President Barack Obama wants an investigation into photographs that have surfaced of U.S. soldiers posing with the maimed corpses of Afghan insurgents and says those responsible should be held accountable, the White House said on Wednesday.
"The conduct depicted in those photos is reprehensible and does not in any way represent the ... standards of the U.S. military," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama flew to Ohio for an economic speech.
Carney said Obama had been briefed on the matter but he did not know whether the president had seen the photos, which were taken in 2010 and published by the Los Angeles Times after the newspaper received them from a soldier.
The incident dealt another blow to already tense U.S. and NATO ties with Afghanistan.
NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, U.S. General John Allen, said an investigation was under way, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta apologized "on behalf of the Department of Defense and the U.S. government."
"The president certainly shares the defense secretary's opinion that this needs to be investigated, will be investigated and that those responsible will be held accountable," Carney said.