It’s been a long time coming, but the US Marine officer who oversaw the slaughter of more than 500 women, elderly men and children has finally taken responsibility, more than 40 years after his crimes.
It was March 16, 1968 in South Vietnam when Charlie Company, battered from fighting the Viet Cong, entered the hamlet of My Lai. Lt. William L. Calley directed the young soldiers to kill everyone in sight. Later he claimed to be "following orders", echoing the defense of Nuremberg defendants. Now he acknowledges that his orders were illegal and should have been disobeyed. Interestingly, Capitan Ernest Medina, who allegedly ordered the "search and destroy" mission, was acquitted in a 1971 court-martial. Calley may have been the "fall guy" for a series of orders through the chain of command that were ambiguous enough to support mass killing.
Here’s the contradiction. The USA is now in a collective flap because the perpetrator of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which killed 270 people has been allowed to leave jail and return to his home in Libya to die from terminal cancer.
Remember My Lai? When foreigners kill, it’s terrorism. When Americans do it, it’s punishable by three years of house arrest.