There is a clear setting of war; the Americans have their articles of war in this. Yet is that enough?
Some stare at Article 10 of this, which gives us:
Every non-commissioned officer or soldier, who shall himself in the service of the United States, shall, at the time of his so enlisting, or within six days afterward have the Articles for the government of the armies of the United States read to him, and shall, by the officer who enlisted him, or by the commanding officer of the troop or company into which he was enlisted, be taken before the next justice of the peace, or chief magistrate of any city or town corporate, not being an officer of the army or where recourse cannot be had to the civil magistrate, before the judge advocate, and in his presence shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the armies of the United States.” Which justice, magistrate or judge advocate is to give to the officer a certificate, signifying that the man enlisted did take the said oath or affirmation. (* By Section 111 of Chapter 42 August 3, 1861, the oath of enlistment and re-enlistment may be administered by any commissioned officer of the army.)
Yet is that enough?
You see, this article was the first one that came to mind when I was confronted with the Washington Post who gives us (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-special-forces-soldier-once-lauded-as-a-hero-faces-murder-charge/2018/12/13/bb4a11ee-ff10-11e8-ad40-cdfd0e0dd65a_story.html) the headline ‘Former Special Forces soldier, once lauded as a hero, faces murder charge‘. Here we see the mention of U.S Army Capt. Mathew Golsteyn. The article gives us in several cases “the suspected bomb maker“. The question is not merely regarding that captain, it is regarding the political cloud over a theatre of war. When we are confronted with: “The suspected bomb maker was not on a list of targets that U.S. forces had been cleared to kill, according to Army documents” when we place this next to “found materials needed to make bombs like the one that had killed the Marines. Golsteyn said that they brought the suspected bomb maker back to their base“. When we see the clear state where US troops are in a stage with an enemy of their nation and forces, we get to go to the articles of war “I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever“, from my point of view, a point of view shared by many, we get the condition that a bomb maker is that, we also get that this was a clear enemy, even if there is a setting of “was not on a list of targets that U.S. forces had been cleared to kill“, we have the clear setting of an enemy and when the strategical status changes where the existence of the bomb maker can upset a much larger territorial field, it is my personal belief that killing the target is not merely warranted, it had become essential. One would expect that an Army Captain has the rank to clearly set that field. We might argue that optionally that those who managed the “list of targets” could have been inadvertently asleep at the wheel.
It also makes me oppose the state of “demonstrating conduct unbecoming of an officer“, if anything he showed the balls (an element most flaccid US politicians are lacking) to do something essential. In this war, we have been confronted with a shifting of values by the enemies attacking America and as such, other considerations should be made in all this.
It becomes merely an administrative exercise when we were offered “found materials needed to make bombs like the one that had killed the Marines”, which alone would have been sufficient to take actions that might have resulted in enemy fatalities, optionally disregarding the circumstance.
When we are confronted with this stage we see the setting on why American forces might end up losing. I do not argue that there has been a clear path of transgressions by others as we are exposed to: “another officer, former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013 for ordering his soldiers to open fire on village elders in Afghanistan who were approaching his unit while they were on patrol. Several member of Lorance’s platoon testified against him after being offered immunity.” In the case of Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn we see a very different stage and here we see a failing; a failing by the army, a failing by the American politicians and the quote by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R.-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee giving us: “Matt Golsteyn is an American hero. Matt Golsteyn does for the American people what we ask him to do, and the Army is screwing him again, and they ought to be embarrassed“, which seems to fit the bill in all this.
We also see another part; at the end of the linked article we are given: “A senior Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said a request for information on the Army’s handling of the case has been filed with the Defense Department Inspector General. Until that is resolved, the official said, the case is on hold“. I can only partially accept that. From my point of view a clear documented path should be presented to the people showing what the soldiers fighting for America have to go through. When I see “the Army’s handling of the case“, I see the need that there needs to be more clarity for these people in war time conditions and whilst in a stage where they can be part of a live fire exercise at any given moment. As I have the ability to kill anything within 800 meters (with the proper rifle), considering the damage I could do, knowing that there were plenty of people in Afghanistan imparting such damage on American troops, does the Pentagon or the political engine have any clue that any holier than though stage is not merely dangerous, it has the danger of losing an enormous amount of additional troops killed by leaving them in such a dangerous stage of uncertainty?
There is every case for the prosecution of former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, yet is there any clear stage of transgression against then Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn? The fact that this entire matter has been going on for 5 years gives clear voice that some people are seeking something else; that conclusion comes to me when I see that the finding in 2014 was that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. Yet that too leaves us with questions. Because we need to recognise the difference between ‘insufficient evidence to prosecute‘ versus ‘cleared as no wrongdoing was found‘.
We might be able to agree that the stage of Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn is one that required scrutiny, yet the fact that the finding of 2014 should have been accepted (even though I have an optional issue regarding the stripping of his Silver Star, however as I am unaware of the findings or the reasons on exactly why he was stripped, we need to keep that part in the air. If we consider the phrase ‘conduct unbecoming an officer’ we need to consider that “He launched an 80-man mission to hunt the shooter down, slogging through a muddy field under fire to help a wounded Afghan soldier“. One case is not another and in this the uncertainty that American troops are implied to be exposed to is also a much more dangerous setting, not merely in morale, but in the dangerous stage that until clear documented orders are given to soldiers on a battlefield, they might not act in fear of prosecution and that is deadly dangerous, which is a clear setting of defeat!
When we see in the official document: “CPT GOLSTEYN related he trusted Mr. [REDACTED]’s intelligence and had always given him credible information which saved lives and prevented attacks“, my mind would have been made up and clear. So whoever has been stretching and reactivating this investigation for 5 years needs to (in my most diplomatic posture and voice): “Fuck off and become a barber, hairdresser or taxi driver“, so there!
I admit that I might spend a day checking the validity of the report, yet it took 10 seconds to make up my mind in all this. War is war, it does not change; it does not compromise or play nice. For a lot of people the contemplation of wars changed. It was initially on the 9th of August 2001 at a place called Sbarro in Jerusalem. A month later we got two buildings in New York on September 11th (you might remember that) as well as the earlier bombings on four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk between September 4th and September 16th 1999. It changed the stage of war. It was an intentional war against civilians, a war that should have been made unacceptable from day one.
From my personal point of view, the direct killing of a terrorist should be unconditional and non-prosecutable. We might argue that not all those wearing explosive vests do so of their own accord, yet at that point we need to avoid optional additional deaths a kill shot might be required. Yes, at that point we need to investigate if avoiding collateral damage can be proven to have been avoided and that is exactly what then Captain Golsteyn did.
I think that the US (as well as other nations) has ventured too much towards the facilitation of terrorists with the visible exception of France who knows just what to do with those unpleasant individuals (aka ‘fuckers’).
I also found the additional information (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/05/19/see-document-excerpts-in-the-armys-war-crimes-case-against-a-green-beret-war-hero/) interesting here is the additional: “In December 2011, a special agent contacted Bing West, a bestselling author who spent time with Golsteyn’s unit around the time of the alleged killing. He said he wouldn’t assist investigators unless he was subpoenaed, and had never seen them do anything inappropriate.” This too is interesting for a few reasons. There is ample evidence that the media and the news steered around the events to the largest degree, those without knowledge, voices and with degrees in journalism have millions of words on Jamal Khashoggi, even if there is no evidence, yet when it comes to the work and dedication of Golsteyn, they all remain silent, this too is a level of hypocrisy I find hard to swallow. I do not run away from the issue and my findings on what I have been able to ascertain. So when I see ‘leaked report’ I have questions, questions that those leakers will not like (like the need for their identity) and the need to hold these people to account or their actions. So when I am treated to “Golsteyn “was not remorseful as he had solid intelligence and his actions protected the safety of his fellow teammates,” it said“, I merely see it as the required consequence of war. I also feel the need to make clear to feel my urge to make the not entirely proven claim that most likely someone at the CIA leaked it, to state to Director Gina Haspel (who was not in charge at that point): “Gina clean up your house, or I will do it for you and I won’t be nice about it!”
OK, that was a little over the top, yet am I wrong? We see all kinds of leaked reports left right and centre, yet when it comes to Jamal Khashoggi we get no leaked tapes, we get no leaked reports or photographs, we merely get 57,000,000 search results, most of them misinformation, repeated unsubstantiated rumours and debatable facts that are anything but confirmed facts. When we look for Matt Golsteyn, we merely see less than 190,000 results and most repeat each other and also hiding behind “suspected Taliban bomb maker” (which is not completely unacceptable) , so how much effort did Sam’s uncle show to check the validity of that part and the parts found? It seems to me that a mere confirmation of that would have resulted in a dismissal of all charges, or am I making the challenge too simple for the Pentagon (and/or) the CIA?
Before you all consider that it was a complex issue, I can give you the rough estimated 98.43356% certainty that it was not rocket science. We now see that President Trump is looking into the matter and that is a good thing, although in opposition, I personally believe that it should never have reached his desk, it should have been solved within the Pentagon walls in 2014, and it did (the outcome remaining partially debatable as I personally see it).
In the end, this is merely one case and there have been plenty, I will also admit that in many cases the US did not show to have its finest hour or that the actions of a few have been acceptable, yet in the case of then Captain Golsteyn, I would have done the same thing again, and again and again, no matter how the aftermath outcome was. The now Major Golsteyn response: “he couldn’t have lived with himself if [the suspected bomb maker] killed another Soldier or Marine“, he had the proper mindset to keep himself and his brothers in arms away from harm. So let us all hope that the House Armed Services Committee has more people like Duncan D. Hunter and less people who go ‘miaow’ day and night, because as I see it the people of a feline distinction will cower when it comes to the light of day and plead for a compromising solution with whomever achieves victory over America and in light of certain events that is not an unrealistic future that America is moving towards.
When we see people like Maria Butina having (via the NRA) sway over politicians and attempting to set an alleged Russian agenda, allegedly advocating the needs of Alexander Torshin, how much more important is it now to set the stage for a strong and committed defence force (and optional a strong intelligence force). Do you really think that the events surrounding Matt Golsteyn will get America there?
I very much doubt it!