The Nation: Who Is Responsible for My Lai?

WHEN Lieut. William Calley took the stand last week for 2½ days in his own defense, the incredible brutality of U.S. troops at My Lai began to seem understandable—at least by the terrible logic of combat in Viet Nam. Calley's testimony was one of the more painful commentaries on the war.

In the small, carpeted courtroom, his counsel, George Latimer, led him back and forth across the countryside of Quang Ngai province. With violent and painful detail, the young officer recapitulated the events of March 1968.

The attacks on "Pinkville" came on the heels of the massive Tet offensive, and U.S. troops were...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!