Vietnam: Dramatis Personae #10


Lt. William Calley

5 comments:

Vanwall said...

The banality of evil.

swac said...

Now I'm reminded of that old Nat'l Lampoon cover with an Alfred E Newman-esque Calley, with the subtitle, "What, My Lai?"

Tommy O'C said...

What about the banality of Captain Medina, who gave Calley the orders and was never brought to justice for his acts?

The banality of smug ultra-liberals.

Tom Sutpen said...

If your point is that responsibility for war crimes such as My Lai should have been applied more generally, right straight up the command structure . . . then I wholeheartedly agree.

Tommy O'C said...

That was my point, Tom. To which I'd also like to add that 26 of Calley's men went on trial. All were acquitted. There was ample evidence that many of these men raped and forced children to perform sexual acts on them before killing them. The actual number of villagers killed varies. But Calley could not--and did not--kill upwards of 400 to 500 villagers alone. And Medina clearly gave detailed orders (per a pre-trial high-level Army investigation) that led these men (who'd just lost a beloved comrade to the VC) to believe they were attacking a VC infiltrated village in disguise, whipping them into a killing frenzy.

That Calley alone was held responsible for the massacre (there was also another massacre that took place at My Khe that never received the same press) proves once again that the term "military justice" is an oxymoron.

It's difficult for me to get into a froth about Calley when so many others who were equally guilty were given a pass.