MRFF Demands Marine Corps Investigate Use of Nazi SS Flag by Marines in Afghanistan - update 2/10

MRFF Demands Marine Corps Leadership Immediately Investigate Use of Nazi SS Flag by Marines in Afghanistan

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( is absolutely sickened by the disgusting images of members of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Recon Battalion, Charlie Company, proudly posing in front of the U.S. flag juxtaposed alongside a symbol associated with the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, the genocide of religious minorities throughout Europe, and the forces of white supremacist racial hatred.

The fact that United States service personnel were caught proudly posing with the emblem of the Nazi SS, which symbolizes the vile ideology of Hitlerian fascism, sends a menacing signal to religious minorities within the United States Armed Forces. The symbol’s usage conveys a message that the U.S. Military is an organization within which white supremacists can feel at home, free to espouse their murderous ideology and proudly don their symbols of hatred.

This brazen display of a symbol which is synonymous with death squads, gas chambers, and brutal occupation reflects a sociopathic, marauding attitude which violently jars with the supposed “nation-building” efforts which the NATO forces have embarked upon. It exacerbates the anti-Americanism felt by the people of the region who we claim to be helping in the context of a UN-mandated, NATO-led security mission.

In short, this shameful display of SS “lightning bolts” by U.S. service personnel enrages our regional allies, emboldens the extremist Islamist forces with whom we are contending, and eviscerates good order, morale, and discipline within the U.S. Marine Corps. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation immediately calls for the leadership of the United States Military to condemn this stomach-turning display without equivocation or delay and severely punish ALL of those responsible.

I was shocked that this could be possible, and did a little background checking.

UPDATE 2/10/2012

The ADL reports that “earlier today, U.S. Marines Commandant Gen. James F. Amos contacted Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, by telephone to apologize to the Jewish community for the hurt that this ignorance and insensitivity may have caused.  The Commandant made unequivocally clear that the Marine Corps does not condone and will not tolerate the use of Nazi symbols or imagery.  Mr. Panetta’s office also reached out to ADL and issued a statement denouncing the conduct of the unit involved and saying: “Racist and anti-Semitic symbols have absolutely no place alongside the men and women of America’s armed forces.”“

Abraham Foxman of the ADL issued the following statement

Foxman issued the following statement:

We are pleased that the Marines swiftly condemned the behavior, set up a structure to investigate and expunge the use of SS and other offensive or racist symbols in the military, and to ensure that it does not happen again.

The Marines and Defense Department have made clear that they are taking clear and immediate steps in response to this incident and to ensure that troops are appropriately sensitized in the future to all of the reasons why Nazi imagery and symbols have no place in the U.S. Armed Services.

The Marines have assured us that they are taking strong steps to ensure that the incident was dealt with appropriately.  Now the task is to ensure that the next generation of Marines is exposed to the universal lessons of the Holocaust and for the military to institute policies and training for service personnel to address the problem of extremism in the Armed Services as well as to recognize and stop the use of hate symbols like this.  It is vital for our nation’s military to implement standard, service-wide training in order to recognize hate symbols and detect extremists in the military.

Gen. Amos assured ADL he has ordered an investigation to make sure that SS or other unauthorized symbols are not being used by any other units, and has asked the commanding general of the training and education command to review the sniper school curriculum to ensure there are prohibitions in place on the use of SS and other inappropriate symbols.

In the past ADL has worked closely with the Department of Defense to ensure that there is an understanding and sensitivity to the universal lessons of the Holocaust.  To that purpose, ADL and the DOD jointly developed a comprehensive guide called “Days of Remembrance” issued in 1988 and re-issued 1989.  The 144-page guide opened with a letter from then-President George H.W. Bush to the armed forces addressing their observation of the days of remembrance and a statement from the secretary of defense.




Camp Pendleton Marines posed with Nazi SS symbol in Afghanistan

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Fury from Auschwitz survivors as U.S. Marines sniper squad is seen in Afghanistan with ‘SS’ flag (but they say it refers to ‘scout sniper’ team NOT Hitler’s henchmen), Mark Duell

Pamela Geller’s praise for the desecration of dead bodies is not “funny”, Sheila Musaji

Marine Corps Condemns Unit’s Use of SS Flag 

Marine Corps Insists Marines Are Too Dumb to Know This Is a Nazi Flag

Marine scout snipers used Nazi SS logo, Dan Lamothe

Marines spared punishment for posing with Nazi-like flag, Joseph Schuman

Marines Sport Nazi SS Flag in Afghanistan, Adam Weinstein

Panetta Calls for New Probe Into Marine Photo

Photo shows Marines posing with Nazi-like symbol in Afghanistan, Jennifer Rizzo

Those Marines Bought an SS Flag Without Knowing What it Was? Seriously? That’s Your Excuse?, Chris Rodda

US Marines snipers go unpunished after posing with flag bearing Nazi symbol in Afghanistan

Simon Wiesenthal Center Statement on Marine SS Flag Outrage