(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — One of the U.S. Marines who was caught on video urinating on the corpses of suspected Taliban fighters has broken his silence to say that he’s not sorry for what he did and he’d do it again.
“These were the same guys that were killing our family, killing our brothers,” Sgt. Joseph Chamblin told ABC News affiliate WSOC in his first interview since the 2011 incident. Chamblin said he did regret any repercussions it may have had on the Marines, “but do I regret doing it? Hell no.”
When asked if the act of urinating on the corpses was his form of revenge, Chamblin told WSOC, “We’re human. Who wouldn’t want that if you lost your brother or mother? Wouldn’t you want revenge?”
Chamblin said one of his fellow Marines, Sgt. Mark Bradley, was killed in an IED explosion days before the incident.
The video, which was shot in July 2011 and surfaced online in January 2012, appears to show four men in uniform looking around before urinating on three dead bodies. At least one of the men chuckles as they do so.
“Have a great day, buddy,” one of the men in heard saying, apparently to a dead body.
At the time the video surfaced, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called it “deplorable” and Afghan President Hamid Karzai said it was “deeply disturbing” and “inhuman.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she felt “total dismay” after hearing the story.
“It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel and the vast, vast military personnel, particularly our Marines, hold themselves to,” she said then.
The video prompted the Marines to launch an internal investigation, in addition to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation, in order to determine “What happened in the Marine Corps that this [was allowed] to happen?” a Marine official told ABC News then.
Chamblin, who was one of the Marines shown in the video, was court-martialed and pleaded guilty. He was fined $500 and demoted, WSOC said. The other Marines in the video, as well as several others who allegedly played a role in the incident, faced similar charges.
Chamblin told WSOC the incident occurred after a gun battle between his men and the Taliban left nearly a dozen enemy dead. He and his colleagues were ordered to recover the bodies.
“It’s not like it was a conscious thought or decision but one [of the men] was like, ‘You know what, [urinate] on these guys.’ And some said, ‘Yeah, [urinate] on them,'” Chamblin said.
Chamblin said he plans to retire from the Marines in September, without regrets, and is writing a book called Into Infamy, WSOC reported.
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