YouTube Clip Causes Uproar

March 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A video that appears to show a U.S. Marine being cruel to a puppy is causing an uproar.The 15-second clip appears to show a U.S. Marine perhaps in Iraq, throwing a puppy off a cliff, and enjoying it. The video, shown widely on the internet and network news is generating anger, outrage and disbelief.

The Marine Corps has identified the man on tape as a 22-year-old Lance Corporal, based in Hawaii. He's been removed from his unit and an investigation is underway.

Christopher Perrine of the Marine Corps said, "This is a shocking and deplorable video that is contrary to the high standards we set for every Marine. We will investigate this and take appropriate action."

In Fresno, SPCA Education Manager Beth Caffrey says it's a disturbing example of animal cruelty, something not expected from our men in uniform. "However, we believe our soldiers are promoting peace and for that kind of behavior to happen, for them to tape it and broadcast it, for him to display his own picture so it's almost as if he's showing off that kind of behavior, that's quite horrible to us at The Humane Society," said Caffery.

What motivated the Marine to do this? Psychiatrist Dr. Hani Khouzam says it's clear the Marine thought he was being funny. "But also it can show hidden anger, and disconnect with reality, that you turn something that is supposed to be harmful into something funny," said Dr. Khousam.

Dr. Khouzam works with war veterans. He says as horrible as this act seems, too much about it is unknown. "I would say please do not judge a book by its cover. We need to know who is that person, what happened before this incident, we cannot make a judgment just by 15 second event."

But many have judged, and the Marine is in protective custody on his base in Hawaii, because of death threats.

Dr. Khouzam says it's not a surprise cruelty to a puppy can generate such an uproar. "We all are sensitive about cruelty to animals. That's a compensation for our cruelty to others. We see people hitting each other on the street, kicking children, but if somebody kicks an animal, everybody jumps on that, saying, oh, that's cruelty."

The doctor agrees the dispute the video appears to show very cruel behavior. The Marine Corps said they are trying to determine if the video was edited, if the puppy was actually thrown, but even if simulated the Marine Corps is not laughing about this embarrassment.


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