Murderer US Army LT finally apologizes for My Lai Massacre

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Aug 21, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  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
  2. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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.
  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. 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?!?
  7. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    A quick linky for everyone regarding 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. 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.
  11. A quick linky for everyone regarding Thompson -,_Jr.

    With regards to Calley and his crew, they should have been punished far far more severly thean they did.[/quote]

    Many thanks for the link- very interesting read

    Wasn't a certain Colin Powell not too far up Calleys CoC at the time?
  13. 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. 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."
  15. Didn't Nixon give him a Presidential Pardon?