Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | Bing West | Matt Golsteyn | army | awarded

Bing West: Army Reduced Brave Green Beret from Hero to Zero

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:12 PM

The U.S. Army has robbed a Special Forces soldier of his Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in Afghanistan — because of a dubious lie-detector test given by the CIA, retired U.S. Marine Bing West tells Newsmax TV.

"He performed very bravely under fire and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross rather than the Silver Star, which is one award above it — the second highest we can give for bravery in battle," West said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"[Now] the issue is whether they're going to give him an honorable discharge or whether they're going to give him a dishonorable discharge."

West said the jaw-dropping fall of Matt Golsteyn came after his exemplary work in 2010 as head of a Special Forces team in the drug-infested district of Marja in southern Afghanistan.

"I was embedded with … nine Green Berets led by Capt. Golsteyn … The Marine colonel in charge asked [him] if he could take the Afghan battalion he was advising and block the Taliban in the south," West said.

When Golsteyn said he was short of troops and would have a hard time maneuvering them without more, his boss gave him a Marine platoon to assist.

"Golsteyn and his team, using the Afghan soldiers, kept their part of the bargain. They delivered in holding the southern part of Marja. He performed very bravely," West said.

Under sniper fire, Golsteyn launched the medical evacuation of a wounded Afghan soldier and returned fire as he ran through heavy enemy artillery. No American or coalition troops were killed in the four-hour battle.

The CIA was so impressed with Golsteyn that it recruited him to join the clandestine service.

"You have to take a polygraph and when Capt. Golsteyn took [it], something popped up that caused the CIA lawyers to share the polygraph with the U.S. Army," West said.

The Army later said Golsteyn had an undisclosed violation of U.S. military rules of engagement that resulted in the death of a known enemy fighter and bomb maker.

It put Golsteyn "on a hold" in Fort Bragg for three years, according to West, who served in the Vietnam War and later was an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration.

"Investigators spent three years asking everyone who had been there, including me, what had happened. At the end of three years, they said we have no evidence," he said.

"Instead of just getting on with life, the secretary of the Army said 'Well, I'm going to throw Capt. Golsteyn out of the Army and I'm taking back his Distinguished Service Cross.'"

Some believe there may be another reason for Golsteyn's downfall — his criticism of the Obama administration's handling of the war on terror.

West, author of "One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War," published by Random House, said Golsteyn's legacy is now in limbo.

Meanwhile, the case has spurred plenty of anger.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, recently wrote in The Daily Beast:

"The Army tried to turn up anything it could, but was unable to find one piece of evidence to corroborate the allegation.

"Today, Golsteyn is still waiting for the Army to make a determination about his future. He’s been sidelined, his Special Forces recognition stripped, all while a guessing-game has ensued about what will happen to this decorated warfighter ... That’s no way to treat one of America’s top soldiers."

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The U.S. Army has robbed a Special Forces soldier of his Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in Afghanistan - because of a dubious lie-detector test given by the CIA, retired U.S. Marine Bing West tells Newsmax TV.
Bing West, Matt Golsteyn, army, awarded
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2015-12-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:12 PM
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