U.S. officials and veterans groups have denounced a YouTube video showing four Marines urinating on three dead Afghan fighters, but some supporters of the Marines are voicing support online.
Since the video emerged last week, a Facebook group page titled "Stand United with Our Marine Heroes Against 'Urinegate' " has been created, registering more than 1,250 "likes."
"Job well done," wrote Marine veteran Douglas Bowyer on a Facebook group for the Marine's unit, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines Expeditionary Force, which deployed to Helmand Province last summer. "The beer is on me!"
Civilian and military leadership have promised full accountability and have launched two investigations.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is probing the video to determine whether any crimes were committed.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps Forces Central Command, under Lt. Gen. Steven Hummer, is conducting an internal examination of administrative and command policies before, during and after the incident.
"Both the command investigation being conducted by Lt. Gen. Hummer, and the NCIS investigation are still ongoing," said Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, spokesman for the Marine Corps Forces Central Command .
Col. Kloppel declined to estimate when the investigations would conclude. "Both investigations will be conducted in the most expeditious but thorough manner possible."
Earlier this week, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, a former Air Force officer, criticized the administration for going "over the top" in dealing with the video.
"I will suggest to you that these are 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids. They make mistakes," Mr. Perry said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union. "But the idea that this administration would go after these young people for a criminal act is - again, I think it is over the top."
Not all fellow Marines approve of the actions undertaken by the four.
"We can kill every one of them and people will cheer us on. But when we lower our standards, when we put ourselves on the same level as [them], we are no better," wrote Samuel Frost, who identifies himself as a Marine Corps machine gunner.
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