Marines face criminal charges over Afghan urination video

WASHINGTON Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:57pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Marines are facing criminal charges for urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, actions caught on a video that was widely circulated on the Internet, the Marine Corps said on Monday.

The criminal charges are the first faced by anyone over the incident. The video triggered widespread anger in Afghanistan early this year, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai calling the Marines' actions "inhuman."

Staff Sergeants Joseph W. Chamblin and Edward W. Deptola, were also charged with "posing for unofficial photographs with human casualties," the Marine Corps said.

The investigation showed that although the video was only circulated on the Internet in January, the incident actually took place on or around July 27, 2011, during a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

The Marine Corps said on August 27 that three Marines pleaded guilty to charges over the video. But their punishment fell short of criminal prosecution.

Chamblin and Deptola, on the other hand, also face a series charges for failing to supervise junior Marines.

This includes simple things like failing to require them to wear protective equipment to more serious breaches, like failing to report the "negligent discharge" of a grenade launcher. Deptola is also charged with failing to stop the unnecessary damaging of Afghan compounds, the Marines said.

The Marines said there were other pending cases in the video investigation. They declined to elaborate on the incident in which the negligent actions took place. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (11)
AlkalineState wrote:
Harry079 laments: “It’s sad the these two Marines may end up doing prison time for peeing on dead enemy fighters…”

It’s actually not that sad. They compromised our whole geo-political and military mission there, by filming their golden showers stunt with a cell phone and bragging about it online. These two guys were STUPID. If you’re going to piss on a dead body, why film it and post it it while fellow soldiers are actively deployed in the field?

Sep 24, 2012 4:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jgilliam wrote:
Something is wrong when it is not okay to urinate on a corpse but it is okay to indiscriminately create corpses. Seems to me that both should be wrong, but who am I to question the wisdom of government.

Sep 24, 2012 4:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sjtom wrote:
Our ball-less politicians should pin medals on those guys.

Sep 24, 2012 4:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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