Nation: THE LEGAL DILEMMAS

And I'll obey our chiefs when they lead well, Not when they counsel crimes.

—Euripides

WHATEVER its ultimate impact on U.S. policy in Viet Nam, the My Lai massacre will profoundly test an evolving principle of U.S. law—that every wrong should have a remedy in court. How, for example, can the Army try the men (three so far) who openly admit that they killed women and children at My Lai—but who are now civilians?

Unless those men retain military links, such as reserve status, they may be immune from prosecution. In 1955, the Supreme Court ruled...

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