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)

Animals Gross Military Photos

Posted on Tue Mar 04, 2008


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  09:25 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  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  10:02 AM
Hear, hear fuzzfoot. Well said.
Posted by Jen  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  10:30 AM
But if we let the puppies live, the terrorists win.
Posted by ∂on  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  12:01 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  12:10 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  12:55 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  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  01:46 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  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  04:18 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  07:49 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  08:25 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  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  10:18 PM
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  01:44 AM
Donkey throwing in Bagdad:
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  03:45 AM
BTW, abusers start by abusing animals--they graduate to people--people they, for whatever reason, are certain they can bully. BULLIES ARE

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  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  04:30 AM
did anyone see the link on the donkey? :( What is with people?
Posted by gericka  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  07:29 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  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  08:34 AM
I've got one word for you Maegan:

Posted by fuzzfoot  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  08:44 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  09:24 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  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  04:19 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  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  07:53 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  08:11 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  08:47 PM
I heart Acci. 😊

"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. 😛
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  08:58 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  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  09:12 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  09:26 PM
No puppies were harmed in the making of this empire... Not..
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  11:26 PM
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: 236

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


"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  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  10:53 AM
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  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  12:32 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  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  10:48 PM
I don't know where Jules8880 went to school, but puppies don't have lips.
Posted by Horace Wachope  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  02:48 AM
Of the ten posts on the day this first went up, seven can easily be catagorized as hate-speech. Two consider the possibility that this video might be a fake. And while the possibility of it being fake continues through the rest of the thread so far, there is still the hatred of anything military visible. Mark Johnson's comments point out the evidence that this is a fake. Number 3 especially, every military uniform will have the camouflage. A lack of insignia, even rank insignia, could be that it isn't easily seen. Most such would not be on the uniform, or be smaller to make it hard to see and identify ranking persons, but the name tapes and the "U.S. MARINES" tapes would still be visible on the uniform. Rank insignia is normally now on the collar so that it can be seen only when close to the person and isn't obvious to an enemy at a distance. And Nobjan, you are wrong to say that abusers start with abusing animals. They start with abusing vegitables.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  10:03 AM
so what instead of making sure an injured animal is truly put out of its misery, cuz he's had a warped fucked up sense of humour oh and a bad day... he breaks all its bones and leaves it well out of sight of another grunt who might have a conscience.

so what does he do when he finds an injured insurgent? do the right thing or say "iv had a bad day, fuck it!" (i know it hasn't stopped some of them before) but id like to think a alot of our squaddies are decent guys, who have a moral compass. surely seeing all the shit that they do would make someone more in touch with the pain and suffering a living thing can feel.

How would he feel if it wasn't just a "towle heads" (his words and typo not mine) but his "own friends" that were sick and got thrown over a cliff? get a clue you jackass!!!!
Posted by mojo  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  11:18 AM
im not hate mailing... if the clip is fake it looks like a real body of a dog, if its true its purely despicable... im just pointing out its disrespectful and immoral to fuck with a living or dead thing. i mean how would you feel if some giant dude pick up your dead granny from the side of the road and fucked about with her corpse for fun? its all pretty sick!
Posted by mojo  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  11:29 AM
mojo - two points:
1) I stated that it COULD be catagorized as hate speech, not that it absolutely was.
2) A question I have asked before - Who defines hate speech, the one making the speech or the victim?
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  12:17 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

Puppy Throws Marine Off Of Cliff
Posted by Puppy Power  on  Fri Mar 07, 2008  at  08:55 PM
"...Yeah, but to be fair, dogs sniff each other's butts. And even HUMANS don't do that."

Uh, speak for yourself.
Posted by Anonymous  on  Sat Mar 08, 2008  at  09:16 PM
Whoever posted the comment about dogs never doing anything like this...

Dogs specifically I can't answer to; but if the poster was suggesting that animals are incapable of gratuitous cruelty he/he needs to get out more (look at the behaviour of chipanzees, for example, or the games of catch that killer whales play with live seals).

In any case, I'm going to set myself apart from most here and observe that as gratuitous cruelty goes this was actually pretty innocuous. A puppy's awareness of what is going on is going to be pretty damn limited, so psychological suffering in this case is not really an issue, and in all likelihood the fall would have killed the puppy quickly, meaning physical suffering would be minimal.

Finding humour in killing is an unpleasant personal trait, but it's very human - I reckon it's certainly more common than the belief that all life is somehow sacrosanct. And it's certainly not much use as a predictor for psychosis! These guys may be assholes, but suggesting that they're little better than serial killers is just laughable.
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Mar 10, 2008  at  02:47 AM
Babies have limited awareness too, don't they? So that must mean it's okay to throw them off a cliff, right? Good to know, in case I ever have an unwanted baby I need to get rid of. At least it won't suffer much psychologically. 😊
Posted by Sakano  on  Mon Mar 10, 2008  at  08:08 AM
It doesn't matter if the marines killed the dog. It doesn't matter if the video is real or fake. All that matters is that war is really happening right now and this war is wrong.
Posted by Emmanuel  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  01:37 PM
Just an update to this.

As of 2013, the video has been proven to be true, and had disastrous results for the marines in the video.

The man (Moriati) throwing the puppy was dishonorably discharged for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The one filming the video was also discharged. Both were made to serve a year in the brig (military prison) for cruelty, though it's not known if that's due to the animal incident or something else.

Most all of the videos of it have been removed from youtube and the like, and the Marine Corps issued a public apology for the officer's actions. Moriati dropped off the face of the earth after this, his facebook page was closed (likely due to the backlash he was receiving) and he has refused any attempts to comment or explain his actions beyond the one hate filled blurb he did.
Posted by kibu  on  Wed Mar 27, 2013  at  07:59 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.