Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, a decorated Green Beret fighting to stay in the military, earned the respect and admiration of a police chief in Afghanistan for shoving a local police commander into the ground for allegedly laughing about raping a 12-year-old boy, Breitbart News has learned.
Meanwhile, Martland’s supporters believe the U.S. Army has sided with the alleged rapist.
A top Army general severely reprimanded Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, the Green Beret, and Capt. Daniel Quinn, his team leader, for confronting the accused rapist, identified as Afghan Local Police (ALP) Commander Abdul Rahman. The incident took place in Kunduz province back in September 2011. Both Martland and Quinn were relieved of their positions in Kunduz.
“It’s mind boggling, truly. The risk adverse Army leadership didn’t have the courage to stand with one of its decorated warriors,” Joe Kasper, chief of staff for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who now serves in the House Armed Services Committee.
“What needs some explanation is the dramatic difference in the version of events between Army leadership and others that were there. It’s easy to say something happened—it’s another thing to actually see it or experience it,” added Kasper. “And the fact that the Afghans sided with Martland and his team validate even more just how wrong the Army was here.”
Sgt. Martland is set to be involuntarily discharged by November 1. Capt. Quinn now has a private industry job at Wall Street.
Rep. Hunter is outraged by the Army’s decision to kick out Martland, which he believes is over the September 2011 incident.
The U.S. Army did not respond to Breitbart News’ requests for comment. Army officials have not explicitly said why Martland is being discharged.
“It again goes to the idea that it’s the lawyers running the show and they don’t want any risk whatsoever,” Kasper suggested. “It’s far easier, in their minds, to relieve someone than to deal with an issue.”
Rep. Hunter has written two letters to Defense Secretary Ash Carter asking him to intervene on behalf of Martland.
Maj. Roger Cabiness, a Pentagon spokesman, acknowledged that the Department of Defense has received Hunter’s letters, adding that it “will respond promptly and directly” to the Congressman’s office.
In the latest letter, dated August 26, Rep. Hunter reveals new details about the Army’s response to the confrontation between the Green Berets and the alleged rapist.
He also provides information from a new source, a cultural adviser and linguist with first hand knowledge of the incident, who says Afghan authorities commended Martland and Quinn’s intervention.
An October 2011 “Memorandum of Reprimand” cited by Rep. Hunter and obtained by Breitbart News fuels the claim that Martland is being removed from the Army for confronting the Afghan police commander, who allegedly chained the child victim. Martland admitted striking the rapist for laughing when confronted about sexually abusing the child.
Brig. Gen. Christopher Haas, then-commander of the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command in Afghanistan, took Martland to task in the memo.
“Your behavior is inexcusable and incompatible with the high standards of performance, military discipline, and operational readiness of Special Forces and it is inconsistent with the trust we place in our [Green Berets] to make sensible and sound decisions,” wrote Gen. Haas. “Your misconduct is a discredit to you…the Special Forces community, and the U.S. Army. It cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Breitbart News obtained the written account of a witness, the cultural adviser and linguist cited in Rep. Hunter’s recent letter to Secretary Carter. The witness, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, was in Kunduz province when the incident took place.
Rahman, the accused rapist, “was exaggerating about the nature of his injury” and the Green Berets’ response to the incident when he spoke to the Afghan provincial chief of police, noted the linguist.
The police chief, identified only as Gen. Qatra, “strongly condemned” the Rahman’s alleged crime and suggested that “he should be dismissed, arrested and put away,” also said the witness, adding that Martland and his team “were well respected and admired by their Afghan colleagues,” including the provincial governor and police chief.
Rep. Hunter’s office suggested that to the best of their knowledge Rahman has not been punished for raping the boy.