The wife of a former Army Green Beret who has been charged with killing a man in Afghanistan whom he suspected was a Taliban bomb maker is defending her husband, saying he did nothing wrong.
U.S. Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn was charged with murder on Thursday, long after he acknowledged the killing in a 2016 Fox News interview.
“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “Major Golsteyn has been charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan,” he said.
But his wife, Julie, expressed dismay that her husband was charged with murder while doing his job as a U.S. Army soldier.
“He was lucky enough to survive war and has come home to be ripped apart by his own government and the Army leadership,” Mrs. Golsteyn said Sunday on Fox News. “I know my husband, I know his heart and I know his character,” she said. “And to think that he killed someone in cold blood … is absolutely… I don’t even have a word for it. It is just so disgusting.”
She also called the charges against her husband “almost laughable” and urged Army officials to “crawl out from the blanket of anonymity” to take responsibility.
President Trump on Sunday said that many have requested he look into the case, which he pledged to do.
“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The murder charge was brought in the unusual case seven years after Golsteyn disclosed the killing during a CIA polygraph test,” NBC News reported. “Golsteyn was applying for a job with the spy agency when he admitted to fatally shooting the man who he said was a suspected Taliban bomb maker, military officials said.”
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.
Two years later, Golsteyn appeared on a FOX News Special Report entitled, “How We Fight,” where he admitted to killing the suspected bomb maker.
Golsteyn told anchor Brett Baier he was concerned that if he released the suspected Taliban member, the man would target Afghans who were providing information to U.S. soldiers.
Baier asked Golsteyn if he’d killed the man. “Yes,” Golsteyn replied.
Meanwhile, Golsteyn’s father, Jerry, said Monday on Fox News that his son is “a young man of character” as he backed Trump’s pledge to investigate the case,
“Last time I checked, he’s the commander-in-chief,” the father said. “‘If he feels that something is not going as it should go, I’m more than happy to get him in there and look at the situation and make decisions.”
Jerry Golsteyn also defended his son, saying the victim was “an enemy combatant. He was a known bomb maker, he was identified, and actions taken were to protect the lives of the villagers and those in his unit and the people around him.”