Friday, 17 June 2016
The widespread atrocities were initially covered-up, but news about the savage events that took place that day eventually leaked out and Calley was formally court-martialed and charged with murder.
His primary defense rested on his belief that he was following the orders of his superiors, but that's always seemed like something of a non sequitir to me. While it's not unimagineable that Calley was in fact ordered to make sure the entire village was wiped out, the slaughter of unarmed and defenseless people has pretty much always been illegal and indefensible, at least for as long as warfare laws have been around.
Calley was the only soldier convicted of war crimes for the incidents that took place in My Lai. On March 29, 1971, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and hard labor at Fort Leavenworth.
Upon announcement of the verdict many Americans were appalled, including most of those whose records are included below. President Nixon immediately ordered Calley transferred from prison to house arrest arrest at Fort Benning while his appeal was heard. State legislatures in New Jersey, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, and South Carolina passed motions officially requesting clemency for Calley. Alabama Governor George Wallace quickly named Calley an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Alabama National Guard. Here in Georgia, Governor Jimmy Carter proclaimed an "American Fighting Man's Day" and asked the state's residents to drive with their headlights on during daylight hours in a week-long protest
From the fevered imagination of exilestreet at 16:11