I hope these guys weren't planning on making a career out of the United States Marine Corps

Remember the stories about the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib? United States Army military police were caught abusing Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib Prison/Baghdad Correctional Facility, and eleven soldiers, including two officers, were convicted of various charges due to the abuse; several of them went to prison.

Why? Not because of what they did, but because they were stupid enough to take pictures of what they were doing. Those photographs served both as the evidence of the abuse and a rallying point for the opposition to the United States' mission in Iraq.

Fast forward to 2012:


'Deplorable': U.S. defense chief condemns urinating Marines video

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

By NBC, msnbc.com staff and news services

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET:

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has condemned a video that apparently shows U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghan men, promising to punish those involved.

“I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable,” Panetta says in a statement, adding that he had ordered the Marine Corps and the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan to investigate the incident.

“Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” he says.

The video that surfaced a day earlier appeared t

o show American forces urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters could aggravate anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan as the Obama administration hopes to end a decade-long war.

Both the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, and the Secretary of Defense have promised that these Marines will be punished to the full extent of the law.

That, to me, presents a real legal problem. Service members who are charged with crimes are not brought before civilian courts, but face courts-martial. In civilian cases, the judiciary is independent of the prosecution, the defense, and the state or federal executive. Jurors are civilians who are not under the authority of the prosecution or the executive.

That isn't the case in courts martial. The judge is a military officer, who is subject to the chain of command, and the jurors are officers or enlisted men, who are also subject to the chain of command. If the Secretary of Defense and the Commandant of the Marine Corps say that these four Marines will be punished, that puts pressure on the judge and jurors to find them guilty and sentence the Marines to sentences which might be harsher than they would have otherwise received.

And what did these four Marines do which was so serious? The video depicts them urinating on three dead Taliban insurgents. Let me stress that again: they were dead! The Marines, who have reportedly been identified as members of a sniper team, had already killed them; urinating on their corpses could not harm them any further.

But the videotape certainly caused the United States diplomatic harm, and that's where their alleged crime is; it wasn't urinating on the bodies, the bodies of men the United States specifically wanted killed, but the utter stupidity of videotaping it and posting it on YouTube.

It's OK to kill 'em, but don't you dare piss on 'em!

If we are honest about things, the desecration of the corpses of the enemy has been going on as long as there has been warfare. In the Iliad, Homer depicts the victorious Achilles dragging the body of Hector, the prince of Troy, behind his chariot after killing the prince in combat; the Iliad was written in the 8th century BC. What is new is the introduction of digital still and movie cameras, which can record the images of such anywhere, and the internet, which can distribute the images worldwide.

These Marines need an absolutely severe slap on the wrist, a punishment not for urinating on the corpses of our enemies — the men they were assigned by our government to kill — but for the utter stupidity of taking pictures of it and posting them on the internet. I do not care if the actions of these Marines hurt the feelings of some people in Afghanistan, but I do care that these photographs may make our mission more difficult. And the Marine Corps, and all of our armed services, need to stress to our men and women in uniform that taking pictures of stupid stuff is stupid in itself, and can get you brought up on charges.

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31 Comments

  1. Well stated, Editor. I am still nauseated by the punks in the MSM who delight in highlighting this story, whereas they always do their damndest to obscure radical Islamist ties to terror plots and activities, not to mention the animal behavior of semi-humans like Taliban and al Qaeda.

  2. This story deserves to be highlighted, although on one level I can understand how our troops, being on the wrong end of the Taliban weapons, might feel about the murderers of their fellow troops. Regardless, this is no excuse for this behavior. It is past time for us to stop the killing and leave Afghanistan!

    But let us now, in all honesty, broaden this “animal behavior of sub-humans” category which koolo has set up and narrowly applied.

    Clearly, al Qaeda are terrorists, but the Afghanistan Taliban are citizens who have an ideology for which they are fighting. Of course I do not agree with their ideology, just as I do not agree with the ideology of a nation who would attack another sovereign nation on trumped up false charges, and in the process terrorize the population and cause over 100,000 civilian deaths, perhaps 3-4 times more civilian casualties, and majorly destroy infrastructure.

    Worse, it appears that our next intervention will be Iran. In fact, it appears to have already started. Perhaps we could start out by apologizing for our intervention decades ago, overthrowing their then democratically elected government, precipitating their Islamic based revolution.

    Can you imagine our reaction were some power to intervene in our internal affairs the way we intervene in those of others, even to this very day?

    Don’t you agree, koolo?

  3. WW promotes the wussiness way:

    Perhaps we could start out by apologizing for our intervention decades ago, overthrowing their then democratically elected government, precipitating their Islamic based revolution.

    It was in our national interest to overthrow the proto-communist government of Mohammed Mosadeq, and we did so. There should be no apologies, ever.

  4. ” because they were stupid … to take pictures of what they were doing.”

    I agree, but do not see this act as parallel to Abu Ghraib, except insofar as we might, that is “might” (but probably do not), have another group of borderline IQ mentally troubled or morally labile types ( such as that Lynndie England girl) allowed into the military.

    But again, as to the quality of the marines, that is mere speculation on my part. The “desecration” of Taliban bodies is itself a much lesser form of a self-debasing activity and more justifiable, than the perversity that took place at Abu Ghraib.

  5. WW writes

    Perhaps we could start out by apologizing for our intervention decades ago, overthrowing their then democratically elected government, precipitating their Islamic based revolution.

    Perhaps when the Russians apologize for their clandestine interventions in other countries as well.

  6. “It was in our national interest to overthrow the proto-communist government of Mohammed Mosadeq, and we did so. There should be no apologies, ever.”

    I would apprecieate it, Mr Editor, if you would defend your point here with a brief explanation.

  7. “Perhaps when the Russians apologize for their clandestine interventions in other countries as well.”

    What does this have to do with anything stated, koolo? Is the past behavior of the Russians/Soviet Union a bar which you wish to set for us? Let us start by talking about principles.

  8. WW writes

    What does this have to do with anything stated, koolo? Is the past behavior of the Russians/Soviet Union a bar which you wish to set for us? Let us start by talking about principles.

    You’re the one who practices moral equivalence; therefore, you should endorse this view.

  9. Wagonwheel wants an explanation for the US acting in its own national interest:

    “It was in our national interest to overthrow the proto-communist government of Mohammed Mosadeq, and we did so. There should be no apologies, ever.”

    I would apprecieate it, Mr Editor, if you would defend your point here with a brief explanation.

    The government of Mr Mossedeq was proto-Communist, and being heavily influenced by the Soviet Union, during the Cold War. It was clearly not in the interest of the United States, or anyone else, for the USSR to dominate Iran, and obtain a permanent warm water port. By aiding the Shah and getting rid of the communists, we prevented that from happening.

    Surely you don’t think that the United States acting in its own national interest needs to be explained.

  10. WW writes

    It’s your stated view, koolo, and I do not endorse it, no way.

    No, it’s yours. Or have you forgotten your comments about Israel and the Palestinians, among many others?

    Now stop playing your games and get serious!

    Since you just LIED again, perhaps I’ll quite “playing games” when you begin telling the truth.

  11. Wagonwheel wants an explanation for the US acting in its own national interest:

    “It was in our national interest to overthrow the proto-communist government of Mohammed Mosadeq, and we did so. There should be no apologies, ever.”
    I would apprecieate it, Mr Editor, if you would defend your point here with a brief explanation.

    The government of Mr Mossedeq was proto-Communist, and being heavily influenced by the Soviet Union, during the Cold War. It was clearly not in the interest of the United States, or anyone else, for the USSR to dominate Iran, and obtain a permanent warm water port. By aiding the Shah and getting rid of the communists, we prevented that from happening.

    Surely you don’t think that the United States acting in its own national interest needs to be explained.

    I appreciate your response, Mr Editor, but you know that I could not disagree with you more! I think it was up the Iranians to choose their leader, and not up to us to depose him because we did not approve of his political leanings.

    You are kidding, Mr Editor. Nevermind, you are dead serious, I know that. It is disturbing to me that any American would approve of your interventionist ideology, but unfortunately you are not alone.

    And this philosophy has been largely ineffective, cost many lives, and much resources, yet we still do it, and will do it more should Romney get elected. Romney the other day pledged that he would go to war with Iran. That’s a no-win, therefore crazy, in my opinion.

  12. In fact, the liberal Think Progress has Romney saying the following about Rick Santorum back on the 3rd:

    HANNITY: Do you agree with what Rick Santorum has been saying the last couple of days and that he would take out their nuclear site if he is president?

    ROMNEY: Look, I want to talk about what I would do if I were President today. And if I’m elected what I do immediately which is put in place the crippling sanctions against Iran. Stand with the people in Iran who are dissident voices. And prepare military options. I don’t want to threaten specific action right now. But we, of course, have to have military options. And we have to be prepared to take those options to make sure that Iran does not become nuclear.

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/01/03/396654/romney-santorum-attack-iran/?mobile=nc

    Has WW lied again?? Or will he resort to further excuses for “loose use of language?”

  13. How would you characterize this, Koolo the Great?

    “According to Mitt Romney, “The greatest threat the world faces is a nuclear Iran.” There is, he claims, “no price that is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon,” and he has pledged that if he is president, Iran will “not have a nuclear weapon.”"

    I await your apology, His Nastiness!

  14. “Since you just LIED again, perhaps I’ll quite “playing games” when you begin telling the truth.”

    Exactly what is your lie, looko?

    Like I said before, to disagree with His Nastiness here is tantamount to telling a lie. This person cannot be taken seriously.

  15. “WW writes

    What does this have to do with anything stated, koolo? Is the past behavior of the Russians/Soviet Union a bar which you wish to set for us? Let us start by talking about principles.

    You’re the one who practices moral equivalence; therefore, you should endorse this view.”

    And just what “moral equivalence” are you talking about, jokoo?

  16. WW writes

    Romney the other day pledged that he would go to war with Iran.

    then says his “proof” is this:

    “According to Mitt Romney, “The greatest threat the world faces is a nuclear Iran.” There is, he claims, “no price that is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon,” and he has pledged that if he is president, Iran will “not have a nuclear weapon.””

    IOW, you characterized this as Romney “pledging” that he would go to war with Iran. You didn’t say “in my opinion it appears Romney wants to go to war,” you said flatly he pledged to go to war. IOW, you LIED.

  17. WW writes

    I await your apology, His Nastiness!

    and then

    Like I said before, to disagree with His Nastiness here is tantamount to telling a lie.

    When he’s been shown to tell lies, WW resorts to personal attacks which are a violation of the blog conduct policy. What else is new with the liar known as Wagonwheel, eh?

  18. WW wrote”

    The government of Mr Mossedeq was proto-Communist, and being heavily influenced by the Soviet Union, during the Cold War. It was clearly not in the interest of the United States, or anyone else, for the USSR to dominate Iran, and obtain a permanent warm water port. By aiding the Shah and getting rid of the communists, we prevented that from happening.

    Surely you don’t think that the United States acting in its own national interest needs to be explained.

    I appreciate your response, Mr Editor, but you know that I could not disagree with you more! I think it was up the Iranians to choose their leader, and not up to us to depose him because we did not approve of his political leanings.

    You are kidding, Mr Editor. Nevermind, you are dead serious, I know that. It is disturbing to me that any American would approve of your interventionist ideology, but unfortunately you are not alone.

    One would hope that a man of your years would have understood the geo-political implications of the USSR having a warm-water port, which controlling Iran would have given the,. We don’t care if Outer Mongolia chooses a leader we don’t like; there’s nothing that Outer Mongolia can do which is a problem for the United States.

    The Soviet Union, and Soviet expansionism — we weren’t all that far removed from the Soviet takeover of eastern Europe, or the Korean War at the time — were serious problems with which we had to deal. It was absolutely right to overthrow a communist government before it really got started, in Iran in 1953, and in several other places. It was the right thing to do to support the Nicaraguan contras against the Sandinista government.

    I wholly support American interventionism when it is in our national interest to do so.

    And this philosophy has been largely ineffective, cost many lives, and much resources, yet we still do it, and will do it more should Romney get elected. Romney the other day pledged that he would go to war with Iran. That’s a no-win, therefore crazy, in my opinion.

    No, Governor Romney said that he would not allow Iran to obtain atomic weapons, and that he would use every means necessary, including a military strike if nothing else would work.

    Koolo accuses you of lying because the imprecision with which you use language is pretty egregious. I knew what you meant — and so did Koolo — but that to which you referred was not a “(pledge) that he would go to war with Iran.”

    Then again, it is that taking things out of context which is such a problem with Democrats. Mitt Romney said, referring to insurance companies:

    I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.

    It didn’t take long for the Democrats — and not a few Republicans — to take that out of context, to make it sound like Mr Romney was saying he liked firing employees. But if there’s one thing that the bloggers and commenters on THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL are good at, it’s spotting things taken out of context to use for political attacks. When you do so, you will get caught.

  19. But, I’ll put the question to you bluntly: if non-military means to prevent Iran from building atomic weapons are clearly insufficient to prevent them from doing so, is allowing Iran to go ahead and build atomic bombs preferable to a military strike which would destroy their weapons facilities?

  20. WW writes

    I await your apology, His Nastiness!

    and then

    Like I said before, to disagree with His Nastiness here is tantamount to telling a lie.

    When he’s been shown to tell lies, WW resorts to personal attacks which are a violation of the blog conduct policy. What else is new with the liar known as Wagonwheel, eh?

    Ha, that’s a laugh. You violate the said policy almost every time you post, jokoo. When are you going to come on here to discuss, instead of your nasty mocking? You better reread your own posts.

  21. “But, I’ll put the question to you bluntly: if non-military means to prevent Iran from building atomic weapons are clearly insufficient to prevent them from doing so, is allowing Iran to go ahead and build atomic bombs preferable to a military strike which would destroy their weapons facilities?”

    As I stated earlier, Mr Editor, Iran will not be the last challenge. I made some suggestions. We need to get creative, instead of contemplating another power play, which is bound to backfire.

  22. Koolo, you will note that our editor, even though we disagree vociferously on many issue, are able to have a civil discussion on here. How about you give it a try? Thanks!

  23. WW writes

    Ha, that’s a laugh. You violate the said policy almost every time you post, jokoo. When are you going to come on here to discuss, instead of your nasty mocking?

    Oh come off it, willya? It’s tiring, already. This is precisely what you did at CSPT — complaining and bitching at everyone w/whom you disagree for their behavior (warranted or not), yet they you were always. Doing. The. Same. Thing. I mean, get over yourself. You’re an egomaniac. But not a very smart one, to be sure.

  24. WW writes

    Koolo, you will note that our editor, even though we disagree vociferously on many issue, are able to have a civil discussion on here. How about you give it a try? Thanks!

    That’s right — you treat him like absolute shit, and he always maintains his composure and tactfully shreds your arguments, such that they are.

    Sorry, but I don’t have Editor’s patience. And, frankly, you don’t deserve such patience especially since you’ve threatened people’s livelihoods because you don’t like that they give you your crap right back to you. And since you’ve stated that your goal is to “provide needed push-back” to us conservatives here, my goal is to continue to point out your lies and radical leftist blog talking points.

  25. “That’s right — you treat him like absolute shit, and he always maintains his composure and tactfully shreds your arguments, such that they are.”

    So you are unwilling to give it a try, is that it kojoo? And where are all these lies; you must have quite a list by now, so spell them out or keep quiet.

    I understand quite well that disagreeing with you, or your ideology, or our Editor’s ideology, earns that remark in your biased mind, jokoo.
    Your true colors emerge when you tell me that you have reviewed the CSPT files, then come out and single me out. For that, you earn no cred, except in the minds of the likewise biased ideologues.

    And again, I did not directly out Hube, but he did me. You are unable to comprehend the truth, and you accuse me of lying?

    This is not what our author desires for this blog, so say what you will, you are a mighty poor witness for your cause, and worse for one of your occupation. Say something to gain some respect; so far you deserve little, in my opinion.

    Lets get back to discussing the issues instead of this personal trivia which is totally boring!

  26. It is boring, isin’t it? Let’s get back to arguing politics, economics, philosophy, religion, and money. This crap is getting to be crap! ( yes, an exclamation point! ).

  27. WW lives in La-La Land:

    And again, I did not directly out Hube, but he did me. You are unable to comprehend the truth, and you accuse me of lying?

    As was noted many, many times, one cannot “out” someone who has already outed himself.

    You’re lying. AGAIN.

Comments are closed.