Marines 'urinated on Taliban bodies'

2012-01-12 11:11

Washington - The US military is investigating an online video purportedly showing Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, a spokesperson said on Wednesday, calling the behaviour "disgusting."

The video shows what appears to be four servicemen, dressed in US military uniform, relieving themselves onto three bloodied bodies on the ground, apparently aware that they are being filmed.

"Have a great day, buddy," one of them says.

The Pentagon has not yet verified the video, but spokesperson John Kirby told AFP: "Regardless of the circumstances or who is in the video, this is... egregious, disgusting behaviour, unacceptable for anyone in uniform."

"It turned my stomach," he added of the video, which was posted on the Live Leak website.

Elite sniper team

If authenticated, the images - which conjure up memories of the detainee abuse inflicted by American soldiers at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison - are sure to spark deep anger and resentment in the Muslim world.

A military official who asked not to be named said the helmet and weapon carried by one of the men seems to indicate the four could be members of an elite sniper team.

The official also said such conduct would be punishable under the US code of military justice.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, condemned the alleged desecration of corpses by US Marines.

"If verified as authentic, the video shows behaviour that is totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that could ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians," CAIR said in a statement.

"We trust that this disturbing incident will be promptly investigated in a transparent manner and that appropriate actions will be taken based on the results of that investigation," the statement said.

"Any guilty parties must be punished to the full extent allowed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and by relevant American laws."

'Not consistent with our core values'

A statement issued by the Pentagon said: "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.

"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.

"This matter will be fully investigated."

Some 20 000 Marines are deployed in Afghanistan, mostly in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in the south of the war-ravaged country.

The US and Nato have some 130 000 troops fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

US and coalition partners in Afghanistan plan to hand over security for the whole of the country to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, allowing the withdrawal of combat forces.

In April 2004, the prison at Abu Ghraib shot to international headlines and became a potent negative symbol of the US occupation to many Iraqis after evidence emerged of detainee abuse by US soldiers at the facility.

Eventually, 11 soldiers were convicted in connection to the abuse, and received punishments ranging from an army discharge to 10 years in prison.

  • Tina - 2012-01-12 11:25

    A soldier is a soldier, I get it the kill or get killed part, but once you've killed someone have some respect. He's a soldier just like you. He might not look like GI Joe, but he died fighting for his country. Respect that.

      GWS - 2012-01-12 11:41

      Taliban very rarely will take a Coalition Force soldier prisoner. Their MO is to torture the prisoner to death and film it.

      John - 2012-01-12 11:49

      @GWS: I agree. This completely justifies attempting to lower yourself to that level.

      Blade - 2012-01-12 12:11

      Why have respect for those who behead their prisoners to make videos?

      Cameronl - 2012-01-12 12:17

      thats 100% right, couldnt agree with you more.

      Blade - 2012-01-12 12:39

      A terrorist is not a soldier, they do not abide by the Geneva convention or any other rules of war.

      Phoenix - 2012-01-12 14:14

      Oh please. Clearly you have never been in the military. Soldiers are taught to hate their enemy and is desensitized to violence, killing and death. How do you think they manage to kill people. Do you SERIOULY think they must now suddenly respect the people they hated enough to kil???

  • Graziella - 2012-01-12 11:28

    Nietzsche once warned that "he who fights monsters must look to it that he himself does not become a monster, and when you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you".

      Beetroot - 2012-01-13 07:06

      ahhh blah blah blah! Google your 2 cents!

  • Michael - 2012-01-12 11:34

    "totally unbecoming" "not consistent with our core values" whereas mass slaughter of innocent men, women, children, reporters, medics etc is becoming and within the marines' core values.

      Werner - 2012-01-12 12:06

      Go Jihad somewhere else please

  • Gary - 2012-01-12 11:34

    What do you think they would have done to a dead US soldier......???

      GWS - 2012-01-12 11:42

      He would have been mutilated and filmed.

      Chimera - 2012-01-12 15:14

      Lest we 2004, Private Security Contractors Scott Helvenston, Wesley Batalona, Jerry Zovko and Michael Teague were ambushed in Fallujah, killed and their bodies burned and mutilated. Two were strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates. The insurgents made their own video of the attack, broadcasting the images around the world. This is just one instance of such behaviour which has become so commonplace as to form subplots in a number of American Films, and real insurgent propaganda and recruitment footage.

  • Ben Nel - 2012-01-12 11:42

    Is this worse than being shot and killed? Not much ado about that it seems.

  • Kaizer - 2012-01-12 11:43

    p*** happens...

  • Ben Nel - 2012-01-12 11:43

    Make pee, not war.

  • nikondaniel - 2012-01-12 11:45

    War is war, this happens all the time everywhere. Civilians are over reacting.

      MissGremlin - 2012-01-12 11:52

      agreed, but these extremists are a different breed. They get seriously wound up when the see sh*t like this happening, and start bombing civilians. Why aggravate the feckers?

  • MissGremlin - 2012-01-12 11:49

    I appreciate that being shot at or killed or maimed by extremists is not a great way to spend your days, however, working out their joy at still being alive at the end of a skirmish, in this manner, just winds the radicals up even more.

  • Martyn - 2012-01-12 12:00

    Get real guys. Go and have a look @ or just search "beheaded soldier" than you will realize why soldiers are doing what they do. What will you do in these circumstances? But then... Not sure you can acctually answer my question, as you never went to war. its very easy to comment from the side. I was involverd in operation smokeshell and protea, its a different world, its not the real world. go and read about our own "war" in the 80's, very interesting reading. and remember, we were 18,19 or 20 years old

      MissGremlin - 2012-01-12 12:04

      our dirty little story. the war that very few speak about. We see words like "previously disadvantaged" thrown around each day, and few remember sending our brothers and sons off while they were still teenagers, to be shot at, and killed, for a piece of land that was simply handed back. what a waste of life and time.

      Bryan - 2012-01-12 12:41

      Agree with you Martyn.. It wasn't a real world back then!!

  • Andrew - 2012-01-12 12:06

    Maybe the yanks should stop taking video's of all their escapades and not post the stuff all over the internet #yankintelligence

      MissGremlin - 2012-01-12 12:15

      now, that is the smart thing to do. #dontgetcaught

  • Enlightened - 2012-01-12 12:12

    Whilst I do not necessarily condone this behaviour, I would like to make the folowing observation. I am 50 years old and saw my fair share of action as a youngster with one colleague dying on my lap with a leg blown off. I never engaged in such activity but would be very understanding if anyone around me had, the urge was there. Believe me. My concern is that the what's right and what's wrong decisions are made by office staff that most likely dont have to face the enemy risking life and limb at every step If on top of this, we watch beheding videos, mutilation, women sentenced to death for being raped, all carried out by these.. well, I guess we are all entitled to our opinion. I guess mine is clear

      Donny Doncaster - 2012-01-12 14:03


  • Enlightened - 2012-01-12 12:15

    Werner. Those were Turks and in every case, he implaed the "whole" Turk: stick up the butt and out, wherever.

      Werner - 2012-01-12 12:32

      Correct. My apologies...but my point is still valid :)

  • Kaizer - 2012-01-12 12:26

    Raw video here : If a dead body disturbs you dont watch. If a guy with a small knob offends you. DONT watch.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-01-12 12:41

    As usual America showing its true colours. Damn the man.

  • John - 2012-01-12 12:52

    Another 'isolated incident' by the brave US marines!...????????

  • Aaron - 2012-01-12 12:54

    what more can you expect from american soldiers. they are a bunch of murderers like their isreali much for western/american values.

  • Ivan - 2012-01-12 14:14

    Once again if you disagree with somones anti US rant you get removed from the News 24 comments page. However that someone is free to spew bile and Hatred. I suggest that the little armchair warriors who monitor these pages get off their bottoms and go and experience life outside of South Africa, in fact they may as well experience some of South africa too because they clearly dont have a clue.

      Blade - 2012-01-12 14:32

      Too true.

  • Tina - 2012-01-12 15:24

    Let them film it, proof of crimes against humanity. Those soldiers who do these things to the people they kill are hooligan soldiers. If anything they should be militant and unemotional. No emotion by killing soneone, no emotion afterwards. Also these soldiers and I mean from either side, do these things to the dead. They are shooting themselves in the foot. Later on, their own war atrocities will haunt them. Post War Trauma. YES bring on the Zoloft- Obama made it free!

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