An investigation has been launched after video emerged that military authorities say appears to show U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.
More than a year after video footage of U.S. Marine snipers purportedly urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan surfaced on YouTube, setting off a storm of controversy in the Middle East, the officer in charge of that platoon will be court-martialed for his alleged misconduct, military officials announced.
Capt. James V. Clement will be tried for dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer and failure to stop misconduct by junior Marines, four of whom can be seen in the widely circulated video laughing and joking as they urinate on the bodies of what are believed to be dead Taliban insurgents.
A date for the impending court-martial has not been set, according to a Marine Corps statement released Monday.
Two of the snipers – Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola and Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin – have already been convicted in the case following outrage from world leaders and U.S. military officials.
Another enlisted soldier still awaits trail, according to The Associated Press.
The video allegedly was filmed during a counter-insurgency operation in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in July 2011, according to the Marine Corps statement. Footage of the four Marines from the Third Battalion, Second Marine Regiment was uploaded to YouTube in January 2012 and quickly spread across the Web, triggering global outrage.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the behavior in the video as “inhuman.” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta denounced the incident as “deplorable,” according to Reuters.
The video drew international attention during a particularly volatile time for U.S.-Afghan relations. The burning of Qurans at Bagram Air Base last February sparked a wave of deadly protests that resulted in the death of 30 Afghans, intensifying anti-American sentiment in the region.
NBC News' Courtney Kube and Jim Miklaszewsaki contributed to this report.