Dan Gilmore / Jan. 28, 2016

Green Beret Punished for Protecting Child

If nothing is done, then Martland's military career will end March 1.

In 2011, two Green Berets in a remote outpost in Afghanistan discovered that a commander in the Afghan Local Police (ALP) had kidnapped a young boy and raped him. When the rapist admitted what he did and laughed about it, Captain Dan Quinn picked up the man and slammed him into the ground. Sgt. First Class Charles Martland joined in, helping to drag the man outside the compound. The two told the rapist to never return. But the Army has policies to respect Afghan “culture,” and beating a child rapist is evidently in violation of those rules.

After Army Human Resources Command recommended Martland be removed from service, Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter to Sen. Pat Roberts asking him to assist in keeping Martland in the Army. “I am not offended by, nor do I take any issue with, Martland’s confrontation of the child rapist,” Hunter wrote. “Martland was part of a small team of Green Berets, entrusted to keep America safe in ways that often go unreported or unnoticed, whose mission was being put at risk due to the illegal action of a corrupt ALP commander. The Afghan justice system continually failed to uphold individual human rights, and we would expect any of our elite warriors to protect a child from a known and admitted rapist.”

If nothing else is done, then Martland’s military career will end March 1. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is content to let Army bureaucracy run its course, as Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters last year that Afghanistan has its legal system to handle these sorts of cases. Or not handle it. Because cultural sensitivity is more important to Obama than our soldiers.

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