Officials React to Marine Video
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
January 12th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Officials React to Marine Video

Officials in the United States and Afghanistan expressed shock and outrage Thursday regarding a video purporting to show a U.S. Marine sniper team urinating on dead bodies, possibly in Afghanistan.

Statement from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:

I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. I have ordered the Marine Corps and ISAF Commander General John Allen to immediately and fully investigate the incident. This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards or values our armed forces are sworn to uphold. Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.

Statement from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Amos:

"I have viewed an internet video that apparently depicts Marines desecrating several dead Taliban in Afghanistan. I want to be clear and unambiguous, the behavior depicted in the video is wholly inconsistent with the high standards of conduct and warrior ethos that we have demonstrated throughout our history. Accordingly, late yesterday I requested that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service pull together a team of their very best agents and immediately assign them responsibility to thoroughly investigate every aspect of the filmed event. Additionally, I am assigning a Marine General Officer and senior attorney, both with extensive combat experience, to head up an internal – Preliminary Inquiry – into the matter. Once the investigation and Preliminary Inquiry are complete and the facts have been determined, then the Marine Corps will take the appropriate next steps. Rest assured that the institution of the Marine Corps will not rest until the allegations and the events surrounding them have been resolved. We remain fully committed to upholding the Geneva Convention, the Laws of War, and our own core values."

ISAF Denounces Deplorable Act Portrayed In Video:

A video recently posted on a public website appears to show U.S. military personnel committing an inappropriate act with enemy corpses. This disrespectful act is inexplicable and not in keeping with the high moral standards we expect of coalition forces.

ISAF strongly condemns the actions depicted in the video, which appear to have been conducted by a small group of U.S. individuals, who apparently are no longer serving in Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, this behavior dishonors the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the fifty nations of the coalition.

Therefore, a United States Criminal Investigatory agency has launched an investigation. It will be thorough and any individuals with confirmed

U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan Deplores Recent Video

The U.S. Embassy strongly condemns the actions depicted in the recent video which appears to show members of the U.S. military committing disrespectful acts with the corpses of insurgents. Such actions are reprehensible, dishonor the sacrifices of our military and the American people, and violate the core values of both our societies.

The Department of Defense has announced an investigation which will urgently determine the facts, and will ensure the punishment for those found guilty of wrongdoing.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Marines • Military • Panetta • Pentagon • Secretary of Defense
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