US & Canada

Row over US soldier's Facebook clip taunting Iraqi boys

An eyeball reflecting the Facebook logo
Image caption Specialist Robert Rodriguez's Facebook page is now private

US soldier Robert Rodriguez is under investigation for posting a video to his Facebook page in which two Iraqi children are taunted.

In the clip, a voice behind the camera asks two boys if they are gay, if they will grow up to be terrorists and if they engage in certain sexual acts.

The boys, who do not appear to understand the questions, in English, smile and give a "thumbs up" gesture.

Mr Rodriguez was ordered by the US Army to remove the video from Facebook.

At this time, it is unclear whether Mr Rodriguez, who is based at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, was the person who shot the video or just the one who posted it to Facebook.

The video, which was titled "future gay terrorist!" on Facebook, was posted with a description that read, "i got bored in iraq ... so I kept myself entertained!"

The two boys, who appear not to speak English, stand together on a dirt road in the video while they are asked a series of questions.

'Disgraceful'

"The incident is under investigation, and we'll determine what appropriate action to take based on the findings of the investigation," Army spokesman Maj Bill Coppernoll said on Monday.

He added: "We want to find out what we can about it, who posted it, who made it, and based on that what actions should be taken by the Army."

The video came to public attention after another soldier shared it with friends, who then took the clip to television station WRAL, in the US state of North Carolina.

WRAL aired part of the video before the Facebook page was made private.

"The content in the video is disgraceful and clearly inconsistent with the high expectations of every soldier," Maj Coppernoll said.

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