U.S. Atrocities during Vietnam War
I am aware that there are people saying that John Kerry lied when he testified about atrocities taking place during the Vietnam war. And also some people are maliciously calling Kerry a "War Criminal".
John Kerry testified that he had seen acts of atrocity occuring while he was serving in Vietnam, although he never participated in any of these crimes. Kerry was telling truth about atrocities, these following books and others document the fact that atrocities commited by U.S. soldiers did indeed occur during the Vietnam war.
The Vietnam War (An Almanac)
Introduction by Fox Butterfield
General Editor: John S. Bowman
World Almanac Publications
"Excerpts" from- The Vietnam War (An Almanac)
(pg: 124) August 1965. The first charge that US troops have engaged in unacceptable actions against civilians is reported by CBS-TV, when it shows men of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, burning most of the village of Camne, six miles southwest of Danang.
(Pg:168 ) 2-10 May 1967. An 'International Tribunal on War Crimes ... opens sessions in Stockholm on 2 May. The tribunal hands down a decision accusing the United States of aggression and 'widespread, deliberate and systematic bombing of civilian objectives.'
(pg: 199) 16 March 1968. In what will become the most publicized war atrocity commited by US troops in Vietnam, a platoon from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry of the newly formed American Division, slaughters between 200 and 500 unarmed villagers at the hamlet of Mylai-4. ... . Although the platoon receives no opposing fire as it approaches Mylai it's commanding officer, Lieutenant William Calley, orders his men to go on firing. The scene which follows can only be described as horrific: several old men are bayoneted, some women and children were praying outside of the local temple are shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl is raped before being killed.
(pg:238 ) 5 September 1969. Criminal charges are formally preferred against Lieutenant William Calley. The charges include six specifications of premeditated murder...
(pg: 252) 17 March 1970. The US army, following an investigation by a panel headed by Lieutenant General William Peers, accuses 14 officers of supression of information relating to an incident at Songmy in March 1968... The report says that US soldiers commited individual and group acts of murder, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault that took the lives of a large number of civilians and concludes that a 'tragedy of major proportions' occured ...
(pg: 253) 1 April 1970. The United States officially charges Captain Ernest Medina of being 'responsible' for the murder of Vietnamese civilians killed by members of his infantry company at Songmy. ...Army accuses him of premeditated murder of not less than 175...
(pg:268 ) 17 November 1970. The US Army opens it's case against Lieutenant William Calley, charging that Calley ordered a large group of civilians to be pushed into a ditch and killed in an apparently mindless slaughter.
(pg: 274) 6 January 1971. ...Lieutenant William Calley, Jr, Captain Ernest Medina, and Captain Eugene Kotouc. On 29 March the Fort Benning court martial jury finds Calley guilty of the premeditated murder of at least 22 South Vietnamese civilians. ... the sentence of life imprisonment moves President Nixon to intervene ... . On 20 August, Calley's life term is reduced to 20 years. ... Of all those originally charged, only Calley is convicted.
(pg: 314) 4 June 1972. Seymour Hersh further reports that a massacre at Mykhe 4, two miles from Mylai, was perpetrated by Bruno Company, Task Force Barker, American Division, on 16 March 1968..... . The Peers report also acknowledges that 'a large number of non-combatants were killed during a search of the hamlet.
(pg: 315) 19 June 1972. Calling the Mylai massacre 'trifling by comparison,' veteran Vietnam war correspondent Kevin Buckley charges that US soldiers deliberately killed thousands of Vietnamese citizens under the guise of 'pacification.' Buckley cites 1968 operation 'Speedy Express' in which as many as 5,000 civilians may have been killed in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Hoa. ... civilians he interviewed report that most of the enemy fatalities were unarmed farmers working in rice fields.
(pg:318 ) 29 July 1972. Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark visits North Vietnam ... Inquiry into US War Crimes in Indochina to investigate alleged US bombing of non-military targets in North Vietnam. Clark reports ... that he has seen damage to hospitals, dikes, schools, and other civilian areas.
A Soldier Reports
Author: General William C. Westmoreland
Doubleday & Company
"Excerpts" from- A Soldier Reports
(pg: 185) ... amply demonstrated later by events that occured when the discipline of an American company broke down at a place called My Lai. ... Yet the war in Vietnam was not against Asian hordes but against an enemy with relatively limited manpower.
(pg: 456) In April 1969 the Department of the Army and a number of legislators and government officials received letters from a former soldier who had served in Vietnam, Ronald L. Ridenhour, alleging war crimes by American soldiers in an operation in March 1968, in the hamlet of My Lai (refered to as "Pinkville")... . Involved was a component of the American Division's 11th Infantry Brigade. ... It resulted in charges against four officers and enlisted men. Twenty-five former enlisted men were implicated, but since they had already been discharged from the Army, they were beyond the Army's jurisdiction. Almost as deplorable as the events alleged was the possibility that officers ... had either covered up the incident of failed to make a comprehensive investigation. ... When I learned that some members of President Nixon's administration wanted to whitewash any possible negligence ... , I threatened through a White House official to excercise my prerogative as a member of the Joint Chiefs ... to go personally to the President and object.
(pg: 459) ... First Lieutenant William L. Calley, Jr. Charged with the murder of more than a hundred civilians, he was convicted ... of the murder of "at least" twenty-two. He was sentenced to dismissal from service and confinement at hard labor for life, but the later was reduced ... to twenty years and further reduced to ten years, an action that President Nixon sustained. Lieutenant Calley was legally judged by a jury whose members all familiar with the nature of combat in Vietnam and well aware that even the kind of war waged in Vietnam is no license for murder. ... was no justification or rationale for the conscious massacre of defenseless babies, children, mothers, and old men in a kind of diabolical slow-motion nightmare that went on for the better part of a day, with a cold-blooded break for lunch.
Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War
Authors: James F. Dunnigan & Albert A. Nofi
Thomas Dunne Books
"Excerpts" from- Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam war
(pg: 233) In fact there were no armed VC in the hamlet. In My Lai 4 Calley basically ordered his troops to undertake a systematic massacre. ... Many of hte troops protested, refusing to take part despite threats from Calley that they would be subject to court martial. ... while a helicopter pilot, WO Hugh C. Thompson, Jr, personally prevented the murder of a number of villagers by threatening to fire on the troops ... . From the first, the nature of the action was known to Calleys superiors, among them ... CPT Ernest Medina, who was present for a time in the hamlet for a time ... . ... apparently knew about what occured almost immediately afterwards. ... None of them did anything about the matter. Attempts by soldiers to report the incident ... were quashed. Outsiders from the army staff who inquired about anomalies in the official report ... (only a handful of weapons were reported recovered, and there were virtually no American casualties, a truly remarkable circumstance), were brushed of by double-talk or bluster. Not until spring of 1969 did the massacre come to the attention of the army... . Calley was sentenced to life ... reduced first to twenty years, then to ten by civilian authorities, and finally to two years of house arrest. So judicial penalties for the atrocity were comparatively light.
(pg: 235) Altogether 220 cases were brought , and 121 men were convicted on charges ranging from rape to mass murder, as well as several instances of filing false reports to cover up atrocities.
"I think that John Kerry's service in Vietnam was admirable" ~ G W Bush