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The Puppy Over the Cliff Video
Many of you have probably already seen the "puppy being thrown over a cliff" video that's been all over the internet in the past week. If you haven't, here it is, but be warned. It's disturbing. The Honolulu Advertiser offers this description of it:

Two Marines are seen in combat gear smiling as one holds a white-and-black puppy by the scruff of its neck. The dog seems to be about 8 weeks old and is motionless as it is held.
"Cute little puppy, huh?" says one Marine as he smiles broadly.
"Oh so cute, so cute, little puppy," says another in a child-like voice.
The Marine holding the puppy is then seen throwing the animal overhand into a desert-like gully below. The animal yelps until it thuds to the ground at the bottom of the gully.
"That's mean," one Marine says afterward.

When I first saw the video I felt it confirmed that there are some pretty sick people out there. But I didn't see anything that would make me suspect the video was fake. Nevertheless, a lot of people have been arguing that it's not real. For instance, see this youtube video. And more here.

The skeptics are suggesting that the puppy was already dead, and that the sounds of it yelping were dubbed in. But I think this is a case of being overly skeptical. That puppy looks alive to me. It's not making any noise initially because it's being held by the scruff of its neck. If you scruff a cat or dog it's going to become very quiet and submissive. It's an instinctive behavior.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that the Marine Corps is investigating the video. The Marines have released a statement: "The video is shocking and deplorable and is contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine... We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action." (Thanks, Nettie)
AnimalsGrossMilitaryPhotos/Videos
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008 Comments (40)
It's not okay to just kill a puppy, but it IS ok to kill people for oil? These guys are Marines, they're paid to kill people not animals.
Posted by derek  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  11:25 AM
Just another fine example of what happens when you take young men, break down their individual and social mores in order to conform to a singular ideal of a killing machine and constantly reward them for behavior that would be considered reprehensible in any civilian situation.
Posted by fuzzfoot  in  Potland, OR  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  12:02 PM
Hear, hear fuzzfoot. Well said.
Posted by Jen  in  Florida  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  12:30 PM
But if we let the puppies live, the terrorists win.
Posted by ∂on  in  Calgary  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  02:01 PM
This is appalling. They may have "only" killed an animal, but here's a juvenile animal already in a submissive position and they killed it. They killed something that wasn't fighting them.

It's not hard to imagine this is the same sort of mindset that allows other soldiers to justify raping and murdering non-combatants.
Posted by tess  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  02:10 PM
Another fine use of tax dollars! I am sure Fox will spin this into another tale of incredible heroism (the dog was really filled with anthrax!). Michael Vick should be so lucky to have so much casuistry in support.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  02:55 PM
If it's not throwing puppies in the Gulf it's using babies for target practice in My Lai, Vietnam. Strange, there are plenty of armies in the world that don't feel a need to exercise incredible cruelty and pain on other creatures. I mean, you don't hear about the Swedish Army throwing small mammals or Blackwatch killing and raping civilians.

Add that to the fact the US Army is incredibly talented at friendly fire.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  03:46 PM
I think that the video is fake, consider the following

1) No badges, insignia or name tape anywhere to be seen.

2) No insignia on the left arm of the uniform.

3) NO cammo patern.

4) And most importantly... Where are their weapons? Two Marines out in the open, armed with only a video camera?
Posted by Mark Johnson  in  Australia  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  06:18 PM
I think it's a bit premature to go jumping in and condemning the entire US military for this when nobody has even figured out yet if this video is really what it seems or not.

If these people really did take a live puppy and fling it over a cliff, then they are indeed very disturbed individuals. But if you're going to say that it is a result of them being Marines, then you'll have to show that civilians don't go around abusing animals. Most Marines I've met are quite decent enough people, and judging them all by the actions of a few sick individuals is like saying all Muslims are crazed terrorists because of the suicide bombers in Iraq.

And Renquist, the US military hardly has a disproportionate amount of friendly-fire incidents or atrocities. They're no worse than the British or Swedish military in those regards, and far better off than many other militaries out there.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  09:49 PM
A lot of experts are talking about the sound of the puppy, about how it would flail it's arms if it were thrown... what nobody seems to have cought is the fact that this animal is trussed up with wire. It couldn't be moving. Also, nobody knows what was done to this dog beforehand, what kind of drugs it was given, etc.
I completely agree that it does look real, and the sounds raised the hair on the back of my neck.
Posted by Richard Santoro  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  10:25 PM
I will qualify my prior statements with the following.

Out of the countless relatives and acquaintances of mine who've seen active duty in combat situations, not one has come back the same as when they left. This is not meant to condemn all armed forces, or any one branch. This is a statement about the specific rewiring that occurs to the brain of an impressionable teenager who is sent to kill and torture, and then praised for this behavior by his peers and superiors.

It is no coincidence that Odysseus' first act after victory at the battle of Troy was to lead a pirate raid on the island of Ismarus.
Posted by fuzzfoot  in  Potland, OR  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  12:18 AM
A couple of observations:

First, plenty of people (most of whom are no more disturbed or sick than the rest of us) don't see anything wrong with the mistreatment of animals - just look at how livestock are treated in the meat production industry. (Most of us who eat meat - excluding those who only buy from sources where good treatment is assured - collude in cruelty far worse than this, and on a far larger scale.)

Second, the horror and denial at this video is at least in part a reflection on our collective double standards in this respect: we fetishise dogs, give them a different status from other animals. Would people be saying these things if it was a rat?

(I'm not endorsing this act, or excusing it - I don't even want to watch the video. I'm merely making observations.)
Posted by outeast  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  03:44 AM
Donkey throwing in Bagdad:
http://skoften.net/index/item/ezelwerpen
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  in  Earth  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  05:45 AM
angry
BTW, abusers start by abusing animals--they graduate to people--people they, for whatever reason, are certain they can bully. BULLIES ARE
COWARDS!!!

That is such a lot of garbage about the military/killing machines/what can we expect etc.. They ARE killing machines--that's their job.

However its not their job to abuse helpless creatures. May I suggest taking the lowlife out to needles eye section of the Grand Canyon and drop him over the side. Then we could say"Oh, look at the cute bully. Whoops! He fell off the cliff and went SPLAT!"
Posted by Nobjan  in  New York  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  06:30 AM
did anyone see the link on the donkey? :( What is with people?

http://www.dumpert.nl/mediabase/43569/b690537f/gooien_met_dieren.html
Posted by gericka  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  09:29 AM
One of my brothers is a marine, currently in Iraq. So I know he has not had his individual & social mores broken down. He has not conformed to a singular idea of being a killing machine, and has not been constantly rewarded for any reprehensible behavior.

I don't think this behavior is typical of any normal person, whether soldier or civillian. The military has it's share of bullies & bleeding hearts. Just like in civillian society.

The film is blurry, as far as I can tell...but there are other sources of news that have indicated the rank of the person throwing the puppy...and his name his mentioned during the video as well. There has been a lot of speculation on who these men are...and their families & friends are being attacked on different networking sites.

Whether this is a dog, a rat, or a human, the behavior itself is reprehensible. The blatant lack of care & feeling is horrific. I just hope the situation itself is sorted out.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  10:34 AM
I've got one word for you Maegan:

Waterboarding.
Posted by fuzzfoot  in  Potland, OR  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  10:44 AM
Did anyone notice the puppy licking its lips at the start of the video? If that's true and not an illusion, then it must be alive.
Posted by Jules8880  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  11:24 AM
If I saw one of those guys, I'd taser them, tie them up and throw them off a cliff. Seriously.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  06:19 PM
This behaviour has nothing to do with being a "marine". It has everything to do with the cruelty that human beings are capable of.. You would never see a "Dog" doing something like this to another animal just for the Hell of it, would you?
Posted by SickenedByThis  in  California  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  09:53 PM
Fuzzfoot, I have two words for you: serial killers.

Obviously the strain of having to live in Oregon with all the rain and giant slugs and stuff like that simply conditions everybody there to be mass murderers. After all, just consider Jerry Brudos, Cesar Barone, and Randall Woodfield. They lived in Oregon and they killed lots of people. Clearly, that fact means that people from Oregon are conditioned somehow into being nothing more than killing machines. Yup. Those three examples obviously represent the entire state's population, and we can judge everybody else from Oregon based on them. Right?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  10:11 PM
I've spent a lot more time in combat areas than have most of the Marines in Iraq. Did I torture puppies? No. Did I pull the wings off of flies? No. Did I drown kittens? No. Did I go around machine-gunning random villages? No. Did I beat prisoners for fun? No. Nor did anybody else who I knew. Why didn't we? Because we felt that doing things like that was wrong.

Being in the military does not magically make your ethics or your personal responsibility all vanish. They do not train you into being a mindless killing machine, because that is not what they want (well, a few militaries did try that, but it didn't work out). Would you want to share a foxhole with a homicidal maniac? Well-balanced troops are a good thing, amoral killers are not. If the military wanted total destruction of anything that moved, they'd just nuke the place and never bother sending in troops.

Most soldiers are perfectly normal people. Yes, they do sometimes have to see or do very unpleasant things that upset them badly, but generally they just deal with it somehow and get on with their lives. They don't turn into bloodthirsty maniacs. You are trained to use your judgment and your common sense, and to be very selective in who or when you kill something. Many if not most of the people who do things like throwing puppies off cliffs were already twisted long before they ever put on a uniform; after all, just look at all the people who do that sort of thing (or who torture people, or who murder people) yet who are never in uniform at all, but are civilians.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  10:47 PM
I heart Acci. smile

"This behaviour has nothing to do with being a "marine". It has everything to do with the cruelty that human beings are capable of.. You would never see a "Dog" doing something like this to another animal just for the Hell of it, would you?"

Yeah, but to be fair, dogs sniff each other's butts. And even HUMANS don't do that. raspberry
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  10:58 PM
I've already pointed out that I'm not condemning any branch of the military, nor the armed forces as a whole. It is *war itself* that can take a child on the edge and push them over. Anyone who would do this would clearly have to have problems before serving, however the act of killing and torturing men has an effect on everyone who participates regardless of where they started.

Boot camp is designed to specifically remove preconditioned individual values and replace them with a "Government Issue" standard. The extreme situations that many (but not all) soldiers are placed in are stressing past the point that civilians can even begin to comprehend. They are praised when they solve problems with aggression, and they see death all around them. We have all seen the videos of troops sniping seemingly unarmed individuals and cheering as a group at their death on CNN.

I would never for a moment believe that putting a normal individual in military fatigues would instantly turn them into a psychopath. I've never said anything similar. However, an already unbalanced individual put in these types of situations may easily attain unprecedented levels of cruelty, which they might not otherwise reach.
Posted by fuzzfoot  in  Potland, OR  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  11:12 PM
Is it too much to hope for them getting captured by the enemy, tortured and killed? Sadly, it's usually the good people who get taken hostage, not useless assholes like this. Maybe if we're lucky they'll be shot.
Posted by Meh  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  11:26 PM
No puppies were harmed in the making of this empire... Not..
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  01:26 AM
This was in a thread at Fark as being from his Myspace page (The page has since been removed/deleted - so I am going on heresay)

Oh, by the way, this is Lance Corporal Dave Motari's myspace page:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=348896 236

It's now private, but he admits that yes, he did in fact kill the puppy.

Why?

"I want to say first of all that I am really sorry for the whole puppy thing. I don't know why people are so pissed. It was a farkING STRAY!!! Get the fark over it! You know how many people I see get blown away on a regular basis?!?! shiat Man Not only the towle heads out here but my own friends!"

"I want to clear somethings up before tomarrow. This might be hard to believe but I am sorry about the dog. At the time I just really didn't care. When you are constantly under fire sometimes people develope a different sence of humor than what others are used to. That video was from over a year ago and i dont know who put it out there but it wasn't me. It has been a real hard day. I don't know how they got my information but someone got all my information and i had to disconnect my parents and my girlfriends phone. not to mention i had to redo my myspace because it got hacked. I just want this to end."

"What, you expect me to carry a stray sick dog from patrol 10+ miles back to camp with me. Did you know that we're not supposed to have dogs? Did you know that there isn't medicine available for animals out there? So what the fark do you want me to do with it. It was going to die a slow and horrible death.

Sorry you guys saw that, but it wasn't supposed to ever been shown. Usually what happens is we shoot them. I was being "creative" that day and decided to throw the dog instead. If i could take it back, I would. Either way, I did the dog a favor. Sorry if you can't understand that."

"Look, you guys didn't know that the dog was sick and starving by the road. I was helping it. That dog was going to die anyways"
Posted by oppiejoe  in  Haslett  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  12:53 PM
It sounds like a crappy excuse to me. Being "creative"? Doing the dog a favor? Whatever. This guy deserves every bit of negative attention he gets and more.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  02:32 PM
if he was doing the dog a "favor" why was he joking around about it? He clearly didnt feel sorry about it or cared if it died slowly or not.
Posted by PT  in  Aus  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  12:48 AM
I don't know where Jules8880 went to school, but puppies don't have lips.
Posted by Horace Wachope  in  Australia  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  04:48 AM
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