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Mar-19-2012 07:09printcommentsVideo

Calley Vs Manning:
Which Army 'Criminal' Would You Convict?

One man leads a massive war crime, another exposes a series of war crimes...

William Calley and Bradley Manning
William Calley and Bradley Manning: soldiers who are as different as night and day - both were propelled into the and national spotlight by the revelation of war crimes.

(SALEM) - If you were a U.S. soldier in a village in South Vietnam murdering children and spraying bullets into the faces of old ladies, you're cool, you are alright, you're William Calley. Red-blooded red staters will stand behind you and scream "hippie" and "Love it or leave it!" in the faces of those who object, because Americans back troops who rape little girls and slash people to pieces; My Lai taught us that it is perfectly acceptable to commit brutal crime as long as you're ordered to do so.

But if you follow the teachings of your mother, your teachers and your clergy; reporting what is wrong at all costs for the sake of what is right, then you're Bradley Manning; scorned by Americans who don't care about war crimes in Iraq, who scream "liberal" and "Love it or leave it!" in the faces of those who object. The Wikileaks experience so far, teaches us to silence and condemn those who expose war crimes.

What a path it is, that this nation walks on. Americans embrace war by proxy and they cheer and wave flags as their young sons and daughters are sent off to fight and often die in brutal, bloody conflicts we are not winning.

With the right conditioning, young idealistic American fresh out of high school can easily be convinced that it is perfectly OK to strap on a uniform and some body armor and play God with human lives. Then, among the easily led and overly impressionable young soldiers, one like Manning finds evidence of war crimes and he knows that if he doesn't release it to the public, this murderous warfare against civilians will continue, so he leaks it. This young enlisted soldier, a Private first class, risked a great deal to expose what was taking place in Iraq. There are very interesting notes to compare with these crimes, particularly with regard to public support, and the nagging aspect of class warfare as a possible contributing factor in Manning's alleged mistreatment.

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. William Calley

U.S. Army Pfc Bradley Manning

Vietnam and Iraq: two of the longest & most unpopular wars in U.S. history; these are conflicts that tore up populations and devastated families, ended in stalemate.

William Calley and Bradley Manning: soldiers who are as different as night and day - both were propelled into the and national spotlight by the revelation of war crimes; Calley led soldiers on a sex and murder spree, razing a Vietnamese village, while Manning released video of a U.S. Army helicopter gunning down unarmed journalists and children in Baghdad, and other revelations.

Similarity and Contrast: Many years separate the cases of the two soldiers; William Calley and Bradley Manning, but as diametrically opposed as they may be, there are a number of common points in each story.

Heroes and Villains: In My Lai, a U.S. Army helicopter was used to save a group of innocent people; in Baghdad, one was used as a shooting platform to eliminate civilians.

My Lai remained a secret even though helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson tried to expose it. Photos taken by a soldier named Ron Ridenour at My Lai, released after he was discharged from the Army, brought the story out of the shadows. The murders of the journalists in Iraq only became known by Bradley Manning's release of documents and, in this case, video. More details about the similarities below.

Common Points - My Lai Massacre and Wikileaks

  • Both incidents clearly involved war crimes
  • Visual images document each case
  • Both involved soldiers in the U.S. Army
  • A whistleblower is central in both cases
  • Both involved dead civilians
  • Children were shot and denied medical care
  • A helicopter crew was central in each story
  • Both involved crimes hidden from the public

My Lai Massacre: War Crimes Unpunished

In Vietnam, Americans fought, killed and died; became maimed and did the same to others, and then they came home and everything Americans didn't want to see happen, happened. The thing about Communist Vietnam, is that it hasn't turned out so bad, that is if you ignore the unexploded bombs, missing limbs, and of course the multi-generational aspects of Agent Orange.

William Calley led the soldiers of 'Charlie Company' with the U.S. Army's Americal Division into My Lai, a coastal village sometimes called 'Pinkville' by U.S. forces. They surrounded the unsuspecting villagers, sent in 'rape teams' to round up the girls and women they wanted to rape... and then murder.

Most of the civilians were just killed in a pre-meditated mass-murder.

A handful were saved by an American helicopter pilot who flew over the carnage and assumed at first, that the Viet Cong had killed a massive number of villagers - only to realize that U.S. soldiers were the ones doing the killing.

Warrant Officer One Hugh Thompson, Jr. ultimately landed his helicopter between a small group of villagers being marched toward a ditch filled with dead bodies, and the approaching soldiers, and instructed his gunner to open fire on the soldiers if they advanced or tried to kill the villagers. Thompson then talked a friend with a cargo helicopter into violating his orders and flying in to evacuate the villagers, some of the only 500+ people in My Lai to survive that day.

My Lai: A Personal Story

Duc Van Tran protects his baby sister

My friend Duc Tran Van, who was a little seven-year old boy in My Lai when Lt. William Calley's boys came to town, on 16 March 1968. Amazingly, he survived the day and went on to become a successful resident of Germany where he is raising his own son today, in safety.

Duc Van Tran's mother's body at My Lai

There was a great deal of confusion for young Duc Van tran on that day that happened almost exactly 44 years ago. He thought for a little bit that he was going to be OK, but then the U.S. soldiers shot his mother and he became immortalized as the little boy laying in the dirt road protecting his infant sister from the marauding, murderous soldiers.

"Despite her injuries in her leg and stomach, my mother has dragged herself to the street to see us running away. So she had to see her other two daughters lying dead on the other roadside. I ran away from this place, carrying my sister," Duc Van Tran said.

The photos of his mother's corpse, so ungraciously gunned down in the dirt with her eyes still open, are along with the photos of her son, perhaps some of the central images carried by U.S. news magazines and they historically represent this terrible war that Americans were prevented from winning, by their own politicians.

A closer view of Duc shielding his 14-month old sister from
American Army soldiers with 'Charlie Company', March '68

Calley's actions also define in the eyes of many, the Vietnam Veteran, and this is wrong and part of a significant era where those who served were heavily frowned upon. Nearly all of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who served in this war did so with honor.

I do cite in this article that racism was a problem in Vietnam and has been in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that is unfortunate. Obvious some Americans are subject to a follow the leader mentality, as may in part describe what happened at My Lai, but generally, it is the minority, not the majority, who abuse power. I find it shocking to study this period and comprehend how vast the support for Lt. Callie was.

Some of Calley's avid supporters, were World War Two Veterans; yet they are the same group that refused for years, to allow Vietnam Veterans into the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). Vets from this war were told for too long, that their service didn't count; that they hadn't fought a real war, when Vietnam was as real as any war ever has been or could be.

If the Americans had been allowed to defeat North Vietnam, then the corrupt government of South Vietnam may have been able to exist without eventually moving toward Communism, but it is not what happened.

Duc Van Tran, who today has his own little boy

When the U.S. officially occupied Cambodia in 1970, it set the stage for what would be, one of the worst Genocides in history. Millions of Cambodians died in The Killing Fields. Young, highly indoctrinated children from the Khmer Rouge Communists carried out many of these terrible crimes against humanity; it began after the U.S. pulled its forces out and went home.

Then with the U.S. out of the way, the new unified Vietnam; the people we had been fighting;, engaged and defeated the barbaric and Genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and sent their leader, Pol Pot, packing to China, which of course in this timeframe, became a friend of the U.S. through negotiations carried out by then President Nixon.

Then, the Chinese; friends of the Genocidal Khmer Rouge, attacked Vietnam in retribution for Vietnam's war in Cambodia. The Chinese sent hundreds of thousands of inexperienced troops to Vietnam, they fought and suffered a series of terrible defeats at the hands of the highly experienced Vietnamese fighters, and retreated for good. This war was fought with ground forces only.

All of this tragedy followed the My Lai massacre, and the treatment of that terrible mass murder showed the world that the United States exists by the motto, "Do as I say, not as I do", and this is one of the largest contributing factors to the dark sentiments that erupted against Veterans in America. 'Baby killer' didn't just get pulled from a hat, and the photos that emerged from My Lai are as obscene as any civilian slaughter images can be.

Thank William Calley and every man that day who murdered those civilians, knowing every second, that they were violating everything right and decent and soiling their nation's image, as a soldier named Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, did last week in Afghanistan.

It is also important to note that a number of soldiers in Charlie Company did refuse their orders on this day. Yet others who participated in the killing, contend that they did nothing wrong that day, a claim strongly defeated by Thompson's aerial intervention, and Ridenour's infamous, tragic photographs.

Lowering the Bar in War

Lyndee England - Abu Ghraib scandal

In both Vietnam and Iraq, the decision was made to allow 'Cat-4's' (Category-4) into the military. These were individuals who scored in the lowest levels of the Armed Forces Entrance Exam (ASVAB) and are traditionally denied from service. In Vietnam, under Johnson, and then in Iraq, under Bush, 'Cat-4's' were deployed to war zones. Significant numbers of these individuals were criminals before entering the military, and as expected, all hell broke loose each time this practice was implemented.

A notorious example of a more contemporary Cat-4 type in uniform, is Lynndie England, the former Abu Ghraib guard who posed with nude, restrained and tortured prisoners and became synonymous with the shift in American sentiment from one of humanity, to one that largely endorsed torture.

I can not determine for a fact that England was a Category-4 ASVAB, but it would add up, and her lack of education and obvious shortfall of behavioral skills while serving in the Army, were consistent.

One could probably have put this together already: a number of soldiers in March '68, serving under Lt. Calley in 'C' Company... were Cat-4's.

When Bradley Manning served in Iraq, he saw a war where large numbers of those serving arrived with a pre-determined bias toward Arab people in place, before their feet ever hit the sand.

Face of Iraqi father in Anbar province betrays many years of life in a deadly
war zone; at this moment U.S. Marines are questioning him about a weapon that
they believed was in his house. 2008 photo by Tim King

In Iraq, the Vietnam Veteran's derogatory reference for local people; "Gook" - was replaced with "towelhead" and "haji" and worse - I learned while covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, that the racial and cultural bigotry in America's military is strong, and obviously was well in place during both wars.

I do not believe any of the United State's most recent wars were either necessary.

Our normally smart society, which strongly resisted both WWI and WWII as long as possible in each case, should have been able to avoid the last several wars it chose to engage in.

Americans are supposed to set an example and they have absolutely done that, historically. The example is that the U.S. military will be sent to war when the country's resources are threatened, or when a fear against a foe is so great that violence seems a preference to peace, or sometimes, just because its president has a large ego and no respect for humanity, and wants to go to war.

There was a time when people could demand justification for military violence without being roasted alive by powerful media pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter, and most of the FOX News network; they've spent years pouncing on anything or anybody significant that mentioned being anti-war.

Using Power

Americans have to straighten all of this out; we are attacking the messenger; the Iraq war was based on information that turned out to not even be true. Knowing those journalists were killed so brutally and that the matter would have been one more crime swept under the rug, was apparently something Manning couldn't allow.

The analytical minds are cut out of the mix when the U.S. initiates one of its run-ups to war. When this government is picking fights with North Vietnamese gunboats in the Gulf of Tonkin, or hanging 9/11 around the neck of an Iraqi president; the western media can be counted on to stop questioning obvious wrongs and to just fall in line with the rest of the troops when it is told to do so.

This problem is as fundamentally wrong, as is the concept of whistleblower retaliation - which sizes up the case against Bradley Manning. The idea that he broke the law is made on the assumption that the war itself was not illegal, yet it was. As a Nobel Prize Nominee, the U.S. government should read the writing on the wall and cut this guy loose; issue a pardon and a stern warning, and learn from the experience, thus cutting their own losses. The movement to see Manning released is growing.

Bradley Manning's alleged crime, as most people well know, is having released classified documents to Wikileaks, that implicated the United States in war crimes, or at least should have. His records were provided to the operation of Julian Assange, and soon, video of U.S. soldiers absolutely slaughtering a group of journalists in Baghdad was released on Wikileaks.

It happened on 12 July 2007, when two Apache helicopters using 30mm cannon fire killed roughly a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad. Until this point, the incident was just one more day in the life of Americans who fly over and fire at innocent people from a mile away... after literally begging their commands for, "permission to fire".

After the helicopter crew killed the reporters and photographers, a van pulled up to evacuate the wounded, and the helicopter crew again impatiently asked for permission to fire on the mini van. It didn't take long, and the van was struck by bullets that literally destroyed the vehicle with two children's faces clearly visible in the passenger window.

This was followed by the arrival of U.S. forces in HUMVEE's who found at least one of the injured children, alive. The soldier is seen rushing this child to a waiting U.S. Army ambulance, the crew of which turns the soldier with the injured child away, saying they refused to offer treatment.

Had he slipped information about a legal war then things would be different, but a heartless war crime is still the same. The biggest thing that video reveals, is the attitude of aggressive Americans who are overly armed and improperly trained and guided.

Pro-War Crime Calley Demonstrators

Anti-War Crime Manning Supporters

During the Vietnam War, Americans supported the officer William Calley even though he was the poster boy for the My Lai war crimes. As the only member of an entire company held accountable for the crimes of all; up to 500 murders; he was briefly jailed and then pardoned by another famous American criminal, former President Richard M. Nixon.

The Manson Family was nothing next to William Calley and his soldiers, and of course his boss, Captain Ernest Medina; who also skated like all of the soldiers who committed the crimes.

During this time, William Calley was shown on the cover of magazines like Time, and Newsweek, repeatedly. He was the center of media attention for a long time, but with a divided fan base. In order to support Calley, Americans had to overlook hundreds and hundreds of dead bodies, of women, children and elderly people.

Hugh Thompson was able to save a group of villagers at My Lai, however the ground soldier who tried to save these kids in Iraq didn't have the ability to hand a dying child over to a waiting ambulance whose crew had nothing else to do, there were no injured Americans.

According to the 2011 Time Magazine Poll:

    Age: 23
    Occupation: U.S. soldier
    Previous TIME 100 appearances: 0

    Without Bradley Manning, you're unlikely ever to have heard of Julian Assange. It was Manning's alleged leak of more than a quarter of a million classified U.S. diplomatic cables that turned WikiLeaks into a household name and Assange into the bĂȘte noire of government secrecy. Manning allegedly got access to the documents while on a tour of duty in Iraq. Needless to say, the military frowns on that sort of thing, and Manning is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, Va., pending court martial. Meanwhile, publicly questioning the harsh conditions of Manning's incarceration cost State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley his job.

Now, Bradley Manning is being nominated for a Nobel Prize. He remains imprisoned, there are terrible reports about his receiving sustained abuse from guards, it is not hard to imagine.

Our writer, Dr. Phil Leveque, is a World War Two U.S. Army Veteran who spent years after the war both training doctors, and then after becoming one; treating Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In recalling his wartime experiences, he frequently discusses how distinctly different life was for officers and enlisted military personnel. Just last night we were talking about ridiculous historical philosophies that claim officers are essentially immune from PTSD, which is not true in any way.

The point is that a distinct bias exists within the military, that favors officers. Like many people, I find it interesting and incorrect that anyone with a bachelor's degree can become an officer, as young as 22; and after 90 days in Officers Candidate School and a commission, they instantly outrank every one of the most senior, battle hardened sergeants. Police lieutenants on the other hand, have to spend many years working their way into these higher ranking positions.

I can state from personal experience that the military will absolutely toss an enlisted person under the train, so to speak; in a heartbeat if it is deemed necessary.

William Calley was an officer, and the men aboard the Apaches were officers, and they all walked into the sunset.

Manning, a decorated enlisted soldier, rots behind bars. He has a thousand times the integrity of, the officers in this event. I believe as much as anything, Bradley Manning is a victim of class warfare.

William Calley has enjoyed a comfortable life in Atlanta, Georgia, he offered a minor apology for his crimes a couple of years ago at the anniversary of the killing. It is and was, the darkest and most extensive war crime in modern U.S. history, and the people responsible for it have never had to be responsible for it.

But then maybe it isn't the largest war crime in modern U.S. history.

Many people would argue that the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent decade plus-long conflict that Bush and Cheney launched on that soil holds that title, since the entire war was based on bad information and an incessant desire to use American resources to intentionally attack a country and leave up to 1.5 million people dead.

As a final note, we released a few hours ago, the fact that Bradley Manning trails by only 400 votes for Global Exchange's "People's Choice" 2012 Human Rights Award. Voting continues until Monday, 5:00 p.m. Pacific / 8:00 p.m. Eastern. You can log in with Facebook or register on the site to vote. Please vote here

Related articles on

Mar-18-2012: 24 Hours to Help Bradley Manning Win Human Rights

Jan-13-2012: Wikileaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning Now Faces Court-Martial - Tim King

Dec-07-2011: Julian Assange & Bradley Manning's Defense Fund - Wayne Pierce for

Nov-17-2011: Manning the American Conscience - Rod Driver

Aug-30-2011: Photographer Traces the Heartbreak of War - Van Dat Viet Nam News

Mar-27-2011: Who Deserves Death? - Joe Clifford

Feb-08-2011: Tell the Nobel Committee: Award Bradley Manning the 2012 Peace Prize - Brian Sonenstein Special to

Nov-22-2010: My Lai Survivor Disappointed in Calley's 'Terse Apology' for War Atrocoties - Tim King

Mar-17-2010: The 42nd Anniversary of the Massacre at My Lai - Chuck Palazzo

Nov-30-2008: Vietnam War Crimes Suspect William Doyle Dies - Tim King

Mar-16-2008: My Lai Massacre in Vietnam Happened 40 Years Ago this Weekend - Tim King

Jul-12-2006: Forgetting History Means Repeating the Mistakes of Vietnam - Tim King


Tim King in 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.

Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 20+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide with an emphasis on Palestine and Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. Marines. You can write to Tim at this address: Visit Tim's Facebook page (

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Peach April 5, 2014 8:15 pm (Pacific time)

Do not compare the two; Calley is a butcher. Children raped with bayonets, the elderly begging for their lives while they were slowly sliced to pieces. Calley deserves to die a 1000 deaths, before he burns in hell for eternity.

Anonymous March 25, 2012 6:04 pm (Pacific time)

While Calley was on home detention I was the person always assigned to deliver his pizza from Mama's Crustzone. Say what you want, he was always a good tipper.

Tim King: Mama's' crustzone' eh, that sounds like something Calley would have liked.

gp March 22, 2012 6:57 pm (Pacific time)

Another take on the same thing.

Editor: Thanks GP!

Greg Baker March 22, 2012 6:14 am (Pacific time)

What the hell? I can't believe I'm reading this crap in these comments.

Reporting murder, gross violations of the UCMJ, and protecting the lives of innocent people are all a soldier's duty as much as keeping classified information secret.

When your compatriots, commanders, etc. are commiting evil, illegal acts, it is your DUTY to expose them. Not just as a solider, but as a human being. This is what I was taught in basic training, with the caveat that you quite possibly will be punished for doing the right thing.

As far as I'm concerned, PFC Manning is a steller example of a solider willing to do what is right when everyone else around him is wrong. His actions exposed the gross misconduct of our armed forces. HE (not the murderers in the helicopter, not those who fought to suppress the footage) is a true American Hero.

Tim King: Thanks Greg, you totally nailed it.

March 21, 2012 2:50 pm (Pacific time)

I'm sure Manning had something like a Security Clearance. Just in case no one knows what that is: do not give out secret, top secret or classified information. Guess Manning did not follow the rules. First I wold take the clearence away, bust him to an E1, dishonorable discharge from the Military. I would make sure he will never work for any Government, City,County, State, Federal. Prosecute him to the fullest, he is a traitor to this Country and a disgrace to our great men and woman in our Military. He put many lifes in danger by publishing the information. He is a disgrace.

Tim King: He outed crimes in an illegal war, I don't disagree that he broke the rules, and you are entitled to your opinion as a person who obviously loves their country, however this is very simple; what morals does a man follow?  You say the answer is to follow the rules a country lays down, but that to me is blind allegiance and I find that, along with nationalism, to be a very dangerous component in this world.  Maybe if the United States ever stops being such a threat to the rest of the world, maybe when it actually has justification for what it does, then everything about a case like this will be different.

gp March 20, 2012 1:11 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for this comparison of war crimes Tim. The reality is that war in itself is a crime, civilians are and always have been victims, rape and theft and outright murder are part and parcel of the whole shebang. It is time that we grew up as a species and realize that war is obsolete. As far as I can tell they all start from greed and lies. When we encourage our young people to endeavor to help others rather than blindly obey a murderous government we may be able to stop the criminals from building armies. It is interesting to me that a few nights ago at a gathering of my neighbors there was a comment, not the first nor the last, of the offensive behavior of the Israeli youth tourists that invade our community each March. One person was recounting how she had admonished a young Israeli that pushed her way to the front of the line that here we allow women who are pregnant or with an infant in arms or elderly to go to the front of all lines. The response of another was that it is because the Israeli youth come here after their three years of service and in fact hey have been an invading and occupying army. They have been brutalizing people in the name of their government authority and so of course they are all damaged goods and are only continuing to act like soldiers who have no respect for other human beings. Over and over I hear these stories about the Israeli tourists and the consensus is that there are only about 30% who treat others with consideration. I would guess that there are probably only 30% of our soldiers who return from Iraq who are able to still respect other human beings. Calley and Bales were at the other end of the spectrum. Manning displayed courage that few people are capable of and does deserve a Noble prize.

Tim King: Thanks GP, you are a voice of reason.  I can imagine how those Israeli soldiers act, and that is one of the worst occupations in existence.  Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous March 20, 2012 12:49 pm (Pacific time)

Calley was a hero and the powers at the time knew it. God Bless Calley and all those who killed our enemies, God Bless them. Now put down that fag manning and may his supporters soon meet Satan.

Editor: If this is actually how people feel, then it is no wonder we have a country full of crime, sexual predators, etc.   This comment is immoral and supportive of war crimes and raping girls.   Hey man, do you have any kids?   If you ever do wonder why you're so messed up, mister, come back and read this comment you left. God help the people you cross paths with. 

Len Aldis March 20, 2012 10:32 am (Pacific time)

Sorry to readthe comments to your article, it is clear there are still some in the States that cannot accept they were beaten by a asian country despite the massive armaments the US had.

My Lai was only one of many massacre's committed by US Forces in Vietnam. It is time to move on.

Tim King: I know Len,thank you.  They are heartless and remorseless, and there you are; a person in the UK who works through the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society and  Agent Orange Action Group, helping the people of Vietnam as they struggle to survive AO, working with our friends who are highly honorable Vietnam Veterans who care about the right things.  I appreciate your dropping by and always appreciate working with you.

Brad Pitt March 20, 2012 7:20 am (Pacific time)

Bottom line: Manning will never be free again. He will die all alone in a small prison cell. He will be forgotten even by you liberal zombies. In time, and very soon, you also will be forgotten, as are most nuisances. My prayers are that by this summer as the OWS deteriorate into complete anarchy, they will start using deadly weapons as they did at Kent University when they fired on the National Guard, and they will be wiped off the planet. Looking forward to will happen.

Tim King: No it won't.

Anonymous March 19, 2012 6:38 pm (Pacific time)

Tim Wikipedia is a propaganda tool, whose agenda has nothing to do with reality. They mix facts and fantasy, and appeal to those who want quick and eay info, and it is generally tainted info for the reasons only the Zionists know. They play so many of you. You simply are on a hunt for all Conservatives while ignoring that it has been democrats that have gotten us into the biggest and most deadly wars. President Nixon did nothing that was not recommended by those who were more knowlegeable about the case and the situation. Your site ofter refers to PTSD as a stressor that causes our military personnel to do horrible things. I was not in Vietnam when the event took place, but had been wounded and was recovering at Camp Zama Military Hospital just outside of Tokyo. As time went by I heard more about the case, and thought LBJ would be more intense on the prosecution. As it is when you compare Nixon to people like LBJ and Clinton, he actually did nothing that was even close to their criminal behavior. Pretty confident Obama will be adjudicated with serious crimes in the future, as will Holder. Just watch that happen. As it is, Private Manning took an oath, and signed a "Crypto Briefing" that spelled out his responsibilities. It is not him to decide what is criminal and what is not. He hopefully will have a short time remaining on this planet. I pray he kills himslef, he is one evil evil lowlife scumbag. Again Tim, this is so far out of your league, and anyone else who writes on your site. It is a "need to know" situation, not what type of clearance you have. And speaking of security clearances Tim, Obama would not have qualified for even the lowest of clearances. Bet your bottom dollar, he, Pelosi, and Reid, and many others, will never know the real vital secrets. Same thing for Carter and Clinton, they were and are security risks.

Tim King: I completely disagree with several points, Nixon was a disgraceful criminal and all people know that, both Bush's started needless wars in the Middle east,  Clinton got a blow job and Obama inherited a nightmare.  You are interesting citing Zionism and Wikipedia, nothing is perfect but it is a reliable source and people flag things that are blatantly false.  Just because the truth doesn't match your agenda, doesn't make it real.  And on that subject, I sure find a consistent pattern in the right wing commentators who never use real names, not that you are using one at all, but people who make claims about their war service should use their name or not make the statements.  I agree that your false points are out of my league, I play a moral game with an end goal of peace, you are very confused about most things you talk about

Ray (Doc) Americal Division March 19, 2012 5:08 pm (Pacific time)

From what I read on this article, there was no one at May Lai. A lot of it was as far as I am concerned bias reporting. I was in May Lai 13 months after Calley. It was one of the worst places that I was in, in Vietnam. I was a medic with the Infantry and in May Lai, it was one hell of a fire fight. What I did not see in the article is the harassment that the company suffered to include loss of life in the unit. Calley was not the Company Commander, that would be CPT Medina and all charges were dropped. 1LT Calley was a platoon leader. If you have served in combat then come back and talk to me.

Tim King: Ray, I am trying to put my finger on the objection; first, I am only writing about the 16 March 1968 event, not what happened in that same village 13-months later.  There are things I failed to mention, like how the division attacked several other villages in the region besides My Lai that day; this one came out because of Ridenour's photos.  I acknowledge that this was a VC area, and that you guys were in a bad situation, placed in an area where human beings happened to live, who were harassed by the VC at night and Americans by day.  If they didn't cooperate with each side, they simply died sooner.  So you tell me how this justifies the murder of those non-combatants?  I assume that is your overall point.  I stated that Medina was above Calley in the food chain, and that he was not convicted, so I don't know what you mean about that.  Finally, maybe it doesn't count to you, but in 2006, 2007 and 2008, I covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so don't suggest I haven't been in combat, or war, I've been there.  I was also a Marine, and I work with a lot of Marine Veterans who served in Vietnam, and I've never heard any stand up for what happened at My Lai, it tends to make them sick; Marines make mistakes but not like this.   I'm really not writing this article to piss off guys who served, just admit that terrible things happened, and that the acts don't represent the average Veteran.    

Raymond Witzke March 19, 2012 12:39 pm (Pacific time)

Although I served in Charlie company after the incident, I feel that Lt Calley was a scapegoat simply because on every major operation, there was a C&C chopper overhead who had to have first-hand knowledge of what was going on on the ground and did nothing about it.

Editor: I appreciate your comment Raymond.

Anonymous March 19, 2012 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

LBJ was president when Calley committed this war crime. This was a horrible event and Nixon had nothing to do with it, nor did he not follow protocol as recommended by the UCMJ. It was Johnson and the far left policies of a worthless democratic congress (BTW, many of these dems voted against the Civil Rights Acts of the time) that created politically correct combat policies that got many of our people killed.

 From Wikipedia:

 "President Richard Nixon made the controversial decision to have Calley released, pending appeal of his sentence. Calley's sentence was later adjusted, so that he would eventually serve three and one-half years under house arrest at Fort Benning."

"On April 1, 1971, only a day after Calley was sentenced, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered him transferred from Leavenworth prison to house arrest at Fort Benning, pending appeal. This leniency was protested by Melvin Laird, the Secretary of Defense. The prosecutor, Aubrey Daniel wrote, "The greatest tragedy of all will be if political expedience dictates the compromise of such a fundamental moral principle as the inherent unlawfulness of the murder of innocent persons. "

The same thing is happening under the Obama cabal/regime. What is happening in both wars, is similar-type distractions that mislead our people on who the major war criminals are. It was the VC and NVA that mass killings of innocents was quite common, and on a monthly level they dwarfed what Calley did, or the accumlative bad behavior of what Americans did the entire time we were in-country. The same thing is happening under the Islamic radical war criminals. As far as comparing Calley and Manning, they are both war criminals, but Manning is infinitley worse and the death penalty should have been kept in play.

 Editor: It seems you really don't understand very much about Manning's story.  He was in possession of evidence in a crime.  In a civilized society we don't ignore this type of evidence.  Of course Obama is a terrible disappointment but the wars the country is engaged in are the work of GW Bush and Obama inherited the wars, not in any way was it the other way around.

In time, Manning will be responsible for far more deaths than Calley, hopefully he meets Mr. Shiv while he serves his multiple life terms. He will never be free, and I pray for his violent death.

 Editor: You are a sick person and I wish I had seen this part, I would have just flushed your worthless comment.

Those who have worked in intelligence and counter-intelligence fully understand the damage this traitor did. The rest of you are clueless puppets who have no concept of what it takes to keep you safe. When things go sideways, and they will, you will blame our military. Most of you do the same thing with police, until you need their help. Soon you will be on you own, most of you will quickly perish.

Raymond Witzke March 19, 2012 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

I served wih Charlie company after this incident and stongly feel that Lt Calley was made a scapegot of this incident. Reason being is that during every major operation, there was a CandC ship overhead who was in touch with the whole incidnt and did nothing to stop it.

Tim King: I appreciate your comment.

Bob Gallagher March 19, 2012 8:52 am (Pacific time)

Traitor Bradley Manning is a hero to America haters, leftists, communists, liberals, flag burners, slackers, and Occupiers. If that is your crowd, you are welcome to it. These are the same people who were whining that Manning was being "tortured". What was the torture he was enduring? He had his pillow taken away. The "L" in Liberal stands for LOL. Whatever punishment manning gets will not be harsh enough.

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