On July 27, 2011, when members of a Marine Scout Sniper platoon assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines made the decision to urinate on the corpses of several Taliban members, they saw it as a small payback for their fallen comrades who had been mutilated by many of those same Taliban fighters not long before in Helmand province, Afghanistan. What they did not see was the storm of controversy that would ensue once video footage of that incident was made public on January 11, 2012. Unsurprisingly, they had not intended it to be seen by the general public.
Much has been made about the incident itself, the legal process that the participants were dragged through, General James F. Amos’ dubious ties to that legal process, and the aftermath that adversely affected the lives of so many who were involved. What has been discussed very little, until now, is how that video actually saw the light of day, as well as how General Amos’ previous cover-ups should have played a bigger part in the Inspector General’s investigation of how Amos handled this case.
Amos has since gone on to hold multiple high-paying Board of Directors seats in various organizations alongside those who he has dubious ties to. Meanwhile, the lives of many Marines and their families affected by their respective cases remain shattered. So who released the video in the first place?
Shortly after the 2011 urination incident took place, the Marine responsible for videoing the act, an EOD technician attached to 3/2, was seriously injured in an IED blast. This Marine would live, but it required him being evacuated from the battlespace and taken back to the United States. Standard protocol for such an incident involves the injured Marine having his gear inventoried and packed up by a teammate. Another part of that process is typically for the wounded Marine’s laptop to be scrubbed for any sensitive material that the family may not appreciate seeing.