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Thread: Lt. Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre

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    Default Lt. Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre

    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.


    Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre| ajc.com

    Better late than never I suppose. But this guy was hung out to dry in my opinion, this was obviously an order from higher up on the chain of command. But isn't that always the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Tayto View Post
    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.


    Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre| ajc.com

    Better late than never I suppose. But this guy was hung out to dry in my opinion, this was obviously an order from higher up on the chain of command. But isn't that always the way.
    If so he should have had the balls to disobey an illegal order. That "only following orders" routine doesn't wash I'm afraid.

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    Politics.ie Member sauntersplash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunlin3 View Post
    If so he should have had the balls to disobey an illegal order. That "only following orders" routine doesn't wash I'm afraid.
    Even in the army? Who would choose to do anything that a soldier has to do on a daily basis, if you could decide which orders you should follow and which you could disregard? I'd imagine its all or nothing when it comes to following orders in a war zone. Imagine five people standing around debating who should take the lead to the next piece of cover whilst under fire. Not very practical.

    Havent you seen "A Few Good Men"? Taught me everything I need to know about the Army...and handling the truth.
    "No." - Rosa Parks

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauntersplash View Post
    Even in the army? Who would choose to do anything that a soldier has to do on a daily basis, if you could decide which orders you should follow. I'd imagine its all or nothing when it comes to following orders in a war zone. Imagine five people standing around debating who should take the lead to the next piece of cover whilst under fire. Not very practical.

    Havent you seen "A Few Good Men"? Taught me everything I need to know about the Army...and handling the truth.
    He was the platoon commander, his orders would not have been given to him in the heat of the moment. It is up to the platoon commander to extract those orders, plan his mission and issue those orders to his platoon. If there was an illegal order issued then he could have done the right thing. I'm sure that the Geneva Conventions and Laws of Armed Conflict would have been taught in officer training. If they weren't then he should still know the difference between right and wrong, this guy was a murderer plain and simple. The GIs who participated should have also known better. If I remember rightly it took a US NCO pilot who landed near by to stop the killing.

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    Cool

    He was lucky to get away with a conviction for only 22 murders, as something in the region of 600-700 people were massacred in that incident.

    His "remorse" is probably not genuine. My guess is that he's probably trying to drum up a little more publicity and boost demand for himself as a speaker at various functions attended by admiring rednecks and neocons. He made a good living from that for years, but now that American mass-killings have become a dime a dozen in Iraq and Afghanistan, demand for Calley as a speaker has largely dried up.

    The "I was only following orders" excuse didn't work in Nürnberg, even though disobeying an order by Hitler was certainly a lot more risky than it would be for an American to refuse to murder innocent men, women and children in a country that the USA was supposed to be "saving for democracy".

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    Politics.ie Member sauntersplash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunlin3 View Post
    Absolutely, he was the platoon commander, his orders would not have been given to him in the heat of the moment. It is up to the platoon commander to extract those orders, plan his mission and issue those orders to his platoon. If there was an illegal order issued then he could have done the right thing. I'm sure that the Geneva Conventions and Laws of Armed Conflict would have been taught in officer training. This guy was a murderer plain and simple. The GIs who participated should have also known better. If I remember rightly it took a US NCO pilot who landed near by to stop the killing.
    You weren't there man, they came out of the trees, they just...came out of the trees...

    I'd imagine that was how his testimony went. I've seen enough Hollywood Movies to know that nothing was black and white in the Nam.
    "No." - Rosa Parks

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    If so he should have had the balls to disobey an illegal order. That "only following orders" routine doesn't wash I'm afraid.
    Well I agree to a certain extent, but I was also suspect that refusing orders would be dealt with in a most severe manner i.e. "the officer was found dead with several bullet wounds in his back, caused by persons unknown". Fear is a great device for manipulating people into doing what you want them to do. But I'm not trying to defend the guy either, he clearly knew what he was doing and kept going until that heli pilot positioned his huey between Calley and his victims.

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    Default Errrr...Movies?

    Quote Originally Posted by sauntersplash View Post
    Even in the army? Who would choose to do anything that a soldier has to do on a daily basis, if you could decide which orders you should follow and which you could disregard?
    All American Soldiers then and now have an express legal duty to disobey all unlawful orders such as shooting captive unarmed civilians.


    I'd imagine its all or nothing when it comes to following orders in a war zone. Imagine five people standing around debating who should take the lead to the next piece of cover whilst under fire. Not very practical.
    My Lai wasn't a war zone. It was a killing zone since none of the 600 plus people who were murdered that day were either armed or dangerous.

    Havent you seen "A Few Good Men"? Taught me everything I need to know about the Army...and handling the truth.
    You need to put your toy soldiers down and read more than you do:

    The massacre

    In the early morning hours of March 16, 1968, Thompson's OH-23 encountered no enemy fire over My Lai 4. Spotting two possible Viet Cong suspects, he forced the Vietnamese men to surrender and flew them off for a tactical interrogation. Thompson also marked the location of several wounded Vietnamese with green smoke, a signal that they needed help.

    Returning to the My Lai area at around 0900 after refueling, he noticed that the people he had marked were now dead. Out in a paddy field beside a dike 200 meters south of the village, he marked the location of a wounded young Vietnamese woman. Thompson and his crew watched from a low hover as Captain Ernest Medina (CO, C Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment) came up to the woman, prodded her with his foot, and then shot and killed her.

    Thompson then flew over an irrigation ditch filled with dozens of bodies. Shocked at the sight, he radioed his accompanying gunships, knowing his transmission would be monitored by many on the radio net: "It looks to me like there's an awful lot of unnecessary killing going on down there. Something ain't right about this. There's bodies everywhere. There's a ditch full of bodies that we saw. There's something wrong here."[2]

    Movement from the ditch indicated to Thompson that there were still people alive in there. Thompson landed his helicopter and dismounted. David Mitchell, a sergeant and squad leader in 1st Platoon, C Company, walked over to him. When asked by Thompson whether any help could be provided to the people in the ditch, the sergeant replied that the only way to help them was to put them out of their misery. Second Lieutenant William Calley (CO, 1st Platoon, C Company) then came up, and the two had the following conversation:[3]

    Thompson: What's going on here, Lieutenant?
    Calley: This is my business.
    Thompson: What is this? Who are these people?
    Calley: Just following orders.
    Thompson: Orders? Whose orders?
    Calley: Just following...
    Thompson: But, these are human beings, unarmed civilians, sir.
    Calley: Look Thompson, this is my show. I'm in charge here. It ain't your concern.
    Thompson: Yeah, great job.
    Calley: You better get back in that chopper and mind your own business.
    Thompson: You ain't heard the last of this!
    Thompson took off again, and Andreotta reported that Mitchell was now executing the people in the ditch. Furious, Thompson flew over the northeast corner of the village and spotted a group of about ten civilians, including children, running toward a homemade bomb shelter. Pursuing them were soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, C Company. Realizing that the soldiers intended to murder the Vietnamese, Thompson landed his aircraft between them and the villagers. Thompson turned to Colburn and Andreotta and told them that if the Americans began shooting at the villagers or him, they should fire their M60 machine guns at the Americans:[4] "Y'all cover me! If these bastards open up on me or these people, you open up on them. Promise me!" He then dismounted to confront the 2nd Platoon's leader, Stephen Brooks. Thompson told him he wanted help getting the peasants out of the bunker:[5]

    Thompson: Hey listen, hold your fire. I'm going to try to get these people out of this bunker. Just hold your men here.
    Brooks: Yeah, we can help you get 'em out of that bunker - with a hand grenade!
    Thompson: Just hold your men here. I think I can do better than that.
    Brooks declined to argue with him, even though as a commissioned officer he outranked Thompson.

    After coaxing the 11 Vietnamese out of the bunker, Thompson persuaded the pilots of the two UH-1 Huey gunships (Dan Millians and Brian Livingstone) flying as his escort to evacuate them. While Thompson was returning to base to refuel, Andreotta spotted movement in an irrigation ditch filled with approximately 100 bodies. The helicopter again landed and the men dismounted to search for survivors. After wading through the remains of the dead and dying men, women and children, Andreotta extracted a live boy. Thompson flew the survivor to the ARVN hospital in Quang Ngai.

    Upon returning back to their base at about 1100, Thompson heatedly reported the massacre to his superiors. His allegations of civilian killings quickly reached Lieutenant Colonel Frank Barker, the operation's overall commander. Barker radioed his executive officer to find out from Captain Medina what was happening on the ground. Medina then gave the cease-fire order to Charlie Company to "knock off the killing".


    Hugh Thompson, Jr. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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    Default Eeeeejit!

    Quote Originally Posted by sauntersplash View Post
    [I]You weren't there man, they came out of the trees, they just...came out of the trees...
    The only thing that came out of the trees that day were US Army helecopter gunships that delivered the troops that did the mass killing.

    I'd imagine that was how his testimony went. I've seen enough Hollywood Movies to know that nothing was black and white in the Nam.
    Calley said, just like the Nazis at Nuremburg, that he was just following orders. Only difference is the Allies hung those Nazis and Calley got house arrest with a lucrative speaking tour. But if you really want to know what it was like back then, then stop watching Hollywood movies and start reading about Operation Speedy Express which was "A My Lai a month":

    Operation Speedy Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Wasn't a certain Colin Powell involved in the cover up attempt at the time?

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