Marines Accused Of Desecrating Taliban Corpses
A new story out of Afghanistan is causing embarressment for the United States, and the Marine Corps:
The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating a video that surfaced online today in which several Marines appear to urinate on the corpses of suspected Taliban fighters.
The video, which is less than a minute long, appears to show four men in uniform looking around before urinating on three dead bodies, at least one of the men chuckles as they do so.
“Have a great day, buddy,” one of the men is heard saying, apparently to a dead body.
The Marine Corps responded quickly after reports of the video surfaced, calling for a full investigation.
“Headquarters Marine Corps has recently been made aware of a video that portrays Marines urinating on what appear to be deceased members of the Taliban,” the USMC statement said. “While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps.”
The video surfaced on several websites early Wednesday. On one website, the member who posted the video identified the Marines as belonging to the 3/2 Marine battalion out of Camp Lejeune. The battalion served in the northern Helmand Province in Afghanistan last summer.
Not surprisingly, the release of the video, which is available from various online sources, has also been condemned by Afghan President Karzai, Defense Secretary Panetta, and Secretary of State Clinton. Interestingly enough, though, the Taliban themselves don’t appear inclined to let the incident disrupt ongoing peace negotiations:
(Reuters) – A video showing what appear to be American forces urinating on dead Taliban fighters prompted anger in Afghanistan and promises of a U.S. investigation on Thursday, but the insurgent group said it would not harm nascent efforts to broker peace talks.
Despite concerns when the video first emerged that it would not help his efforts build confidence among the warring parties, a Taliban spokesman said although the images were shocking, the tape would not affect talks or a mooted prisoner release.
“We know that our country is occupied…This is not a political process, so the video will not harm our talks and prisoner exchange because they are at the preliminary stage.”
There really isn’t much that can be said about this incident. If the video is an accurate depiction of what happened, and it appears to be, then it’s simply inexcusable and inhuman, and the Marines who did this should be held to answer for what they’ve done. They’ve dishonored themselves, their uniforms, and their country.