Inquiry ordered into video of US troops urinating on Taliban fighters

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

The United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered an investigation into a video allegedly showing US Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters. Panetta has called the videos "utterly deplorable" and not appropriate conduct for United States armed forces personnel. Afghan president Hamid Karzai called for "the most severe punishment for anyone found guilty in this crime."

The video shows four men apparently dressed in US Marine uniforms urinating on three dead bodies. In it the men are heard saying "Have a great day, buddy" and "hope you like your shower". The exact date the video was taken is unknown. It appeared on internet sites, including YouTube. The photographing or video taking of human casualties is specifically forbidden by the US military's code of conduct.

A statement by Coalition Forces said the men in uniform probably aren't in Afghanistan anymore; the US Marine Corps has since stated they aren't. The coalition statement also reiterated the Department of Defense's stance, saying "this behavior dishonors the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the 50 nations of the coalition.... Any individuals with confirmed involvement will be held fully accountable."

The incident will be investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) which investigates criminal matters for the US Navy.

The Taliban responded by saying "First they killed the Afghans with mortars, and they then urinated on their bodies. We strongly condemn this inhumane action by the wild American soldiers."