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Online video shows Marines urinating on corpses

Posted January 11, 2012
Updated January 12, 2012

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— 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."

U.S. Air Force Gen. Robert Springer Marines react to controversial video

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.

252 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • GlockTech Jan 12, 6:25 p.m.

    It's their kill, they can do what they want with em!!

  • edbuck51 Jan 12, 6:22 p.m.

    what goes around, comes around, serious lack of morals here

  • RM24 Jan 12, 6:12 p.m.

    America is just wallowing in shame right now and these Marines are leading the way.

    Maybe you are wallowing in shame? Some posters however are glowing with ignorance!

  • goodtogo2 Jan 12, 4:47 p.m.

    I guess I am a bad person....but this doesnt really bother me all that much. I guess the Talaban have never done such an unspeakable thing to women, children, US soldiers or their own people. What these guys need to do though is stop taking photos of the things they are doing!

  • you are always right Jan 12, 4:19 p.m.

    "This enemy only respects ruthless and overwhelming force!"

    Oh really? How many corpses have to be urinated on before terrorism has been eliminated and America is once again respected in the world?

  • redrubberball1 Jan 12, 4:01 p.m.

    There is one thing sure in all this. This enemy only respects ruthless and overwhelming force!

  • redrubberball1 Jan 12, 3:56 p.m.

    "You may decide it is non-Christian but war itself is non-Christian "

    "The bible is full of war. You might try reading it some time. It is also full of lessons on how to think and behave even in the most trying of times. Part of not allowing evil to win is not allowing evil to take over your own heart. Killing someone who is trying to kill you is completely consistent with christian teachings. Having "ruthless hatred in your heart" is not."

    This is a classic case of comment taken from context and the blind leading the blind. The first comment left off a vital part of the statement, "and nevertheless necessary sometimes".
    The "ruthless hatred" I described has to evidence itself for the duration of the war. It would manifest itself as a ruthless determination to take enemy life vigorously and without remorse, with determination and resolve. Forgiveness would come later, just as we have forgiven our enemies from the past, over time and distance. Get a grip on reality folks!

  • Coretta Scott Thing Jan 12, 3:45 p.m.

    America is just wallowing in shame right now and these Marines are leading the way. We are already hated, not for being the best country in the world, but for being the most arrogant. In the U.S. there was a widely held view that the Taliban are subhuman. The U.S. media helps propagate this view. Since the Taliban are regarded as animals by our culture, it is not surprising that these remains were treated with contempt a few ignorant brain washed military men. But don't be surprised when the retribution comes from this incident. They might not have our resources, but they are resourceful and to be honest the 9-11 attacks were as brilliant a military move as any general in history could have pulled off. When we treat the world with contempt, it comes back to us in spades. I'm glad our country has denounced these young Marines.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Jan 12, 2:57 p.m.

    "In reality you have to treat people the way they treat you."

    Actually, ncouterbanks69, this is a choice you make. It isn't an imperative. You choose to do ill or good in the world. That choice isn't made for you by others.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Jan 12, 2:34 p.m.

    "I have never violently hurt anyone so I wouldn't be blind. I am sure there are a lot of others as well."

    So you are a "chicken-hawk". Good to know. Figures though.

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