Target: Congressman Darrell Issa
Goal: Praise the removal of a war criminal from a congressman’s list of honored war veterans
Congressman Darrell Issa, after receiving backlash from many different avenues, recently removed an American war criminal from a list of honored war veterans that he compiled on his Twitter account for Veterans Day. While the congressman did not issue a statement regarding the removal, the war criminal is no longer included on his Twitter profile and is no longer being put on a pedestal.
The war criminal in question was a man named William Calley, who was an officer with the United States Army during the Vietnam War. In 1968 he was involved in what came to be known as the My Lai Massacre, during which between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians were killed by the United States Army. Calley was the only one connected to the massacre to ever be convicted after the event, which the Army first tried to cover up, became public knowledge.
Due to the efforts of passionate advocates here at ForceChange who added their voices to the petition Don’t Honor War Criminal, the man responsible for atrocities against civilians is no longer being honored. Sign the follow-up petition below to let Congressman Issa know that we appreciate his acknowledgment that being an American war veteran does not automatically give a war criminal a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Dear Congressman Issa,
I am writing you today to thank you for removing the photo of the United States Army officer William Calley from your Twitter account and your list of honored American war veterans. Your move sends a message that we as a nation are not willing to erase or forgive war crimes to maintain an image of solidarity with our armed forces and the men and women responsible for those war crimes. The fact that this message is coming from a congressman of influence is even more encouraging.
As I’m sure you’re aware, William Calley was found guilty of participating in the My Lai Massacre, an event that has since been called “the most shocking episode of the Vietnam War.” His crimes were unforgivable and a blight on the history of the United States, to say nothing of being directly connected to up to 504 Vietnamese civilians losing their lives.
Your not honoring him was the right move and one that has not gone unnoticed. I urge you to continue to hold our troops to this standard of conduct in the wars we’ve fought since Vietnam and any wars that may be yet to come.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: The Office of Congressman Darrell Issa via Wikimedia Commons