REPORTING FROM CAMP PENDLETON -- A Marine general from Camp Pendleton has been put in charge of the investigation into the video that Pentagon officials believe shows Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the Marine Corps announced Friday.
Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, will direct the investigation and determine whether criminal charges should be levied or administration punishment meted out.
Commandant Gen. James Amos, in announcing the appointment of Waldhauser, said that he will "not rest until the allegations and the events surrounding them have been resolved."
Waldhauser is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the convening authority in the court martial underway at Camp Pendleton of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich in the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha in 2005.
The Marines in the video are from a battalion based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., according to the Pentagon.
Waldhauser has appointed Lt. Gen. Steven Hummer to oversee the preliminary investigation. Hummer will report to Waldhauser. The Marine investigation is separate from that of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Photo: Then-Maj. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of the 1st Marine Division, speaks to troops at Forward Operating Base Delaram, Afghanistan, in November 2008. Credit: Tony Perry / Los Angeles Times