At least two U.S. Marines face potential prosecution for urinating on Afghan corpses in a video that spread globally, complicating U.S. talks with the Taliban.
The Marine Corps has identified two of the four Marines depicted in the video with the corpses of three Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, a Marine Corps official said.
The two men, part of a sniper unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, served in Afghanistan last year from March to September, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is under investigation. The other two Americans in the video have since left the unit and haven’t been identified, the official said.
The video comes as a blow to a Marine Corps that prides itself on a reputation for rectitude, said Jack Hoban, who was a Marine officer and now teaches ethics courses to Marines.
“We’re all universally disgusted by it and ashamed,” Hoban, the president of Resolution Group International LLC of Spring Lake, New Jersey, said in an interview.
While training teaches Marines to respect all life, “people under stress sometimes do things that are counter to their training and their ethics, particularly when they’re young,” he said.
We won the war in Afghanistan a long time ago. Part of the reason we’re still there is because we don’t want that nation to revert to a terrorist homeland as soon as we leave.
Things like this don’t help.
If you don’t think this is a big deal, just look at the picture below of the body of U.S. Staff Sgt. William David Cleveland being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.
How do you feel now?