Army General Declines To Reinstate Special Forces Tab To Trump-Pardoned Officer
Retired Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn was denied a request to have his Special Forces tab reinstated by an Army general this week after Golsteyn received a presidential pardon last year, according to The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump’s reactions to prior similar situations indicates the move could prove precarious for Lt. Gen. Francis M. Beaudette, the commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
The Post noted that Beaudette’s decision is not final and the matter will now move to an administrative panel, which will determine if the Special Forces tab and a Distinguished Service Cross should be reinstated.
Trump pardoned Golsteyn as he was awaiting trial this year for the alleged murder of a suspected Taliban bombmaker in Afghanistan in 2010. Golsteyn admitted the killing during a polygraph examination in 2011 as the CIA considered him for a job.
The disclosure sparked an investigation, and Golsteyn subsequently lost his Special Forces tab in 2014. He also was issued a reprimand, and then charged with murder in 2018.
Golsteyn has insisted that the killing occurred during a lawful ambush and that he burned the body afterward in an effort to prevent disease, The Post reported.
Beaudette wrote in a memorandum that he declined Golsteyn’s request to have the tab reinstated because the officer’s actions “demonstrated a lack of adherence to the Special Forces Creed, and our American and Army values.”
After the Navy took action against accused war criminal and Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, Trump “reversed his demotion and restored his rank to chief petty officer,” The New York Times reported last year. And the president stepped in again to prevent the Navy from booting Gallagher from the SEALS.
The situation resulted in the ouster of Richard Spencer, then the secretary of the Navy.
As for Golsteyn, it remains to be seen whether the president will intervene again.