November 12 - 1969 - Seymour Hersh Reports on the My Lai Massacre
The My Lai Massacre was one of the worst atrocities ever committed by the United States Armed Forces. Yet despite the fact the killing of hundred of Vietnamese villagers had taken place in March of 1968, the public had no knowledge of the events until investigative reporter Seymour Hersh got a story about the massacre on the Associated Press. Hersh had been able to talk to William Calley, the leader of the platoon who actually committed the massacre. This busted the story into the open and made America realize how terrible the actions at My Lai were. While the soldiers were ostensibly rooting out the Viet Cong, Calley and his men treated everyone in the village as the enemy, burning their homes, committing sexual assault, and slaughtering everyone in sight, including children. Calley would be the only servicemember found guilty of war crimes in a court martial, but he would only serve three years of house arrest. Hugh Thompson, the helicopter pilot who had seen the massacre and alerted officials, would be alienated in th Army and not receive a commendation for thirty years.