Green Beret uncovered Navy SEALs' dirty money scheme before his suspicious death

2 Navy SEALs Under Suspicion in Strangling of Green Beret in Mali

The Daily Beast found that the special operation operatives used the money for intelligence activities in Mali. The other suspect has not yet been identified.

Now those two Navy SEALs are under investigation for killing Melgar-an investigation, first reported by The New York Times, sending shockwaves throughout the special-operations community.

When he confronted them about it, the sources say the pair told Melgar they could get him a cut of the money in return for his silence.

Melgar was a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group, which is the primary unit responsible for Army special operations in northwest Africa, including Mali and Niger.

"If the reported facts were established, the murder of Staff Sgt. Melgar would be among the most aggravating factors and could justify referral to courts-martial as capital cases", Brennan wrote to Business Insider. Melgar lost consciousness-and, worse, stopped breathing. Sources claimed that he died before making it to a French clinic in Mali.

Melgar was eventually found dead in what seemed to be a strangulation. Asphyxiation was the cause of death. Then on June 4, an altercation broke out and Melgar ended up dead.

As the elite troops do in so many countries, they operate in the shadows, with comparatively little oversight - and what their actions actually look like on the ground can be much dirtier than the heroic image the Pentagon prefers to portray.

A Green Beret who died in mysterious circumstances while on a secret assignment in west Africa had reportedly declined to accept illicit money from Navy SEALs before his death.

An official close to the investigation told the news outlet Melgar had grown suspicious of his partners in counterterrorism and expressed those misgivings to his wife. Gen. Donald Bolduc was "skeptical of the initial reports from the outset". He alerted Army Criminal Investigation Command and told commanders in Mali to preserve evidence.

While Melgar's death could have been accidental, the subsequent SEAL cover-up detailed by The Daily Beast was clearly deliberate. She raised concerns about the cause of death and allegations of drinking, according to three people familiar with the investigation, including providing investigators emails sent by her husband about problems he was having with the SEALs.

The Navy Criminal Investigative Service referred questions to the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group in Virginia Beach, the home base of the two SEALs, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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