Nine GOP lawmakers in Sacramento led by Sen. Joel Anderson have signed a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urging him not to court-martial Marines videotaped urinating on dead Taliban fighters.
The state senators who signed the 280-word letter dated Feb. 21 said they agreed with Rep. Duncan D. Hunter that the Marines should be disciplined but not face possible prison time.
“We concur with Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Alan West concerning the punishment being considering for the U.S. Marines involved in the recently leaked video,” said the letter signed by Anderson, Tom Berryhill, Bob Dutton, Bill Emmerson, Ted Gaines, Bob Huff, Doug La Malfa, Tony Strickland, Mimi Walters and Mark Wyland.
“The actions of the Marines were disgusting and totally wrong. However, the incident needs to be taken in the proper context of the battlefield conditions.”
The letter noted “numerous instances of atrocities to captured U.S. troops and civilians. Can you ever forget those awful scenes of U.S. soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu or when Blackwater contractors were killed, their bodies burned and hung from a bridge in Fallujah?”
The letter asserted: “As Congressman West so rightfully pointed out, there was no indignation from the news media or outrage from the government when Americans were killed or mistreated.”
Anderson, a one-time La Mesa resident, represents the 36th Senate District, which covers a vast area of East County and eastern North San Diego County. He graduated from Grossmont College.