Marine officer faces court martial for video of snipers urinating on Taliban corpses

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A U.S. Marine officer who led snipers shown in a 2011 video urinating on the corpses of military-age males in Afghanistan will face court-martial the Marine Corps has announced.

The Marine Corps announced that Capt. James V. Clement, the former executive officer for Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, will be tried on charges of dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer and failure to stop misconduct by those under his command.

No date has been set for the proceedings, the statement said.

Capt. Clement refused the non-judicial punishment that was recommended following an April 10 evidentiary hearing at Camp Lejeune, N.C., according to Marine Times.

The publication states that the presiding officer had dismissed most of the charges after hearing evidence that Capt. Clement could not have been aware of the fact that his subordinates were urinating on the corpses.

He recommended Clement receive non-judicial punishment — a relatively minor administrative sanction — for failing to stop the Marines from firing their weapons.

John Dowd, his civilian defense attorney, told Marine Times that Capt. Clement faithfully and correctly carried out his assignment and responsibilities, and declined non-judicial punishment because he “refuses to be a scapegoat for the political hysteria” surrounding the case.

A team of enlisted Marine scout snipers filmed themselves urinating on the bodies of three dead Afghans believed to be Taliban fighters during a 2011 deployment.

The video surfaced on YouTube in January 2012, created a furore at home and in the war zone, embarrassed the Corps’ senior leadership, and prompted its top general to tour the service preaching the importance of ethical behavior, Marine Times said.

Clement is the seventh Marine to face disciplinary action in connection with the video.

 

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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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