US Officials Condemn Marines’ Alleged Abuse of Taliban Corpses

Posted January 12th, 2012 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has condemned a video that appears to show U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday he has seen the video, calling it “utterly deplorable.” He vowed those responsible will be held fully accountable.

Panetta ordered the U.S. Marine Corps and the head of the NATO security force in Afghanistan to investigate the video.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed Panetta's condemnation. She said the act is inconsistent with American values and the standards of behavior expected from U.S. military personnel.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government is “deeply disturbed” by the video, and that the actions depicted amount to desecration of the Afghans' bodies. He called the alleged act “simply inhuman.”

A Taliban spokesman said while the video is “shocking,” he did not think it would derail peace talks with the United States.

The Pentagon said it has no reason to doubt the authenticity of the footage.

The NATO security force in Afghanistan called the act “disrespectful” and said it tarnishes the high moral standards expected of coalition forces.

The video appears to show Marines in combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. In the footage, one person suspected of committing the act says “have a nice day,” referring to one of the dead.

The U.S. Marine Corps has not commented on the identities or units of those involved. The Marines in the video are apparently no longer serving in Afghanistan.