The United States Marine Corps is investigating one of its own after a disturbing video appeared on YouTube showing a Marine apparently throwing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq.
The grainy images look as if they may have been shot by a cell phone camera. In the video, a uniformed Marine holds a small black-and-white puppy by the scruff of the neck and says, "Cute little puppy, huh?"
Then he launches the dog over the cliff. The puppy's yelps can be heard until it hits the ground below. Then the Marine shrugs his shoulders while another Marine standing nearby laughs and says, "That was mean."
In a statement the Marine Corps, which declined to name the Marine, called the video is "shocking and deplorable."
Marine spokesman Maj. Chris Perrine said the soldier in the video was believed to be based in Hawaii.
"We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action," Perrine said.
Questions are already surfacing on the Internet about whether the video is authentic.
Many who have seen the video have declared virtual war on the Marine they believe killed the dog, and they have published his name, address and a link to his account on the social networking site Bebo.
But some blog posters have said that the person named may not even be the culprit.