Some things make you angry beyond comprehension. Consider that only one person’s been held accountable in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal. Or how about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Lois Lerner, losing her emails, pleading the Fifth and heading off to a taxpayer-funded, six-figure “retirement?” Did we ever find out who was responsible for the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in Operation Fast and Furious? Quite sure Eric Holder’s pulling down big cash for speaking engagements. How much must we endure of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s arrogance of officialdom? And anyone heard anything lately about U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl? Yet, an Army Green Beret must endure the crucible and disparaging assault of his combat record.
As reported by the Washington Times:
A board of inquiry has ruled the Army failed to substantiate its contention that a Green Beret hero murdered a suspected Taliban bombmaker, but nonetheless recommended a general discharge because of his battlefield conduct.
Major Matt Golsteyn had been stripped of his Silver Star and Special Forces tab by Army Secretary John McHugh after the officer told the CIA in a job interview polygraph that he had killed an unarmed bombmaker in Afghanistan in 2010.
The Army never charged MAJ Golsteyn. The Army convened a three-member board at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in an attempt to slap him with an other-than-honorable discharge. Instead, he received a general discharge under honorable conditions.
We’ve written on this case several times and detailed this young warrior’s heroism in the face of the enemy. I just have to ask: who is Secretary McHugh to strip MAJ Golsteyn of his Silver Star and Special Forces tab — both of which he earned? How have we come to this point where political appointees feel they have some power over the men and women we send into harm’s way? Here we sit on the verge of the U.S. Military perhaps making a decision to allow transgender individuals to serve in the Army. Yet, somehow we have an Army that’s hiding a deserter and punishing a man who faced the enemy.
We’re so very upside down in America. In case you needed to be reminded of MAJ Golsteyn’s exploits:
MAJ Golsteyn’s Silver Star narrative tells of a Special Forces soldier who repeatedly risked his life during a four-hour battle in Helmand province on Feb. 20, 2010. He organized an 80-man Green Beret/Marine Corps/Afghan force to hunt down Taliban firing on their forward operating base.
The Silver Star ranks third in precedence in combat valor awards, behind the Medal of Honor and the Army Distinguished Service Cross.
“Captain Golsteyn was alone running in the open through enemy gunfire that had over 80 men pinned down, and from the crow’s nest on top of FOB McQueary it looked like Captain Golsteyn was alone fighting 30 enemy fighters out in the poppy fields,” the narrative says.
So let me ask this: any of you believe Secretary McHugh’s done anything close to this in his life? Yes, I get the whole civilian oversight of the military, but I believe if we had civilians in oversight positions who’d served in the military and been on the receiving end of an ambush — we wouldn’t have this nonsense.
And what was the desire to go after Maj. Golsteyn?
While the board of one colonel and two lieutenant colonels cleared the officer of the most serious charge of violating the law of armed conflict, it substantiated a charge of conduct unbecoming an officer.
His attorney, Phil Stackhouse, said he plans to appeal what he considers an inconsistent verdict because the conduct unbecoming charge was tied to MAJ Golsteyn’s killing of the Afghan, for which the board did not substantiate wrongdoing.
So what conduct was unbecoming of an officer who had no charges brought or substantiated against him? Could it be that Maj. Golsteyn was Secretary McHugh’s target for some ill-intentioned reason? There seems to be some evidence to support that assertion.
The Fayetteville Observer, which covered the hearing, reported that the board at first rejected the prosecution’s attempt to enter the CIA interview transcript as evidence. But its legal adviser overruled the board. The board then tried to obtain the video over the weekend, but the CIA rejected the request. The board issued its opinion Sunday night.
Who was this “legal advisor” that overruled the board? It’s obvious this Army JAG officer interjected himself for some reason. If the charges against Maj. Golsteyn weren’t substantiated, then he should’ve received an apology, been reinstated to the Green Beret and had his Silver Star rewarded. The fact that the Army — actually, Secretary McHugh — has decided to make an example of this soldier is unconscionable and demeaning. Just imagine the message this sends to our Special Operations forces —especially after the disgusting report from The New York Times on our Navy SEALS. Who’d want to join the fight against the enemy knowing what happened to Maj. Mathew Golsteyn? The lesson seems to be that the Army’s more protective of deserters than warriors — and where is ol’ Bowe Bergdahl after all?
So now, Golsteyn — who stood in a poppy field and single-handedly manned a recoilless rifle to repel an enemy attack — gets a general discharge under honorable conditions. He deserves nothing less than an honorable discharge. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is why we need men and women leading the Department of Defense who’ve had skin in the game — not just some flake political appointees. If the case of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn had come across my desk, the answer is simple: promote that fella and tell him to keep kicking the enemy in the arse.
Unfortunately, the maxim of Alexander the Great has come to pass here in America: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Call up Secretary McHugh and tell him he’s ill-equipped to pass judgement on lions.