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View Diary: One DFH's Request Re: Iraq War Navel-Gazing (60 comments)

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  •  Colin Powell. Face to face with his "Profiles (10+ / 0-)

    in Courage" moment...

    knowing full well the right thing to do...

    was a good soldier instead; looked away and said "nah, never mind."

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:27:27 AM PDT

    •  It wasn't the first time. He issued a (8+ / 0-)

      whitewashing report early on about the My Lai massacre: "nothing to see here, no problems, carry on."

      Initial investigations of the Mỹ Lai operation were undertaken by the 11th Light Infantry Brigade's commanding officer, Colonel Henderson, under orders from the Americal Division's executive officer, Brigadier General George H. Young. Henderson interviewed several soldiers involved in the incident, then issued a written report in late April claiming that some 20 civilians were inadvertently killed during the operation. The Army at this time was still describing the event as a military victory that had resulted in the deaths of 128 enemy combatants.

      Six months later, Tom Glen, a 21-year-old soldier of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade, wrote a letter to General Creighton Abrams, the new overall commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, accusing the Americal Division (and other units of the U.S. military) of routine and pervasive brutality against Vietnamese civilians. The letter was detailed and its contents echoed complaints received from other soldiers.[citation needed]

      Colin Powell, then a 31-year-old Army major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference Mỹ Lai (Glen had limited knowledge of the events there). In his report, Powell wrote, "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal Division[33] soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Powell's handling of the assignment was later characterized by some observers as "whitewashing" the atrocities of Mỹ Lai.[34] In May 2004, Powell, then United States Secretary of State, told CNN's Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."[35]

      Lying, incompetent sack of shit, but an able water-carrier for his bosses.
      Owing to the chaotic circumstances and the Army's decision not to undertake a definitive body count, the number of civilians killed at Mỹ Lai cannot be stated with certainty. Estimates vary from source to source, with 347 and 504 being the most commonly cited figures. The memorial at the site of the massacre lists 504 names, with ages ranging from one to 82. A later investigation by the U.S. Army arrived at a lower figure of 347 deaths,[27] the official US estimate.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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