Should Lt Calley receive a pardon?

Cmdr James Unkles (RANR) has stated on this forum that he believes that the “orders” that Harry “Breaker” Morant alleged that he received from the deceased Captain Hunt were in fact legal. The orders have never been proven.

The Vietnam war was an insurgency war. According to Cmdr Unkles (RANR) it seems that it is legal to shoot prisoners, civilians and even children during an insurgency.:o

Since the actions by Morant led to the murders of unnamed civilians and children as young as 12 do you think that Lt Calley of My Lai fame should also receive a pardon?

All of Morants victims were unarmed civilians.:shock:

The link to Lt Calley’s exploits as stated by Wikipedia is below:

Hunt, Calley should have been shot. And so should a good number of people in his chain of command giving ‘nudge, nudge wink, wink’ orders via semantics who were absolved through cover-up…

The first problem with discussing this is that Western notions, sentiments, and law relating to war crimes and crimes against humanity had changed dramatically between the Boer and Vietnam wars, and largely under the impetus of Nazi and Japanese war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The proper comparison is not between Calley and Morant but between Calley’s actions and the requirements of military and humanitarian law at the time of Calley’s actions.

On that basis, Calley has no grounds to receive a pardon.

Personally I don’t believe Calley should receive a pardon either…

I disagree about the timing of the changes in sentiment… The Red Cross has the following view on “The evolution of individual criminal responsibility under international law”

… and a post on quoted below

"[i]Some very early case law…

In 1439, Charles VII of France promulgated an order holding: “that each captain or lieutenant be held responsible for the abuses, ills and offences committed by members of his company, and as soon as he receives any complaint complaining any such misdeed or abuse, he bring the offender to justice so that the said offender be punished in a manner commensurate with his office, according to these Ordinances. If he fails to do so or covers up the misdeed or delays in taking action, or if, because of his negligence or otherwise, the offender escapes investigation or punishment, the captain shall be responsible for the offence as if he had committed it himself and shall be punished in the same way as the offender would have been.”

Around 1600, the Swedish King, Gustavus Adolphus ordered that: “No Colonel or Captain shall command his soldiers to do any unlawful thing: which who so does, shall be punished according to the discretion of the Judges.”

Another famous precedent on the subject of superior’s orders is the “Maxwell Case” dating from the Napoleonic Wars. French prisoners were killed in a Scottish jail by a guard under the direct orders of Ensign Maxwell. Maxwell claimed in the High Court of Justiciary of Scotland that he was acting under superior orders, it was rejected by the court. The court declared that “every officer has a discretion to disobey an order against the known laws of the land.”

The above means that murder would need to be an accepted LAW, this was not the case in 1902 or at any time before that."[/i]

Rising Sun, do you think either Peter Von Hagenbach

or Breaker Morant deserve a Pardon?

no way in hell! he commited a crime against humanity and left a black mark on the US also caused public support for the war to decline which led to us pulling out and some to think that the war was for nothing. forget him!

Nowhere in US Military doctrine are you ever allowed to line up women and children and kill them.

We had specific regs for handling captured enemy.

Certainly some bad things happened-they should not be rationalised nor excused.

Some folks higher up than Calley escaped the net, but that does not excuse him.

I know a couple guys who were in his OCS class-desribe him as maginal and never should have been commisioned.

Look up “The Enemy In Your Hands” and you will find the rules we were subject to.