Despite President Richard Nixon's decision to free Lieutenant William Calley, pending appeals in the My Lai massacre case the furore over the sentencing of Calley to life imprisonment continues.
GV Kennedy speaking
CU Kennedy speaking SOF BEGINS:- "My Lai and the Calley Trial...." SOF ENDS:- ...." will not have died in vain."
CU Agnew speaking SOF BEGINS:- "They've been told almost daily...." SOF ENDS:- ".....where there should be gratitude."
CU Agnew and pull out (applause over)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: KENNEDY:- "In our pursuit of the phantom of military victory in Vietnam, we turned aside from the value for which America stands. My Lai and the Calley trial are but the latest episodes in the fundamental immorality of the war. This is where the military myths have led us. Lieutenant Calley is a tragic figure. The only hopeful sign I see is that the national indignation over the outcome of the trial is a cry from the hearts of millions of Americans, who suddenly now see the awful immorality of that war. And if we view Calley and My Lai as a symptom of a system gone astray, and if we dedicate ourselves to setting it straight again, and if it helps us end the war, then this tragic moment in our history may someday somehow be requited in the innocent victims -- the men, women and children will not have died in vain."
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 4: AGNEW:- "They've been told almost daily, if they read or listen to the news from home, that they are fighting for a worthless and immoral cause; and that we ought to abandon the South Vietnamese to their enemies. This encouragement, if I can use that word in a cynical sense, has come to them not from Hanoi Hannah, but from some of the leading members of the U.S. Senate, prestigious columnists, end news commentators, academic figures, some church organisations, as well as assorted radicals, draft card burners, and street demonstrators. Never mind that the President of the United States, the soldiers' families, and their close friends, most of the Congress of the United States, and a great majority of other Americans do not share that masochistic, guilt-ridden view that they are being exploited in Southeast Asia; but feel they have served their country honourably and well. Unfortunately, this message does not get through as loud and clear as does the negative one. And to make matters worse, the Vietnam veterans return to civilian life with the unpopularity of the war sometimes transferred to them individually. And they find hostility or indifference, where there should be gratitude.
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TELERECORDING original colour on 4169/71 49ft Kennedy section only
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Background: Despite President Richard Nixon's decision to free Lieutenant William Calley, pending appeals in the My Lai massacre case the furore over the sentencing of Calley to life imprisonment continues. Thousands of letters, telegrams and telephone calls ---running 100 to one in favour of Calley---continued to pour into various government offices in Washington, including the White House, offices of members of Congress, and the Pentagon. The 27-year old Lieutenant was sentenced by a military court martial, to hard labour for life for the premeditated murder of 22 South Vietnamese civilians at the village of My Lai three years ago.
In Washington yesterday (1 April) Senator Kennedy and Vice-President Agnew, in separate speeches, commented directly and indirectly on the Lieutenant Calley trial and its implications.