Many of you have been following the story, as we’ve been reporting it, of U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret Captain Sergeant First Class Charles Martland. You’ll recall he was relieved of his position by the chain of command because he physically assaulted an Afghan police officer who had raped a young boy and beaten his mother.
Astonishingly to most of us, last week the U.S. Army rejected Sgt. 1st Class Martland’s appeal, because there was “no new information brought to the table,” leaving his discharge scheduled to take effect Nov. 1. This the same week The New York Times reported the U.S. Military has issued orders to troops in Afghanistan to disregard the instances of sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan officials — even if they occurred on U.S. Military bases — “because it’s their culture.”
Now, for the first time, SFC Martland speaks out about the situation in his own words.
As The Blaze reports:
The Green Beret who is set to be involuntarily discharged in early November has finally spoken out about the situation that caused his punishment in the first place — his intervening on behalf of an Afghan boy who was being repeatedly raped.
“Kicking me out of the Army is morally wrong and the entire country knows it,” Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland said in his first public statement, which was provided to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) who is advocating on the serviceman’s behalf.
In the statement obtained by Fox News, Martland detailed the day in 2011 that he and his team leader started a fight with local police commander Abdul Rahman who allegedly raped a young boy multiple times. According to a separate statement from the team leader, Capt. Daniel Quinn, Rahman allegedly kept a young boy tied to a pole in his house where he raped him repeatedly from 10 days to two weeks. Rahman’s brother was instructed to beat the child’s mother when she attempted to intervene, which he did.
Martland called Rahman a “brutal rapist” and said he and Quinn confronted him after confirming the allegations with several elders.
Rahman admitted to the act and ”the child rapist laughed it off and referenced that it was only a boy,” Martland said.
“Captain Quinn picked him up and threw him,” Martland said. “I [proceeded to] body slam him multiple times.”
“I kicked him once in his ribcage after one of the body slams,” Martland said in the statement. “I put my foot on his neck and yelled at him after one body slam, but did not kick or punch him in the face. I continued to body slam him and throw him for 50 meters until he was outside the camp.”
In his statement, Quinn said he physically threw Rahman off the camp through the front gates.
“He was never knocked out, and he ran away from our camp. It did not last longer than 5 minutes. The child rapist’s allegations against us are ridiculous,” Martland said.
After an investigation into the incident, Quinn and Martland were removed from the Afghan outpost. Quinn has since left the Army, but Martland is faced with an involuntary leave on Nov. 1 due a military policy implemented amid budget cuts. Martland appealed the decision, but it has been denied.
“While I understand that a military lawyer can say that I was legally wrong, we felt a moral obligation to act,” Martland wrote in his statement.
Hunter has defended Martland’s actions, which Martland has argued were to protect the boy and American lives that were at risk.
“To intervene was a moral decision, and SFC Martland and his Special Forces team felt they had no choice but to respond,” Hunter wrote in the letter addressed to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in August.
“Mr. Secretary, I personally ask that you review the details of this case and intervene immediately,” Hunter said. “SFC Martland stood up to a child rapist — which I am fully confident you believe is the right thing to do — and the fact that he will soon be involuntarily separated as a result is troubling.”
However, as Fox News reported, others have not defended the actions of Quinn and Martland.
Col. Steve Johnson, a U.S. commander stationed in Afghanistan during that time, appears to have defended the Army’s decision in a conversation on his LinkedIn page, according to Fox News.
“The entire operational Chain of Command supported the relief for cause and reprimand. Vigilantism is illegal in the United States and should not be condoned elsewhere,” Johnson wrote. “We should do our best to ensure that the accused is brought to justice legally and fairly — we should never take the law into our own hands (as Martland and Quinn did).”
Does this look like justice to y’all? Perhaps, as Col. Johnson wrote, vigilantism is illegal in the United States and shouldn’t be condoned elsewhere. But last I checked, rape was also illegal and, I’d argue, most certainly should not be condoned elsewhere. And yet that is exactly what the U.S. Army appears to be doing in this case: condoning the rape of this boy and sending a message to others who’d rape children that the U.S. Military will stand by and watch it happen.
As Col. Allen West asked last week, where is the moral compass of the U.S. Army?
For the Army to say this decision is final because there is “no new information brought to the table” is unconscionable. The known information should be enough to reverse this decision — unless the U.S. Army, MY Army, now condones child sex abuse, rape, and beating women.
The crux of that discussion should have been the cessation of U.S. financial support to Afghanistan if this despicable practice continues, a complete violation of standards of decency and humanity. What does it say to the mothers and little boys of Afghanistan when we are allowing this to happen — and punishing those who take a stand? If you speak to any Soldier who has served in Afghanistan they will tell you this is a common practice, and somehow, it is proliferated with no consequence. Someone has told our troops to keep quiet — and that person needs to be discovered.
This is a call to action, melt the Pentagon phone lines and tell them in no uncertain terms that America will not send her sons and daughters to serve in an immoral military. Call the Commanding General of the USAHRC and demand this decision is reversed. Challenge the new Secretary of the Army to explain to us if he agrees with sexual abuse of young boys in the presence of our Soldiers. Email and call your congressional representatives, Republican, Democrat, Independent, and tell them to unite against this injustice against US Army Green Beret SFC Charles Martland.
Here’s the number for the Pentagon: (703)-571-3343
If you were not moved to act before, perhaps the words of SFC Martland himself will inspire you.