Rick Perry, one of the hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination, accused Barack Obama’s administration of ‘over-the-top rhetoric’ and disdain of the military on Sunday. These comments came from Perry in response to Obama’s condemnation of a video that allegedly shows Marines urinating on bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain, is not at odds with Perry because of his comments about the issue. McCain says that the video could affect the effort of the war.
“The Marine Corps prides itself that we don’t lower ourselves to the level of the enemy,” McCain said in response to Perry’s position on the video. “So it makes me sad more than anything else, because … I can’t tell you how wonderful these people (Marines) are. And it hurts their reputation and their image.”
There have yet to be any charges filed in the case but officials from the United States and abroad have requested quick punishment for the Marines. Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta exclaimed that the video could easily be used by the Taliban to undermine talks for peace.
A Marine Corps review and a military criminal investigation have been started as the Geneva Conventions make it illegal to desecrate a body of the dead.
Perry, the Texas Governor, said that the Marines in the video should not be prosecuted on criminal charges but should be reprimanded.
“Obviously, 18-, 19-year-old kids make stupid mistakes all too often. And that’s what’s occurred here,” Perry said. “What’s really disturbing to me is the kind of over-the-top rhetoric from this administration and their disdain for the military.”
McCain disagreed with Perry’s stance on the issue.
“We’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan population,” he said. “And when something like that comes up, it obviously harms that ability.”