Sgt. Joseph Chamblin, who was fined and demoted for urinating on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan in 2011, says he regrets any negative impact his actions had on the Marines, but he isn’t sorry. In fact, he claims he’d do it again.“I regret maybe any repercussions it might have had on the Marines. But do I regret doing it? Hell no,” Chamblin said.
KPBS Staff Sgt. Joseph Chamblin was one of the four Marines videotaped urinating on Taliban corpses in 2011. Chamblin is now speaking out, defending his actions, and saying he would do it again if he had the chance.
In an interview conducted with WSOC-TV, Chamblin said the incident took place after fellow Marine Sgt. Mark Bradley was killed by an improvised explosive device. Days after Bradley’s death, a gun battle lead to the death of several Taliban insurgents. When Chamblin and his comrades were ordered to recover the Taliban corpses, a spontaneous urge to deface the bodies took over:
“These were the same guys that were killing our family, killing our brothers. We’re human… Wouldn’t you want revenge?”
The four Marines were roundly criticized for their actions, by everyone from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Chamblin was court-martialed and pleaded guilty in December to dereliction of duty for not properly supervising junior Marines, and for “wrongfully urinating on a deceased enemy combatant,” according to Reuters. His punishment was a demotion and a $500 fine.
“Do you want the Marine Corps to be a group of Boy Scout pretty boys or do you want guys that will go out and kill the people trying to take advantage of your country and kill Americans?” he said. “Which do you want? Because you can’t have both.”
Chamblin is now writing a book called “Into Infamy” and plans on retiring in September. He will dedicate the book to Sgt. Bradley.