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article imageSoldier investigated for video taunting Iraqi kids

By Kim I. Hartman     May 25, 2010 in World
Washington - A disturbing video of Iraqi children being harassed with offensive language and questions was filmed by a soldier stationed in Iraq. He then posted it to Facebook and YouTube. It was just discovered and the clip is now being publicly criticized.
The Army is investigating an Alaska-based soldier accused of posting a video on Facebook in which he taunts two Iraqi boys, asking them if they're gay and if they will grow up to be terrorists. He goes on to ask them if they make or plant IED's, Improvised Explosive Device.
Army spokesman Maj. Bill Copernoll said Spc. Robert A. Rodriguez, is based at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, was ordered to remove the 30-second video from his web page.
"The incident is currently under investigation, and the Army will take appropriate action based on the findings of the investigation," said Copernoll. He called the video "disgusting" and inconsistent with the Army's values.
In the video, a man is heard asking two young Iraqi boys if they engaged in certain sex acts, if they are gay and if they will grow up to be terrorists. Seemingly coached, the boys give a thumbs-up sign after each question. It is unclear whether Rodriguez shot the video or is the man heard speaking in it, or whether the boys standing on a dusty road understand English.
"Are you going to grow up to be a terrorist?" a man is heard asking in the video. "Yeah? All right, cool."
A Raleigh, N.C,. news station first reported the disturbing video after a local listener saw it posted by another Alaska-based solider. WRAL-TV reported that Rodriguez linked the video -- titled "future gay terrorists!" -- to his Facebook page on May 14, with a caption that said, "I got bored in Iraq so I kept myself entertained." His page has since been made private, WRAL said.
"For anybody to be so cruel and disrespectful to children of any country, but especially a country that we are occupying, is really disgraceful and repugnant," Tim Stallard, a spokesman for Alaskans Together for Equality. He added that the anti-gay bias in the video is "disturbing" and "ugly."
Rodriguez' Facebook page is now listed as private. The video has been downloaded by at least one other soldier and is expected to re-surface on Youtube any time, much to the embarrassment of the United States Army and government.
The White House has yet to issue a statement in response to this video. Soldiers who have seen the video posting were angered that the public may see them all like this and feel it is not representative of the majority of military personnel serving the people of the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan or other parts of the world.
A search of Youtube turns up dozens of similar video's of interaction's between the children of Iraq and what appears to be United States Military Personnel.
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