The War: Miasma of My Lai

At first the accusations concerned only overt acts: murder, assault, rape, maiming. Last week, however, the formal charges spawned by the 1968 My Lai massacre took a dramatic and basic turn. Fourteen Army officers, including two already accused of murder, were cited for what they did not do—for not reporting the atrocities to higher authorities or not telling the truth during a subsequent inquiry. Two of the accused are generals, one of whom, Major General Samuel Koster, was until last week superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The Army made its charges on the basis of a 3½-month...

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