Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marines Caught On Tape Desecrating Taliban Bodies Deserve Punishment

The Marines who were videotaped while urinating on Taliban members apparently killed in a combat situation deserve whatever punishment is meted out to them. An investigation is underway to determine who was involved, and the charges would likely include conduct unbecoming an officer as well as a general offense (catchall) under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (47 USC Sections 933 and 934). That would include regulations prohibiting photographing/videotaping deceased individuals.

Both charges can lead to dishonorable/bad conduct discharges and/or prison time.

It doesn't take Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to know that something needs to be done.
The U.S. Marine Corps vowed a full investigation into the 39-second viral video, which infuriated Afghan President Hamid Karzai and others.

“The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans,” Karzai said in a statement Thursday.

“This act by American soldiers is simply inhumane and condemnable in the strongest possible terms,” he continued. “We expressly ask the US government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”


The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan also condemned the video.

“This behavior dishonors the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the 50 nations of the coalition,” said a statement from the ISAF.

Dressed in full combat gear and holding rifles at their sides, the four men stand over the three corpses sprawled out near an overturned wheelbarrow. The warriors start urinating on the bloodied bodies, and cracking sickeningly insensitive jokes.
Bad conduct such as this can hamper the ISAF/US mission in Afghanistan by making it more difficult to gain the trust of potential allies regardless of what one thinks about the Taliban. These Marines need to be dealt with promptly and judiciously.

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