Flashcards in My Lai and War Crimes Deck (52):
What is My Lai?
A Hamlet in the Quang Ngai province of South Vietnam
What kind of village was My Lai labeled as?
Had C Company been to My Lai before?
After C Company's first visit to My Lai, how was it labeled?
What had the province of Quang Ngai been labeled as?
a free fire zone
What did it mean for Quang Ngai to be a free fire zone?
US does not need to coordinate with ARVN to fire at them
What usually happens in a non free fire zone with US and ARVN?
Usually ARVN would report back after asking for fire if we want permission to fire
What US group attacked My Lai?
C (Charlie Company)
Who was captain of C Company?
Who was field commander of C Company?
Lt. William Calley
How does Medina begin his plan to attack My Lai?
He gives order to Calley to destroy the enemy.
What did destroying the enemy mean to Calley?
To destroy everything that we assume can shoot a gun.
How did the actual attack begin?
Calley went into the village with a group of men and started shooting.
Why did Calley start shooting immediately at the residents of My Lai?
it was in a free-fire zone
When Calley comes in with a gun, what do the people of My Lai start doing?
Villagers start to run away and scatter
Why did the My Lai villagers scatter when they saw Calley shooting?
So not all of them get killed at once and there is more searching to the mission for Calley's men.
Where did most of the villagers run to?
When we saw them enter the jungle, what did we think they were doing?
getting guns to counterattack us
What happened after Calley's first group walked in?
C Company lands
When C Company lands, what happens next?
They enter My Lai, round up the villagers who are hiding in their homes.
When the Vietnamese do not come out from their homes, what does C Company think?
They could have a bomb shelter, VC or guns and food in an area.
After not getting those in their homes to get out, what did C Company do?
They shoot around to try to find what is inside
What are the reasons why we destroyed My Lau
-VC have been using it for cover
-we have lost many men here
-we are frustrated
After a few threat shots, what do we start to do?
We burn the roofs and all of their belongings that are reachable. We also shot their animals.
Why did we shoot all of My Lai's animals?
So enemy cannot use them for food or doing tasks.
After burning stuff and killing animals, what is next?
We round up the villagers and tell them we are the VC.
Are the VC hidden in My Lai?
Why did we tell them we are the VC?
People are not cooperating with them and not telling them because they are counting on us not killing them
Why do we want to kill everyone at My Lai?
There are VC hidden there and so if they support the VC, then they are the enemy.
When we tell them about the VC, what do they do?
They get out of their houses.
After they leave their homes, what do we do?
The villagers are shot, we kill all ages, women, as we are shooting.
What are the two methods of us killing them?
1. Rounding groups up and killing groups.
2. Some are running away and we kill them on the run.
After the attack is done, how do the VC respond?
They put out propaganda saying that Calley had to write a report of body count.
How many people were recorded dead at My Lai?
How do people respond to the VC's propaganda accusations?
People talk to C Company to investigate and question the issue.
What does Calley receive for his actions at My Lai from the American people?
Who was Ridenhour?
He was a Vietnam Veteran that was not at My Lai, but had friends that wrote to him about it.
Why did Ridenhour's friends write to him about My Lai?
They felt guilty about it and how it was unfair for the innocent.
What did Ridenhour do with all the information in the letters he got?
He put evidence together and sends it into Nixon and Congress.
What happens as a result of Ridenhour's letters to the government?
They do a second investigation of Calley and they question Calley again.
After questioning Calley again, what happens?
He gets charged with 109 counts of murder.
How many of the 109 murders is Calley convicted guilty of?
What was his initial jail sentence?
What was his sentence changed to?
How much of the 3 years does Calley actually serve?
Only 9 months of house arrest.
Why were all of Calley's sentences reduced?
He claimed that he was not thinking of men women and kids and seniors when he had to "destroy the enemy."
What are characteristics of a war crime?
-Physical or psychological
What was the reading about War Crimes and the identity conflicts they create?
"No Crime is a Crime During War"
Did American support the limit on Calley's sentences?
They supported them, but noticed the US's conscience was dead.
What did My Lai become a debate about?
Is it a war crime or not?
How was the American conscience dead in Vietnam?
We could not figure out what to do with right vs. wrong.