U.S. Reacts To Urination Video
As word of the video spread through Afghanistan Thursday, American politicians condemed the soldiers' actions.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was one of the first to speak out.
"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable," he said. "Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham echoed his statements.
"It is absolutely inconsistent with American values and the standards we expect from our military personnel," she said.
The U.S. governement is concerned that the release of the video may stall peace talks and prisoner negoatiations with the Taliban, and increase anti-U.S. sentiment in Kabul.
"The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed be [the] video that shows American soldiers descrating dead bodies of three Afghans," President Hamid Karzai said in a statement Thursday.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, meanwhile, said the video bore no relation to peace talks.
"This is not a political process, so the video will not harm our talks and prisoner exchange because they are at the preliminary stage," he said, according to Reuters. In subsequent statements, however, the Taliban has not alluded to the talks.
Panetta called Karzai Thursday to personally assure him that an investigation was forthcoming, and that the individuals involved would be held accountable for the actions depicted in the video. The act could be classifed as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, the New York Times reported.
Marine Corps officials said at least two of the four troops in the video, made sometime between March and September of 2011, have been identified. It is believed they were members of the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines, of North Carolina's Camp Lejeune.
The video caused an internet stir. Read below to see "civilian" reactions.
Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?
Or join our email list below to enjoy the weekly Neon Tommy News Highlights.