Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has released a statement Thursday strongly condemning the apparent actions of four Marines who appear to be urinating on the bodies of three dead Afghan enemy combatants.
In the statement, Panetta said he has seen the footage and finds the behavior depicted in it “utterly deplorable.”
“I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Panetta said. “I have ordered the Marine Corps and ISAF commander [Marine Corps] Gen. John Allen to immediately and fully investigate the incident. 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. Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.”
Additionally, the Pentagon press secretary said Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the video Thursday.
“The secretary expressed his view that the conduct depicted in the footage is utterly deplorable, and that it does not reflect the standards or values American troops are sworn to uphold,” George Little said. “The secretary also noted in the conversation that he has ordered that the video be immediately and fully investigated.”
You can read the full press release HERE.
Filed under: Department of Defense, Marines | Tagged: Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, International Security Assistance Force, Leon Panetta, Marines, postaday2011, United States armed forces, YouTube videos |