Marines Won’t Be Punished for Posing With Nazi S.S. Flag

Marines Won’t Be Punished for Posing With Nazi S.S. Flag

Marines Won’t Be Punished for Posing With Nazi S.S. Flag

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Feb. 10 2012 3:28 PM

Marines Won’t Be Punished for Posing With Nazi S.S. Flag

Posing with Nazi symbols might be fine if it’s part of a ridiculous movie like Iron Sky, but what if it’s in a real war zone?

A U.S. Marine sniper unit is under fire for posing next to a logo that closely resembles that of the Nazi S.S., in a photo taken in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in 2010. The Marine Corps decided this week the soldiers in the photo would not be punished, saying the behavior was unacceptable but that it was a naive mistake. Apparently, the unit intended the lightning bolt “SS” logo banner as a shout out to sniper scouts, not as a glorification of atrocities committed by the S.S. in World War II.

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Some groups say the Marine explanation is not believable, and that the soldiers—no longer with the unit in question—should be investigated. Meanwhile the Marines have added the photo to a long list of training exercises about what not to do.  

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.