Saturday, June 25 2016

US marines to face trial for urinating on Afghan corpses

The BBC and the Guardian today both report that two US marines who were involved in a video showing them urinating on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan, will face trial in a military court.

From the BBC:

“Two US Marines have been referred for trial by courts martial for a video of troops urinating on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan, the US military says.

“Staff sergeants Joseph Chamblin and Edward Deptola are also charged with failure to report or stop misconduct by junior Marines, including random firing of weapons.

“Three other Marines were disciplined in August for their role in the clip.

“The incidents are believed to have taken place during a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan's Helmand Province on or around 27 July 2011, the Marine Corps said.

“The two Marines are also facing charges for other alleged misconduct on the same operation.

“The three other servicemen who were disciplined in August pleaded guilty: one to "urinating on the body of a deceased Taliban soldier", another to posing for a photo with human casualties, and a third for lying to investigators.

“In the video, someone can be heard saying: "Have a good day, buddy."

“Their identities have not been revealed and the Marine Corps said it would provide details of disciplinary actions against them at a later date.”

A number of recent incidents have rocked the US and Nato military presence in Afghanistan. In April this year, the LA Times published photos of US paratroopers in Afghanistan posing with the mangled corpses of insurgents. This followed revelations on the burning of up to 100 copies of the Qur’an by US soldiers in February, which caused widespread protest and a number of fatalities. Moreover, academics at Stanford and New York law schools have published a report on the US use of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the resulting hostility to US military presence in the region as the number of civilians casualties grows.

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