Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Daze, II: From Vietnam to Iraq

[Here for the first time in electronic form are the unabridged original dispatches by Seymour Hersh on the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam. The articles are relevant again in light of the revelations of the Marines massacre of twenty-four Iraqi civilians at Haditha last November (as detailed in today’s New York Times account) for several reasons, among them the parallels between the two massacres in terms of methods, motives and the U.S. military and government cover-up—until the press got a hold of the story. At My Lai as at Haditha, the killings were planned, deliberate and executed with leisurly cold-bloodedness. At My Lai as at Haditha, revenge was the motive. At My Lai as at Haditha, the military had the evidence early on, lied about it, covered it up, and, in the My Lai case, may have been involved in murdering a helicopter pilot who threatened to go public with the story. Hersh’s pieces were originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on November 13, 20 and 25, 1969. Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 “For his exclusive disclosure of the Vietnam War tragedy at the hamlet of My Lai.”—pt.]

An Atrocity Is Uncovered: The My Lai Massacre, March 1968
Seymour M. Hersh/St. Louis Post Dispatch