WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators have called for a congressional investigation into the alleged massacre of South Vietnamese civilians by U.S. soldiers, and Majority Leader Mike Mansfield says there must be a government inquiry because “there’s been so much smoke.”
But Mansfield said any Senate investigation should wait until after the court martial ordered by the Army in the case of 1st Lt. William L. Calley Jr., accused of premeditated murder of 109 South Vietnamese villagers.
Sen. Charles H. Percy urged investigations by both the Pentagon and the Senate, while Sen. Stephen Young said he has asked for an immediate investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Mansfield said after that process is complete, the Senate panel should decide whether further investigation is needed.
Calley was the first American soldier formally charged in connection with the reported mass slaying at My Lai village. Another Army man has been accused of assault with intent to murder Vietnamese villagers, and the Army is investigating 24 other men.
Sen. Young said the case is evidence of “the brutalization of a generation of Americans by our involvement in an immoral, undeclared war” and likened it to the conduct of Nazi Storm Troopers.
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.
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