Two more Marines have been charged over a video showing a group of US fighters urinating on the corpses of dead insurgents in Afghanistan.
The two new Marines charged over the video includes the highest-ranking yet to be implicated in the scandal, Capt. James V. Clement, who is currently stationed at Marion Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. Clement is charged with a number of serious charges, including dereliction of duty, failing to properly supervise junior Marines, failing to stop the misconduct of junior Marines, failing to report misconduct and making false statements to military investigators.
Also charged was Sgt. Robert W. Richards, who is charged with dereliction of duty, violation of a lawful general order and conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the armed forces.It was Richards that supposedly took the pictures of the Marines urinating on the dead Afghan fighters.
Richards is alleged to have taken improper photographs that showed the mistreatment of human casualties.
The charges came thanks to the video showing four Marines in full combat gear urinating on three dead bodies, NBC News noted. The scandal has already led to charges against five other Marines, who have already pleaded guilty in a plea bargain.
The video already set of a round of protests in Afghanistan after it showed up on YouTube last year, and came at a difficult time, The Associated Press noted:
“The urination video surfaced on YouTube around the same time as other incidents that infuriated many Afghans. American troops were caught up in controversies over burning Muslim holy books, posing for photos with insurgents’ bloodied remains and an alleged massacre of 16 Afghan villagers by a soldier.”
“Events like Abu Ghraib and the torture that happened there at that prison certainly acted as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida,” said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman for the Defense Department. “Certainly, we are concerned about any backlash that might occur.”
The Marines charged over the video will face hearings at Came Lejeune, North Carolina. No date has been set.