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Mali Investigation Update


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This is a sordid tale fit for a movie.It doesn't make special operations look good, but it does show that some changes need to be made.


WASHINGTON – Military prosecutors levied a slew of charges including murder against four U.S. special operators who they accused of strangling to death a Green Beret last year while they were on a deployment in West Africa.
Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders face several charges including felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary in the June 2017 death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Bamako, Mali, according to military charging documents released Thursday.

The names of the individuals charged in the Special Forces soldier’s death were redacted in those documents. They were identified only as a Marine gunnery sergeant and staff sergeant assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and two Navy chief petty officers assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, better known as SEAL Team 6. The Marines were based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and the SEALs in Virginia Beach.
The charges were approved Wednesday by Rear Adm. Charles Rock, the commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, following the completion of an investigation into Melgar’s death, according to the Navy. The four are scheduled to appear in court for an Article 32 preliminary hearing on Dec. 10.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service recently completed the investigation and turned it over to Rock, said Adam Stump, a spokesman for NCIS. He declined to provide additional information Thursday about the investigation that took more than one year to complete.
The charging documents provide the most detailed account to date about the alleged killing of Melgar, an incident Pentagon officials have long declined to discuss on the record other than to acknowledge the soldier’s death.
Melgar and the four accused servicemembers were assigned to a secretive special operations team operating out of Mali’s capital to help French and Malian troops target terrorist cells aligned with al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
The four servicemembers charged in the case stand accused of retrieving duct tape from a Marine quarters building before driving to the quarters shared by Navy and Army troops where they are alleged to have broken into Melgar’s bedroom while he was asleep, physically restrained him, bound him with the duct tape and strangled him to death with a chokehold.
They are also accused of conspiring to cover up Melgar’s death. The four servicemembers are accused of performing a medical procedure on the soldier’s throat to hide evidence of his fatal injuries, according to the charging documents. They also are accused of making false statements to their commanders and, later, to military investigators from the Army and Navy.
The gunnery sergeant is accused of telling Army Criminal Investigation Command officials that Melgar and another individual mutually initiated a wrestling match in Melgar’s room during which he was accidentally killed, a claim described in the charging documents as “totally false.”
The account of the Marines’ lie matches with past reporting by the New York Times, which identified the two SEALs as Petty Officer 1st Class Tony DeDolph and Chief Petty Officer Adam Matthews. The Times, citing a leaked Army preliminary investigation document, reported it was DeDolph, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, who choked Melgar to death.
Last November, the Times and the Daily Beast reported Melgar might have learned the SEALs were involved in a money-skimming scheme. The charging documents released Thursday make no allegation the accused servicemembers were involved in any thefts.
This article from NewsRep (formerly SofRep) has more details on the alleged murder, including names of individuals charged and how the crime was committed.

  SEALs charged with Green Beret murder in Mali, six years after another case involving soldier deaths and Malian prostitutes

by Jack Murphy · 1 day ago

The U.S. Department of Defense is now formally pressing charges against the two Navy SEALs and two MARSOC Marines implicated in the strangulation of Green Beret Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar in Mali. These charges include felony murder, conspiracy, and providing false statements to investigators. The two SEAL Team Six operators being charged have been previously identified as Petty Officer Adam Matthews and Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph.

The investigation into the matter was prolonged because Army CID and other investigators had to sort through the lies they were allegedly told by the two SEALs about the incident. The SEALs first told investigators that they entered into a mutually agreed upon wrestling match that night, a friendly combatives match of the type that is not uncommon amongst Special Operations soldiers. This turned out to be false.

The charge sheet states that the two SEALs drove to where the Marines were staying at their base in Mali to obtain duct tape, then drove back to their own compound, broke through the locked door to SSG Melgar’s room, restrained him with the duct tape, and then placed him in a chokehold until the Special Forces soldier died from strangulation. Most Special Operations soldiers are trained in combatives, a derivative of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which teaches submission techniques. Additionally, DeDolph was a trained mixed martial arts fighter. This makes it unlikely that they would have choked the soldier to death by accident.

The motivation for the murder will likely be further explained during a court-martial, but stories about the SEALs being involved with illegal drugs and illicit cash has been implied, and that they felt Melgar needed to be silenced. The Daily Beast reported today, “‘There was an ongoing disagreement between the Green Beret and DeDolph over the SEALs’ professionalism,’ a source familiar with the episode told The Daily Beast. Melgar was upset with lapses in operational security, the source said. DeDolph and Matthews, both members of SEAL Team Six, were soliciting prostitutes and taking them back to the safe house in Bamako, Mali’s capital city.”

That the SEALs may have been bringing prostitutes back to their safe house in Mali is interesting, largely because it is far from unprecedented. Back in 2012, NEWSREP reported on three American soldiers who died in Bamako when the van they were driving plunged off of a bridge and into a river. Also killed in the van were three local women. A source in Mali at the time told NEWSREP that the three women were prostitutes, and that they were being driven to a safe house on the other side of the river. He also confirmed that prostitutes are not used as human intelligence sources. The three soldiers were alleged to be working for the Army’s secretive Intelligence Support Activity (ISA).

After Melgar was killed, the SEALs reportedly attempted CPR and strangely attempted a tracheotomy or cricothyrotomy — a medical procedure that is usually not used unless the patient’s face has been damaged in an explosion or other similar injury. The charge sheet states that the SEALs then began their cover up of the crime, disposing of alcohol, coaching witnesses, and generating false timelines.

These charges come just a day after charges were pressed against Chief Edward Gallagher, assigned to SEAL Team 7 who allegedly executed a prisoner in Iraq in 2017 before posing with the body during a re-enlistment ceremony. In that case, the charges also include murder and obstruction of justice. Over the last several years, dozens of incidents have come to light regarding the Navy SEALs — much of it based in SEAL Team Six — involving everything from drug abuse to a systematic culture of committing war crimes.

Staff Sergeant Melgar’s widow provided the following statement to NEWSREP. “I fully support SOCOM, NCIS, and the prosecutors. It is important to me that we continue to support all of our Special Operators and their efforts to work together. The actions of these individuals is not a direct reflection on the organizations themselves. I am grateful for the continued support that SOCOM has shown me and my family throughout the investigation.”
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About Jack Murphy

Jack served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group. Having left the military in 2010, he graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, Direct Action, and Gray Matter Splatter. His memoir, "Murphy's Law" is due for a 2019 release and can be pre-ordered now.

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The case of the death of SSGT Melgar takes a new twist. Two out of 4 Special ops personnel are seeking a plea deal.I think its safe to say that 1 of the 4 was the killer and the others assisted in the murder.Of course all 4 would be charged with murder. I suspect to make the strongest case testimony from two of those charged would strengthen the government's case.


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Marine Raider Staff Sgt Maxwell who had admitted his guilt received a reduction to Private E1 and 4 years in a military prison.