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Findings of Army Court Martial Concerning Events Surrounding The Son My Operation of 16 - 19 March 1968 (1) During the period 16-19 March 1968, US Army.

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Presentation on theme: "Findings of Army Court Martial Concerning Events Surrounding The Son My Operation of 16 - 19 March 1968 (1) During the period 16-19 March 1968, US Army."— Presentation transcript:

1 Findings of Army Court Martial Concerning Events Surrounding The Son My Operation of March 1968 (1) During the period March 1968, US Army troops of TF Barker, 11th Brigade, Americal Division, massacred a large number of noncombatants in two hamlets of Son My Village, Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam. The precise number of Vietnamese killed cannot be determined but was at least 175 and may exceed 400. Concerning Events Surrounding The Son My Operation of March 1968 (1) During the period March 1968, US Army troops of TF Barker, 11th Brigade, Americal Division, massacred a large number of noncombatants in two hamlets of Son My Village, Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam. The precise number of Vietnamese killed cannot be determined but was at least 175 and may exceed 400.

2 Findings (cont) (2) The massacre occurred in conjunction with a combat operation which was intended to neutralize Son My Village as a logistical support base and staging area, and to destroy elements of an enemy battalion thought to be located in the Son My area. (3) The massacre resulted primarily from the nature of the orders issued to persons in the chain of command within TF Barker. (2) The massacre occurred in conjunction with a combat operation which was intended to neutralize Son My Village as a logistical support base and staging area, and to destroy elements of an enemy battalion thought to be located in the Son My area. (3) The massacre resulted primarily from the nature of the orders issued to persons in the chain of command within TF Barker.

3 Findings (cont) ( 4) The task force commander's order and the associated intelligence estimate issued prior to the operation were embellished as they were disseminated through each lower level of command, and ultimately presented to the individual soldier a false and misleading picture of the Son My area as an armed enemy camp, largely devoid of civilian inhabitants. (5)Prior to the incident, there had developed within certain elements of the 11th Brigade a permissive attitude toward the treatment and safeguarding of noncombatants which contributed to the mistreatment of such persons during the Son Ply Operation. ( 4) The task force commander's order and the associated intelligence estimate issued prior to the operation were embellished as they were disseminated through each lower level of command, and ultimately presented to the individual soldier a false and misleading picture of the Son My area as an armed enemy camp, largely devoid of civilian inhabitants. (5)Prior to the incident, there had developed within certain elements of the 11th Brigade a permissive attitude toward the treatment and safeguarding of noncombatants which contributed to the mistreatment of such persons during the Son Ply Operation.

4 Findings (cont) (6)The permissive attitude in the treatment of Vietnamese was, on March 1968, exemplified by an almost total disregard for the lives and property of the civilian population of Son My Village on the part of commanders and key staff officers of TF Barker. (7) On 16 March, soldiers at the squad and platoon level, within some elements of TF Barker, murdered noncombatants while under the supervision and control of their immediate superiors. (6)The permissive attitude in the treatment of Vietnamese was, on March 1968, exemplified by an almost total disregard for the lives and property of the civilian population of Son My Village on the part of commanders and key staff officers of TF Barker. (7) On 16 March, soldiers at the squad and platoon level, within some elements of TF Barker, murdered noncombatants while under the supervision and control of their immediate superiors.

5 Findings (cont) (8) A part of the crimes visited on the inhabitants of Son My Village included individual and group acts Of murder, rape, sodomy, maiming, and assault on noncombatants and the mistreatment and killing of detainees. They further included the killing of livestock, destruction of crops, closing of wells, and the burning of dwellings within several subhamlets. (9) Some attempts were made to stop the criminal acts in Son My Village on 16 March; but with few exceptions, such efforts were too feeble or too late. (10) Intensive interrogation has developed no evidence that any member of the units engaged in the Son My operation was under the influence of marijuana or other narcotics. (8) A part of the crimes visited on the inhabitants of Son My Village included individual and group acts Of murder, rape, sodomy, maiming, and assault on noncombatants and the mistreatment and killing of detainees. They further included the killing of livestock, destruction of crops, closing of wells, and the burning of dwellings within several subhamlets. (9) Some attempts were made to stop the criminal acts in Son My Village on 16 March; but with few exceptions, such efforts were too feeble or too late. (10) Intensive interrogation has developed no evidence that any member of the units engaged in the Son My operation was under the influence of marijuana or other narcotics.

6 Punishment? Calley convicted by court martial and sentenced to life in prison March 3, President Nixon promises to personally review the case. Charges against all other officers are either dropped or the officers are acquitted. Charges against Calley are reduced to 20, then 10 years. He is released on bond on Nov. 9, 1974 and then paroled after having served only 3/12 years in prison. He now manages a jewelry store in rural Georgia. Calley convicted by court martial and sentenced to life in prison March 3, President Nixon promises to personally review the case. Charges against all other officers are either dropped or the officers are acquitted. Charges against Calley are reduced to 20, then 10 years. He is released on bond on Nov. 9, 1974 and then paroled after having served only 3/12 years in prison. He now manages a jewelry store in rural Georgia.

7 Lt. Calley’s Words “I think It’s a terrible thing when the Army calls it a crime when it just happens everyday.”

8 Lt. Calley’s Words “Even if the people say “Go wipe out South America,” the Army will do it. No questions about it. Majority rules, and if a majority tells me “Go across to South Vietnam,” I’m going to go. If amajority tells me, “Lieutenant, go and kill one thousand enemies,” I’ll go and kill one thousand enemies.”

9 Lt. Calley’s Words “We learned one thing at O.C.S that we had been taught through childhood was bad: killing.”

10 Lt. Calley’s Words I felt superior to these people. I thought, I’m the American from across the sea. I can really sock it to these people.”

11 Lt. Calley’s Words “You realize, Gee, I’ve got twenty people now. I’m going around at half strength. I say if a little pussy keeps my platoon together, a little pussy they’ve got.”

12 Lt. Calley’s Words “Even the President calls it a massacre. I lay there asking myself, My god, who are they talking about? I only know I went to Vietnam and I did my job there the best I could.”

13 Lt. Calley’s Words “I was sent to Vietnam with the absolute philosophy that the USA’s right. And there was no grey and white, no grey and beige, no green or other colors — there was just black and white, and I was sent to kill an enemy because his philosophy was wrong. I personally made noassault on anyone in Vietnam, personally. I represented my country, and I obeyed it.”

14 Lt. Calley’s Words “…but I’d like it if there was a revolution of thinking. I’d like all Americans to look at the blacks, the Jews, the Mongols — the rest of the world, and say, “Whenit comes down to living and dying, what in the hell do I have that’s better.””

15 Lt. Calley’s Words “The average guy in Miami, he doesn’t accept the Jews, he doesn’t accept the Negroes, he doesn’t accept anything but Christian and Caucasian.”

16 Lt. Calley’s Words “At last it dawned on me. These people, they’re all the VC…..I heard a brigadier general say, “MY god! There isn’t a Vietnamese in ths goddamn country. They are all VC!”

17 Lt. Calley’s Words “M.I. (Military Intelligence) and everyone was saying eliminate them. In Vietnam, I had never met anyone who didn’t say it.”

18 Lt. Calley’s Words “I got orders to Mylai on March 15. I know damned well, I did my duty there. The infantry’s duty: to find, to close with and to destroy the VC.”

19 4th Hague Convention Article 25. “…bombardment, by any means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended, is prohibited.”

20 napalm the aluminum salt or soap of a mixture of naphthenic and aliphatic carboxylic acids (organic acids of which the molecular structures contain rings and chains, respectively, of carbon atoms), used to thicken gasoline for use as an incendiary in flamethrowers and fire bombs. The thickened mixture, now also called napalm, burns more slowly and can be propelled more accurately and to greater distances than gasoline. It was developed by U.S. scientists during World War II.

21 Iwo Jima Meanwhile, a new tactic had been found for the bombing of Japan from bases in the Marianas. Instead of high-altitude strikes in daylight, which had failed to do much damage to the industrial centres attacked, low-level strikes at night, using napalm firebombs,were tried, with startling success. The first, in the night of March 9–10, 1945, against Tokyo, destroyed about 25 percent of the city's buildings (most of them flimsily built of wood and plaster), killed more than 80,000 people, and made 1,000,000 homeless. This result indicated that Japan might be defeated without a massive invasion by ground troops, and so similar bombing raids on such major cities as Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, and Toyama followed. Japan literally was being bombed out of the war.

22 Napalm in Vietnam

23 Napalm through the Ages In WWII, the US dropped 14,000 tons of napalm, mainly on Japan In Korea, the US dropped 32,000 tons of napalm In Vietnam, 373,000 tons of a new improved napalm In WWII, the US dropped 14,000 tons of napalm, mainly on Japan In Korea, the US dropped 32,000 tons of napalm In Vietnam, 373,000 tons of a new improved napalm

24 Napalm in Iraq American jets killed Iraqi troops with firebombs similar to the controversial napalm used in the Vietnam War in March and April as Marines battled toward Baghdad. Marine Corps fighter pilots and commanders who have returned from the war zone have confirmed dropping dozens of incendiary bombs near bridges over the Saddam Canal and the Tigris River. The explosions created massive fireballs.

25 Iraq (2) "We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches," said Col. James Alles in a recent interview. He commanded Marine Air Group 11, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, during the war. "Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video. "They were Iraqi soldiers there. It's no great way to die," he added. How many Iraqis died, the military couldn't say. No accurate count has been made of Iraqi war casualties. The bombing campaign helped clear the path for the Marines' race to Baghdad.

26 Iraq (3) During the war, Pentagon spokesmen disputed reports that napalm was being used, saying the Pentagon's stockpile had been destroyed two years ago. Apparently the spokesmen were drawing a distinction between the terms "firebomb" and "napalm." If reporters had asked about firebombs, officials said yesterday they would have confirmed their use. What the Marines dropped, the spokesmen said yesterday, were "Mark 77 firebombs." They acknowledged those are incendiary devices with a function "remarkably similar" to napalm weapons. Rather than using gasoline and benzene as the fuel, the firebombs use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene.


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