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Calley Apologizes for My Lai
MSNBC.com ^ | 08/21/09 | staff

Posted on 08/21/2009 7:47:30 PM PDT by grandpa jones

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Speaking in a soft, sometimes labored voice, the only U.S. Army officer convicted in the 1968 slayings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base where he was court-martialed

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apology; calley; courtmartial; mylai; shoesalesman; usedcarsalesman; vietnam; vietnamvets
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To: Future Snake Eater; normanpubbie
The military prosecutor in the case came up with a unique theory -- that military personnel did not have to obey an "illegal" order from their superiors. I don't know if this nonsense is still in effect in our military.

I went in the army after the massacre and it was taught repeatedly that you are bound by honor and law to disobey an illegal order.

51 posted on 08/21/2009 10:56:20 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: PhilDragoo

Excellent!


52 posted on 08/21/2009 11:47:42 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Talisker

Thank you and you are correct.


53 posted on 08/22/2009 12:11:21 AM PDT by crazydad (=============)
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To: B-Chan

I agree. Those children didn’t have a chance.


54 posted on 08/22/2009 12:12:46 AM PDT by crazydad (=============)
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To: PhilDragoo; ALOHA RONNIE

re 47 & 50, thank you.


55 posted on 08/22/2009 1:57:10 AM PDT by Landru (Arghh, Liberals are trapped in my colon like spackle or paste.)
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To: icwhatudo

“The actions of these murderers dishonored all the men who served their country with honor on the battlefields of Southeast Asia.”

Zackly!

Caley was sentenced to life in prison in his court martial. He and those who gave him the orders should still be in jail.

RVN 68,69,70.

Viet Nam Mai Mai!

We were winning when I left.


56 posted on 08/22/2009 2:11:10 AM PDT by Katoolie
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To: normanpubbie

“The military prosecutor in the case came up with a unique theory — that military personnel did not have to obey an “illegal” order from their superiors. I don’t know if this...is still in effect in our military.

Still taught in “ethics” classes. Still hard for most to understand when an “order” is illegal and harder still to have the courage to disobey it during battle.


57 posted on 08/22/2009 3:17:15 AM PDT by Sola Veritas (Trying to speak truth - not always with the best grammar or spelling)
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To: stylecouncilor

But for Colin Powells involvement in this? Hey, wait a minute. He’s a black American hero.

Like hell. He was subordinate to Americal Division G-2, who should have gotten in a helicopter and flown down the ten minutes down there. But instead he stays in his air conditioned hooch and writes a soothing report about how American troops are trained not to do things like this. Just what the General wants to hear. Then gets back to his beer, or whatever.

He should have been kicked out of the Army for his negligence.


58 posted on 08/22/2009 6:10:37 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: robomatik

i guess a lot of usaf and raf pilots...etc..
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Make that USAAF


59 posted on 08/22/2009 6:17:11 AM PDT by xrmusn (VOTE THE INCUMBENTS OUT)
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To: Talisker
Thank you for responding to my comments in a calm, reasoned manner.

Forty years ago, there was a deep division in this country about the Vietnam war. Clearly, this division still exists. Certainly there are arguments to be made on each side. I don't condone the concept of killing innocent civilians. But when people are shooting at you, they are combatants, not civilians.

"Ethics of battle" is an oxymoron. Ethics is something that is discussed quietly in a classroom and in the classroom it's OK to present the concept of an "illegal order." But battle doesn't involve discussion.

And in 1969-1970, if I had refused to carry out an order that I considered "illegal," I would have gone straight to Long Binh Jail. And the military prosecutor would have laughed at my claim that I had the right to disobey an illegal order.

Nuremberg: Only Nazis were tried, convicted, and sentenced. No allies. Sorry, the comparison isn't valid.

IMHO, Calley was thrown to the wolves because it was easier for the government to appease the anti-military and anti-American media instead of standing up to it. Back then, there was no Internet or talk radio to present a dissenting view to the public.

For the past two weeks or so, the MSM has been rhapsodizing about how wonderful Woodstock was. In my opinion, Woodstock encapsulated everything wrong in our society during the late Sixties.
60 posted on 08/22/2009 6:50:43 AM PDT by normanpubbie
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To: Katoolie

Thanks for your service!


61 posted on 08/22/2009 7:25:16 AM PDT by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the existing Constitution"Obama Adviser)
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To: normanpubbie
I don't condone the concept of killing innocent civilians.

In this situation you are.

"Brooks declined to argue with him, even though as a commissioned officer he outranked Thompson"

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: "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:

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.

62 posted on 08/22/2009 8:01:14 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: Lancey Howard; icwhatudo; All

Grunt existence is so unlike ‘normal’ that it may not be possible for outsiders to understand.
Unless you have humped klick after klick through the valley of the shadow of death your opinion on this topic has little weight.

Looking backwards it is now clear that what Lt Calley and his men did was wrong. Yet looking forward before the event it may have been the correct method.

May God grant Lt Calley and his men a respite from their burden.


63 posted on 08/22/2009 8:15:18 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: Judges Gone Wild

Find William Manchester’s book The Glory and the Dream. It explains it quite well. Calley was railroaded.


64 posted on 08/22/2009 9:52:50 AM PDT by PROTESTBYPROXY (Conservatives must man up!!)
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To: Landru

.

As always, Landru, thank you for your CLARITY.

AR

.


65 posted on 08/22/2009 12:33:01 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: normanpubbie
"Ethics of battle" is an oxymoron.

I acknowledged what I referred to as the "hideous realities" of war, but has bad as that can be it still does not erase the existence of applicable, appropriate morality. Otherwise there is no difference between armies or between armies and gangs, or between armies and criminals.

So you are simply incorrect to state that there is no such thing as an "illegal order." In the most egregious case, as an example, an officer cannot take some men into a high school and order the students shot and raped at his pleasure. I bring that up to establish a conceptual baseline - that's an example of unquestionably "illegal orders."

From there, the application of unlawfulness ratchets up into war zones, and also into war scenarios. These military laws proscribing unlawful orders exist and always have existed - this fact is not subject to question. JAGs and other legal officers really, actually do have work, you know. Another example is the harsh treatment of prisoners in order to compel obedience or for interrogation purposes, versus the torture or killing of them out of after-action rage or contempt.

As to the actual exigencies of warfare, however, you are absolutely right about what might almost certainly happen if you disobeyed an order in combat. Reasonable, even lawful responses would range from writing you up, arresting you or even shooting you on the spot. However, that STILL does NOT mean that you are lawfully non-responsible for carrying out "unlawful" orders. Of course, if you tried, and were found wrong, you'd be convicted of insubordination at the very least.

Nevertheless, whether or not you were ever told when you were in the military, you actually were required to disobey a non-lawful order. Surviving that lawful disobedience however, or even getting a chance to explain your actions, is another thing.

66 posted on 08/22/2009 1:14:58 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: DUMBGRUNT

Good post.

(and, thank you for your service.)


67 posted on 08/22/2009 1:36:57 PM PDT by reagandemocrat
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To: normanpubbie
And in 1969-1970, if I had refused to carry out an order that I considered "illegal," I would have gone straight to Long Binh Jail. And the military prosecutor would have laughed at my claim that I had the right to disobey an illegal order.

So what? Duty = duty. A real hero would do the jail time with a smile.

American soldiers protect mothers and kids, they don't shoot them.

68 posted on 08/22/2009 1:37:51 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: DUMBGRUNT

When you say look back I say this. When I do look back, I thank God I was never faced with something like that where I had to make a choice to get involved or to try and stop it.


69 posted on 08/22/2009 3:17:39 PM PDT by U S Army EOD
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To: B-Chan
How I pity you.

You have to understand something, there are plenty of FReepers who aren't Christian or who didn't serve in the military and who think the "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" t-shirts are cool.

While I share your beliefs and served in the military like you, the best you and I can do is recognize that people like dalereed didn't grow up with Judeo-Christian morals present in their lives. We have to also realize that those that didn't serve in the military have no clue about what kind of repercussions against their fellow service members come about as a result of actions such as My Lai or Abu Ghraib and how those actions are used by our enemies as recruiting tools.
70 posted on 08/22/2009 3:27:35 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: PhilDragoo

.

Thank you for your continuous CLARITY, Phil Dragoo.

AR

.


71 posted on 08/22/2009 3:47:49 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: af_vet_rr; B-Chan; dalereed

Well said.


72 posted on 08/23/2009 3:57:55 AM PDT by Natufian (The mesolithic wasn't so bad, was it?)
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To: B-Chan
Like 2 million other American men and women, I served my country proudly and honorably in Vietnam. My colleagues and I never claimed to be heroes.

BTW, would you have done the jail time with a smile?
73 posted on 08/23/2009 9:39:01 AM PDT by normanpubbie
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To: grandpa jones

There’s some misinformation on this thread, and some knee-jerk Calley defenders just don’t seem to get it. Calley’s callow misapprehension of a leader’s role on the battlefield was inexcuseable. However, I have never believed he acted without the knowledge of Capt. Medina.

Calley was fighting in our name, and putting his own life at risk. For that he is to be commended, and granted some measure of mercy for his mistakes. But deadly mistakes they were.

His apology is welcome and, for my part, accepted. But that doesn’t wipe out the shame he brought upon his country.


74 posted on 08/23/2009 10:00:15 AM PDT by beckett (Amor Fati)
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To: normanpubbie

I hope so. My mother raised me to do the right thing regardless of the personal cost.

I’ve been in the brig, by the way. It wasn’t that bad. I’d rather do fifty years in a cage than have to live with myself the rest of my life for shooting a helpless child in the face.


75 posted on 08/23/2009 12:21:22 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Future Snake Eater; Jim Robinson; oh8eleven
You don't have to obey an illegal order. In fact, it's your duty not to obey such an order.

You're full of crap dude, you obey the order of your commanding officer, like it or not.

It's not YOUR job to determine whether an order is illegal or not. Under your scenario, what do you suggest, sit down and debate the merits of the order and come to a consensus?

You're a fraud dude and I'm calling your out............

By the way, where did you post this from? Iraq, Afghanistan or your home?

76 posted on 03/16/2010 4:14:22 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: normanpubbie; grandpa jones

It will be interesting to see or hear how the brass are going to explain away last week’s helicopter “crash” with all those Navy Seals, some participating(?) in the OBL “operation” which never took place, and as wives are trying singing foul play, hmmm???


77 posted on 08/09/2011 10:35:54 AM PDT by danamco (-)
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