President Richard Nixon may have been personally behind an attempt to cover up the brutal killing of over 500 Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers in the South Vietnam village of My Lai in 1968, according to historians who spoke with CBS journalist Evie Salomon.
Handwritten notes by Nixon’s chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman taken during a December 1, 1969 meeting with the president read: “Task force – My Lai,” adding beneath “dirty tricks […] not too high a level” and “discredit one witness,” in order to “keep working on the problem.”
The note “reads like a threatening to-do list,” writes Salomon.
Ken Hughes, a researcher with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center Presidential Recording Program, told Salomon that “Haldeman’s note is an important piece of evidence that Nixon interfered with a war-crime prosecution.”
Marking the 46th anniversary of the March 16 My Lai massacre, Salomon spoke with a number of historians who conclude that these documents are evidence that Nixon attempted to sabotage the court-martial trials by burying the testimony of American helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson—who witnessed the massacre and attempted to report on the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed men, women and children.
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