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He Broke Ranks; He Did the Right Thing - Skookum Nanitch:
Thompson took off but then one of his crew shouted that the shooting
had begun again. According to his later testimony, Thompson was
uncertain what to do. Americans murdering innocent bystanders was hard
for him to process. But when he saw Vietnamese survivors chased by
soldiers, he landed his chopper between the villagers and troopers,
and ordered his crew to fire at any American soldiers shooting at
civilians. Then he got on the radio and begged U.S. gunships above him
to rescue those villagers he could not cram into his own craft.

On returning to base, Thompson, almost incoherent with rage,
immediately reported the massacre to superiors, who did nothing, until
months later when the My Lai story leaked to the public. The
eyewitness testimony of Thompson and his surviving crew member helped
convict Calley at a court-martial. But when he returned to his
Stateside home in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Thompson received death
threats and insults, while Calley was pardoned by President Nixon.
Indeed, for a time, Thompson himself feared court-martial.
Reluctantly, the massacre was investigated by then-major Colin Powell,
of the Americal Division, who reported relations between U.S. soldiers
and Vietnamese civilians as "excellent"; Powell's whitewash was the
foundation of his meteoric rise through the ranks.
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