Pendleton general to lead probe of Afghan desecration - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pendleton general to lead probe of Afghan desecration

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A three-star general based at Camp Pendleton will head investigations into the widely publicized video that appears to show four Marines urinating on the corpses of enemy fighters in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Friday.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command, will serve as the "consolidated disposition authority" in reviewing allegations stemming from the graphic images, which became public via Internet postings this week, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.

The appointment by USMC Commandant Gen. James Amos "places authority in one commander to initiate any necessary investigations and take any administration or disciplinary action that results from those investigations," according to the statement. - Waldhauser's inquiry will be conducted in coordination with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe of the alleged misconduct, military officials said.

Members of a North Carolina-based USMC infantry unit made the video, according to USMC officials. The names of the Marines seen on the videotape have not been made public.

On Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta condemned the servicemen's apparent behavior as "utterly deplorable" and ordered the Marine Corps and the International Security Assistance Force to investigate.

"Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent," Panetta said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the acts depicted in the video "completely inhumane."

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