Murderer US Army LT finally apologizes for My Lai Massacre

#1
This involves the platoon "leader" responsible for his unit's rape, murder and pillaging of a Vietnam village of over 400 old men, women and children (including infants). He was convicted of murder at a court martial but his life sentence was reduced on appeal to house arrest. While many of his troops have spoken publicly about the atrocity and some taken personal responsibility, this is the first time their esteemed "leader" has shown any remorse. for those who may be unfamiliar with this event and tempted to try to justify what was done there, take a look at the facts first:
Peers Inquiry

Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre



Associated Press
Updated 10:24 a.m.

COLUMBUS -- The former Army lieutenant convicted of the 1968 killing of 22 civilians in the Vietnamese village of My Lai publicly apologized for the first time at an event near Fort Benning.

William Calley, who has refused to talk publicly about the incident through the years, told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus Wednesday that “there is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai. I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”

Calley spoke briefly and then took questions from the audience. He did not deny that he carried out the massacre but said he was following orders -- a position he has always taken.

Calley was convicted in 1971 of the massacre and was sentenced to life in prison. His sentence was later reduced by President Nixon and Calley served three years of house arrest.

He now lives in Atlanta with his 28-year-old son.

Although he’s been free for years, he remains stripped of some rights.

“No, I still cannot vote,” he said. “In fact, I’m not even supposed to go into the post office, I guess.”
http://www.ajc.com/news/calley-apologizes-for-my-120814.html
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#2
A terrible incident in US military history, but special mention should be made of the exceptional moral courage Hugh Thompson showed in the face of his comrades.
 
B

BambiBasher

Guest
#3
What is interesting if you read accounts of the trial, is that what was considered shocking was not the fact that Calley and his men killed Vietnamese civilians - as many or more would be killed in a single B-52 strike - but that they appear to have enjoyed it.
 
#4
rampant said:
A terrible incident in US military history, but special mention should be made of the exceptional moral courage Hugh Thompson showed in the face of his comrades.
Absolutely--he demonstrates what moral courage really means and also destroys the lie that "everybody" was doing such horrific things.
 
#5
Calley was a total A/hole,he only made two mistakes,doing what he was told,and getting caught doing what he was told.

At that time in the US,there was a lot of anti-war feeling,and the US government were looking for scapegoats,what Calley did at My Lai,was going on throughout S Vietnam,at that time with the encouragement of Higher Echelons in country,all contributing to the VC body count needed to convince the "folks back home" that the good ole boys were winning the war.
 
#6
Funny that - 3 years house arrest for mass murder, and now Ms Clinton is saying that letting our Libyan pet terrorist go is a bad thing?!?
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
jumpinjarhead said:
rampant said:
A terrible incident in US military history, but special mention should be made of the exceptional moral courage Hugh Thompson showed in the face of his comrades.
Absolutely--he demonstrates what moral courage really means and also destroys the lie that "everybody" was dong such horrific things.
A quick linky for everyone regarding Thompson - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr.

With regards to Calley and his crew, they should have been punished far far more severly thean they did.
 
#8
Either he's got a book coming out; or he's getting old and finding it harder to sleep at night.

Perhaps all those dead villagers are weighing a bit heavy on his soul as his own death approaches. It's a lot easier to shrug it off when you're young and still have time ahead of you.

I wouldn't like to look back and realise that the defining moment of my life was four hours at My Lai.
 
#9
jumpinjarhead said:
rampant said:
A terrible incident in US military history, but special mention should be made of the exceptional moral courage Hugh Thompson showed in the face of his comrades.
Absolutely--he demonstrates what moral courage really means and also destroys the lie that "everybody" was dong such horrific things.
Thompson, what a real hero he was.
 
#10
I cannot agree with those who say Calley was scapegoated and if anything the remission of his sentence suggests the opposite. Also, it is unpersuasive to me to suggest that he was just following orders. Not only was this shown to be a bogus defense in the WWII war crimes tribunals, but it also ignores the inherent duty of all leaders to exercise moral courage.

I will agree that at the time this occurred the US military was not doing as much as it should have regarding the instruction and enforcement of proper standards regarding war crimes, but if you read the record and the subsequent interviews of many participants it is abundantly clear that they well knew that what they were doing was not only illegal but morally wrong.

I was also involved in combat operations that during that period, and can personally attest that it was well known what was allowed and what wasn't. This of course does not mean that crimes were not committed (you will also find numerous instances of courts martial for these crimes during this period) but that we knew that such behavior was wrong.

Even a brief reading of the facts of this case will show this was not at all the situation where noon-combatants get swept up in the violence of combat. That is a sad reality of war--even on a good day, one cannot have 100% control over the violence and the non-combatants in the area. Obviously, this means there will be some unintended non-combatant casualties but this incident is not such a situation and it does a disservice to all who did serve honorably in that war to suggest otherwise. A number of those men who were injured or killed in my unit were trying to do what was right (usually trying to move noncombatants away from danger) at the time they were hit and it is an insult to them to try to justify My Lai in that way.

Calley was responsible for the worst atrocity in modern US military history. As I also used to point out when I taught classes that studied this event, for any professional military leader, the crime that ranks right up there with the actual killing and other crimes was his total loss of control of his unit.
 
#12
Tawahi-50 said:
rampant said:
"


Wasn't a certain Colin Powell not too far up Calleys CoC at the time?
One source says this:

As an Army officer, Powell's superiors considered him a consummate "team player". They could count on Powell to haul their water despite any contradictory feelings he may have had. Powell's blind loyalty was demonstrated during a second tour in Vietnam (1968-1969), where as deputy assistant chief of staff for operations G-3 at Americal Division headquarters in Chu Lai, he was asked to handle a potentially embarrassing letter a young soldier had written to Gen. Creighton Abrams, commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam.

The soldier had written about rumors of a massacre that Americal Division soldiers had committed in the hamlet of My Lai 4 in South Vietnam. Although he did not mention My Lai in the letter, the soldier complained that Americal soldiers were indiscriminately killing Vietnamese civilians. Such acts, the young soldier warned, "are carried on at entire unit levels and thereby acquire the aspect of sanctioned policy".

Several days after he received a copy of the letter, Powell sent a memo to his superior, the adjutant general, making the outrageous claim that the young soldier had not given enough specifics upon which to base an inquiry. The purposely blind Powell said the soldier's charges were false except for "isolated instances". He wrote that "relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese are excellent". Powell's damage control efforts soon proved fruitless and the My Lai massacre burst onto the world stage like an atomic explosion, severely damaging the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. On the orders of Lt. William Calley, soldiers from the U.S. Army Americal Division had indeed indiscriminately gunned down an entire village of men, women and children.

Although Powell's attempt to cover up the massacre was unsuccessful, he had at least proven his willingness to do what was necessary to please his bosses.
 
#13
Extremist said:
Funny that - 3 years house arrest for mass murder, and now Ms Clinton is saying that letting our Libyan pet terrorist go is a bad thing?!?
You realize that Clinton or none of the present day political leadership had anything to do with Calley's sentence?

There's more to it than that. He was tried by the Army and originally sentenced to life at hard labor. A court later freed him on legal technicalities much to the Army's dismay and opposition. People claim his was scapegoated; bulls...

But let's by all means let another twat killer go because one got away with it 40 years ago. Pristine logic.
 
#14
Virgil said:
Extremist said:
Funny that - 3 years house arrest for mass murder, and now Ms Clinton is saying that letting our Libyan pet terrorist go is a bad thing?!?
You realize that Clinton or none of the present day political leadership had anything to do with Calley's sentence?

There's more to it than that. He was tried by the Army and originally sentenced to life at hard labor. A court later freed him on legal technicalities much to the Army's dismay and opposition. People claim his was scapegoated; bulls...

But let's by all means let another t**t killer go because one got away with it 40 years ago. Pristine logic.
Spot on--the remission of this killer's sentence has been roundly criticized here as a crass political act that subverted good order and discipline in the forces. Invariably, my experience with this case has been that those who don't know what happened often jump at the superficial aspects (Calley was a scapegoat, such acts were rampant in Vietnam, such acts were excusable due to the dirty tricks of the enemy yada yada yada) but once the actually read what was done there, they are incensed as I was about his ultimate "sentence."
 
#16
duffdike said:
Didn't Nixon give him a Presidential Pardon?
No but did approve the reduction of his sentence.

On March 29, 1971, Calley was convicted of the murder of civilians; on March 31st, he was sentenced to life in prison. The conviction and sentence produced a storm of protest. Essentially, polls showed that the public disagreed with the conviction and sentence, believed that Calley was only following orders, and that he was used by the Army as a scapegoat.


In the wake of this reaction, President Nixon ordered Calley removed from the stockade and placed under "house arrest." He promised to review Calley's case. On August 20, 1971, Calley's sentence was reduced to 20 years and on September 10, 1975, he was paroled after serving 3 1/2 years. Captain Ernest Medina, Calley's superior officer, was acquitted of all murder charges in September of 1971.
 
#18
duffdike said:
Oh. Different thing entirely obviously. ;)
Due to the superheated political and social atmosphere at the time, many well-intended members of the public jumped to Calley's defense out of a mis-quided sense of supporting the troops in general in the face of incredibly hateful attacks by many leftist groups. Sadly, their support translated into political pressure that caused the travesty regarding the sentence.
 
#19
I went to My Lai / Danang 4 years ago. Me and the missus had a walk round the 'museum' and village. All very moving, some Vietnamese sort was giving a tour - pretty good I must admit. Thing is she kept bursting into tears as she was telling us about her parents/grandparents that had been masacred. Now I don't want to sound heartless but I did think that she was milking it up a bit. Anyway I went off to the lav and left my missus talking to her. When we were back on the mini-bus heading to Danang the missus told me she'd given the sort $80 because 'I felt sorry for her' !!- One born every minute !!
 
#20
duffdike said:
Oh. Different thing entirely obviously. ;)
You may not have stumbled upon it yet but the difference is we think Calley getting away with it is bulls... unlike the position of some who think it's ok to let a mass murderer get away with dying in his home.

Pity none of the 41 Brits, 189 Americans and assorted other poor f'ers on the flight got the choice of dying at home. Oh--wait--Wm Calley got away with it forty years ago so f=== them, let their murderer go free.
 

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