Marine pleads guilty to urinating on Afghan corpse

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013
Advertisement
;

Deptola's defense attorney, Maj. Tracey Holtshirley, called the case a "lynching" by the news media and general public for an isolated mistake by a well-regarded Marine. He argued Deptola had already been punished enough by the attention and being removed from his platoon. He said he should be demoted two ranks to corporal.

Other Marines involved have received lesser sentences. Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin pleaded guilty to similar charges last month. Under a deal reached before his court-martial, he lost $500 in pay and was reduced in rank to sergeant. Three other Marines were given administrative punishments for their roles.

The urination video surfaced on YouTube around the same time as other incidents that infuriated many Afghans. American troops were caught up in controversies over burning Muslim holy books, posing for photos with insurgents' bloodied remains and an alleged massacre of 16 Afghan villagers by a soldier.

The Marine Corps said the urination took place during a counterinsurgency operation in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province, located in the south of the country.

The United States now has 66,000 troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. and its NATO allies agreed in November 2010 that they would withdraw all their combat troops by the end of 2014, but they haven't decided on the scope of future missions in the country and the size of any residual force remaining after that.

___

Follow Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker at www.twitter.com/mbieseck