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Iraqi Death Scene

Pics of Marines Burning Bodies

Trigger U.S. Military Investigation [PHOTOS]

1/15/2014 11:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0114_marines_burning_bodies_investigation_launch
The United States military is conducting a formal investigation into American soldiers burning the dead bodies of what appear to be Iraqi insurgents.

TMZ obtained 41 pictures that we're told were shot in Fallujah in 2004.  Two pictures show a Marine appearing to pour gasoline or some other flammable on the remains of what officials believe are 2 insurgents.  Two other photos show the bodies on fire.  You then see charred remains.

Another photo shows a Marine crouched down next to a dead body and mugging for the camera.

Still another pic shows a Marine rifling through the pocket of the pants on a corpse.

We have not included all of the photos.  Many are just too gruesome.  There are well over a dozen bodies in the pics and some are covered with flies and one is being eaten by a dog.

We turned them all over to the Pentagon last week, and a Pentagon official tells us the pics have triggered a Marine Corps investigation.

We're told U.S. Central Command -- the organization in charge of military operations in the Middle East -- also reviewed the photos to determine if they had been previously brought to their attention and determined they had not.

Col. Steve Warren, Director of Press Operations for the Dept. of Defense, tells TMZ ... the pictures appear to show U.S. soldiers in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice ... which makes it a crime to mishandle remains.

There is no statute of limitations on the crime -- even if the soldiers are now private citizens ... they can still be prosecuted, which could land them behind bars.

Col. Warren tells TMZ,  "The actions that are depicted in these photos are not in any way representative of the honorable, professional service of the 2 1/2  million service members who went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade."

1030 COMMENTS

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91.

Leeleeutah    

You guys at TMZ are disgusting! I can't believe you would post these. I'm done with you!

225 days ago
92.

The other guy    

How can they draw a line? We have murdered millions of civilians.

WAR IS MURDER

ALL SOLDIERS SHOULD BE TRIED FOR MURDER

NONE OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH JUSTICE, IT AL HAS TO DO WITH OIL MONEY

225 days ago
93.

edmarine    

Every time a story like this comes out my G-pa (WWII vet) says (paraphrase): "Thank the stars we didn't have digital cameras around back in my day and the gov't kept a lot of this from the media or we wouldn't be known as The Greatest Generation. Americans are naive to what war is all about and God forbid they find out."

It was thought provoking, to say the least. I look back on what I went through in Iraq and often ask if it was justified. My answer, and I know my opinion is very self-serving, is that after seeing how happy the Iraqi people were when they saw us and knew they were no longer under a barbarian's rule I could care less about why we were there.

Because I know how brutal things were over there and remember the pictures of charred American bodies hanging from the bridge in Fallujah before the battle, I will reserve judgement. However, TMZ's gloating about possibly causing an international incident and any retribution for it is despicable. Good on you for turning over the photos- but you should have left it at that. If it turns out the burning of these bodies was malicious you are no better than these Marines. You used these corpses for the same thing these Marines did: self-serving satisfaction.

It should be noted (and is glaringly absent) that bodies were burned at time to keep flies and dogs and small children from messing with them and spreading disease. We didn't always have the time/resources available during prolonged/sustained combat so rather than leave them there to rot we disposed of them. Also, you mention the pockets were rifled through... NO S@#*!!! You don't want to burn any intelligence!

I do find it sad that they chose to take pictures of them having a good time with it, but such is the reality of war. War is Hell. Unless you've been there you can't possibly begin to imagine. Watching war movies and playing video games gives you no insight.

Because of all this: I will hold my judgement. If it turns out that this was malicious: they deserve what they get. If it turns out it was just part of the mission: the ones smiling with the corpses should get smacked around a bit but that is it.

However, no matter how this plays out, TMZ shares in the responsibility for any retribution carried out due to this story. As I said, gloating about doing the right thing and making this public in the way you did is no different than gloating about burning the dead bodies in the first place. You have used these Iraqi (assuming they weren't foreign fighters as was often the case) deaths/desecration to get attention and clicks on the story. You should be ashamed. We don't know WHY these Marines did this yet, but we ALL know why YOU wrote this story.

225 days ago
94.

RaineeDrops    

So ashamed of these marines. How awful, what soulless individuals. So shameful and wrong.

Disgusted.

225 days ago
95.

Dave    

It's war,**** happens. Get over it.

225 days ago
96.

SigmundFrodo    

How is this Celebrity news? I don't come here for this.

225 days ago
97.

Al    

It's war, what do you expect?

225 days ago
98.

RaineeDrops    

If TMZ had only handed the photos over to the military they probably would have covered it, making it public, pressures them to hold these individuals accountable.

I don't like them on here either, but our government has proven they cannot be trusted and will just cover up things. When it goes viral and public, they cannot just cover it up.

I bet some officials in the military were already aware of these photos and did nothing, until...now.

225 days ago
99.

Snow    

This is what happens when you send young people to war.

225 days ago
100.

Portlusglam    

I have never been so disgusted by a "news" outlet in my life on this planet. Why would you guys want to stir **** on an international military level during such a precarious time for our nation? TMZ should be tried for TREASON - you could have quietly handed these pics over and let the govt do there job - instead youve created a potentially destabilizing situation for our soldiers abroad. The last time something like this came out, 4 americans were killed and the entire middle east went into protest. Wow. I hope if any terrorists decide to exact revenge, they target the TMZ offices. You are pigs.

225 days ago
101.

RaineeDrops    

I changed my mind and TMZ should not have posted these, this could put American's in more harm over seas.
That blood will be on TMZ's hands.

225 days ago
102.

SC    

War is not "polite" so why pretend it is. Do I care what they did to insurgents?? NOPE their duty is to keep the insurgents doing more harm, if this helps, then so be it.

225 days ago
103.

SoManyIdiots    

You jumped the shark TMZ.

225 days ago
104.

Zee    

America...the most despided nation...and you all wonder why????. There was even am incident a few years back where there were videos of the army beating a small children!!! But this is so despicable. They have no conscience.

225 days ago
105.

Giselle12    

Wtff TMZ you post this ****?? It's war wtf do you think they did to our soldiers! Who said war was clean! This is bull**** take this **** down! If you were so concerned you would of just sent the pictures in not post them for press!!! Shame on you!

225 days ago
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