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Do You Want Trump to Pardon the Green Beret Charged With Murder?

Should Trump Pardon a Green Beret Suspected of Killing a Taliban Bomb-Maker?

by Countable | Updated on 12.18.18

 What’s the story?

  • Last week brought news that Green Beret Maj. Mathew Golsteyn had been charged with murdering a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in U.S. custody in 2010. On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he’d review the case himself.  

What did Golsetyn allegedly do?

  • Military investigators say Golsteyn defied orders to release the suspected bomb maker, and instead led him off base, executed him, and buried his body is a shallow grave.

What are both sides saying?

  • Military legal experts are questioning whether Trump may be exerting “unlawful command influence"—a doctrine requiring the chain of command to detach itself from any military legal proceeding.
  • But retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata wrote in an opinion piece on Fox News that “Trump is perfectly within his legal authority” to float a pardon.
“Citizens and soldiers are innocent until proven guilty. It would be the height of irony to deny a combat veteran the constitutional rights that he so bravely fought for.”
  • Elliot Ackerman, a former Marine, and recipient of the Silver Star, wrote in the New York Times that “even a war hero is not above the law.”
“You are never allowed to summarily execute prisoners. Very few rules in war are black and white. But this one is.”

What do you think?

Should Trump pardon Maj. Mathew Golsteyn? Take action above and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman


Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(215)
  • William
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    he confessed to the murder of a suspect, in addition to insubordination, which makes him a murderer. Despite his level of patriotism, he disobeyed his superiors, perverted the course and final judgment of the justice system that decided that the man be freed, and confessed to it all. I firmly stand on the notion that the president should not intervene in this matter any further.

    Like (39)
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  • Bobby
    Voted Yes
    12/18/2018
    ···

    No question. Pardon this hero and reinstate his SF tab and Silver Star. This guy saved lives through his actions. He should be congratulated.

    Like (24)
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  • Chris-Breseman
    Voted Maybe
    12/18/2018
    ···

    I don’t know enough about this to render a decision. Though, if reports are correct and he murdered a terrorist in custody, he violated the UCMJ and international law. If that’s the case, he deserves to be punished. //signed// Chris Breseman 100% USAF DAV

    Like (18)
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  • Donna
    12/19/2018
    ···

    No, but then again, I JUST DON’T WANT TRUMP to DO ANYTHING!!!

    Like (4)
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  • J. scott
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    No I don’t want the officer pardoned. Moreover, I don’t want Trump our commander in Chief making statements about an ongoing case - he’s in charge of the UCMJ process although he needs to follow law. Making statements about an ongoing case obstructs Justice and places a chilling effect on the UCMJ process. I see his statements as highly irregular; completely unnecessary; highly disrespectful of the law and the military UCMJ process; obstructing justice by undermining and assuming he knows best based upon here say. I would have been fine if he wanted to review the case “after” an outcome by the military legal system (UCMJ). However, it’s now too late because of his asinine, hip shooting, Cowboy statements. My apologies of course to cowboys. By the way I am a retired military Veteran with over 30 years service. The Presidents pardon powers do not start before the trial. He has no authority to nullify a court proceeding.

    Like (28)
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  • Karan
    Voted Yes
    12/18/2018
    ···

    If Bowe Bergdahl could get traded back by Obama giving up 5 Taliban fighters after Bowe deserted, if Chelsea Manning can get pardoned after peaking classified information, then this hero should definitely get pardoned for killing a Taliban bomb maker.

    Like (17)
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  • Wayne
    Voted Maybe
    12/18/2018
    ···

    If the facts are as he claims, of course. His job was to kill terrorists and he did it. If however, he killed a POW in cold blood he should be held responsible unlike the traitor whose sentence was commuted by Obama or the deserter that got a pass from the military courts.

    Like (6)
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  • zmrt69
    12/18/2018
    ···

    Has he already been convicted?!? You can’t pardon someone of a crime before they are convicted.

    Like (4)
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  • RjGoodman
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    The president is not part of the judiciary.

    Like (19)
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  • burrkitty
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    “You are never allowed to summarily execute prisoners. Very few rules in war are black and white. But this one is.” NO-ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

    Like (11)
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  • Leslie
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    Trump needs to butt out. Heck how many Navy Seals did he have die on his watch & his FAILED MISSION? HE HAS ALSO HAD THE AUDACITY TO BERATE THE SEAK THAT GOT OSAMA BIN LADEN. TRUMP NEEDS TO RESIGN BEFORE FURTHER DETRIMENT TO "OUR COUNTRY" OR MY FAVORED OPTION INDICT HIM & OFF TO PRISON FOR MANY, MANY, MANY YEARS

    Like (9)
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  • Eddie
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    Summarily execution makes us just as low as the enemy we are fighting. To then try and hide the body is criminal intent, he deserves Leavenworth for that. And he put other Americans deployed at risk for retribution. We are better than that. Duty, honor, and commitment isn’t just a saying. He broke the faith.....

    Like (7)
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  • Robert
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    If he was found Guilty in a court marshal it would be counter to the good order and discipline of the armed services.

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  • Mark
    Voted Yes
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Give that man a medal, a promotion and a parade!

    Like (5)
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  • Troy
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Here is someone has a track record for killing detained combatants. Medals stripped from him for similar previous actions. There is a military judicial system for a reason. That reason is not for a political stunt for Donald to try to retain the last of his base before they see the quickening coming January 2019. Have a Mueller Christmas everyone!

    Like (5)
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  • Regina
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    A confessed murderer should never be pardoned. Full stop.

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  • Matt
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    No one is above the law and our military must be held to a high standard. They’re considered hero’s because of the standard they represent. Justice should always prevail. Not revenge, not emotions, but justice.

    Like (5)
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  • Tyler
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    The President should not be meddling in the judicial process. Aside from that though, the murder was unjustified on its face. I don’t care if you have Hitler himself as a POW, you don’t kill prisoners, especially against the order of a commanding officer.

    Like (4)
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  • Meredith
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    If he is guilty of murdering some in custody, he must serve his sentence. Otherwise, who are we?

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  • Stefan
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Trump needs to stay out of it. The the system do its job.

    Like (4)
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  • George
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    With respect for his service and his intent to protect the country, he is not above the law, and endorsing his action opens the door to limitless abuse. Trump's words and actions in this defy law and only play to his base.

    Like (4)
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