Marine video embarrassing, unacceptable: US
WASHINGTON (PAN): The video depicting four marines urinating on bodies of Taliban fighters has come as a big embarrassment to the Obama administration, with its top leadership terming the act deplorable, reprehensible and unacceptable.
“I want to express my total dismay at the story concerning our Marines, who I have the highest respect and admiration for; but I share completely the views expressed by (Defense) Secretary Panetta earlier today,” the secretary of state said.
At a joint media briefing with visiting Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci on Thursday, Hillary Clinton said she joined Panetta in condemning the deplorable behaviour that was reflected in the video.
“It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel and that, you know, the vast majority of our military personnel, particularly our Marines, hold themselves to,” she remarked.
Asked about the implications of the footage on talks with the Taliban, Clinton said the US remained committed to helping build a secure, peaceful, prosperous and democratic future for the Afghans. “We will continue to support efforts that will be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned to pursue the possibility of reconciliation and peace.”
The White House also moved swiftly to condemn the video. “We find this -- we've seen the video, and what it depicts is -- or what it apparently depicts -- is deplorable, reprehensible and unacceptable,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was deeply disturbed by the actions in the video. “Actions like those are not only illegal but are contrary to the values of a professional military and serve to erode the reputation of our joint force,” he said.
Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus condemned the conduct as appalling and outrageously offensive. “We hold the US Marine Corps to the highest possible standards, and the behavior shown in the video failed to uphold those standards in every possible way,” he said.
Republican leader Senator John McCain said he was saddened. “It saddens me. The United States Marine Corps, I would argue, is one of the finest institutions in the history of this nation,” he said.
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