(WASHINGTON) — The Marine Corps, already in hot water over a video showing four of its members urinating on what are believed to be the bodies of dead Taliban fighters, is again facing criticism for a photograph that seems to glorify the Third Reich.
The snapshot, which was taken 18 months ago in the Afghan province of Sangin, show members of a scout sniper team posing in front of a flag with what looked like the Nazi SS log. The SS stood for the Schutzstaffel, originally Adolf Hitler’s bodyguards that grew into Germany’s all-powerful police force during World War II.
According to Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva, a spokesman at Camp Pendleton, Calif., the flag was only symbolizing the scout sniper team but was nonetheless unacceptable to the Marine Corps and those in the photo are no longer with the service.
However, that explanation did not suffice with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which wants a full investigation into the matter.
Mikey Weinstein, the group’s president, said former Marines have contacted him to express their disgust with the photo, which appeared online, adding, “Heads need to roll and this needs to be fully investigated. This is a complete and total outrage.”
Weinstein said he contacted both Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the head of the Marine Corps.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News
Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN