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· WHO?: Men of Charlie Company
· WHEN?: 16th March 1968
· WHERE?: My Lai, South Vietnam
· WHAT HAPPENED?: Over 300 innocent civilians killed
· WHY?: Many members of Charlie Company killed and
injured there in the past few weeks…read more

Slide 3

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· On the 16th March troops entered My Lai
· Was a "search and destroy mission"
· With previous information that:
· All the women and children would be out at market
· All that would be left would be the enemy
· Told to enter the village firing
· BUT there was no report of enemy fire
· They killed women and children
· Families that were huddled together were shown no
mercy…read more

Slide 4

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· Was a helicopter pilot
· He saw the killings in My Lai and reported them to
· Told his crew to "open up fire on the Americans" if they
fired on the civilians.
· Evacuated nine civilians, including five children and
returned to rescue a baby clinging to its dead mother.
· Put his own life on the line by putting himself between the
civilians and the American troops…read more

Slide 5

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· In training soldiers trained to follow orders + becomes basis of
everything they do
· Killed civilians as following orders from legitimate authority
· Shown in Milgram's original experiment where 65% of pps obeyed to
· Agency theory sates these people were in the agentic state where
people :
· Do not follow their own moral code
· Do not take responsibility for their actions
· Become agents of legitimate authority
· The American soldiers were in this agentic state when hey killed the
civilians as they did not follow their moral code
· They were doing as they said "just following orders"…read more

Slide 6

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· Hugh Thompson was the helicopter pilot who helped the
civilians in My Lai
· Agency theory states that as well as the agentic state there is
also the autonomous state
· In the autonomous state people:
· Take responsibility for their actions
· Follow their own moral code
· They have free will
· Hugh Thompson stayed in the autonomous state during the
attack on My Lai and so was able to follow his own moral code
· This meant he did not take part in the killing of the civilians like
the other soldiers…read more

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