Gov. Rick Perry defends Marines who urinated on corpses

Posted Jan. 15, 2012, at 8:21 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 15, 2012, at 8:37 p.m.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry greets people before the Faith & Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 15.
Janet Blackmon Morgan | The Sun News
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry greets people before the Faith & Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday defended the four Marines who were depicted in a video last week urinating on the corpses of three Taliban insurgents, arguing “what’s really disturbing to me is just, kind of, the over-the-top rhetoric from this administration and their disdain for the military.”

“Obviously, 18-, 19-year-old kids make stupid mistakes all too often, and that’s what’s occurred here,” the Republican presidential candidate told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But, you know, when you’re in war, and history kind of backs (this) up — there’s a picture of General Patton doing basically the same thing in the Rhine River. And although there’s not a picture, Churchill did the same thing on the Siegfried Line.”

A 1945 photo appears to show Gen. George Patton urinating into the Rhine River in full view of his soldiers. And Winston Churchill, too, is reported to have urinated on the Siegfried Line, the German World War II defensive line. But neither man was known to have urinated on human corpses.

U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions forbid the desecration of dead bodies.

“I mean, these kids made a mistake, there’s not any doubt about it,” Perry said. “They shouldn’t have done it. It’s bad. But to call it a criminal act, I think, is over the top.”

Republican Sen. John McCain did not object to the way the issue has been handled, according to Slate.com. “A full and complete investigation is entirely appropriate,” he said. No one has been charged in the case, but an investigation is being carried out.

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