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GI Says Song About Killing Iraqis a Joke
Associated Press  |  June 29, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. - A Marine Corporal who sang in a homemade video about killing members of an Iraqi family said Wednesday that the song was a joke and was not intended to offend anyone.

Cpl. Joshua Belile, 23, said the video was his way of "blowing off steam to a bunch of Marines and soldiers."

"It doesn't take a whole lot of common sense to realize it was a joke," he said.

In "Hadji Girl," a four-minute video circulated on the Internet, Belile tells a cheering audience about a Marine who falls in love with an Iraqi woman and goes home with her. Family members shoot the woman and then confront him with automatic weapons, prompting him to retaliate.

Belile's performance was filmed while he was stationed in Iraq and was posted anonymously on the YouTube Web site, but was later removed. Belile learned of the posting after returning from his deployment in March. He is now assigned to Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, adjacent to Camp Lejeune.

"I'm a very nonpolitical person. I know that sounds very strange coming from a Marine," Belile told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I know about me and my little world. I write music and I sing music. I never intended to hurt anyone's feelings."

Marine Corps officials said Tuesday that Belile had not violated military law. He could face administrative action, which can include informal counseling, they said.

Belile said in a statement Tuesday that he plans to release a professionally recorded version of the song within a few weeks.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which brought Belile's video to the attention of the Pentagon, cautioned against a release, spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said Wednesday.

"It's a free country, but I don't know that it's the wisest choice. I would hope he would seek the advice of levelheaded friends and family and just put this sordid episode to a rest," Hooper said.

Belile has said the video was not related to allegations that Marines killed two dozen unarmed civilians last year in Haditha, Iraq.

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