William Calley (The My Lai Massacre)

This week, we cover one of the most shameful war crimes in American history–and the shockingly light sentence of the only man successfully convicted for it. What happens when business tactics are applied to warfare? Why did it take so long for William Calley’s crimes to come to light? And why did so many Americans, including the president, believe he was justified in murdering hundreds of civilians?

Content notes: This episode is about a war crime trial involving firing on unarmed civilians, mass murder including the murder of children, and sexual assault. We don’t go into gory details, but even a dry recounting of the facts may be distressing.

Featured image: The mug shot of Lt. William Calley Jr. (Image source)

There are photographs of the victims online during and after the massacre. They are important historical documents, but since the content is disturbing, I’ve decided not to post them here. You can find them at these links:

PFC Capezza setting a fire during the incident. This photograph was taken by Ronald Haberle, and was included in the Army review of the massacre. Capezza would go on to testify that he saw nothing unusual. (Image source)

SP4 Dustin setting fire to a house, also taken by Ronald Haberle. (Image source)

The Sơn Mỹ Memorial in Tịnh Khê, Vietnam. (Image source)

Sources

Donation links

As we mentioned on the show, we’re asking listeners to donate to bail funds and other community support organizations instead of donating to us this week. Here are some options for where to send money:

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