Trump signs bill on Taiwan cooperation, defying China’s warnings

By ethan / March 17, 2018

US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill which aims to deepen ties between the US and Taiwan. China has issued multiple warnings to both Washington and Taipei over the law.

The Taiwan Travel Act (HR 535), which US lawmakers presented to Trump on March 5, aims to increase travel and visits “at all levels,” including state officials and business leaders, both on the American and the Taiwanese side.

The bill has angered Chinese officials, who see Taiwan as an inalienable provincial territory of China because of the One China Policy that was established in the US-PRC joint communique of 1982. As the deadline for Trump to sign the bill approaches, Beijing has issued a stark response.

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FILE PHOTO: Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) raise a Chinese national flag. © China Daily

“The so-called bill you mention, though not legally binding, severely violates the ‘one China principle’ as well as joint US-China communiques,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang mentioned in a press statement.

“[The] one-China principle is the political foundation of the China-US relationship. We urge the US side to adhere to the one-China policy and honor the commitments it made in the three joint communiqués, stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way,” he reiterated on March 17. “It must handle Taiwan-related issues properly and cautiously so as to avoid causing any major disruption or damage to the China-US relations.”

Chinese state media speculates that the bill could embolden Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to seek full independence for the island, possibly triggering China’s Anti-Secession Law. Passed in 2005, the legislation allows Beijing to “use force to prevent the island from seceding,” an editorial in the official China Daily warned.

However contentious it is, the bill is non-binding and its practical application remains to be seen.

The bill stems from the Taiwan Relations Act (PL 96-8), which the Carter administration passed into law on April 12, 1979, around the time when China was rising as a superpower. While it lacks binding force, it does require US administrations to report to Congress for approval of measures like weapons sales and visits.

Despite several warnings from Beijing, Taiwan has welcomed the US legislation. Premier William Lai has called Washington a “solid ally” and said that he “wholeheartedly” anticipates that the law will “further raise the substantive relationship between Taiwan and the United States.”

While the US and Taiwan officially ended diplomatic ties back in 1979, several US administrations have inked precarious agreements that have provoked the ire of Beijing. The Obama administration even sold more weapons to Taiwan than all previous administrations combined, invoking a strong rebuttal from Beijing.

Tensions have skyrocketed between Beijing and Washington after Trump commented that China’s one-child policy was “negotiable.” He later signed a proclamation March 8 that would impose blanket tariffs of 25 percent on all foreign steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports to the US. Unconfirmed reports have also stated that he planned to set additional tariffs of $ 60 billion for Chinese high-level electronic goods.

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US Attorney General Sessions fires ex-FBI deputy director McCabe

By ethan / March 17, 2018

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says has fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, effective immediately. The abrupt termination could cost McCabe, who is accused of mishandling Hillary Clinton’s email probe, much of his pension.

The termination was recommended by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. It comes after a still-classified report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general found that McCabe mishandled the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

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Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee, 2017. © Kevin Lamarque

“Based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” Sessions said of his decision.

McCabe’s firing was announced on Friday, just two days before he was set to retire. The sacking could cost McCabe the pension that he was entitled to after 21 years of working at the FBI.

McCabe “has made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions,” Sessions stated, citing reports by both the Inspector General and the ORP. The soon-to-be-released DOJ report is expected to reveal that McCabe leaked information about the Clinton email probe to the media and misled watchdog investigators.

McCabe announced that he would be stepping down from his post in late January, but took a “terminate leave” that would have allowed him to collect an estimated $ 60,000 a year pension. McCabe planned to retire on Sunday, the day of his 50th birthday.

The career FBI official’s plan did not sit well with US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly taunted him on Twitter, particularly over his wife’s connections. In July, Trump tweeted that McCabe should have been fired because his wife, Jill, received money from a Clinton ally in 2015 to run for a state seat in Virginia. In a string of tweets in December, Trump slammed McCabe for “racing the clock to retire with full benefits.”

In the statement released upon his ouster, McCabe accused the White House and Trump personally of taking revenge on him for his conduct in wake of the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

“The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President,” McCabe said, describing the accusations against him as “an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn.”

His dismissal, McCabe argued, is a part of a larger pattern involving “an ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel [Robert Mueller] Investigation [into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia]” waged by the Trump administration.

He has rejected all the accusations against him, saying that there is “nothing further from the truth” than the claims that he lacked integrity and was led by political motives through the Clinton probe.

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US support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen will reduce civilian casualties, Mattis tells Senate

By ethan / March 17, 2018

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has defended US military support to the Saudi-led coalition that is waging war in Yemen. He argued it helps to limit the civilian death toll and bring the conflict to a “negotiated” end.

“We need to get this [war in Yemen] to a negotiated settlement, and we believe our policy right now is correct for doing this,” the Pentagon head told journalists, speaking of American assistance to the Saudi-led campaign that plunged Yemen into famine and caused thousands of civilian deaths. Mattis argued that the US efforts would eventually help to bring the conflict toward a UN-brokered resolution.

Earlier, the defense secretary also sent a letter to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), in which he referred to the US assistance as “non-combat support” aimed primarily at helping to reduce the risk of civilian casualties. He also warned senators that ending this support would negatively affect the situation on the ground.

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People inspect damage after an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in Saada, Yemen February 22, 2018. © Stringer

“New restrictions on this limited US military support could increase civilian casualties, jeopardize cooperation with our partners on counter-terrorism and reduce our influence with the Saudis – all of which would further exacerbate the situation and humanitarian crisis,” the letter, copies of which were sent to all senators, said.

Cutting off the US aid would also “embolden” Iran in assisting the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen and put “vital shipping lanes in the Red Sea” at risk, thus eventually increasing the danger of a wider regional conflict, Mattis wrote.

The defense secretary’s words were the newest attempt by the US military to influence the fate of a resolution that would force the Senate to vote on US support for Saudi Arabia, and could potentially lead to an end of US assistance to the Saudis in the Yemeni conflict.

Introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), the bipartisan motion calls for the removal of American armed forces from “hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen.” It invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which gives Congress the authority to overrule the president and withdraw the military if it deems the conflict is unauthorized. If passed by the Senate, the resolution would limit US actions in the Yemeni conflict to conducting or assisting operations against Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

The proposal was met with a swift and tough response from the Pentagon. Acting General Counsel William S. Castle already sent a letter to McConnell, opposing the resolution before it was even filed on Wednesday.

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Smoke rises after an airstrike  in Sanaa, Yemen.  January 11, 2018. © Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Notably, around the same time, the US military admitted that it doesn’t really know what the Saudis really do with the ammunition and fuel Washington throws at them. During a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, US Army General Joseph Votel, the head of the US Central Command, acknowledged that CENTCOM tracks neither the purpose of the Saudi missions it refuels nor the targets that the Saudis hit using the US munitions.

The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a campaign against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015, in an attempt to propel ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power. The US has been providing the coalition with intelligence, ammunition and refueling for most of that time. It has also been a major supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the conflict.

Riyadh has repeatedly faced criticism over its supposedly indiscriminate airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure and the blockade of Yemen that brought the war-torn country to the brink of famine. At least 10,000 Yemeni civilians have died and the country is experiencing a devastating famine and a cholera epidemic, according to Oxfam. The UN says there are 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Adrian Lamo, hacker who reported Chelsea Manning to FBI, dies aged 37

By ethan / March 17, 2018

Hacker Adrian Lamo has died aged 37. The Colombian-American gained notoriety after reporting whistleblower Chelsea Manning to US authorities in 2010.

Mario Lamo, the hacker’s father, revealed the news of his son’s death in a Facebook post on Friday. “With great sadness and a broken heart I have to let know all of Adrian’s friends and acquaintances that he is dead. A bright mind and compassionate soul is gone, he was my beloved son,” Lamo wrote. The coroner for Sedgwick County, Kansas, where Lamo lived, also confirmed his death, according to technology news site ZDNet.

Lamo became famous in the early 2000s after hacking a number of high-profile companies, including the New York Times, Microsoft, and Yahoo. He later became famous in the hacking community after he informed the FBI that then-US Army Private Bradley Manning had leaked a video showing the US military killing two Reuters journalists to WikiLeaks. The leak also included hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents.

Manning had revealed to Lamo that she was the source of the leak in a web chat. Lamo defended his decision to reveal Manning’s identity to the FBI in an interview with the Guardian in 2013.

“The choices at hand were very blunt ones – to interdict him, or to pretend I’d never had my conscience as shocked as it was when I learned of the sheer volume of sensitive documents he had extracted to WikiLeaks,” he said.

READ MORE: To hell & back: Manning’s supporters reflect on her 7-year nightmare

“There was no option to interdict just the documents and put him merely in touch with counseling. There was no way to be both kind to Bradley [now Chelsea] and mindful of the potential for harm to people I had never known and would never know which the situation posed.”

Manning was later arrested and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Her sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama and she was released last year. The cause of Lamo’s death has not been revealed.

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US ships targeted by Chinese cyber attackers, report alleges

By ethan / March 16, 2018

According to new research, a Chinese cyber network is increasingly targeting US engineering and maritime entities, especially those connected to issues with the contested South China Sea, where the US has a military presence.

FireEye, a California-based security firm, stated on Friday that a Chinese espionage group known as ‘Leviathon’ or ‘TEMP. Periscope’ has ramped up tracking efforts against US entities.

The network’s activities increased over the last year, according to the report. The group is focused on US engineering and maritime entities “especially those connected to South China Sea issues,” FireEye said, but entities in Europe and Hong Kong have also been targeted by the group. “We’ve really seen a big upswing in their activity in the last two months,” said Ben Read, senior manager of cyber espionage analysis at FireEye. “They’ve been heavily targeting U.S. entities.”

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© Aly Song

The wave of intrusions “reflects a concerted effort to target sectors that may yield information that could provide an economic advantage, research and development data, intellectual property, or an edge in commercial negotiations,” FireEye’s research states.

In a statement on Friday, asked about the report, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said: “China firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyber-attacks. We will not allow any country or individual to engage in such illegal activities as cyber-attacks on the Chinese soil or by capitalizing on China’s infrastructure.”

As a nexus of international trade, the South China Sea is the center of intense territorial disputes. China claims the largest portion of territory but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have competing claims in the region.

The US has sent military ships and planes near disputed islands, allegedly to defend ‘freedom of navigation’ in the strategically important waterway.

READ MORE: US to continue South China Sea operations – top navy commander

Beijing has accused the US of using these vessels and aircraft to carry out reconnaissance missions within Chinese waters. In May 2017, in response to a US warship entering the area ostensibly without permission, Beijing said US presence in the South China Sea “undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests” and contributes to its militarization.

China also slammed US patrols as a threat to the “peace and security of the region” as well as the bilateral cooperation between the US and China.

An estimated $ 3.4 trillion in trade passed through the South China Sea in 2016, which amounts to 21 percent of all global trade, according to research from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 

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Commemorative plaque for slain politician Nemtsov set up in Moscow

By ethan / March 16, 2018

A plaque honoring an opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was killed three years ago, has been mounted on his Moscow apartment building.

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© Sergei Karpukhin

The memorial tablet was placed on the building where the politician lived during his last years. Several dozen people attended the ceremony where the politician’s son, Anton, put the tablet on the apartment block’s wall. He also thanked “all those, who made it happen.”

The socialite-turned-politician, Ksenia Sobchak, who positions herself as a candidate “against all” in the forthcoming presidential election, earlier announced that the plaque would be installed on Friday. She was also the one who asked the Moscow mayor’s office to install the plaque in memory of the slain politician, according to a tweet by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin. The Moscow authorities approved the move on Wednesday, after receiving consent from the apartment block’s residents. Ksenia Sobchak was at the opening ceremony.

Nemtsov, a former governor and deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, became an opposition figure in the early 2000s. On February 27, 2015, he was killed in a drive-by shooting on a bridge near the Kremlin. The investigation put five people in prison for the murder, who were said to have shot Nemtsov out of revenge for anti-Islam statements he made after the terrorist attack on the French satirical outlet Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.

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Schwarzenegger, Weinstein and #MeToo mocked in ‘Twins’ street art (PHOTOS)

By ethan / March 16, 2018

Street artist Sabo has covered Los Angeles with spoof film posters targeting Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement. The artist says he wanted to highlight their hypocrisy.

The posters were inspired by the film ‘Twins,’ starring Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, and they show the former governor of California alongside a diminutive version of disgraced film producer Weinstein, who is cast in the DeVito role. Schwarzenegger is pictured wearing a large button that reads, “No Fossil Fuels,” while Weinstein sports a “No NRA” button. The images appeared across Venice Beach and Santa Monica earlier this week.

READ MORE: Sex abuse, box office bombs: Disastrous year for Hollywood comes to merciful end

The posters also made several references to the #MeToo movement. “Only their victims can tell them apart,” the poster reads. The tagline is a nod to the 1988 movie, which has Schwarzenegger playing a naive yet physically imposing man who is searching for his long-lost twin brother, a rogue businessman played by DeVito.

Speaking to RT.com, the artist explained that the concept was designed to expose the perceived hypocrisy of Schwarzenegger who, as a one-time driver of a gas-guzzling Humvee, now says he is against the consumption of fossil fuels. “Then I thought the whole ‘Twins’ relationship he has with Weinstein, in terms of womanizing, was funnier,” the artist said.

READ MORE: ‘Witch hunts should be left in the Middle Ages’: Oscar-winning film director blasts #MeToo

Sabo claimed that he was inspired after seeing Schwarzenegger address the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival earlier this month, where he announced plans to sue oil for companies for “for knowingly killing people all over the world.”

“We don’t believe for one second Arnold is a bad as Harvey,” said Sabo. “However, his SXSW speech which was enough to warrant a creative hit on Arnold. We are sick and tired of celebrities, even those from the Right, using their platforms to push policies many of us who have empowered them in the first place will suffer from.”

During a speech at the Austin mega conference, Schwarzenegger announced that Weinstein’s anti-National Rifle Association badge refers to his pledge to dedicate his time and money to destroying the NRA as an act of contrition for allegedly assaulting multiple women.  

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‘Trump may kill Iran deal, and that would be bad…for America’

By ethan / March 16, 2018

Donald Trump, a fierce critic of Iranian nuclear deal, has so far made no moves to withdraw the US from it. But a continued assault may lead to consequences that would be surprisingly bad for America, analysts warn.

The deal’s future becomes even less promising with the exit of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state – seen as a voice of moderation – and his imminent replacement by Mike Pompeo – a hardliner and an Iran hawk.

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© Mandel Ngan

The deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was negotiated in 2015, during the administration of Barack Obama. Under the terms of the deal, Tehran agreed to reduce the number of its uranium enrichment centrifuges by two-thirds, cap the enrichment grade below the level needed for weapons-grade material, and reduce its enriched uranium stockpile by 98 percent for 15 years. In exchange, Tehran received the lifting of sanctions imposed against it over a decade for allegedly secretly making a nuclear weapon – a claim that it has always denied.

Trump, who is in the habit of criticizing the policies of his predecessor, repeatedly called the JCPOA the “worst deal ever negotiated” and accused Iran of breaching it. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with monitoring Iran’s compliance, says Tehran has been holding its part of the bargain. Still, Trump threatened on many occasions that he would see the deal dismantled.

RT spoke to several experts on the Middle East and Iran in particular on whether the nuclear deal can survive confrontation with Trump, and what the consequences would be of its failure. Sharing their opinions were Vladimir Sazhin, a senior research associate at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Kaveh Afrasiabi, a political scientist and an adviser to Iran’s team during the negotiations on the nuclear deal, Paul Heroux, a master’s graduate of the Harvard University School of Government, and Sasan Fayazmanesh, a professor of economics at California State University.

Did the deal really prevent armed conflict between Iran and the West?

“There was a possibility of conflict between Iran and Israel in 2011. Iran was developing its nuclear program under virtually no scrutiny by the IAEA… Obama was trying at the time to prevent Israel from attacking Iran. The sanctions were an alternative to war.”   – Vladimir Sazhin

“On the whole there was a little likelihood of military action by the US – studies showed that Iran had a capability to strike back in the region and beyond – it worked as a deterrent for a military action.” – Kaveh Afrasiabi

“The game plan, as the Obama administration envisioned it in its first term, was that as a consequence of paralyzing sanctions there would be massive uprisings in Iran, which would make it easier for the US to launch an embargo against the country, followed by airstrikes. But since the draconian sanctions did not lead to widespread riots, the US decided to reach some sort of agreement with Iran. The result was the JCPOA.” – Sasan Fayazmanesh

Was there any broader importance of the Iran deal?

The value of the JCPOA is on par with that of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It stopped a dangerous development of nuclear technologies in Iran. The experience may be used as a model for other situations.

Vladimir Sazhin

“It sets a good role model in terms of diplomatic achievement and settlement of disputes (in this field that could be applied to other cases, such as that of North Korea). It is a rare example of peaceful settlement of conflict in the Middle East. It’s a win-win agreement that takes interests of all parties, including the US, into account.” – Kaveh Afrasiabi

READ MORE: New EU sanctions against Iran proposed to keep Trump in 2015 nuclear deal

Does the Iran deal have any weaknesses?

“From Iranians’ point of view, a weakness could be that they are being subjected to a level of scrutiny that neither the US or Israel are subjected to, which could be an argument that Iran is not being respected as sovereign.” – Paul Heroux

“The JCPOA left intact other sanctions imposed on Iran for its ‘support for terrorism,’ ‘violation of human rights,’ developing missile technology, etc. The JCPOA also did not have a workable and meaningful guarantee mechanism that would prevent the US and other members of the P5+1 from cheating or bringing back more and more sanctions under different pretexts.”

Sasan Fayazmanesh

What would the consequences be of the potential US withdrawal from the deal?

“There is no reason for the US to withdraw from the agreement. If there were a reason, President Trump would have withdrawn by now. It would appear that President Trump is being advised by the DOD, CIA, State Department and others to stay in the JCPOA because the agreement is in fact working.” – Paul Heroux

“Iran promised to respond seriously – potentially jeopardize the agreement – Iran could resume full-scale work – terminate cooperation with the IAEA and exit NPT altogether. Cascading effect.” – Kaveh Afrasiabi

“If the Europeans defy the US, as they did during the Clinton era, then Iran will continue with the deal, since having some economic relations with Europe is better than nothing at all.” – Sasan Fayazmanesh

How would withdrawal from deal affect the US itself?

“The entire world except Israel and Saudi Arabia supports the JCPOA, so by withdrawing from it the US would become a pariah… Europe’s position would be important. If they would stay in the deal, so would Iran. Iran’s trade with the EU doubled in 2017 to $ 10 billion. Europe wants to deal with Iran. That said, preserving the deal would be unlikely since the US may put pressure on Europe.” – Vladimir Sazhin

The US’ credibility would suffer greatly and it would have adverse effects on the US diplomatic efforts aimed at North Korea. The trust in the US would be universally damaged. Harm its own prestige, global image and international standing.

Kaveh Afrasiabi

“It would make it appear that the US is taking a less diplomatic approach to Iran in favor of a more hawkish and punitive approach; we would probably appear impulsive, paranoid, and even self-righteous in that we think we know better than the rest of the P-5, Germany and the EU what is working and what is not working.” – Paul Heroux

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My Lai massacre: The day US military slaughtered a village & tried to cover it up (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

By ethan / March 16, 2018

Fifty years ago, a platoon of US soldiers stormed the quiet hamlet of My Lai in South Vietnam, unleashing a barrage of gunfire, grenades and sexual assault which left as many as 500 dead.

On March 16, 1968 an army unit entered My Lai. The troops were ordered to lay waste to anything “walking, crawling or growing” on a search and destroy mission that lasted four hours and left the village razed to the ground. Not even crops or livestock were spared. The atrocities of My Lai would remain largely hidden for 20 months, until vivid images and accounts of the massacre appeared in newspapers, shocking Americans and sparking massive anti-war protests.

THE MY LAI MASSACRE

US Infantry battalion Charlie Company entered the area under the erroneous understanding that Viet Cong guerrilla fighters were present. Instead, they found unarmed civilians, many of whom were children, women and the elderly.

Unleashing a hail of firepower from M-16s and an M79 grenade launcher, the soldiers rounded up villagers and killed them, not before sexually assaulting as many as 20 women and teenagers. The horror only began to die down when army helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson Jr landed between the soldiers and the villagers, threatening to fire at the troops.

“The whole thing was so deliberate. It was point-blank murder and I was standing there watching it,” Sgt. Michael Bernhardt recalled. “We met no resistance and I only saw three captured weapons. We had no casualties. It was just like any other Vietnamese village — old Papa-san, women and kids. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember seeing one military-age male in the entire place, dead or alive. The only prisoner I saw was about 50.”

Thompson had witnessed a soldier kill an injured Vietnamese woman from his vantage point, and then noticed the ditch filled with bodies. “It looks to me like there’s an awful lot of unnecessary killing going on down there. Something ain’t right about this. There’s bodies everywhere,” he said over the radio. He landed and got into a confrontation with platoon leader Lieutenant William L. Calley.

After taking off again, the pilot witnessed soldiers chasing civilians and landed the helicopter between them. He evacuated the villagers and returned to the scene to search for survivors. Thompson also told his superiors about the massacre, and the order was sent back to “knock off the killing.”

“After the shooting was over, the soldiers went and were eating their lunch, really literally next to the ditch, next to the bodies. And that’s how disconnected you get,” Seymour Hersh, the investigative reporter who uncovered the story, said on Democracy Now.

COVER UP

Despite Thompson filing a report, a military investigation found there had been no massacre. Captain Ernest Medina, who had ordered the soldiers to be aggressive in their operations, told superiors the unit had killed lots of VC fighters.

In 1968, Ron Ridenhour, an infantryman who had heard about the event, started investigating what happened. In March 1969 he wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon, the Pentagon, members of Congress, the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff detailing the massacre. This sparked official investigations and Ridenhour, Medina, Thompson, and Calley were interviewed.

Sgt. Ron Haeberle, a US Army photographer with Charlie company, had captured events on official and personal cameras. He handed over the official army rolls of film, but held onto his personal, more graphic ones, later explaining he thought they would have been destroyed.

Hersh, then a freelance journalist in Washington, heard what happened at My Lai from an antiwar lawyer, and started to speak to those in the unit. He saw a news report about Calley being charged with murder in September 1969, and managed to get hold of the classified charge sheet. Hersch’s resulting report, “Lieutenant Accused of Murdering 109 Civilians,” appeared in the Dispatch News Service on November 13, and was picked up by a number of publications before gaining further traction.

In November, a selection of Haeberle’s images were published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The photographs backed up Thompson’s claims and helped with the investigation. Years later, Haeberle admitted he destroyed the most graphic images of soldiers killing the villagers. “I had actual photos of actual guys who were doing the shooting and stuff like that,” he said.

On November 15, half a million anti-war protesters marched in Washington, with a march also taking place in London at the same time. In 1973, direct US troop involvement in Vietnam ended.

A 1970 inquiry by Lieut. Gen. William Peers into the My Lai cover up found “at every command level from company to division, actions were taken or omitted which together effectively concealed from higher headquarters the events which transpired.”

Calley’s court martial ended 1971. He was found guilty of killing 22 people and sentenced to life at hard labor. However, President Richard Nixon intervened, and he was placed under house arrest instead before being freed in 1974. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley admitted in 2009.

By Christine Maguire

Video by Sergio Angulo

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Russian NHL player brings young fan to tears after giving him hockey stick

By ethan / March 16, 2018

New York Rangers winger Pavel Buchnevich gave one 12-year-old fan the ‘top moment of his life’ when gave him his hockey stick in the warmup before Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Rangers fan Benjamin was attending the game wearing a Severstal Cherepovets jersey, the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) at which Buchnevich began his career, with the player’s name on the back.  

When Benjamin waved to his idol during the warmup session, Buchnevich immediately spotted his old jersey and skated to the boards to toss one of his sticks to the boy – prompting the boy to burst into tears.

I’m wearing this jersey tonight, my grandpa got it for me from a Russian website,” the Rangers season-ticket holder said after receiving the stick.

“[The jersey] took about three months to come and then I’m at the glass, I have [Mika] Zibanejad, [Chris] Kreider, they’re all waving to me, and then I see Buchnevich and then he winks and he’s like, ‘Wow, that’s a very nice jersey,’ and then he’s talking to Vlad Namestnikov because they’re both Russian, like ‘Wow look at this kid.’

READ MORE: Russian hockey team claims gold in PyeongChang, beating Germany 4-3 in overtime

“A second later, boom, Buchnevich comes and gives me the stick over the glass and I’m crying. I’m a huge Ranger fan so it’s just really emotional,” he added.

The team’s Twitter account posted a picture of the two meeting following the Rangers’ 4-3 overtime win clinched with a goal from Swedish forward Zibanejad.

After spending the 2015-2016 season in the KHL, he signed a three-year contract with the New York-based squad, making his debut last season. Buchnevich has played 63 games for the Rangers this season, scoring 14 goals and making 26 assists.

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