Marine: No Regret for Urinating on Taliban Corpses

Staff Sgt. Joseph Chamblin says he'd do it again: "These were the same guys who were killing our family, killing our brothers."

Gil Ronen,

US Marines training in Israel
US Marines training in Israel
Israel news photo: IDF

A United States Marine who was videotaped with several comrades urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2011 remains defiant, declaring in remarks broadcast this week that he had no regrets about the incident, and would do it again.

"These were the same guys who were killing our family, killing our brothers,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Chamblin, in an interview with North Carolina's WSOC-TV Channel 9.

Chamblin recalled how he was leading a sniper team on a mission to stop Taliban insurgents who were making IEDs (improvised explosive devices). After succeeding in killing "nearly a dozen" Taliban fighters, they were sent out to recover the bodies.

Just a few days earlier, a fellow soldier, Sgt. Mark Bradley, was killed by an improvised explosive device before the incident, the network reported.

Sergeant Chamblin said the platoon wanted revenge.

"We're human. Who wouldn't if you lost your brother or mother? Wouldn't you want revenge?"

When asked whether the incident didn't compromise the safety of fellow troops, he said that if anything, the opposite was true.

The action was intended to have a "psychological effect" on the Taliban forces, he claimed. "So, now these insurgents see what happens when you mess with us."

Asked if he regretted his behavior, he said, “Hell no.” 

He then challenged the reporter, asking: "Do you want the Marine Corps to be a group of Boy Scout pretty boys, or do you want guys that will go out there and kill the people that are trying to take advantage of your country and kill Americans?"

"Which do you want?" he continued. "Because you can't have both."

The video showing the Marines urinating was widely disseminated on video-sharing web sites in January of 2012. Afghan leader Hamid Karzai called the incident "inhuman," and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that it was "absolutely inconsistent" with American values. 

Sergeant Chamblin was court-martialled and pleaded guilty to wrongfully urinating on a deceased enemy combatant. His sentence was a demotion and he had to forfeit $500 in pay.

He will retire from service in September and is now writing a book titled “Into Infamy.”