February 1, 2012  

Combat cameras

TO THE MARINES CAUGHT ON VIDEO while urinating on the corpses of three Afghan fighters. In dealing a self-inflicted wound to the war effort, the incident once again showed the downside to the “strategic corporal.” But awful as the act was, one might take comfort in observing that, given the ubiquity of cameras and smartphones in troops’ hands and the fact that no similar videos have surfaced, such events appear to be exceedingly rare. And the cameras that captured these unfortunate incidents performed the same function as speed cameras on a busy road: First, they identified bad behavior. And now they are shaming people into behaving correctly.