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Vietnam War Crimes Suspect William Doyle DiesTim King Salem-News.com
William Doyle, the face of Vietnam crimes, dead at 75.
(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) - Americans today largely seem to have forgotten the costly mistakes of the Vietnam War; errors that reduced credibility and ruined the popularity of defeating the Communists in that SE Asian country. One of the soldiers who helped solidify the angst and resentment toward our military was William Doyle, a "face of Vietnam crimes" who died this week in Springfield, Missouri at the age of 75.
William Doyle will be remembered as the tough-talking Vietnam War veteran whose decorated platoon killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in a case reportedly concealed by the Pentagon for decades.
Mr. Doyle was a team leader with the Army's famous 'Tiger Force' in 1967 that executed women and children in a bloody seven-month rampage.
According to an article published by McClatchy Newspapers, William Doyle bragged that he shot so many civilians that he lost count.
"We killed anything that moved," he told The Toledo Blade for a 2004 series. "My only regret is that I didn't kill more."
Military prosecutors tried to take Doyle and 17 of his team members to task, recommending that they be charged with war crimes including murder and assault. The charges were dropped and the Army allowed Doyle and his men to walk. It didn't happen overnight though; Doyle's investigation was the longest in the Army's history. It was quietly closed by the Pentagon in 1975.
The Army's lead investigator, Gustav Apsey, was quoted saying, "There was no political will (to prosecute)."
"They didn't want this getting out."
William Doyle would later say that he was "temporarily insane" when he committed the crimes.
"We were living day to day. We didn't expect to live. Nobody out there with any brains expected to live."
The story went public in 2003, and William Doyle would go down in history
"We fought the war the way we felt it should have been fought," he said.
That attitude, along with the My Lai Massacre and other events like the slaughter at Son Thang, would later be recalled when assessing the longest war the United States ever fought and lost. These are the events that turned many Americans against the combat soldier of the Vietnam era.
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 Salem-News.com'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 Salem-News.com 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 Salem-News.com, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
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