Pentagon investigates video claiming to show ‘US Marines urinating on Taliban’

A caption written by semperfiLoneVoice claimed that the men were members of a
scout sniper team from the Third Battalion of the Second Marine Regiment, a
unit of around 800 troops based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Their uniforms appeared to match those worn by the Marines, and one of the men
featured is holding a sniper rifle.

In the same caption, the user wrote: “I thought Marines were supposed to
do the right thing when no one is watching.”

A spokesman for the Marine Corps 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.

“This matter will be fully investigated and those responsible will be
held accountable for their actions.”

The spokesman confirmed that the unit had been deployed to Afghanistan but
could not immediately give dates or the location of their deployment.

The battalion has a distinguished history beginning during the Second World
War. In 1943 its members earned the nickname “Betio Bastards” for
their role in the bloody battle for Betio, a small Pacific island occupied
by the Japanese.

If the footage is verified it is likely to cause outrage throughout the
Islamic world and fuel calls from within Afghanistan for an immediate American

Pictures of US troops torturing Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad led
to a surge of violence in 2004 and contributed to pressure that forced
then-Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign.

But the video was also reminiscent of fake pictures published by the Daily
Mirror the same year, purportedly showing British troops abusing Iraqi
detainees. The images turned out to be crude fakes and forced the
resignation of Piers Morgan, the paper’s editor.

Under the Geneva Conventions, the international treaty that lays out the rules
of war, bodies of enemy soldiers must be “honourably interred, if
possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged.”

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