Thursday, 22 March 2018

TELEPHONE SCAM RE INCOME TAX DEMANDS                                                        

On March 22, 2018, I received a phone call in the form of a recording which said that it was Revenue Canada and that it was investigating me with respect to my taxes. I was told to immediately call the following number 1-613-927-9259. I investigated the number and it was listed to a firm called Fibernetics Corporation that is located in Athens, Ontario. I made the call and a recorded message stated that due to a telephone problem, my call couldn’t be completed at that time. Could it be that the number is no longer in use?

Like many Canadians, I periodically get these dumb scam calls from the allegedly Canada Revenue Enforcement Department. Both times I got the calls, I checked the different numbers and they traced back to Fibernetics Corporation in a different city. It uses a VOPE provider to make free long distance calls. Many businesses use that service.
Ithis phishing scam,  you might get a letteremail or phone call from someone claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency. They may say you are owed a refund so  they will ask you for your bank account number so they can put the money in your bank account. They may also alert you to an issue with your taxes (such as missing information or claims that you’re committing tax fraud). To collect your money or fix the problem, the scammer asks you to supply identification information, such as social insurance, credit card, bank account or passport numbers. In some cases, the fraudster will tell you that unless you pay a certain amount of money, you’ll be sent to jail.

  Some of these criminals ply the same scam for months if not years with zero enforcement authority.   The scary voicemails from 289-642-1566 and 613-927-9259 and other numbers order you to pay your tax that is outstanding (they will give you the amount) and they will give you an account number in which to pay the amount to with iTunes cards or other credit cards.  People have been complaining to the government about this scam  since early last year at least. And still nothing is done to stop the scam.

One complainant wrote in the internet the following; “Someone called from a number which turns out to be Fibernetics Corp in Acton, Ontario according to The person identified themselves as someone from Canada Revenue Agency and wanted me to call them up if I wanted to avoid legal issues.” 

Another person wrote; I received a taped telephone message supposedly from Revenue Canada stating my SIN number has been "red flagged" but giving no other info. I was to return the call as soon as possible. I then checked the number at and it turned out it belongs to a company called Fibernetics Corp in Hamilton. When I called the number, it was answered with a "Canada Revenue" greeting. When I asked why he was in Hamilton and not in Ottawa, I was disconnected.” 

Another potential victim said; “At 11:20 am today, November 16, 2017, I received a call from 289-608-8275 - a number attached to Fibernetics in Ajax-Pickering. I noted that there is a Fibernetics branch in Cambridge as well. When I answered the phone, there was no voice, no message, just a minute of dead air. This is not the first time I have received phone calls from this number. I received similar calls from a number attached to Fibernetics some months ago. Today, I called Fibernetics' Customer Relations number (866-973-4237) and was told that Fibernetics had not called me and that someone else must be using this number. Clearly, Fibernetics had no interest in my complaint. I was told to file a complaint with the CTRC or with the RCMP. I called the Anti-Fraud Centre (888-495-8501). After negotiating a long phone  delay, I reached a message that instructed me to file my complaint on line. When I returned to the Fibernetics webpage for nuisance calls, I noted the line, "We take matters of this nature very seriously." Given my experience with the Customer Relations Specialist at Fibernetics, I disagree.

Debra Crosbie said on March 15, 2018: “I have just got a call about a hour ago from 506 799 1062 . I called back and they said I owed money to the government and I was to call back or my attorney. I called back and a new person with an accent picked up phone. I then asked them what they wanted. They hung up. I then just received another phone call from 867 322 4426. I got message that I owed money from years gone by on income tax and to get in touch with them right away. No way, I am sick of this Bull Shit.”  

I am sharing this important information about this income tax scam making the rounds. Please be extra cautious if you receive mail, emails or phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Canadian Revenue Agency. hang up.

The Canada Revenue Agency never ever  contacts anyone by email or the phone. They will write you a letter first. Also, they NEVER ask for personal information over the phone and would never request your credit card number over the phone. If you give it to the scammer, then you have given your credit card information to a criminal.

Because this information I have placed in this article is important, I am going to publish it in my blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a month in hopes that as many Canadians who read my blog are forewarned of these kinds of scams.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

THE MY LAI MASSACRE                                                       

War is a tragedy which has never been in doubt. But one of the worst tragedies that occurred in Viet Nam during the war in that country which took place in the small hamlet of Son My Lai. I will refer to the hamlet (small village) as My Lai since that is what the Americans called it during the war.

Pham Thanh Cong doesn't remember much about the day his family was killed in front of him by the Americans in the My Lai massacre. He was only 11 then. He had blacked out after an American grenade hit the bunker in his hut that he and his family were hiding in.  

But in the five decades since the March 16th, 1968 massacre that left 504 villagers dead who were all unarmed women, older men, children and even babies.  Pham has dedicated his life to keeping alive the memory of one of the Vietnam war's worst atrocities.

He said in part, “I'm devoted to this to protect the memories of the massacre, to let people know about the brutality of the American army,” He told the AFP news agency this while speaking at the war memorial which he ran until his retirement last year.

But still, he dredges up memories of that dark day with some reluctance, admitting he's still haunted by the violence in My Lai hamlet, in which the Americans murdered so many of his neighbours, friends along with his mother, brother and sister.

He had huddled with them in a bunker (hole in the ground) in their home when American helicopters landed in nearby rice paddies in their village in central Vietnam, in which the Americans believed to be a hotbed of Viet Cong resistance.

Soldiers lobbed grenades at the family and shot at them with M-16s. He says he survived the grenade explosion and stayed in the bunker from 8 am until 4 pm, when his father wandered in into the hut and found him still alive.

Two years passed before the American public and the rest of the world learned about the My Lai massacre when they read the largest and best documented stories about several suspected mass killings by the US during the war.  The communist North reported the massacre much earlier in broadcasts which was dismissed by the American armed forces as Communist propaganda.

The massacre was uncovered in 1970 by an American investigative reporter whose name is Seymour Hersh His published story polarised public opinion and energised a mounting anti-war movement in the US. He received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. 

Today, Vietnam's surging young population ( in which about half of the country's 93 million people are under the age of 30) are mostly looking away from the war today, focusing  instead on getting good jobs, premier league football, or the latest mobile phone apps.

Others in Quang Ngai province are less willing to be drawn into any discussion about what happened in My Lai.  Some are bitter at how little their lives have improved since the end of the war that left an estimated three million Vietnamese dead.

Although paved roads and brick buildings have started to reshape parts of the province in recent years, some residents still struggle to eke out a meagre living from farming or fishing.

Despite their losses during the conflict, villagers who did not fight in the war are not entitled to official veterans' compensation from the government. We are just civilians so we must accept the losses of not having any support at all," said Truong Thi Hong, 76, whose mother and brother were killed during the war.

Vietnam's communist government is marking 50 years this year since the massacre in My Lai in 1968 with an official ceremony at the memorial site that Pham Thanh Cong used to run, where the names of 504 victims are etched into a stone wall.

Pham Thanh Cong dutifully recounts about what he remembered about the painful day as a matter of posterity, to ensure it never happens again.

Years ago, I purchased a book detailing the massacre.  Using that book and having gotten access to other sources, I will tell you what really happened in that small hamlet on March 16th, 1968. Be warned; the rest of this article is extremely graphic.

The Massacre at My Lai

I will begin by stating most emphatically that I'm not seeking to denigrate the average American soldier, but I think the time has come to remember events like the My Lai Massacre.

Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment11th Brigade23rd Infantry Division, arrived in South Vietnam in December 1967. Though their first three months in Vietnam passed without any direct contact with North Vietnamese-backed forces, however, by mid-March the company had suffered 28 casualties involving mines or booby-traps.

During the Tet Offensive by the Viet Cong on January 1968, attacks were carried out in Qung Ngãi by the 48th Local Force Battalion of the National Liberation Front (NLF), commonly referred to by the U.S. Army as the Viet Cong. U.S. military intelligence wrongly assumed that the 48th NLF Battalion, having retreated and dispersed, was taking refuge in the village of My Lai in Qung Ngãi Province. A number of specific hamlets within that village w ere suspected of harboring Viet Cong soldiers of the 48th NFL Battalion. As it turned out, there were none of those soldiers in My Lai. The intelligence they received was faulty at best.  Everyone can see the same objects at the same time but don`t always seem them as they really are.

In February and March 1968, the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was aggressively trying to regain the strategic initiative in South Vietnam after the Tet Offensive, and the search-and-destroy operation against the Viet Cong 48th NLF Battalion thought to be located in Sơn M area became a small part of America's armed forces grand strategy. Task Force Barker a battalion-sized ad hoc unit of the 11th Brigade, was to be employed for the job. It was formed in January 1968, composed of three rifle companies of the 11th Brigade, including Company C from the 20th Infantry, led by Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Barker. The Son M area was included in the area of operations of Task Force Barker that was then codenamed Muscatine (from Muscatine County) in Iowa was the home county of the 23rd Division's commander, Major General Samuel W. Koster

In February 1968, Task Force Barker had already tried to secure the Sơn M area but it was with only limited success. After that, the village area began to be called Pinkville (Communists were always referred to by Americans as Pinkos) by Task Force Barker troops. The men of Charlie Company had suffered 28 casualties since their arrival and just two days before the massacre, the company had lost a popular sergeant to a land mine.

In the United States Armyinfantry companies are usually made up of three rifle platoons and a heavy weapons platoon. The companies generally have anywhere between 80 and 150 soldiers.  

On 16–18 March, Task Force Barker planned to engage and destroy the remnants of the 48th Viet Cong NLF Battalion that was believed to be hiding in the Sơn M village area. Before engagement was to begin, Colonel Oran Henderson, the 11th Brigade commander, urged his officers to "go in there aggressively, close with the enemy and wipe them out for good.” He was speaking about Viet Cong soldiers.  The army never thought of the unarmed civilians as the enemy.

Now anyone getting an order such as that one would have to presume that the order was to kill all the Vietnam Cong soldiers and not take any of them as prisoners. Such an order is contrary to the laws of warfare if they surrendered.

On the eve of the attack, at the Charlie Company briefing, Captain Ernest Medina told his men that nearly all the civilian residents of the hamlets in Sơn M area would have left for the market by seven in the morning, and that any who remained would be NLF soldiers or NLF sympathizers. He was asked whether the order included the killing of women and children. Those present later gave differing accounts of Medina's response. Some, including platoon leaders, testified that the orders, as they understood them, were to kill all guerrilla and North Vietnamese combatants and "suspects" (including women and children, as well as all animals), and to burn the village, and pollute the wells. 

He was quoted as saying, "They're all VC, now go and get them", and was heard to reply to the question "Who is my enemy?",Medina replied, “Anybody that was running from us, hiding from us, or appeared to be the enemy. If a man was running, shoot him, sometimes even if a woman with a rifle was running, shoot her.”

I have no problem with the order about shooting a woman who is carrying a rifle in the battle zone but I have concerns about shooting a man running away who may simply be a farmer and not an enemy soldier.

Barker reportedly ordered the 1st Battalion commanders to burn the houses, kill the livestock, destroy food supplies, and destroy the wells. That is a legitimate order since he didn’t want the Cong soldiers using the hamlets as a staging location.

On the Saturday morning of the 16th March at 07:30 a.m., nine troop-transport helicopters, accompanied by two gunships, began ferrying the men of Charlie Company from their assembly point, at Landing Zone Dottie. From Dottie, which also was the site of the task-force headquarters area, the helicopters ferried the men about seven miles southeast to their target area, just outside My Lai. The helicopters completed that task by 7:47 

At that same time, hundreds of villagers were about to enjoy a simple breakfast outside their bamboo huts when a flotilla of U.S. helicopters came whirring low overhead, the draught from their giant propellers flattening the tall, yellow grass.

Around 100 soldiers from Charlie Company led by Captain Ernest Medina, following a short artillery and helicopter gunship barrage, landed in helicopters at Sơn M area that was a patchwork of settlements, rice paddies, irrigation ditches, dikes, and dirt roads, connecting an assortment of hamlets and sub-hamlets. The largest among them were the hamlets M Lai, C Lũy, M Khê, and Tu Cung.

Most of the old men and young mothers tending their babies and their children, didn't bother to run away  since they thought they had nothing to fear as the Americans routinely swept the countryside hunting the communist Viet Cong guerillas, 'the VC' in U.S. military parlance.

According to the operational plan, 1st Platoon led by Second Lieutenant William Calley and  2nd  Platoon led by Second Lieutenant Stephen Brooks entered the hamlet of Tu Cung in line formation at 08:00 am  while the 3rd Platoon commanded by second lieutenant Jeffrey Lacross while Captain Medina's command post remained outside. On approaching the hamlets, both platoons fired at people they saw in the rice fields and in the brush.

The villagers, were getting ready for a market day, so at first they did not panic or run away when they saw the oncoming American soldiers.  They were herded into the hamlet's commons. (an open area where people gather)

With his bayonet fixed, second lieutenant Calley, the young platoon leader instructed his men to round up everyone, regardless of their age or sex, and herd them into a partially filled, 5-foot-deep irrigation ditch. "Take care of these people!" he barked. He yelled that statement so that his victims would follow the instructions meekly.

Those five words lit the fuse for a massacre. If there was any ambiguity in their meaning, the platoon leader removed it by bludgeoning an old man into the ditch with his rifle-butt, then machine-gunning him and at least 21 others as they cowered beside the dead old man.

Harry Stanley, a machine gunner from Charlie Company, said during the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division inquiry that the killings started without warning. He first observed a member of 1st Platoon kill a Vietnamese man with a bayonet. Then, the same trooper pushed another villager into a well and threw a grenade in the well. Next, he saw fifteen or twenty people, mainly women and children, kneeling around a temple with burning incense. They were praying and crying. They were all killed by shots in the head.

Most of the killings occurred in the southern part of Tu Cung, a sub-hamlet of Xom Lang, which was a home to 700 residents. Xom Lang was erroneously marked on the U.S. military operational maps of Qung Ngãi Province as M Lai. Despite the fact that the proper name of the hamlet is Xom Lang I will still referred to it as My Lai since it is commonly known by that name.

A large group of approximately 70–80 villagers was rounded up by 1st Platoon in My Lai, and then led to an irrigation ditch to the east of the settlement. All of the detainees were pushed into the ditch and then shot after repeated orders issued by Lieutenant Calley, who was also shooting his victims in the ditch.

PFC Paul Meadlo later testified that he expended several M16 magazines. He recollected that women were allegedly saying "No VC" and were trying to shield their children. He remembered that he was shooting into women with babies in their hands since he was convinced at that time that they were all booby-trapped with grenades and were poised to attack the American soldiers.  

Did he really think that the women who were carrying their babies in their arms or on their backs were really going to blow themselves up along with their babies? If that was so, then why didn’t they do it while they were being led towards the ditch by this psychopath and other similar psychopathic soldiers who later shot the women and their babies to death?

I have no problem calling these thugs psychopaths since a psychopath is someone who has no respect for the lives of humans in general. Mass and serial killers are psychopaths. 

On another occasion during the security sweep of My Lai, Meadlo again fired into the unarmed civilians side-by-side with Lieutenant Calley who is another psychopath.

PFC Dennis Konti, a witness for the prosecution,] told of one especially gruesome episode during the shooting.  He said, “A lot of women had thrown themselves on top of their children to protect them. Then, the children who were old enough to walk got up and that was when Calley began shooting those children.”

Other 1st Platoon members testified that many of the deaths of individual Vietnamese men, women and children occurred inside M Lai during the security sweep. Livestock were shot as well.

PFC Michael Bernhardt entered the sub-hamlet My Lai, while the massacre was underway. He said, “I walked up and saw these guys doing strange things such as Setting fire to the hootches  (huts) and waiting for people to come out and then shooting them,  going into the hootches and shooting them up and gathering people in groups and shooting them. As I walked in you could see piles (groups) of (people all through the village all over. They were gathered up into large groups. I saw a soldiers shoot an M79 [grenade launcher] into a group of people who were still alive. But it (the killing) was mostly done with a machine gun. They were shooting women and children just like anybody else. We met no resistance and I only saw three captured weapons. We had no casualties. It was just like any other Vietnamese village such as old papa-sans, (elderly Vietnamese men), women and kids. As a matter of fact, I don't remember seeing one military-age male in the entire place, dead or alive.”

One group of 20–50 villagers was herded south of the hamlet and killed on a dirt road. According to Ronald Haeberle's eyewitness account of the massacre.  He said,  “In one instance, there were some South Vietnamese people, maybe fifteen of them, women and children included, walking on a dirt road maybe 100 yards (90 metres) away. All of a sudden the GIs just opened up with M16s. Besides the M16 fire, they were shooting at the people with M79 grenade launchers.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.”

Lieutenant Calley later testified that he heard the shooting and arrived on the scene. He observed his men firing into a ditch with Vietnamese people inside and he then started shooting, with an M16, from a distance of five feet.

Then, a helicopter landed on the other side of the ditch and a pilot asked Calley if he could provide any medical assistance to the wounded civilians in M Lai; Calley admitted replying that a hand grenade was the only available means that he had for their evacuation. After that, around 11:00, Captain Medina radioed to cease fire and the 1st Platoon took a lunch break.

Members of  the 2nd  platoon killed at least 60–70 Vietnamese, as they swept through the northern half of M Lai and through Binh Tay, another small sub-hamlet about 400 metres (1,300 ft) north of M Lai.  The platoon suffered one dead and seven wounded by mines and booby traps. After the initial sweeps by the 1st and 2nd platoons, 3rd Platoon was dispatched to deal with any remaining resistance. The 3rd platoon, which stayed in reserve, also reportedly rounded up and killed a group of seven to twelve women and children.

Since Charlie Company had not met any enemy opposition at M Lai and did not request back-up, Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of Task Force Barker was transported by air between 08:15 and 08:30 3 km (2 mi) away. It attacked the sub-hamlet My Hoi of the hamlet known as C Lũy, which was mapped by the Army as M Khê. During this operation, between 60 and 155 people, including women, children and babies were also killed.

Over the next day, both companies were involved in additional burning and destruction of dwellings, as well as mistreatment of Vietnamese detainees. While some soldiers of Charlie Company did not participate in the crimes, they neither openly protested nor complained later to their superiors as to what they had seen.

William Thomas Allison, a professor of Military History at Georgia Southern University, wrote, “By midmorning, members of Charlie Company had killed hundreds of civilians and raped or sexually assaulted countless women and young girls. They encountered no enemy fire and found no weapons in My Lai itself.”  I will add that those crimes are considered as war crimes. 

Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., a helicopter pilot from Company B (Aero-Scouts), 123rd Aviation Battalion, Americal Division, saw dead and wounded civilians as he was flying over the village of Sơn Mỹ Lai providing close-air support for ground forces. The crew made several attempts to radio for help for the wounded. They landed their helicopter by a ditch, which they noted was full of bodies and in which there was some form of movement. Thompson asked a sergeant he encountered there (David Mitchell of the 1st Platoon) if he could help get the people out of the ditch, and the sergeant replied that he would "help them out of their misery". Thompson, shocked and confused, then spoke with Calley, who claimed to be "just following orders". As the helicopter took off, Thompson saw Sgt. Mitchell firing his rifle into the ditch. (Sgt. Mitchell, 29, was later charged with assault with intent to murder. He was acquitted at his trial)

Thompson and his crew witnessed an unarmed woman being kicked and shot at point-blank range by Captain Medina, who later claimed that he thought she had a hand grenade.  Thompson then saw a group of civilians (again consisting of children, women, and old men) at a bunker being approached by ground personnel. Thompson landed and told his crew that if the soldiers shot at the Vietnamese while he was trying to get them out of the bunker that they were to open fire on those soldiers.

Thompson later testified that he spoke with a lieutenant (identified as Stephen Brooks of 2nd Platoon) and told him there were women and children in the bunker, and asked if the lieutenant would help get them out. According to Thompson, "He (the lieutenant) said the only way to get them out was with a hand grenade". Thompson testified that he then told Brooks to "just hold your men right where they are, and I'll get the kids out". He found 12–16 people in the bunker, coaxed them out and led them to the helicopter, standing with them with his gun at the ready while the citizens were flown out in two groups.

Returning to M Lai, Thompson and other air crew members noticed several large groups of bodies on the ground.  Spotting some survivors moving about in the ditch, Thompson landed again. A crew member, Glenn Andreotta entered the ditch and returned with a bloodied, but apparently unharmed child who was flown to safety. The child thought to be a boy later turned out to be a four-year-old girl. Thompson then reported what he had seen to his company commander, Major Frederic W. Watke, using terms such as "murder" and "needless and unnecessary killings". Thompson's statements were confirmed by other helicopter pilots and air crew members.

Larry Colburn, who became an 18-year-old American hero when he intervened with two comrades to halt the massacre of unarmed Vietnamese civilians by United States soldiers in 1968, elevating an innocuous hamlet named My Lai into a watchword for the horrors of war, later died at his home in Canton, Georgia.  He was 67. Mr. Colburn was the last surviving member of a three-man helicopter crew that was assigned to hover over My Lai on Saturday morning, March 16, 1968, to identify enemy positions by drawing Vietcong fire.  Instead, he and the men encountered an eerie quiet and a macabre landscape of dead, wounded and weaponless women and children as a platoon of American soldiers, ostensibly hunting elusive Vietcong guerrillas, marauded among defenseless noncombatants and killing them.

“Mr. Thompson was just beside himself,” Mr. Colburn recalled in an interview in 2010 for the PBS program “The American Experience.” “He got on the radio and just said, ‘This isn’t right, these are civilians, there’s people killing civilians down here.’ And that’s when he decided to intervene. He said, ‘We’ve got to do something about this, are you with me?’ And we said, ‘Yes.”

Mr. Thompson confronted the officer in command of the rampaging platoon, Lt. William L. Calley, but was rebuffed. He then positioned the helicopter between the troops and the surviving villagers and faced off against another lieutenant. Mr. Thompson ordered Mr. Colburn to fire his M-60 machine gun at any soldiers who tried to inflict further harm to the civilians.

“Y’all cover me!” Mr. Thompson was quoted as saying. “If these bastards open up on me or these people, you open up on them. Promise me!”

“You got it boss,” Mr. Colburn replied. “Consider it done.”

Mr. Thompson, Mr. Colburn and Glenn Andreotta, the copter’s crew chief, found about 10 villagers cowering in a makeshift bomb shelter and coaxed them out, then had them flown to safety by two Huey gunships. They found an 8-year-old boy clinging to his mother’s corpse in an irrigation ditch and plucked him by the back of his shirt and delivered him to a nun in a nearby hospital.

Over the next five hours babies were bayonetted, teenage girls were raped or forced to their knees to perform sex acts (oral sex) before being mutilated and killed while all the time their watching parents and grandparents were summarily shot as they begged for mercy—that wasn’t forthcoming from the psychopathic soldiers who slaughtered their victims. The youngest was just one year old and the oldest being 82.

Mr. Thompson reported what they had witnessed to headquarters, which then ordered an immediate  cease-fire. By then, as many as 504 villagers had been murdered by Calley and his fellow psychopathic goons.


For the actions at My Lai, Thompson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and his crew members Glenn Andreotta and Lawrence Colburn were awarded Bronze Star medals. Glenn Andreotta was awarded his medal posthumously, as he was killed in Vietnam on the 8th of April 1968. As the DFC citation included a fabricated account of rescuing a young girl from My Lai from "intense crossfire" Thompson threw his medal away. He later received a Purple Heart medal for other services in Vietnam.

In March 1998, the helicopter crew's medals were replaced by the Soldier's Medal, "the highest the U.S. Army can award for bravery not involving direct conflict with the enemy". The medal citations state they were "for heroism above and beyond the call of duty while saving the lives of at least ten Vietnamese civilians during the unlawful massacre of non-combatants by American forces at My Lai"

Thompson initially refused the medal when the U.S. Army wanted to award it quietly. He demanded it be done publicly and that his crew also be honored in the same way. They were subsequently awarded the medals in Washington. Those three magnificent veterans later contacted the survivors of M Lai.

One thing, however, is certain. March 16, 1968, is the most infamous date in the history of  the U.S. military. It is a day that far overshadows the brutality at Abu Ghraib prison and the killing of 24 civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha in western Iraq. With lasting shame, it is remembered as The My Lai Massacre. It brought shame to all of the United States.  However, even more shame was going to hit the decent citizens of the US.

Speaking in a soft, sometimes labored voice, the only U.S. Army officer convicted in the 1968 slayings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group of people near the military base where he was court-martialed. Calley, 66, was a young Army lieutenant when a court-martial at nearby Fort Benning convicted him of murder in 1971 for killing 22 civilians during the infamous massacre of 504 men, old men, women and children in Vietnam.

William George Eckhardt, the chief prosecutor in the My Lai cases, said that he was unaware of Calley ever apologizing before. Eckhardt said that when he first heard Calley’s apology, "I just sort of cringed.´

Though Calley was sentenced to life in prison, he ended up serving only three years under house arrest after President Richard Nixon later reduced his sentence and pardoned him.

After his release, Calley stayed in Columbus and settled into a job at a jewelry store owned by his father-in-law before he moved to Atlanta a few years later. He shied away from publicity and routinely turned down journalists' requests for interviews about My Lai.

Calley eventually broke his long silence after accepting a longtime friend's invitation to speak at a meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus.

Wearing thick glasses and a blue blazer, he spoke softly into a microphone answering questions for a half-hour from about 50 Kiwanis members gathered for their weekly luncheon in a church meeting room.

When asked if he broke the law by obeying an unlawful order, the newspaper reported that Calley replied with these words. "I believe that is true. If you are asking why I did not stand up to them when I was given the orders, I will have to say that I was a second lieutenant getting orders from my commander and I followed them — foolishly, I guess,"

He actually enjoyed himself being an executioner of innocent human beings. If he had a conscious, he would have disobeyed those orders. But then, since when does a psychopath have a conscious? 

I will address this question to the Americans. If you were a member of the reserves and you were called to a town to keep order and the officer in charge told you to round up the citizens of that town and shoot every one of them dead, would you obey that order?

I have lived and worked in the United States and I have also travelled in many of the various states in the US and I don’t think the vast majority of its people are psychopaths like that creep Calley and the others of his ilk who also murdered the unarmed peasants in My Lai. In my opinion from my experience having been in being in the United States, the vast majority of  Americans would not obey such an order.

General Samuel W. Koster was the commanding general of the Americal Division at the time of the My Lai massacre. Later, Koster had become Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, at West Point, and the filing of charges against him stunned the Army. One other general was charged, as were three colonels, two lieutenant colonels, three majors, and four captains. Army officials revealed shortly after the charges were filed that the Peers commission had accumulated more than twenty thousand pages of testimony and more than five hundred documents during fifteen weeks of operation.

A careful examination of the testimony and documents accumulated by the Peers Commission makes it equally clear that military officials had deliberately withheld from the public important but embarrassing factual information about the My Lai massacre. For example, the Army had steadfastly refused to reveal how many civilians were killed by Charlie Company on March 16th—a decision that no longer has anything to do with pre-trial publicity, since the last court-martial (that of Colonel Oran Henderson).

Eleven other men and officers were eventually charged with murder, maiming, or assault with intent to commit murder, but the charges were dropped before trial in seven cases and four men were acquitted after military courts-martial. That doesn’t say much for Justice in the United States.

Every armed forces world-wide has its psychopaths as its members. The trouble is they are not discovered until they commit what is commonly referred to as a war crime.

In 2012, a United States Army sergeant had been accused of methodically killing at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children, in a rural stretch of southern Afghanistan. Officials say he had been drinking alcohol — a violation of military rules in combat zones. He would be in murderer’s heaven if he was in My Lai with Calley by his side. General Moreland was just as guilty as Calley. His orders were to kill as many Vietnamese  persons as possible.

Interviewed at his home by a Cleveland newspaper, Michael Terry, then 22, of Orem, Utah, a former member of Medina's C platoon, and later a sophomore at Brigham Young University, said he, too, came upon the scene moments after the carnage began. He said, "They just marched through shooting everybody. Seems hat no one said anything. They just started pulling people out and shooting them.” At one point, he said, that about 20 to 30 villagers were lined up in front of a ditch and shot. "They had them in a group standing over a ditch-just like a Nazi-type thing-one officer ordered a kid to machine gun everybody down, but the kid just couldn't do it. He threw the machine gun down and the officer (Calley) picked it up.”

Terry said, “"I don’t remember seeing any men in the ditch. They were mostly women and kids." Later, Terry said he noticed that some of them were still breathing. “They were pretty badly shot up. They weren't going to get any medical help, and so we shot them. Shot maybe five of them."  Did he shoot them so that they wouldn’t suffer anymore from their wounds?

Terry asked a rhetorical question, “Why did it happen? I think that probably the officers did not really know if they were ordered to kill the villagers or not. A lot of guys feel that they (the South Vietnamese civilians) aren't human beings we just treated them like animals.” Those were the words of a psychopath.

Bernhardt, Terry and many others contributed information contained in a three-page letter that a former GI, Ronald Ridenhour, (who did not participate in the shootings) sent in late March 1969 to the Army and 30 other officials -including many senators -outlining details of the Pinkville incident as he understood them. It was Ridenhour's persistence that prompted the Army to begin its high-level investigation.

Bernhardt said that roughly 90% of the 60 to 70 men in the shorthanded company were involved in the shootings. He took no part.  He said. “I only shoot at people who shoot at me.”

"The Army ordered me not to talk," Bernhardt said. "But there are some orders that I have to personally decide whether to obey I have my own conscience to consider.”

On August 31, 1969, rapes were committed in Vietnam. Maybe numerous rapes were committed there that day, but this was a rare example of some involving American GIs that actually made its way into the military justice system.

The truth is, we don’t really know the full story of that war’s obscenity when it comes to the American involvement in Viet Nam. The American crimes  have been sanitized and swapped out for tales of combat horror or realistic accounts of the war in the boonies that focus on repulsive realities like soldiers stepping on shit-smeared punji sticks, suffering from crotch rot, or keeling over from dehydration. Such accounts, we’ve been assured, offer a more honest depiction of the horrors of war and the men who nobly bore them.

As the narrator of Tim O’Brien’s How to Tell a True War Story  puts it:

“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.”

Calley and some of the others who committed those crimes in My Lai should have been hanged. Alas, Americans who believe in mercy; sometimes don’t know who not to offer it to.