Perry Defends Marines Accused of Urinating on Corpses

Elizabeth Field

Former republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is in hot water this week after defending the actions of United States Marines accused of urinating on Afghan corpses. The video posted on YouTube and other social media websites has been making rounds and stirring up controversy in the U.S. and Afghanistan governments.

United States law and the Geneva Conventions strictly forbid the desecration of dead bodies. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the video, calling the men’s actions “inhumane.” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has cited the incident as “utterly deplorable” while Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey referred to the Marines’ alleged actions as “eroding the reputation of our joint force.”

Rick Perry defended the alleged actions of the Marines, 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 Texas governor told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “But you know, when you’re in war, and history kind of back 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.”

“The idea that this administration would go after these young people for a criminal act—again, I think it’s over the top,” argued Perry. “Did they make a mistake? Absolutely. Should they be reprimanded and appropriately punished? Yes. But going after them for a criminal act, I think—really bad message.”

Amid this controversy and his extremely low polling figures, the Texas governor has officially pulled out of the race and announced his endorsement for Newt Gingrich, calling the candidate a “conservative visionary.”