A Loud and Clear Message From U.S. About Afghanistan Video


A video clip of four U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters has thrown a serious monkey wrench into the U.S. government's plans to begin negotiations with the Taliban and find its way out of the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan. The U.S. military and federal government had a gargantuan reputational crisis on their hands as they waited for confirmation that the soldiers in the video are, in fact, U.S. Marines.

The crisis worsened by the evening of Jan. 12, when the New York Times reported that senior U.S. officials confirmed that the men in the video are members of the Third Battalion, Second Marines.

Before that confirmation, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were unequivocal in their expressions of outrage.

In a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense, Panetta called the behavior in the video deplorable. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Panetta said. “I have ordered the Marine Corps and ISAF commander [Marine Corps] Gen. John Allen to immediately and fully investigate the incident. This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards or values our armed forces are sworn to uphold. Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.”

"I join [Defense Secretary Panetta]  in condemning the deplorable behavior that is reflected in this video," Clinton said at a press conference. "It is absolutely inconsistent with American values."

Clinging to the moral high ground will be difficult against the backdrop of the banal horror in the video clip and of memories of Abu Ghraib. To make their messages ring with authenticity, government and military officials will be forced to investigate the incident thoroughly and share the complete, unadulterated story with the world.

 


Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech 2015Join PR News at the Marriott Marquis in New York on Oct. 5 for the Social Media Summit, where expert communicators will share in-depth case studies from their social efforts. “Taste of Tech,” a unique element of the Summit, will feature partners who “get PR” and can help you make your social initiatives more impactful.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook

PRNews-Crisis-guidebook-180x150-sb

Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

cover5.18

 

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.