Marines take action on camera-exposed crimes


No, they’re not mounting a massive investigation of the conduct of troops in Afgahanistan.

They’re taking the easier route: They’re banning camera use.

And note the quotes.

From Dan Lamothe of Marine Corps Times:

Marine commanders in Afghanistan have cracked down on war-zone photography in the wake of two international scandals this year in which U.S. troops were depicted posing with dead Taliban fighters.

Rank-and-file personnel assigned to Regional Command Southwest, headquartered here in Helmand province, have been ordered to take photographs only for official purposes while outside the wire, said Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus, head of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Recreational souvenir photographs — “happy snaps,” as Gurganus called them — should only be taken on bases in-between missions, he said.

“If it’s not an official purpose, and they’re outside the wire, then they shouldn’t have their camera out,” Gurganus said in an interview this month with Marine Corps Times. “This isn’t rocket science.”

RC-Southwest comprises Helmand and Nimroz provinces. There are about 36,000 coalition forces from 11 countries there, including 15,800 Marines. An additional 9,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen also serve under Gurganus’ command.

Read the rest.

Right. So the way to handle incidents of troops pissing on corpses or cutting them up is to make sure nobody takes a picture!

We’d argue instead that combat troops ought to be equipped with cameras running at all times, or maybe activated by the sound of gunfire or other munitions.

The problem wasn’t the “happy snaps,” General. It was desecration of the dead. And without those pictures, the world would’ve never known. But then that’s the reason for the brass hat’s order, isn’t it?

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