President Trump came under fire after tweeting on Saturday about Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, a former Green Beret who is on trial for killing an unarmed Afghan man in 2010.
Trump tweeted, “The case of Major Mathew Golsteyn is now under review at the White House. Mathew is a highly decorated Green Beret who is being tried for killing a Taliban bombmaker. We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” Trump’s tweet came after a segment on Fox News went over the case.
Golsteyn admitted to killing a suspected Taliban bomb maker in a CIA polygraph when he was applying for a job with the intelligence agency in 2011. In the CIA interview, Golsteyn said he buried the Afghan man’s remains and later dug them up and burned them.
The Army initially dismissed the case, but it was re-opened in 2016 after Golsteyn again admitted to killing the man in an interview with Fox News.
In May, Trump pardoned a former Army lieutenant who was convicted of killing an unarmed Iraqi man in 2009.
Some of the outrage over Trump’s tweet was not about him potentially pardoning a suspected war criminal, but instead focused on Trump using the term “killing machines.”
Bill Kristol responded to Trump’s tweet and said, ” ‘We train our boys to be killing machines.’ No we don’t. And it’s beyond disgusting that an American president would say this about our military. Shouldn’t senior military leaders set the record straight?”