WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2012 – Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos has appointed a three-star general to investigate and take any required administrative or disciplinary action stemming from a video circulated on the Internet that appears to show four Marines urinating on the corpses of enemy fighters in Afghanistan.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command, is officially designated as the “consolidated disposition authority” for the allegations surrounding the video. That designation places authority in one commander to initiate any necessary investigations and take any administration or disciplinary action that results from those investigations, Marine Corps officials said.
Waldhauser’s investigation will be conducted in coordination with the ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation into the incident, officials added.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said yesterday the behavior depicted in the video is “utterly deplorable,” and he ordered the Marine Corps and the International Security Assistance Force to investigate. “Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” Panetta said in a statement.
ISAF officials said the command has begun a thorough investigation.