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US Marines to Probe Corpse Desecration Allegations After Video of Soldiers Urinating on Dead Taliban Fighters Posted on YouTube

Posted on the 12 January 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

US Marines to probe corpse desecration allegations after video of soldiers urinating on dead Taliban fighters posted on YouTube

Screen shot taken from video.

The US Marine Corp has launched an investigation into war crimes claims after short video was anonymously posted on YouTube on Wednesday apparently showing four Marine snipers urinating on dead Taliban fighters.

In the short video, four soldiers in combat gear and carrying Marine-issue sniper rifles unzip their trousers together and urinate on the bloodied corpses of three men, likely Afghans, as a fifth soldier videos the action. One of the soldiers jokes, “Have a great day, buddy”, while another adds, “Golden, like a shower”. The caption under the video, according to The Guardian, read “scout sniper team 4 with 3rd battalion 2nd marines out of camp lejeune peeing on dead talibans”. It is unclear when and where the video was taken.

Though the Marine Corp says that it is still working to verify the authenticity of the video, NATO’s denunciation of the video and its claim that it was the work of a “small group of US individuals” no longer serving in Afghanistan seem to imply that the video is real, CNN reported. The desecration of the dead is a violation of the Geneva conventions on war, as well as US military law – so if the video is legitimate, it represent yet another blow to America’s moral authority in Afghanistan.

Official US reaction. The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, NATO’s command, moved quickly to condemn the actions depicted in the video, claiming, “This disrespectful act is inexplicable and not in keeping with the high moral standards we expect of coalition forces,” CNN reported. Col. Ricco Player, a spokesman for the Marines in Helmand Province, told the news broadcaster, “The hate in it does not represent the U.S. Marine Corps.”

Official Afghan reaction. “The Government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans,” according to a statement released by the presidential palace on behalf of Karzai. “This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms.”

“Official” Taliban reactions? A video depicting US soldiers desecrating the corpses of alleged Taliban fighters couldn’t come at a worse time: Last week, the Taliban signaled its willingness to open negotiations with America after a spokesman said the Islamist insurgency would be opening an office in Qatar. Though a Taliban spokesman called the video “barbaric” and added, via a text to CNN, “This inhuman act reveals their real face to the world,” another spokesman told Reuters that it would not harm nascent pace talks. “This is not the first time we see such brutality,” said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “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.”

Bad reputation. The video comes just two days after a military jury in the biggest war crimes case against US troops in the Iraq heard the prosecution accuse a Marine Staff Sergeant of indiscriminately firing on men, women and children in their homes. Frank Wuterich was implicated in the deaths of 19 of the 24 Iraqis, including unarmed women and children, killed in the town of Haditha, in November 2005; he is charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter. It’s not the only such problematic incident in the American military’s recent past, The Guardian noted in its report on the video: Last year, revelations that American soldiers were running a “kill squad”, murdering Afghan citizens and taking body parts as trophies, severely damaged the command’s reputation in the country.

Warning: This video contains graphic images.


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