Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been campaigning furiously in South Carolina in an effort to revive his sputtering presidential campaign, said Sunday morning that the Obama administration has gone “over the top” in criticizing Marines who were videotaped urinating on Afghan corpses.
“Obviously, 18, 19-year-olds make stupid mistakes all too often,” Perry said in an appearance on CNN's “State of the Union.” “... What's really disturbing to me is just, kind of, the over-the-top-rhetoric from this administration and their disdain for the military.”
The Marines have not been charged with any crimes, but the Geneva Conventions forbid desecration of the dead.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the incident “utterly deplorable,” and Gen. James Amos has ordered the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to “thoroughly investigate every aspect of the filmed event.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called it “absolutely inconsistent with American values.”
Perry said the reaction was overblown, and that “[Winston] Churchill did the same thing.”
“These kids made a mistake, there's no doubt about it,” he said. “But to call it a criminal act, I think, is over the top.”