Online video shows Marines urinating on corpses
Posted January 11, 2012
Updated January 12, 2012
Camp Lejeune, N.C. — A video posted Tuesday on YouTube appears to show four Marines dressed in combat gear urinating on the bodies of three men.
The person who uploaded the video under the name "semperfiLoneVoice" wrote in the video caption that the Marines were members of Scout Sniper Team 4, 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune and that the bodies were members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Nothing in the 39-second video identifies the Marines as being based at Camp Lejeune.
During the video, the Marines exposed themselves, and someone can be heard saying, "Have a great day, buddy," as the men urinate on the bodies.
The Marine Corps is investigating the incident, spokeswoman Capt. Kendra Hardesty 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," Hardesty said in a statement.
Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta condemning the incident in the video as "disgusting and immoral."
"If verified as authentic, the video shows behavior that is totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that could ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians," Awad wrote. "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. Any guilty parties must be punished to the full extent allowed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and by relevant American laws."
WRAL military analyst retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Robert Springer said if the video is true, it reflects poorly on the Marines and their superiors.
"What you think is, where was the leadership of those four young Marines?" Springer said. "Their immediate leadership obviously has failed them at some point, but they also failed the United States Marine Corp."
Navy Veteran William Ingram, of Jacksonville, N.C., said the acts in the video were selfish.
"The person is already dead. The only thing you can do to a deadman is satisfy your own ego," Ingram said.
Ingram works at The Boulevard Barber, a shop that has a tribute wall to troops who've gotten their hair cut here and signed their names.
Tyler Currie, a Marine stationed at New River Air station, said he is disgusted by the video saying it reflects poorly on all Marines.
"It kind of gives Marine Corps a bad name," Currie said. "A lot of us are really good people just trying to provide for our families."
Currie has been in the Marine Corps for two years.
There are 18,000 Marines stationed in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.