Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Amy Goodman Questions Former Senator Bob Kerrey About War Crimes at a News Conference

StoryApril 27, 2001
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraskan who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and has been talked about as a prospect for 2004, has said a Navy SEAL combat mission he led during the war was responsible for the shooting deaths of more than a dozen unarmed civilians, mostly women and children. He said that he could not militarily or morally justify the mission, for which was awarded the Bronze Star.

Pham Di Cu, head of the foreign relations department of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, where the massacre occurred, told Reuters today that 13 children, five women and an elderly man had been killed in the attack on February 25, 1969. Kerrey has acknowledged that the killing of civilians took place, but he said the squad was returning fire and did not know that civilians had been killed until after the fighting.

Cu quoted surviving witness Pham Thi Lanh, 67, as saying the attack on the hamlet of Thanh Phong began in darkness at about 8 p.m. and lasted just 20 minutes. ``I think in terms of brutality, this was the worst incident in this province during the war,'’ he told Reuters. "Personally, I think it was inhuman.'’

Cu also said Lanh had told how the seven-man squad — six masked Americans and a Vietnamese interpreter — moved from bunker to bunker in the hamlet killing people.

The Feb. 25, 1969, incident in Thanh Phong hamlet in the Mekong Delta came to light on Wednesday following a joint investigation by the New York Times Magazine and the CBS News program "60 Minutes II."

Top Newsweek editors decided more than two years ago not to publish Bob Kerrey’s account of his role in the 1969 killing of unarmed civilians in Vietnam because Kerrey had decided not to run for president.

"We could have run the story," said a Newsweek assistant managing editor who interviewed Kerrey Gregory Vistica, later quit the magazine and brought the story to the New York Times Magazine and "60 Minutes II," whose imminent publication prompted Kerrey to go public this week.

Former Senator Kerrey spoke about his role in the killing of Vietnamese civilians at a news conference in New York yesterday, where he was questioned from Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

Tape:

  • Press conference with Senator Kerrey with question from Amy Goodman

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation