James L.S. Bowdish TV interview with Diamond Litty, Public Defender, 9/4/2018
Below is a video of the TV interview on September 4, 2018, with Public Defender of the 19th Judicial Circuit, Diamond Litty, concerning my participation during 1969 and 1970 in the first of the My Lai Massacre courts-martial trials. Diamond Litty’s TV interview lasted about a half-hour. I joined the Army JAG Corps in July, 1969 and was honorably discharged in 1973 and joined the Crary law firm at that time.
When assigned to the case in October of 1969, I was a 25-year-old greenhorn attorney Captain in the US Army JAG (Judge Advocate General’s Corps), one of about 6 attorneys in the office of the Staff Judge Advocate of the First Armored Division at Ft. Hood, Texas. This was in the middle years of the Vietnam War.
The JAG Corps recently published a series of articles in the March 2018 issue of the Army Lawyer magazine covering the My Lai incident, one of which dealt with my experience as defense counsel in U.S. v. Mitchell which went to trial by a general court-martial in the fall of 1970. He was acquitted by the court-martial panel of officers, all of which were Vietnam combat veterans. The link is below.
The My Lai incident occurred in Quang Gnai province in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, 50 years ago, only 2 months after the famous Tet Offensive. It was a very unfortunate and tragic event in the history of the U.S. Army’s conduct of the Vietnam War.