Reporter Compares #Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson to Soldier Behind My Lai Massacre
Dave Weigel wrote an article, How a Conservative Backlash Silenced #Ferguson Reporters for All the Wrong Reasons published Monday by Bloomberg Politics, defending reporters who published the address of former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson that compared Wilson to an Army officer who was convicted of massacring Vietnamese civilians.
My Lai Massacre in Vietnam
Wilson was recently cleared by a grand jury in the August shooting death of unarmed robber Michael Brown. The evidence in the case pointed to a self-defense shooting of Brown by Wilson after Brown attacked Wilson in his police car and then charged at the officer after initially fleeing.
Lt. William Calley was convicted in the 1968 killing of twenty-two Vietnamese civilians in what became known as the My Lai Massacre. While Calley was singled out for twenty-two deaths, hundreds were killed by U.S. troops.
Weigel didn’t make the outrageous comparison directly in print. He dropped a link in at the end of the Bloomberg article that went to an archived 1971 newspaper with articles about public outrage about the conviction of Calley in the massacre.
“Wilson is being portrayed as a decent man who did what he had to, court of public opinion be damned. And there’s precedent for that.”
The line “And there’s precedent for that” has a link embedded that leads to a page from the Daily Item in Sumter, South Carolina dated March 31, 1971 that has two articles on Calley. One is an AP report on the military jury that convicted Calley being inundated with pro-Calley telegrams as the jury debated whether to sentence Calley to death of live imprisonment. The second article was about high school students organizing “Lt. Calley Day” with the theme “Free Calley for a Free America.”
There was great concern at the time that Calley was a scapegoat. Calley was sentenced to life but his sentence was greatly reduced.
Calley apologized for his role in the massacre in 2009 at a public appearance. He said he was following orders, as he reportedly had always maintained.
Regardless of what one thinks of Calley, to compare Darren Wilson to him is an insult not only to Wilson but also the dead Vietnamese civilians.
The evidence shows Wilson shot a thug in self-defense. Calley killed innocent civilians. Calley blamed the orders of superiors. Wilson made a split-second decision to stop the threat to his life by a 292 lb. 18 year old man charging at him who had already attacked him once and tried to wrest control of his gun.
There’s a reason is why Rush Limbaugh calls them the Drive-by Media.