Intel

No Charges for Green Berets in Case of Tortured Afghan Commando

March 31, 2022Dustin Jones
Green Berets

The Military Times reported that eight Green Berets will receive letters of reprimand after an investigation into the death of an Afghan commando, but none will face criminal charges. US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Justin P. Morelli.

A criminal investigation into eight US Special Forces soldiers’ role in the death of an Afghan shooting suspect produced troubling accusations against the Green Berets, but not enough evidence to issue formal charges or open a court-martial against any of the special operators, according to a wide-ranging investigation by Military Times.


Instead, all of the Special Forces soldiers were issued general officer memorandums of reprimand, which will likely impact their careers.


The punishments stem from the 2018 death of Wahedullah Khan, an Afghan commando who shot three Czech special operations soldiers in an insider attack at Shindand air base in Herat province, killing one and wounding the other two. Khan died hours later at the base’s medical clinic from injuries sustained from heavy beatings he appeared to have sustained while in custody after the shooting.


Military Times obtained documents from an Army Criminal Investigation Division investigation into Khan’s death, which focused on a team of eight soldiers from 7th Special Forces Group — one captain, a chief warrant officer, a master sergeant, three sergeants first class, and two staff sergeants — who interrogated Khan in the hours after the shooting.


A civilian translator, Military Times reported, initially told investigators that the Americans had not harmed Khan but later, when interviewed outside Shindand, said the Americans had tortured Khan.


Green Beret investigation
Shindand air base in Herat province, Afghanistan, in 2010. US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Harris.

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, according to Military Times, said the interpreter accused the American soldiers of assaulting Khan by twisting his testicles and slamming him against a breaker box.


Afterward, the translator told investigators, Green Berets told him “forget that this happened,” and warned the man, “you didn’t see anything.”


However, murky evidence and conflicting witness statements — some provided by the American soldiers — also said that Khan had been questioned by both Czech and Afghan soldiers and may have faced torture at the hands of either group, Military Times reported.


Investigators completed their report in May 2021 and handed their findings over to leaders at the 1st Special Forces Command, which ultimately decided to issue the letters of reprimand, Military Times reported.


“In this case, the investigation’s results did not present sufficient evidence of misconduct beyond a reasonable doubt for any of the offenses, which is the standard required to obtain a conviction at court-martial,” 1st Special Forces Command spokesman Maj. Dan Lessard said in a statement. “Furthermore, there was not probable cause to believe that the most serious alleged offenses, including murder, had occurred.”


Read Next: Fort Stewart Soldier Killed in Mishap of Two UH-60 Black Hawks



Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones

Dustin Jones is a former senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine covering military and intelligence news. Jones served four years in the Marine Corps with tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He studied journalism at the University of Colorado and Columbia University. He has worked as a reporter in Southwest Montana and at NPR. A New Hampshire native, Dustin currently resides in Southern California.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved