Maj. Mathew Golsteyn charged with tracking down and killing Afghan man known as Rasoul on February 22, 2010
Golsteyn a decorated Green Beret is charged with murdering the Afghan bomb maker who he suspected was responsible for the deaths of two Marines, in his command, in 2010
Golsteyn suspected that Rasoul was a bomb maker who manufacture the device that killed Marine Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, and Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson, 19
Army report said the Golsteyn previously confessed to burning Rasoul’s body at the base
Case first came to light in 2011, when Golsteyn admitted to the CIA during a job interview that he killed the Afghan
Army Criminal Investigation Command looked into the incident, but could never find anyone to corroborate Golsteyn’s claim
In 2016, Golsteyn appeared on a Fox News special and told host Brett Baier he killed the Afghan because letting him go would have led to additional problems
Despite the lack of corroboration, investigators said ‘Golsteyn committed the offenses of murder and conspiracy based on the interview provided by the CIA’
The former commando was awarded the Silver Star after fighting in Afghanistan in 2010, but under a cloud of the investigation, he was later stripped of the medal and ejected from the Special Forces
Never charged with a war crime, because the 2015 Army board of inquiry didn’t attempt to establish whether he actually killed the Afghan, the panel instead considered whether he should be retained as an Army officer based on a reprimand in his personnel record
Former Green Beret Maj. Mathew Golsteyn [right], has been charged with murder for allegedly tracking down and killing a suspected Afghan bomb maker known as Rasoul on February 22, 2010
Army Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said in a statement Friday that Maj. Mathew Golsteyn is charged with killing the Afghan during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.
Bymer said Golsteyn’s commander determined there was sufficient evidence to charge the former Army Green Beret with the crime.
Golsteyn, who was leading a team of Army Special Forces troops at the time, believed that the bomb-maker, known only as Rasoul, was responsible for an explosion that killed two US Marines – Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, and Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson, 19.
The new charges will be reviewed to determine if the case should go to trial.
The Golsteyn case has been bounced around since 2011 when he told the CIA during a polygraph test in a job interview that he had shot and killed the man in February 2010 in Marjah.
According to an Army investigation report, Golsteyn buried the victim in an unmarked grave, then dug up the corpse, carried it back to the base and burned it in a trash pit.
CID, however, concluded the soldier committed the offenses of murder and conspiracy based on the interview provided by the CIA and moved to reprimand him, according to an Army memo.
The Army revoked Golsteyn’s Special Forces designation and the Silver Star he was awarded for heroism during a Taliban attack on his base in Helmand Province.
Two years later, Golsteyn appeared on a Fox News special called ‘How We Fight,’ in which he told host Brett Baier that he killed the Afghan because letting him go would have led to additional problems.
He said: ‘You realize quickly that you make things worse. It is an inevitable outcome that people who are cooperating with coalition forces, when identified, will suffer some terrible torture or be killed.’
According to testimony and documents, Golsteyn led about 80 troops in a four-hour firefight in the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in February 2010.
He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire as he helped evacuate a wounded Afghan soldier and directed airstrikes against the Taliban, which earned him the Silver Star medal.
The murder charge was brought in the case seven years after Golsteyn disclosed the killing during a CIA polygraph test.
Golsteyn was applying for a job with the security agency when he admitted to fatally shooting the man who he said was a suspected Taliban bomb maker, military officials said.
In November 2011, about two months before being promoted from captain to major, Golsteyn told the CIA during a polygraph test that on February 22, before that medal-winning battle, he shot and killed the bomb-maker whom he blamed for the explosion that killed the Marines.
He recounted that the day after that explosion in a bazaar, two Afghan men walked up to the US military compound with a third, bound Afghan who they said was responsible, according to testimony. Rasoul was released when no bomb-making material was found.
Soon after, the alleged bomb-maker was shot while walking along a path in Marjah, according to testimony.
The disclosure led to the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) launching a probe into Golsteyn in late 2011.
In April 2014, Golsteyn received an official reprimand for his actions, but no formal charges were filed at the time due to a lack of physical evidence, military officials said. Army Secretary John McHugh revoked Golsteyn’s Silver Star, the third highest award for valor in the military, and took away his Special Forces tab, a patch awarded to soldiers after completing one of the elite Special Forces schools.
Golsteyn was never charged with a war crime, and the 2015 board of inquiry didn’t attempt to establish whether he actually killed the Afghan. Instead, the panel considered whether he should be retained as an Army officer based on a reprimand in his personnel record.
The board determined he was guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and he was discharged.
Speaking to NBC News on Thursday, Golsteyn blamed the Fox News interviews for his new legal troubles, but he stood by his comments to Baier.
He also insisted that he did nothing wrong on that day in February 2010 in Afghanistan.
‘I have had commanders look me in the face and tell me I have done nothing wrong,’ Golsteyn said.