On March 16, 1968, a company of soldiers enter the hamlet of My Lai, in the Quang Ngai province, and brutally rape and murder over five hundred Vietnamese women, children and elderly men.
“The rampaging GI’s were not interested solely in killing, although that seemed foremost in their minds. Just outside the village there was this big pile of bodies. This really tiny kid -he had only a shirt on, nothing else – he came over to this pile and held the hand of one of the dead. One of the GI’s behind me dropped into a kneeling position thirty meters from this kid and killed him with a single shot. A GI grabbed this girl and with the help of others started stripping her. A soldier said, ‘Let’s see what she’s made of. VC boom-boom.’ Another soldier was telling the thirteen-year-old girl that she was a whore for the Vietcong. ‘I’m horny,’ said a third. As they were stripping the girl, with bodies and burning huts all around them, the girl’s mother tried to help her, scratching and clawing at the soldiers.”
Time Magazine – November, 1969
When Lt. William Calley is found guilty in connection with the My Lai Massacre and for murdering 109 civilians and is given a life sentence, 79 percent of Americas disagree with the verdict and sentence.
After only serving three months in the stockade, President Richard Nixon frees him and orders him confined to quarters pending review of the case. In 1974, a federal court judge rules that Calley is convicted unjustly, citing “prejudicial publicity.”
William Calley is paroled for good behaviour after serving 40 months, most of them in the relative comfort of his own quarters. In 1971, a song is penned in honour of Lt. Calley, called The Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley.
The war crimes have continued ever since.