Washington, DC (Rotters) - In what will likely be a controversial decision, President Bush today announced a team of specialists who will begin retraining Marine and Army troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan after the recent revelations of alleged massacres at Haditha and other locations. Bush has re-enlisted former Army Lt. William Calley to spearhead the initiative. Calley is notorious as the only soldier convicted for the massacre of over 300 civilians at Mai Lai in 1968 during the Vietnam War. Calley was sentenced to life in prison for the offense but was released in 1974.
Calley's appointment today comes as Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the newly elected prime minister of Iraq has angrily claimed that the American occupation force's violence against Iraqi civilians is a "daily phenomenon". Al-Maliki has also insisted that America turn over all investigative files to date in regards to the incident at Haditha to the Iraqi government so that they might conduct their own investigation. The Bush administration has yet to respond to these latest demands.
"He brings a unique perspective to this troubling incident." stated Bush at an early morning introduction in the East room of the White House. "Since he was the only person successfully convicted in the senseless tragedy at Mai Lai, his insights should be very beneficial to the boots we have on the ground now."
Calley did not field questions from reporters after the president's introduction, but White House staffers stated that he was honored to be able to again serve his country in this capacity. Since his release, Calley has resided in Columbus, Georgia and has been employed as a manager of a local jewelry store.
Calley's story and the massacre at Mai Lai became ingrained into American consciousness through a number of books, and notably a mildly successful movie starring a young Harrison Ford.
An anonymous White House news analyst stated that he was not at all surprised by the appointment of Calley, citing previous administration decisions such as the appointment of John Negroponte as overall security czar, John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations, and Michael Brown as a lead investigator into mismanagement of the response to hurricane Katrina. "There is a clear strategy of risk management that this administration appears to be quite comfortable with," he stated.