The Toledo Blade on Monday continued its four-part series alleging that the Army failed to act on 20 substantiated war crimes committed by a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam in 1967 that were uncovered by a four-year military probe.
The paper reports, “An investigation that should have brought justice to the longest series of atrocities by a U.S. fighting unit in Vietnam reached the Pentagon and White House but never a court of law – or the American public. Instead, the case was hidden in the Army's archives, and key suspects were allowed to continue their military careers.”
The Blade said its eight-month investigation showed:
–Commanders knew of the platoon's atrocities in 1967 but refused to investigate.
–Soldiers went to Army commanders in 1967 to complain about the killing of civilians, but their pleas were ignored.
–Army investigators learned about the atrocities in February 1971 but took a year to interview witnesses.
–Two Army investigators pretended to investigate while encouraging soldiers to keep quiet so they wouldn't be prosecuted.
–By the time the investigation was completed in June, 1975, six key suspects were allowed to leave the Army – escaping the reach of military prosecutors.
–In three cases in which the final report accused people of “murder,” commanders took no action. Investigators found that five other soldiers carried out atrocities, but their names were never mentioned in the final report.