I have to agree with Allen West here for the most part on how to punish these Marines depending on the facts of the Marine investigation:
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, sends THE WEEKLY STANDARD an email commenting on the Marines’ video, and has given us permission to publish it.
“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.
“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?
“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.
“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.” [The Weekly Standard via reader tip]
Now let me add some caveats to this though, if these are civilians they killed then the punishment should be much more steeper just like the hit team from Ft. Lewis was tried for murder. However, these Marines may have killed a cell of Taliban that had been planting IED’s that had killed a number of their fellow Marines, plus if these Marines were operating in a very tough place like Sangin where you get into contact nearly every day, but hardly ever see the enemy because they run away, these Marines may have gotten overexcited about finally killing these Taliban that had killed many of their buddies. That is why I think it is important to let the Marines investigate this and determine what happened before beginning all the self righteous indignation that Rep. West brings up especially from people who have never served a day in combat in a place like Sangin. Clearly what they did was wrong but I doubt a Field Grade Article 15 is what they will receive as Rep. West recommends. I think they will be court martialed but this is not a Abu Graib scale crime so I doubt anyone will be locked up but their careers will likely be ended if they are even still in the Corps.