriel Ramirez acknowledged the refusal by the board, its highest level of review for personnel actions. Ramirez said that privacy laws prevent further comment.
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Golstein, during a statement provided by his lawyer, blamed the military for failing to follow Trump's vow to disclose his records and clear them incorrectly. Trump said repeated phone calls in November 2019, attended by then vice chairman Pence et al. , Golstein said.
"Clearly, we've seen that the military departments follow the commander's command in chief on other matters and, inexplicably, the military defied the president," Golastine said. "It shouldn't be a surprise that the findings of the military Board were released in November 2020 and that i wasn't mailed for two more months, after President Trump left office, so my case fell into the swamp of the President's transition Could. " , Philip Stackhouse, called the board's decision "unwise". Trump said that Trump said that Trump said that Trump said that Trumphouse said that Trumphouse said that Trumphouse promised to go away the Round Table with an impeccable record. Stallhouse said that Golstein has not yet decided whether he wants to make a decision in court . The military "may have dodged the bullet" by issuing reports after Trump and Steward stepped down after researcher and author, Dwight Mears, achieved the record.
"Certainly, the military had an incentive to prevent the president," said Mears, a West Point graduate and former history professor at the academy . "It is certainly possible that Trump may have attempted to overthrow (the board), which might be the worst case for the military. He could theoretically get them organized to control separately, because they were all government Employees. " Board decision. But, citing facts and issues, made it clear that he was the topic of their deliberations and his counsel acknowledged the authenticity of the document.
The report cites a letter from the CIA to the Pentagon in 2011, acknowledging that Golsteyn admitted killing the unarmed Afghan man.
Golsteyn was a captain within the 3rd Special Forces Group - Airborne in February 2010 when he reported shooting an unarmed Afghan man, the board's report states. the person had been questioned after the explosion of an improvised device . Golsteyn shot the person , he said, over concern for lives of an area tribal leader's family and U.S. troops.
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"Subject advised he elected to terminate the lifetime of the unarmed combatant because he knew that getting evidence so as to convict this individual of the detonation would be 'hard to urge ,'" consistent with the report. Golsteyn admitted that he and another member of the unit disposed of the adult male body .
The commander of Special Forces Command - Airborne reprimanded Golsteyn, citing his admission of violating the laws of war."Your behavior during this matter manifests an entire lack of judgment and responsibility ...You have discredited yourself, (Army Special Operations) and therefore the U.S. Army."
In a tweet in 2019, Trump called Golsteyn a "U.S. military hero."Trump also granted a pardon to Lorance, who had been serving a 19-year sentence for ordering soldiers to fireside on unarmed Afghan civilians. Two of them were killed. Gallagher was convicted of posing with the corpse of an ISIS fighter but acquitted of charges of murder and attempted murder.