Photo of US Marines Posing with SS Flag Surfaces
Via the AP: US Marines posed with Nazi symbol in Afghanistan
The Marine Corps on Thursday once again did damage control after a photograph surfaced of a sniper team in Afghanistan posing in front of a flag with a logo resembling that of the notorious Nazi SS — a special unit that murdered millions of Jews, gypsies and others.
The Corps said in a statement that using the symbol was not acceptable, but the Marines in the photograph taken in September 2010 will not be disciplined because investigators determined it was a naïve mistake.
The Marines believed the SS symbol was meant to represent sniper scouts and never intended to be associated with a racist organization, said Maj. Gabrielle Chapin, a spokeswoman at Camp Pendleton, where the Marines were based.
“Sniper scouts?” That’s a new one.
Here’s the photo, that apparently first appeared in a blog entry (url not cited) at the Knight’s Armament website:
It is impossible to know, just from the photo, what the deal is. One thing is for sure: it is a pretty shocking (and indeed, jarring) image. At best is an example of howling ignorance and at worst is suggesting something more sinister (at least in terms of one or more of the individuals in this photo). To wit: where in the world would the flag have come from in the first place? It would seem that someone would have had to have brought it with them to Afghanistan (as I can’t imagine that there is a local branch of “Neo-Nazis R Us” out in rural Afghanistan). This is suggestive that someone in this group has unsavory political leanings. It is bad enough to own such a flag and several quanta worse to think that it was sufficiently important to a person that it was something that they would have brought with them to a combat zone in the middle of nowhere.