The Disgrace The U.S. Military Has Become....From Politics!

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by HS Cult Leader, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

    Reputations:
    101,075
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    13,065
    Likes Received:
    18,315
    This is long, but it's a must read!

    Afghanistan War Hero Stripped of Silver Star

    Feature: Army Major Matt Golsteyn betrayed by cowardly leaders

    BY: Aaron MacLean Follow @AaronBMacLean
    February 6, 2015 5:00 am


    [​IMG]
    Special Forces Captain Matt Golsteyn, center, talks to Afghan villager, April 2010 / Author photo


    By February 20th, 2010, the Battle of Marjah had been underway for a week. In order to seize the Afghan district—an IED-infested, Taliban-dominated collection of villages and crisscrossing canals and tree lines that were a defending fighter’s dream—the U.S. military had divided its force into thirds. A task force of more than a thousand U.S. Marines, accompanied by Afghan soldiers, assaulted the northern portion of Marjah. Ditto for the central portion of the district.

    And the southern third? It had been attacked by a single U.S. Army Special Forces team consisting of nine men, accompanied by a handful of Marine engineers tasked with clearing bombs from the roads and a few hundred Afghan troops that were more of a babysitting case than true partners. Such a light American footprint on at least part of the battlefield would “put an Afghan face” on the operation, as the lingo went at the time.

    As the Special Forces soldiers wore Afghan Army uniforms, the Taliban concluded that there were virtually no Americans on their southern flank. The fighting there was intense.

    Having secured a defensive position in the heart of the Balakino Bazaar (picture the Bakara market in the film Black Hawk Down, but more impoverished) the Special Forces team, led by a captain named Matt Golsteyn, repeatedly attempted to expand their footprint, but regularly met fierce resistance. On the 20th, one of the team’s assaults into Taliban territory took a turn for the worse. An Afghan soldier was wounded and a vehicle got stuck in the mud as insurgents raked the coalition formation with gunfire.


    Under heavy fire, Golsteyn, as Dan Lamothe of the Washington Post summarized this week, “ran about 150 meters to the trapped MRAP to retrieve a powerful 84mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle, an anti-tank weapon. While moving under gunfire, he coordinated a medical evacuation for the wounded Afghan soldier and then opened fire with the Carl Gustav.”


    Running through the open despite the fact that the Taliban had successfully pinned down the rest of his men, Golsteyn looked like he “was alone fighting 30 enemy fighters out in the poppy fields.” He then coordinated airstrikes from F/A-18 Hornets and a drone, silencing the enemy. The battle lasted four hours.


    For his actions, Golsteyn was awarded the Silver Star, and was told that the medal would likely be upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross (the Army’s equivalent of the Navy Cross, and second only to the Medal of Honor) after review by the Secretary of the Army. I can confirm that this was true because I was present at the ceremony where Golsteyn received his Silver Star, and personally overheard Lieutenant General John Mulholland, then the commander of the Army’s Special Operation’s Command, say that an upgrade was under consideration.

    In fact, I know Golsteyn—now a major—well. I served alongside him in Marjah for months (though not on the 20th of February—I was among the thousands of Marines fighting elsewhere in the district that day) and can attest that he is one of the most courageous, dedicated, and honorable officers I encountered during my service in the military. He would give his life for the men he led without a moment’s thought—and he very nearly did, on several occasions. When we returned from our deployments and honors began to roll in for Golsteyn, I reflected that it is nice to see the good guys get recognized.

    It didn’t last long. In 2011, shortly after a book by author and Marine Bing West came out that detailed Golsteyn’s heroism and quoted him making critical remarks about the American strategy in Afghanistan, I learned that the Army had launched a criminal investigation into his actions during the battle. (Again, full disclosure: I was also interviewed for that book, The Wrong War, and make a brief appearance in it.)

    The investigation, apparently, had nothing to do with the acts of bravery that earned Golsteyn his medal. Instead, according to the Washington Post, which cited officials familiar with the case, it concerned “an undisclosed violation of the military’s rules of engagement in combat for killing a known enemy fighter and bomb maker.” The investigation stretched on for nearly two years, during which time the Army effectively put Golsteyn’s career on ice. In 2014, Golsteyn and his lawyer were informed that the investigation was finally complete. No charges were filed, but Golsteyn still wasn’t released from administrative limbo.

    Alerted about the controversy by another Army officer, Captain Will Swenson, Congressman Duncan Hunter wrote last year to John McHugh, the secretary of the Army, asking about the status of Golsteyn’s seemingly endless career freeze. Apparently the secretary did not take kindly to the inquiry, as he responded in a letter last November that not only would he not be upgrading Golsteyn’s Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross, but would be revoking Golsteyn’s Silver Star entirely, a fact that Hunter revealed publicly in an article for the Daily Beast published on Tuesday.

    The revocation of an award such as the Silver Star is extraordinarily rare, and typically would happen in the case of the recipient being convicted of a serious crime that in some way dishonored his service. But not only has Golsteyn not been convicted of a crime—he hasn’t even been charged with one.

    McHugh would not reveal to Hunter specifically why he was taking his action beyond submitting the innuendo that he was privy to “derogatory information” regarding Golsteyn’s record. What could this information be? Who knows? Having, according to Hunter, spent years threatening Golsteyn’s men, searching for and failing “to find one piece of evidence to corroborate the allegation” that launched the investigation, the Army clearly decided to punish Golsteyn anyway, through publicly dishonoring him in a manner that allows him effectively no recourse or due process.
     
    The Snork likes this.
  2. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

    Reputations:
    101,075
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    13,065
    Likes Received:
    18,315
    Such institutional cravenness is even more extraordinary when one considers the circumstances of Golsteyn’s service. Commissioned in 2002 out of West Point, he has served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and was already the recipient of valor awards by the time he fought in Marjah. There, he and his handful of American soldiers succeeded in securing a big chunk of one of the deadliest places on earth at the time, under constant and intense opposition from the Taliban. Working with the local tribes, Golsteyn came to be recognized as one of the most successful officers in Helmand Province. The Taliban tried to kill him and his men again and again, and found themselves driven back every time. What success there was in Marjah was in no small part due to him.

    Such is the quality of American military leadership that generals and political appointees like McHugh will send courageous soldiers like Golsteyn into incredibly difficult (some would suggest impossible) circumstances, then invest years in second-guessing their actions after the fact—and then, finding no evidence of wrongdoing, still publicly dishonor the man without giving him a chance to defend himself. Never mind the fact that if a Taliban bombmaker did in fact die in a violation of the rules of engagement, then in what topsy-turvy universe is that a bad thing? The veterans who had to risk their lives because of these ROEs have almost universally criticized them. Established and enforced by men sitting safely in Kabul and Washington who never shared the daily risks of Golsteyn and his soldiers, the rules were wrong and self-serving to begin with, a politicized effort that has, without question, caused the needless deaths of many young Americans.

    In any event, if the Army truly does believe that Golsteyn violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice, then they should charge him with a crime. If they can’t do that, then we must conclude that insufficient evidence of a crime exists, in which case Secretary McHugh should give him the Distinguished Service Cross he deserves.

    Congressman Hunter pointed out in his article that a recent survey conducted by the Military Times revealed only 27 percent of the military felt that their leaders were looking out for the best interests of the troops. Golsteyn’s situation illustrates why this is the case, and is of a piece with the case of Will Swenson, whose Medal of Honor package was “lost” after he bitterly criticized his chain of command over the ROEs, or of Jim Gant, one of the most successful special operators of the last decade, who was nonetheless drummed out of the Army after running afoul of his superiors.

    Golsteyn, Swenson, Gant, and others like them are led by men who interrupt their political intrigues and email flirtations with wealthy socialites only to crucify the troops actually doing the fighting when, for whatever reason, they become politically inconvenient—preferably, as with Golsteyn, in a manner that allows for no response or appeal.

    Most Americans would take one look at Golsteyn’s record of service and call him a hero. The men who will not share Golsteyn’s risks, but who will hurl innuendoes at him after the fact and publicly dishonor him in a manner that allows him to mount no case on his own behalf? There’s a word for them too: cowards.


    ____________________________


    All this happens while this faggot traitor and deserter is continuing to be protected by the administration and paid.


    [​IMG]
     
    Ta Ta Toothy, Birddog and The Snork like this.
  3. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP

    Reputations:
    71,345
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    16,625
    Likes Received:
    12,411
    i just finished reading this article before i logged on here. lesson learned? don't criticize the bosses. god forbid you let it be know that the higher ups are doing a shitty job. the award is just an award and he and everyone around him knows it. if he's smart, he'll stay in a few more years, get his retirement and get a civilian job where he will be appreciated.
     
    sfgirl, Droog and Birddog like this.
  4. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

    Reputations:
    147,108
    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    24,431
    Likes Received:
    20,765
    Boy, ain't that the truth .... :depressed:
     
  5. Blur

    Blur Alumnus

    Reputations:
    74,772
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    6,434
    Likes Received:
    9,574
    Yep. Don't get out of line - they eat their own.
     
    AmishGirl likes this.
  6. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    103,515
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    23,066
    Likes Received:
    20,633
    Bring back General Petraeus.
     
    Stew Nod likes this.
  7. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    103,515
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    23,066
    Likes Received:
    20,633
    This guy should run for president.
     
  8. Skipnoid

    Skipnoid Lick Me!

    Reputations:
    130,457
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    12,544
    Likes Received:
    16,657
    FIXED!
     
    HowieHasBeen, Birddog and yaddc like this.
  9. Fa Fa Fruit Fly

    Fa Fa Fruit Fly Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    19,266
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,235
    Likes Received:
    3,211
    You guys are jumping to conclusions.

    I did a Google search on this guy and found quite a lot of articles. He was investigated for killing someone in violation of the ROE. It doesn't say exactly what he did, but the fact that the guy who was killed was "a known bomb maker" doesn't make the ROE disappear. McHugh said that the rules state if facts come to light after the granting of a medal that would have prevented the medal being issued in the first place, it can be revoked - which he did. McHugh also stated that if the field commander who approved the medal had known about the 'incident', he would never have approved the medal in the first place.

    The only counter I have read to this is "well if they are so sure he did something wrong, they should have charged him". But that is a false rebuttal... it could be that Golsteyn got a huge break by not being charged. Maybe what he did was so despicable that the army is trying to do him a favor by not pressing charges and just revoking his medal. Who knows... but nothing untoward was done - the army has every right to revoke a medal under these circumstances, and there is absolutely zero evidence that it has or had anything to do with his criticisms of the army or of any of it's actions or people. That's just an excuse to get people riled up.
     
    yaddc and Gusbuss like this.
  10. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP

    Reputations:
    71,345
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    16,625
    Likes Received:
    12,411
    There's 3 sides to every story.
     
  11. Head Censor

    Head Censor Turgid Member VIP

    Reputations:
    393,448
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    10,321
    Likes Received:
    26,904
    I appreciate your willingness to consider both sides. But this story is a perfect illustration of the major complaint I've had all along in these wars against Iraq and Afghanistan - namely that our ROE has been completely fucked up from the beginning. This, more than any other factor, is what's responsible for the much higher than necessary casualty rates that our troops have suffered during the conduct of these wars - particularly with respect to the psychological injuries.

    This idea that you can sanitize an entire region like Fallujah by going door-to-door, executing the bad guys while passing out candy to the innocent civilians, is absurd. Preparing the battlefield is a crucial element of any military operation. Minimizing civilian casualties can certainly be part of that effort. But you accomplish this by giving the civilians a reasonable opportunity to get the fuck out. The ones who don't evac are no longer considered civilians. I realize this will make the Michael Moore supporters among us extremely butthurt. But war is a fucked up thing. And when it no longer becomes a fucked up thing, the shitheads creating strife in the world lose their motivation to avoid them. Jesus Christ, it wasn't that long ago that we were firebombing entire fucking cities. Now our politically correct bureaucrats running the military are destroying the lives of valiant men because they aren't treating IED builders "fairly"? I'm interested to know both sides of the story, but my very strong instinct is to say fuck that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
    AmishGirl and Mantis like this.
  12. Fa Fa Fruit Fly

    Fa Fa Fruit Fly Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    19,266
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,235
    Likes Received:
    3,211
    That's true, but all I am saying is nobody except a few folks within the military know all the details on this.

    On a broader note, there isn't an employee out there who doesn't think they could do a better job running the company than the boss. In the private sector, if you have balls you can go start your own business and test the theory out for yourself... but when you're in the military, you give up a lot of those options, including criticizing management.

    In this case, it's not like the investigation was fabricated and where there's smoke, there's usually fire.
     
    La Flama Blanca and Droog like this.
  13. Fa Fa Fruit Fly

    Fa Fa Fruit Fly Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    19,266
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,235
    Likes Received:
    3,211
    War has military and political objectives and the two usually go hand in hand. The ROE for the conflict are developed for the best effect and outcome, and they must always take our morals and national beliefs into account - otherwise we really are no better than the bad guys. It's easy to say "I wouldn't trade one American life....", but the reality is that war is all about trading American lives... for territory, for political goals, for security and sometimes for public 'glory' of politicians (or the avoidance of shame). That may suck, but it's the reality of war... it's not Bush, Obama or any congressmen out there fighting (or usually even their kids).

    As for the ROE - if you look at cases like the marines who were pissing on the dead bodies of taliban they killed, or the Mahmudiyah murders or soldiers like Robert Bales - or even Abu Ghraib... those type of events do more to harm the war effort and put more Americans into harm's way than can be imagined. There were direct enemy actions that killed American and coalition soldiers because of those events and while it's part of human nature, revenge really has no place in war - certainly not a place codified and legitimized on the heels of anger and dehumanization of the opponents.

    Keep in mind - dehumanizing your adversary is one of the first steps towards treating them as subhumans, and that type of stuff has led to history's worst monstrosities.
     
  14. chapped

    chapped Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    384,616
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    55,632
    Likes Received:
    61,906
    Because hiding countless rapes was the good old times
     
  15. TallTyrion

    TallTyrion Triggered like a mofo VIP

    Reputations:
    152,790
    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    16,424
    Likes Received:
    34,261
    In fairness, the definition of rape has changed in the military too....
    if you get fucked up while at the NCO club and go home with a girl and she has buyers remorse in the morning, you can and will be charged with rape. That's hardly rape in real life.
     
    ScottBaiosPenis likes this.
  16. ScottBaiosPenis

    ScottBaiosPenis Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    76,891
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Messages:
    8,957
    Likes Received:
    15,438
    the bomb maker guy had no ROE, what ever death he delivered that savage piece of garbage was too good. his career was destroyed because killed a terorrist in the wrong way, this man is a hero in my book, fuck anyone that says different
     
  17. Head Censor

    Head Censor Turgid Member VIP

    Reputations:
    393,448
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    10,321
    Likes Received:
    26,904
    Far be it from me to naively suggest otherwise. But the two have to be properly balanced. And for many years now the political considerations in the WoT have been paid far too much deference - at the expense of our fighting men and women.

    Preparing the battlefield is not strictly an evolution involving planes, tanks and artillery. There is a vital political aspect to this, as well. And it is here where our civilian "leadership" have let the nation down. They have shirked their responsibility in this regard and placed all the burden on our troops in the form of this asinine ROE that they've been forced to operate under.

    I can only assume from this that you've never held a combat arms MOS in the military. Dehumanizing your enemy is the first and most critical step in preparing yourself mentally to engage with and destroy the enemy. It's the reason why Germans were krauts, the Japanese were japs, VC were gooks and islamofascists are towelheads, camel jockeys and goat fuckers. Again, the conduct of war is difficult enough under the best of circumstances. Don't self righteously demand that our troops adopt some phony morality in their dealings with people they've been tasked to kill. Give the civilian noncombatants a chance to clear out and then slaughter the rest. If our collective conscience can't handle that - and if our civilian leadership isn't up to the difficult task of selling the necessity of these operations to the rest of the civilized world - then we shouldn't fucking be there.
     
    ljc likes this.
  18. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,527
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,484
    Likes Received:
    90,746
    Not sure I care for this title. You are generalizing the entire military with it. We have some of the best men and women serving our country.

    I am offended by it actually.
     
  19. TallTyrion

    TallTyrion Triggered like a mofo VIP

    Reputations:
    152,790
    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    16,424
    Likes Received:
    34,261
    I think he's referring to the management of the military, but yes...that was the first thing that came to my mind. But it didn't offend me honestly, once I read what he was trying to say.
     
    HS Cult Leader likes this.
  20. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    540,527
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,484
    Likes Received:
    90,746
    I hear you, you see the title without knowing the content it hits you pretty hard. We have allot of military people here that have served our country. Would be interesting to see how they feel.