US identifies unit in Marine abuse video
US: Top US officials strongly condemned Thursday a video that appears
to show Marines urinating on dead insurgents in Afghanistan, while the
Pentagon said it had identified the unit involved.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the behavior in the video was
“utterly deplorable,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of her
“total dismay,” and both vowed that the culprits would be found and
A senior US military official said the Marines believed they had
identified the unit at the center of the allegations, which evoked
memories of previous abuses committed by US troops in Iraq and during
the decade-long Afghan war.
“We cannot release the name of the unit at this time since the
incident is being investigated,” a spokesman from the Marines said,
referring to images that could spark outrage and unrest in Afghanistan
and the wider Muslim world.
US cable network CNN quoted an unnamed US Marine official as saying
the military branch was “confident” the troops in the inflammatory video
were from the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment, based at Camp Lejeune,
The unit deployed to Afghanistan, mainly in Helmand province, in
early 2011 and returned in September or October, CNN reported, adding
that two of the culprits had been identified but their names was not
being made public.
The scandal is the latest in a long line to tarnish the image of the
US military during a decade of war, from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse
scandal in Iraq to more recent convictions of soldiers found to have
killed Afghan civilians for sport. The video appeared to show four
servicemen urinating on three bloodied corpses, and one of the men,
apparently aware he was being filmed, saying: “Have a great day, buddy,”
referring to one of the dead.
Leon Panetta pledged that “those found to have engaged in such
conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” and a Pentagon
spokesman confirmed a probe into the alleged abuse was under way. “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,” Panetta said in a statement. AFP