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Common Dreams

Slap on the Wrist for Troops in Corpse Urination Video

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Common Dreams staff

Three of the Marines involved in the video that surfaced in January of soldiers urinating on the corpses of Afghans have received "nonjudicial punishment" on Monday for their roles in the incident.

Because they received "nonjudicial punishment," their names do not have to be released. There are no criminal charges; the military describes it as "an administrative matter."

As the Defense Department describes nonjudicial punishment:

Nonjudicial punishment may include reduction in rank, restriction to a military base, extra duties, forfeiture of pay, a reprimand, or a combination of these measures. It becomes a permanent part of the Marine's record with the potential to affect re-enlistment eligibility and promotion.

But as the Guardian reported last year in the wake of the video's surfacing, "Despoiling of the dead is illegal under the Geneva conventions as well as under US military law."

The video (see below) shows four U.S. Marines urinating on three corpses in civilian clothing in Afghanistan. In the video, the marines are laughing. One soldier says, "Have a great day, buddy," while another says, "Golden like a shower."

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