Talk:William Calley

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This is just a small question of accuracy. Near the beginning of the article it says Calley was in basic training at Fort Bliss for 45 weeks. Is that true? My basic in 1968 was 8 weeks.

simple english[edit]

I think this should be added at the top summary:

Calley only spent 3 days incarcerated, he was the only person convicted of killing 507 people, amongst them 107 kids, 70 babies and 60 geriatrics.

would that be a fair summary? To me the word-rich article reads like typical legasleeze of the empire. I thought wikipedia would be able to name names and call things as they are.Nhzzs (talk) 15:34, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I think the article already makes the point. Adding your statement would be overkill, if you'll pardon the pun. Eastcote (talk) 16:02, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Early discussions[edit]

"Many told Army investigators he lacked common sense and couldn't even read a map or compass properly. Calley's men admitted he was so disliked some even thought of "fragging" him." While these may be true, where are the sources for this?--Tarpy 17:42, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The only light I can shed on this is that Ron Ridenhour, who brought the massacre to the attention of America, said, in 1994, at a University of Tulane conference, that, after talking to men in Calley's platoon, he found Calley was "just loathed," and thought of as "incompetent and a whole lot of other things." This information is available from the University of Missouri-Kansas City website on My Lai (see URL below). It also has this from a biographical entry on Calley: Calley did not command nearly so much respect from his subordinates or superiors in the military. Very few of the people who worked with him on a regular basis liked him. Captain Medina would often address him as “Lieutenant Shithead” in front of his men and rebuff him when addressed by him with a sarcastic, “Listen Sweetheart...” This had an obvious discrediting effect with his soldiers. The opinion of him in his platoon was “universally hostile.” One GI described him as “a glory-hungry person...the kind of person who would have sacrificed all of us for his own personal advancement.” Others called him “nervous, excitable type who yelled a lot” and “incompetent.” Another GI said of Calley, there was “something about him that rubbed people the wrong way.” It was even said that “Calley was so disliked by members of the unit that they put a bounty on his head. None of the men had any respect for him as a military leader.” This information is not footnoted so I do not exactly know the sources of the quotes. The URL of the Ron Ridenhour remarks is The URL of the Calley bio is Ivan Coates 23:37, 20 May 2007.

The article alternatively specifies Americal Division and American Division. Which one is right? --Stephan Schulz 13:16, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It is the Americal Division. 02:19, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I did some serious neutrality editing. I especially feel that the language about incidents like this and arial bombing was unnecessary. Given the amount of people that died in this war, casualties as a result of isolated incidents like this one are relatively insignificant in number, especially when compared to the amount of people that died as a result of bombing. Note that I do not say that the casualties themselves are insignificant. They are just numerically insignificant. Further, the comment was obviously intended to insinuate that Americans were responsible for the vast majority of those incidents, while the North Vietnamese were responsible for a huge number of civilian casualties, particularly in areas where the Americans were popular. Finally, it just had no place in an article about William Calley.

Jrkarp 01:46, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This article is discrepant from the one on My Lai massacre in a number of details.Actio 03:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

For the sake of argument, also, here are a couple of quotes from Calley from Lieutenant Calley: His Own Story, as told to John Sack (New York: The Viking Press, 1971) As for me, killing those men in Mylai {he is referring to 2 men inside a house, not the masacre, whcih occurred later] didn't haunt me.....We weren't ii Mylai to kill human beings, really. W were there to kill ideology that is carried by—ˆ don't know. Pawns. Blobs. Pieces of flesh, and I wasn't in Mylai to destroy intelligent men. I was there to destroy an intangible idea. To destroy communism.... I looked at communism as a Southerner looks at a Negro, supposedly. It's evil. It's bad." (pp 104-105)

"And babies. On babies everyone's really hung up. 'But babies! The little innocent babies!' of course, we've been in Vietnam for ten years now. if we're in Vietnam another ten, if your son is killed by those babies you'll cry at me, 'Why didn't you kill those babies that day?' ..... We stopped the peoples and one of the GIs asked, 'What are we to do with them?' I said, 'Well, everything is to be killed—'" (pp. 102-103) Actio 03:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Need to reconcile 2 versions:

Did Calley actually serve any prison time? (More than a couple of days, I mean)

nope - but its usefull re the ICC to bring up how he was treated!—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 07:41, 5 September 2002.

How so? You don't really think the U.S. Government, either with a Dem or Rep President, is ever going to allow an American soldier to stand trial at the ICC, do you? 09:29, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

American Army Lt. William Calley was convicted in 1971 of premeditated murder in ordering the shootings and initially sentenced to life in prison, but 2 days later, President Richard Nixon ordered him released from prison. Calley served 3 1/2 years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning, Georgia and was then ordered freed by a federal judge.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:08, 5 September 2002.

Convicted of murder for his role in the March 1968 My Lai massacre. Calley ordered the men of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, American Division to shoot everyone in the village. He, himself, rounded up a group of villagers, ordered them into a ditch, and then mowed them down with machine gun fire. Sentenced to life in prison, Calley was seen as a scapegoat for the Army's failure to instill morale and discipline in its troops. Upon appeal, his sentence was reduced and he was eventually released from prison in 1974.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:08, 5 September 2002.

Where is he now?[edit]

What did he do after the war, and where is he now? A2Kafir 03:52, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

[inappropriate comment deleted] Ahem.JF Mephisto 10:55, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

If I had enough power, I would like to reopen his case.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:54, 5 June 2006.

No one can. Double jeopardy. 09:29, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I am not smart enough to make editorial changes to this article but I think the following things should be addressed in greater depth:1) the allegations that Lt. Calley was following orders from either Captain Medina or even superiors further up the chain of the command. 2) The fact that many officers were charged (although, I don't think convicted) of covering up the massacre. 3) The bizzare cultural-hero status that Lt. Calley attained by a significant numbers of both supporters and non-supporters of the Vietnam war. (As evidenced by "Free Lt. Calley" bumper stickers and posters, along with a hit country ballad concerning Lt. Calley. I think MAD Magazine even had a cartoon picture of Lt. Calley on the cover with the phrase "Me lie?") Thank you for your consideration. User name Rikray —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rikray (talkcontribs) 06:15, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

You are certainly "smart enough" to make editorial changes to this article, it is a dynamic, public resource intended for just that purpose. If you want to add that information, go ahead, just bv sure and keep it in a neutral point of view Nar Matteru (talk) 01:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


This article, especially the background, really needs to be cleaned up. The entry is essentially nothing but a smear attack that serves no purpose. The article's main reason for existing is his role in the My Lai massacre. There is no need to make (uncited) speculation about his life prior to My Lai. Talk about somebody having an axe to grind.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:58, 6 May 2006.

Regarding the background information, while it certainly ought to be cited, I believe a person's history has a great deal of importance in influencing their behavior. This makes the background extremely relevant information, as it allows for speculation as to what potential changes in his psychology may have influenced the decisions that he made at My Lai. However, I think it's unfair to assume that because one considers these things that one has "an axe to grind."
-John Philippi, Thursday, 2006-08-24 T05:09 UTC—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 05:42, 24 August 2006.

"Normal background"? What is that? Is someone going to NPOV this article? --Jickyincognito 23:35, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Why was he made an officer?[edit]

How could a guy who failed out of junior college become an officer? The Army must have been pretty hard up for officers that they were plucking draftees fresh out of basic and sending them to OCS. This makes no sense to me, surely there were enlisted men more qualified than him who could have been sent for officer's training. Obviously, "My Lai" is what happens when the military lowers its standards. Draftees being commanded by a college dropout.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 04:23, 11 June 2006.

So you are saying only people who can stay in junior college should be officers? That is about the stupidest logic I have ever heard of. My lai is not what happens when the military lowers standards. My lai is what happens when wars are fought by politicians instead of the military. Why don't you go to the Robert McNamara page and make your comments? He and Johnson are the ones to blame for the whole mess.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 00:03, 23 August 2006.

Uhhh, yes I believe that an officer should at least be able to get through junior college, and why is that illogical?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:29, 22 October 2006.

An Officer is first and foremost a LEADER. To say that My Lai was caused by politicians is preposterous. Officers are decision makers, and those decisions have consequences which they must take responsibility for. Past behaviour is one of the best predictors of future behaviour - that is why dropping out of college is not 'Officer like' behaviour. Men want to be led by MEN, so the first comment is reasonable. This page on Calley should not be 'toned down' or cleaned up. Like most things in life, My Lai was an example of choices, where certain people made the choice for right and certain people made the choice for wrong. To attempt to mitigate their responsibility merely confirms their lack of leadership.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 05:16, 27 October 2006.

The valid question remains. If he dropped out of college, how did he become an officer? You have to have a degree to be commissioned in the armed services. This might be just an incorrect inference made from the claim that he dropped out of college. The article never mentions that he might have received a degree from another school. BBODO 18:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

His previous career as dishwasher and bus conductor hardly suggest leadership potential, and if he couldn't pass college how could he pass officer training? 12:20, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The idea that to be an officer you need to have a college degree as an absolute requirement is relatively new. If you want another example, look at George Bush (the elder). He became a Naval officer at the age of 19 after only a year of college during WWII. It is still possible to become an officer without a degree, though that is now limited to specific types of officer that are selected from senior enlisted based on their prior performance. So, as to the original question, why was he made an officer? Probably because there was war on at a time when college degrees were not as common as they are today and the Army was so hard up for officers that they were willing to select people based off their performance in boot camp who had even a little time in college. Sonlee (talk) 07:45, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

When I served in the Army '67–'73 draftees took a comprehensive battery of tests when they were in the reception station (the first few days in the army). Based on those tests one recieved a GT (general test) score (an index of mental aptitude that went on your records). If the GT was above a certain level, then one was given the OCT (officer candidate test), if that score was high enough, then a very high score on the OQI (officer qualification inventory), or passing an interview or interviews by an officer and/or board of officers qualified one for OCS (about 6 months of officer training) upon graduation from OCS one was commissioned a second lieutenant. There were lots of mediocre officers in the army, just as there are lots of mediocre officials and bosses running everything in the world. Some Presidents of the United States have been of low intellectual attainment and at least one was lacking in probity as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tonygumbrell (talkcontribs) 06:13, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I just wanted to chime in here and say that there are a couple of things that should be considered as well. First the lifespan in the vietnam war for a lieutenant was extremely low so a lot of folks (with ot without degrees) didn't want the job, so on occasion it went to someone who was less than qualified but willing (and potentially expendible). Previous to and including the vietnam war it was relatively common for enlisted folks to receive promotions for bravery in the field (brevets, temporary promotions, battlefield promotions and frocking are examples of this). So, its possible that played a factor although I doubt it. Another possibility is nepootism. If they had a familily member in the military or a politician at a high enough level they might be granted a commission (to essentially any grade from Private to General if it gets enough votes in congress). A little knwon fact is that congress still possesses (although it doesn't use it more than a couple times a year, typically around the same time they vote on the general officers) the ability to establish an individual at a certain grade regardless of other requirements. So my point is however it was done, the fact of wether he had a degree or not means relatively little.--Kumioko (talk) 22:59, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I served in the U.S. Army from '67 to '73. Most junior officers in the army were products of either; OCS, ROTC, or Service Academies e.g. West Point. A small, very small, handful of officers in the army recieved direct commissions. The Vietnam war drastically increased the demand for officers, so that OCS was ramped up to churn out more. OCS was the quickest way to produce trained officers (6 months training). Lt. Calley was an OCS officer. I served as a squad leader in a line company (rifle company in combat) in Vietnam '69—'70. In our outfit, and (I believe it was gerneral practice in Vietnam by that time) company grade officers served only 6 months in the field as opposed to a year for enlisted men. That improved their survivablity a lot. I believe officers suffered about the same casualty rates as enlisted men in Vietnam. I do not have statistics, but I have read somewhere that that is the case, and my personal experience bears that out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tonygumbrell (talkcontribs) 14:37, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Did his conviction stand?[edit]

The article never states if his conviction was overturned or just commuted. If it was overturned, then this article should not be in the categories of "American Murderers" or "War Criminals" as an overturned sentence means he was never convicted.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:45, 30 June 2006.

---From what I can remember in reading I've done, the conviction did stand, and he was released on parole. Anyone wish to confirm this?--Silver86 08:01, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

With the amount of college deferments during this war, it is no wonder someone like Calley was given a combat assignment. I don't charge Calley entirelt, I challenge the Army and the other branches of the military for its total lack of leadership.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:01, 11 July 2006.

Reference doesn't work[edit]

(MARK S. 16:24, 26 October 2006 (UTC))

Putting his rank at the top[edit]

Shouldn't his rank be at the top, as his title, along with his name? As in: 2nd Lieutenant William Calley or some such? Is there a Wikipedia standard on this somewhere? --Howdybob 01:47, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Where is he now?[edit]

Online, public tax records show that William Calley was living in Columbus, Georgia in 2006. BCE753 07:47, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Why is everyone worried about where this guy lives? Someone planning to do something stupid? Equinox137 07:47, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
If the American consciousness knew what was just, that "something stupid" would have been done long ago. You war criminals go to jail for 3 years?! Such a travesty. Even if the North Vietnamese or VC torturing to death a thousand US POWs could not make up for Calley's and his fellow rednecks' crimes! Le Anh-Huy 08:01, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
"Redneck's?" "OUR" war criminals? Who are YOUR "war criminals"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
No kidding..... Equinox137 (talk) 03:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


Fraggin is a term from the Vietnam War, used primarily by U.S. military personnel, most commonly meaning to assassinate an unpopular officer of one's own fighting unit, often by means of a fragmentation grenade. —Preceding comment was added at 17:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Why NPOV?[edit]

Could someone please explain. Thanks Axamoto (talk) 21:30, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

These reads fine and neutral now. Let's take off the need for toning. User:Antarctica moon

Calley's Personal Information[edit]

Please stop adding this individual's personal information to this article. There is no encyclopedic need to have his current place of residence and place of employment listed here, except to enable someone who has the intent to harass or do harm to this person or those around him. I will be the last person to defend his actions in Vietnam, however the courts have spoken on his actions and his current whereabouts are irrelevant as to why he is notable. Please let this serve as a warning, I feel strongly enough about this that I will take this issue far beyond just a simple edit-war. Equinox137 (talk) 00:25, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I understand your concerns as to his safety, however the information provided does not pose even the slightest risk to him. It is a CITY NAME. Not the coordinates to his bedroom. Said city has a population of 5 million people over 8 thousand square miles. Trust me, its not enough to "Track him down". As for employment, he no longer works there, and it poses no risk either. Later activities are of interest to many people, and are listed on many other bio articles. I will seek mediation regarding this matter before reading the "personal" information, however. Nar Matteru (talk) 00:54, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
"There was more than a city name, there was also the name and location of his employer (BTW, Columbus is not part of Atlanta. Any fool with intentions to harm this person can take the information learned from what was posted and go from there. So yes, it IS enough to track him down.
As far as "later activities", this person is no longer a public figure and hasn't been for over 30 years, so quite frankly, his "later activities" are no one's business.
As far as risk, who are you to decide what risk it poses to a person? If you assume it poses no risk, what do you think Calley himself would say about that? Or his attorney for that matter? Mind you, I'm not posing a legal threat, but it could come to that if Calley himself ever sees this page on him. Equinox137 (talk) 00:09, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Keyword in 'former employer' is former. As in, he no longer works there. And, yes I'm aware that Columbus isn't part of Atlanta, where did I say anything to the contrary? We're talking about two different places, one a residence and one a former employer. Of course you would know this if you actually read the information you were deleting. A city name is not enough to track someone down. And Wikipedia is not responsible for giving this person special treatment just because some people don't like him. Are we to remove the white house and Bush's ranch in Crawford just because someone might want to hurt him? I mean, come on. Nar Matteru (talk) 03:02, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
You think "former employer" makes a difference? You obviously have no clue what it takes to track a person down. How many fugitive apprehensions have you participated in, out of curiosity??? You don't think a fugitive was captured based on even small info from a former employer??? Think again, pal.
And no, Wikipedia is not "responsible for giving this person special treatment just because some people don't like him", BUT if someone does this person harm and it's learned that the perpetrator learned what was needed from this article, Wikipedia will be responsible as in legally liable. And as I can't stress enough, this is not a legal threat originating from me. I'm simply saying that Wikipedia will be held legally responsible should someone harm this man based on information learned from this website.
Also, there is a huge difference between George W. Bush, whom has round-the-clock Secret Service protection and receives hundreds, probably thousands of death threats per day, and Calley - a private citizen, whom also certainly receives his share of death threats.
I've obviously read the information I've deleted, because it has been reentered in several different forms over the years on this article and I've removed it each time I've seen it (as anon IP on 07:56 10 March 2006, for example). Equinox137 (talk) 05:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, we all know that vigilante killers are experienced fugitive recovery agents who use wikipedia as a primary reference tool. As for his previous employer, he had to have known what he had done, and therefore would not turn over such information without a warrant. And if he would give such information, he would be the one at fault, not wikipedia. However, if you really think the jewelry store's name shouldn't be mentioned, I really don't mind that. My main point in keeping it is that yes, after My Lai, he was still able to find work, despite his past. However, you are wrong to think that later activities are unimportant, as this article is about William Calley, the person, not William Calley, the war criminal. Theres a whole page on My Lai if thats all that should be mentioned. And I still see no problem whatsoever with the city name being mentioned.
I doubt Wikipedia can be sued anymore than the original source (tax records I believe was what they said... fancy suing the IRS?) The fact is, someone can find and kill anyone they want to with the right resources... and wikipedia is at the bottom of that resource list.
Bush was a bad example (although, all but one assassination of a United States President happened with full secret service protection) However, theres plenty of actresses and such who have city names mentioned and have most likely had numerous stalkers and death threats from various perverts as well. Calley should not get special treatment just because he is more of a target than others who can get killed based off the same information found in their articles. Nar Matteru (talk) 06:24, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Superfluous phrase[edit]

In the sentence "Others, knowing nothing about his education or background, sought to excuse his actions because of his allegedly low intelligence and cultural background," is the phrase knowing nothing about his education or background necessary or even accurate? How does the writer know the minds of the people holding this opinion? Indeed, the entire sentence carries no footnoted source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Actions in My Lai[edit]

Seems to me that there's a bit of a chasm between his 'military career' and murder trial. Isn't it important what he actually DID in My Lai/Vietnam in general (or, at least, as accurate a depiction as possible)? This article seems to skip over the most notable part of Calley's existence, focussing more on the lead-up and aftermath. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

“Calley backed off 40 feet (6 m) or more” One of these measurements is wrong. Whitehall6 (talk) 14:47, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

unnamed Georgia Congressman[edit]

"Calley was sent to the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. At his release, the press eagerly awaited his arrival at the prison's South Gate, as promised by the prison commandant. Instead, at Calley's request, he was released at West Gate and taken directly to the Fort Leavenworth airfield, where his escort, an unnamed Georgia Congressman, had him flown home.

Its probably impossible to verify at this late date, but I'll bet that was Larry McDonald. KevinOKeeffe (talk) 21:13, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Although maybe not. McDonald didn't enter Congress until 1975, and it appears this event occurred in 1974. The article isn't entirely clear, however; could have been '75. KevinOKeeffe (talk) 21:16, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

"The prosecutor, Aubrey Daniel wrote, "The greatest tragedy of all will be if political expedience dictates the compromise of such a fundamental moral principle as the inherent unlawfulness of the murder of innocent persons."

While there are very good reasons for the following, wouldn't dropping the atomic bomb in Japan be an example? Should the crew of the Enola Gay have gone to prison as well? After all, they were just following orders too... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:11, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

That was a specific war strategy that was signed off by the President, among other higherups. Its purpose was to end the war to save more lives down the line--eventually it accomplished this, although Japan refused to sign the peace treaty even after one bomb. My Lai wasn't policy and didn't accomplish anything except murder innocents for no larger purpose. (talk) 15:09, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
My Lai wasn't written policy but instead mimmicked it which is why it became so controversial and well known. I'm fairly sure it was an attempt at copying Operation Pheonix. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Mine is to do or die, not to reason why[edit]

“Apologized” is not the correct word.

The newspapers misconstrued Calley’s remarks, probably to sell a story.

In fact, Calley expressed regret for what happened at My Lai.

Orders are orders, and one must obey them or face the consequences. Questioning or ignoring orders is strongly discouraged in the American military. One who does so can find himself in serious trouble.

Refusing to obey orders is a serious offense and punishable by dishonorable discharge, imprisonment or worse.

On that day in My Lai, would it have been foolish to refuse to follow orders from superiors? Calley did not have much choice. Follow orders or face the consequences.

The Wizard of Oz —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zofodraziweht (talkcontribs) 07:11, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

That argument didn't fly at Nuremberg nor did it work at his trail. There is a reason that "man" was convicted of war crimes. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:04, 18 February 2010 (UTC).

The crime Lt. Calley was convicted of, as per the Uniform Code of Military Justice, was murder. Based on accounts of the situation leading up to the horrendous crimes, I believe he was under a tremendous amount of pressure from above, and tremendous stress on the battlefield (as it were), which was a heavily populated area of villages and hamlets. Further stress came from the trouble that small unit commanders have controlling their own men in such an environment day after day. Those were the conditions under which he orderd his platoon to commit mass murder.

I have read the minutes of Lt. Calley's court martial. His first line of defense was that it didn't happen. As it became apparent during the trail that; it did happen, and he did it, his second line of defense was; that he was ordered to do it by Captain Medina, his company commander q.v. Captain Medina, who was court martialed and acquitted, denies ever having given such an order. He would, wouldn't he. If I had been in Lt. Calley's shoes, one option would have been, on receiving such an order, to reply; Put it in writing. That would, I presume, get me off the spot. A good example of this is found in the movie "Paths of Glory" where an artillery officer is given an order from higher up to fire on their own trenches, and replies that he will need that order in writing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tonygumbrell (talkcontribs) 14:52, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Medical condition?--related to draft status?[edit]

The article as it reads now says that when he enlisted in the Army, he was traveling for purposes of receiving a medical reevaluation at the request of his Draft Board.

Does this imply that he had a medical deferment, and was going to be reevaluated to see if it should remain in effect? Or was this a routine procedure preliminary to drafting any civilian?

Can anyone clarify? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oldsmobile (talkcontribs) 16:24, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I removed this from the article. There was nothing mentioned in the attributed source regarding a medical condition, San Francisco, or an automobile breakdown in New Mexico (all which the article asserts).--Chimino (talk) 08:53, 26 December 2012 (UTC)


The article states, "On November 9, 1974, the Court noted that although by now Calley had been 'paroled' from confinement by the Army, that did not moot the habeas corpus proceedings. Later in 1974, President Nixon tacitly issued Calley a limited Presidential Pardon." Nixon could not have issued anything presidential some time later than November 9, 1974. He resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

War Criminal?[edit]

I noticed an edit (then a reversion, and then a reversion of that reversion) to change the first line of the article from "William Laws Calley, Jr. (born June 8, 1943) is a former United States Army officer found guilty of murdering 22 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War." to "William Laws Calley, Jr. (born June 8, 1943) is an American war criminal, former United States Army officer found guilty of murdering 22 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War."

I'd like to run this by the talk page before any more reversions are done to come to some sort of consensus. I believe that describing Calley as a "War Criminal" in the opening line is not NPOV, especially as the same sentence goes on to describe exactly what he was convicted for. As a check, I compared Calley's entry to the individual articles for the first ten people listed on the List of Axis personnel indicted for war crimes page. None were described as a "war criminal"; when required, more neutral phrasing such as "At the Nuremberg trials, he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was executed" was used. Keep in mind that Calley is still alive and that the WP:BLP page stresses that "Biographies of living persons ("BLPs") must be written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy".

The "War Criminal" description should be removed. Carl Henderson (talk) 01:58, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

As no one has objected, I'm going to remove the "war criminal" phrase from the intro for the reasons given above.Carl Henderson (talk) 04:31, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

a place known as a place[edit]

… a hamlet called My Lai, simply referred to as "My Lai" in the U.S. press.

Did this sentence formerly discuss more complicated nomenclature? —Tamfang (talk) 00:04, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Disposition of Calley's sentence?[edit]

The article states, "Calley served only three and a half years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning. He petitioned the federal district court for habeas corpus on February 11, 1974, which was granted on September 25, 1974, along with his immediate release, by federal judge J. Robert Elliott. Judge Elliott found that Calley's trial had been prejudiced by pre-trial publicity, denial of subpoenas of certain defense witnesses, refusal of the United States House of Representatives to release testimony taken in executive session of its My Lai investigation, and inadequate notice of the charges. (The judge had released Calley on bail on February 27, 1974, but an appeals court reversed it and returned Calley to U.S. Army custody on June 13, 1974.) Consequently, his general court-martial conviction and dismissal from the U.S. Army were upheld; however, the prison sentence and subsequent parole obligations were commuted to time served, leaving Calley a free man.[8]" Other sources, however, give quite different accounts. "[H]is sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat,” Calley was paroled by President Richard Nixon in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence." Another source: "Though sentenced to life in prison, Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest after President Richard Nixon later reduced his sentence." Krakatoa (talk) 04:25, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

See this: [1]. Nixon was busy with other stuff in 1974. Nixon did get Calley's sentence reduced to 10, and him placed in house arrest on a military base, but he did not quite set him free.Icewhiz (talk) 06:03, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
And this from 1974 [2]. When he was given bail by the appeals court (setting him free), the army secretary paroled him on time served. Nixon was out by then, but what set him free was the civilian appeal process.Icewhiz (talk) 06:07, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

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