Rick Perry against criminal charges for Marines

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry called any potential criminal charges against four US Marines videotaped urinating on dead Afghan fighters “over the top”.

Perry’s statements to CNN’s State of the Union programme on Sunday come in opposition to Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, who called the act “inhuman” in a statement released shortly after the video surfaced online last week.

Perry said “these kids made a mistake”, referring to the four marines against whom the US military has launched a high-level investigation.

“Obviously 18, 19-year-old kids make stupid mistakes all too often and that’s what’s occurred here,” Perry said.

A former US Air Force pilot himself, Perry criticised what he called the Obama adminstration’s “disdain for the military…whether it’s the secretary of state or whether it’s the secretary of defense.”

Both Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton have expressed their dismay at the acts, saying the culprits would be punished.

“Going after them as a criminal act I think sends a really bad message.”

Perry drew comparisons to World War II era US general George Patton famously urinating in Germany’s Rhine River during his troops’ march into the then Nazi-led nation.

Perry is not the first public figure to question charges against the Marines based in Helmand province at the time of the video’s recording.

CNN contributor and radio host, Dana Loesch‘s twitter feed was full of messages of support and disdain last week when she said “I’d drop trou and do it too. That’s me, though… Come on people this is a war” on her radio programme.