Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Staff Sgt. Joseph Chamblin was one of the four Marines videotaped urinating on Taliban corpses in 2011. Chamblin is now speaking out, defending his actions, and saying he would do it again if he had the chance.
In an interview conducted with WSOC-TV, Chamblin said the incident took place after fellow Marine Sgt. Mark Bradley was killed by an improvised explosive device. Days after Bradley's death, a gun battle lead to the death of several Taliban insurgents. When Chamblin and his comrades were ordered to recover the Taliban corpses, a spontaneous urge to deface the bodies took over:
"These were the same guys that were killing our family, killing our brothers. We're human... Wouldn't you want revenge?"
The four Marines were roundly criticized for their actions, by everyone from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Chamblin was court-martialed and pleaded guilty in December to dereliction of duty for not properly supervising junior Marines, and for "wrongfully urinating on a deceased enemy combatant," according to Reuters.
His punishment was a demotion and a $500 fine.