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."
In Weird Yoga Forest
8/8/2013 7:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lady Gaga finally got naked ... FULLY NAKED ... but it's weird. Really weird.
The video just surfaced, featuring a naked, hairless, crystal-spooning Gaga doing a meditation exercise inspired by Marina Abramovic, a famous performance artist.
The video shows Gaga doing "The Abramovic Method," which supposedly heightens physical and mental awareness.
It definitely heightened our awareness.
'That's Gay as S**t'
8/8/2013 4:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Big Brother's" got nothin' on Tyga -- 'cause the rapper says he's no fan of "gay ass" stuff.
The comments came flying out of Tyga's mouth outside Supperclub in Hollywood this week ... when a TMZ photog tried to ask the "Make It Nasty" rapper about the two $10 million lawsuits he's facing from some ladies who say their nipples were exposed in a Tyga music video.
At first, Tyga addressed the question -- saying, "Look at my car. Do I look like I care about a lawsuit, bruh??"
Then, he unleashed the insults on our photog -- "What you got a camera for? That's gay as s**t."
He continued, "You got a CAMERA on a n**ga ... go in [the club] and get some bitches."
When our guy explained that he was doing his job, Tyga shot back -- "That's a gay ass job."
Tyga -- they'd love him in Russia.
Alleged Nightclub Murderer
[Updated w/ Mug Shot]
1/17/2013 2:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The person who allegedly shot and killed a man outside a Hollywood nightclub has been arrested ... TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Robert Earl Thomas III was hiding at a friend's house in Las Vegas when cops entered the premises last night and placed him under arrest for murder. He surrendered without a struggle.
TMZ posted video of the shooter outside Empire nightclub when he aimed the gun and fired, killing one man and wounding another. The video clearly shows the shooter and law enforcement tells us they got a number of tips from people who saw it and that led to Thomas' capture.
Thomas is 22 years old and lives in Los Angeles.
Thomas is currently being held in a Vegas jail and prosecutors plan to extradite him to California.
Hollywood Nightclub Brawl
Clubgoer Shot Dead (VIDEO)
1/14/2013 5:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A man was shot dead outside a Hollywood nightclub early Sunday morning in the throes of a massive brawl ... and our photog captured it all.
Cops tell us ... It started inside Empire nightclub ... where several fights broke out between some women ... before it moved outside.
You see women in the video throwing punches, pulling hair, slapping etc.
Within minutes the violence escalated into all out mayhem ... dozens more joined in -- men and women.
Suddenly ... a man in a grey sweatshirt pulls a gun ... takes aim -- and two shots are clearly heard.
Moments later, you see a man lying dead in the middle of the street -- and it appears the victim was the intended target.
Another man was also shot during the brawl. He's in stable condition.
The shooter was not apprehended. The LAPD is looking for him.