HONOLULU — The United States Marines Corps on Tuesday condemned a video that purportedly shows a Marine viciously mistreating a puppy and promised an aggressive investigation into who is responsible.
Sources at the Marine Corps base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, told FOXNews.com that they were upset and outraged by the video, which was initially posted on YouTube but has since been taken down. They confirmed there is someone stationed there who served in Iraq with the same name uttered in the video.
"There is [a man by that name] here and back from Iraq," a source said. "Whether or not he is actually in the video, I can’t confirm that — that’s being investigated right now."
In the grainy, low-quality clip, the Marine appears to throw a puppy off a rocky cliff while joking with another Marine, who addresses him by a single name as he holds up the motionless black-and-white dog before hurling it into a gully.
“Oh, I tripped,” the first Marine says as he throws the animal. A yelping sound is heard as the puppy flies through the air.
“That’s mean. That was mean, Motari," a second man, pictured with him in the beginning of the video, can be heard saying.
A host of Internet blogs and sites have circulated what they speculate is the dog-tossing Marine's full name.
It was likely that the named man and others were being questioned in the case, sources told FOXNews.com. Those at the base in Hawaii were very upset by the video.
"We’re all outraged," a source said. "We’re probably more outraged than the general public. I hate that it happened."
Earlier Tuesday, the base's public affairs director issued a statement denouncing the vignette.
"The video is shocking and deplorable and is contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine," said Major Chris Perrine. "This video came to our attention this morning, and we have initiated an investigation. We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action."
Soon after the uproar started Tuesday, YouTube removed the video from its site on the grounds that it violated content rules — though it was still accessible and available via other links online.
The authenticity of the clip, which has been viewed more than 145,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube in the last two days, has not been verified.
Perrine said it appears that the man in the video is a lance corporal based with a unit in the Hawaiian islands. His actions weren't characteristic of those of most men and women who serve, the spokesman said.
"The vast majority of Marines conduct their duties in an honorable manner that brings great credit upon the Marine Corps and the United States," said Perrine. "There have been numerous stories of Marines adopting pets and bringing them home from Iraq or helping to arrange life-saving medical care for Iraqi children.
"Those are the stories that exemplify what we stand for and how most Marines behave."
"It's questionable," sources told FOXNews.com. "But even if it was a fake, it's still outrageous."
Forum members and bloggers have been frantically trying to track down details of the soldier.
"Certainly there's a lot of outrage and a lot of people are upset about it. I think every Marine is upset about this video," Perrine said. “We will investigate and take appropriate action and make sure our Marine is safe as well.
"That is mistreatment of a puppy. That is a violation of anybody's standards, and the Marine Corps sets extremely high standards."
4 March 08