One of the four Marines who rocketed to YouTube stardom with a video showing them urinating on fresh Taliban corpses is going to face a special court martial. His former Company XO may also stand trial, although the decision has not been made in the officer’s case. Stars and Stripes has the story.
Sgt. Robert Richards, 27, is charged with dereliction of duty, violating a general order and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. He underwent an Article 32 hearing on the charges in March and is one of four Marines in a video of the July 2011 incident that was posted on YouTube in 2012.
Another Marine, Capt. James V. Clement, also faced an Article 32 hearing recently, though no reporters were informed about the hearing. Clement and three other Marines took the stand.
Oddly enough, the charges are all about whizzing on the enemy — not about being so earth-shatteringly stupid as to video and publish the event. But the fix may well be in for this young man. The command wants to Send the Message that we don’t relieve ourselves on the enemy dead, no matter how relieved we might be that the enemy are dead in the first place. When the command Sends a Message using a Special Court-Martial rather than any of the fancy commo gear it has access to, that usually means that the accused is getting a Trial by Red Queen: “Sentence first, then the verdict!”
But it’s very important that the enemy are not pissed on. Because if they get pissed on, they get pissed off, and then they might blow up a sporting event or something.