We live in the TMI age, no getting around that. Video cameras in every cell phone and who doesn’t have a smartphone now? The fact of the matter is this, if you are out in public, anywhere, you have no expectation of privacy so whatever you are doing, factor in the possibility of it going public. There are some definite advantages to this, want to see naked pics (or a sex tape) of such and such, chances are it is floating around the blogosphere. See some elected official in the parking lot getting a hummer from a male hooker in his car? might want to document that, or some police misconduct, start filming.
But when some inadvertent video goes public and causes embarrassment, well, a two step usually follows. Here is the latest hitting the internet:
A couple questions right off the bat, obviously another Marine in filming this, why disseminate it out to the public? I guess the same could be asked about those Abu Gharib photos, how do they get out? But this is like a buddy filming you while you are drinking while on patrol, or filming you taking a snooze on guard duty, obviously it is going to get you in hot water.
Clearly, this was going to investigated:
The top commanders of the Marine Corps U.S. forces in Afghanistan are investigating a video that purports to show U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered a probe into behavior he described is “utterly deplorable.”
I reminded of George Patton making a public display of Peeing in the Rhein to highlight his utter contempt for the enemy in front of his troops, or Admiral Halsey making a conscious decision early on to refer to the enemy in terms of “Japs” and “those yellow bastards” both to instill a fighting spirit but to marginalize them, make them as evil and worthy of killing. Both of these guys would have been called on to the carpet early on and admonished severally if they were fighting today.
In the relative scheme of things, given how long this war has been waging and the exemplary behavior of our military in fighting it, is this really a big deal? Hardly, but it does exemplify the nature of the world we live in, the 24 hour news cycle and the reach public eyes have in private matters.