As detailed by Checkpoint today, the Army launched a wide-ranging investigation in 2011 after it was informed by the CIA that a highly regarded Green Beret officer had admitted to killing an unarmed Taliban suspect in February 2010.
The Army declined to file criminal charges filed against Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn due to a lack of evidence, and the investigation was closed last year. Documents obtained by The Washington Post through the Freedom of Information Act, however, outline the nature of the allegations in new detail as well as the Army’s frustrated efforts to corroborate the remarks Golsteyn allegedly made during during a CIA polygraph test.
Below, a look at some excerpts that are key to the investigation or otherwise interesting. Golsteyn’s lawyers have questioned whether the narratives in these documents are accurate, while Army officials have described the investigation as fair and impartial.
An Army special agent lays out his case for the investigation
A special agent with Army Criminal Investigation Command describes the basis for his investigation against Golsteyn this way:
Narrative of Golsteyn’s polygraph admission
The special agent characterized what Golsteyn said here. Interestingly, the name of the base here is inaccurate. The Marines and soldiers using it called it Thunderdome, not Thunderdump.
Golsteyn’s reaction when questioned
The officer supposedly smiled when investigators began questioning him in November 2011, about two months after his CIA polygraph test.
Medic defends Golsteyn
The senior medic in Golsteyn’s Green Beret unit expressed disbelief that the officer would have killed an unarmed man.
Marine captain recalls Golsteyn’s vow
Former Marine Capt. Michael Barry’s statement to investigators is characterized here. Barry’s route-clearance unit served in direct support of Golsteyn’s unit. Investigators said that Barry recalled him vowing to capture the bombmaker responsible for building explosives that killed two of their Marines, but Barry said in an interview with The Washington Post that he remembers Golsteyn saying they would “get” the men responsible.
Barry said he doesn’t remember Golsteyn saying anything more. The comment also wouldn’t be uncommon for an officer leading men in those circumstances.
Investigators go to embedded journalist looking for information
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 see them do anything inappropriate.
Read the documents obtained by The Post in their entirety here: