Two U.S. Marines have been referred to trial by courts martial Friday for urinating on the bodies of Taliban dead in Afghanistan and posing for photographs with them, the Pentagon said.
The charges against Staff Sergeants Joseph Chamblin and Edward Deptola come a month after three other Marines were sanctioned administratively for their role in the July 27, 2011 incident in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
A videotape that surfaced on the Internet in January showed four US troops urinating on three bloodied corpses, and one of the men, apparently aware he was being filmed, saying: “Have a great day, buddy,” referring to one of the dead.
The Pentagon said charges against the sergeants alleged “violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for their involvement in urinating on deceased Taliban fighters and for posing for unofficial photographs with human casualties.”
They also were charged with dereliction of duty for a number of other command failures involving younger Marines.
The decision to refer the sergeants for trial comes in amid a wave of violent anti-American protests in the Muslim world over a U.S.-made film that ridicules the Prophet Mohammed.