When The CIA Decides To Use “Assassination”

According to a report, Richard Nixon allegedly had a soft spot for American hit teams. But there was an effort to cut financing for civilian hit operations following the My Lai massacre, which had all the hallmarks of a Phoenix-style eradication. 

According to Seymour Hersh’s story, Nixon strongly disagreed. Nixon firmly said that more of that is necessary.  The funding for assassinations and killings was restored.

According to a report, in 1969, investigative writer Seymour Hersh uncovered the full breadth of the allegations brought upon First Lt. William L. Calley by the United States Army at My Lai in a report distributed by dozens of publications.

According to Hersh’s reporting, in March 1968, at a Viet Cong territory called Pinkville, Calley allegedly killed over 100 Vietnamese civilians conducting a seek-to-destroy mission.

In March of 1968, a tragedy occurred that came to be referred to as the My Lai Massacre. Company C, 1st Infantry Battalion, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, was responsible for the deaths of 200–500 innocent people in South Vietnam. U.S. troops, led by Calley’s first platoon, indiscriminately shot civilians fleeing from their homes during a sweep of the cluster of huts known as My Lai 4, and those who survived were purportedly walked to a ditch where they were ‘finished off.’

The 11th Infantry Brigade’s April 1968 inquiry found no massacre and recommended no further action. The Army Criminal Inquiry Division reopened the investigation after discovering the cover-up. Army Chief of Staff William C. Westmoreland also authorized Lt. Gen. William R. Peers to delve into the nature and extent of the initial inquiry to identify the cover-up. 

The report concluded that thirty individuals were involved in or aware of the crime but did nothing to stop it. Only 14 were arrested and charged. Except for one man named Calley, who was convicted guilty of killing 22 people and given a life sentence, all of the defendants ultimately had their charges dropped or were exonerated. Calley’s term was later reduced, however, and he was freed in 1974.