The question is why.
Last February I posted The Perry O'Brien WSI e-mail here. That e-mail appeared at IVAW's Adam Kokesh's blog on December 4, 2007. It read as follows:
Dear Friends,O'Brien ran the WSI testifier and testimony verification process. In that post I pointed out that by February this was being reported:
As you may or may not know, Iraq Veterans Against the War is currently organizing an exciting campaign called Winter Soldier: Iraq andAfghanistan. This March, over one hundred members of IVAW will gather in Washington DC to testify to the war crimes that they observed or participated in while deployed overseas. The goal of this testimony is to condemn military policies and challenge the liberation narrative being fed to the American public...please forward this e-mail on to others.
Best, - Perry Perry O'Brien Testimonial Team Leader Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan" firstname.lastname@example.org Posted by Adam Kokesh at 2:33 AM
"Return of the Winter Soldier: Iraq Vets Prepare Atrocity TestimonyI also pointed out at that time that there was evidence that IVAW was backing down from the lurid atrocity claims, and it now seems that was so because they just weren't getting the material or those to deliver it. That number forty-five is very close to the actual number of IVAW veterans that testified at Winter Soldier, but nothing even close to all or even most of them testified to those kinds of events! In December the IVAW had seemingly high confidence of having over one hundred testifiers who had witnessed or participated in war crimes but by mid-March that number had dwindled to a relative handful!
By Erin Thompson
From the February 4, 2008 issue
...more than 45 current and former soldiers plan to describe the indiscriminate killing and injuring of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the use of chemical weapons, the torture and killing of detainees, rape — within the military itself and against Iraqi civilians — the denial of medical care to the injured and the mutilation of the dead, and other war crimes.”
IVAW was vetting their members and their testimonies. The very reasonable assumption is that in doing so, a whole lot of the claims about themselves and charges their members were bantering about among friendly and accepting company didn't hold up. Such tales that would bring a certain group status and approval and little if any doubt or skepticism (as with Jesse MacBeth) didn't pass muster when being verified with an eye towards the scrutiny WSI would certainly get and was already getting in the blogosphere.
Winter Soldier did not deliver the atrocity-fest advertised and hoped for, yet that is in spite of many members of IVAW and their colluding allies railing on and on about witnessing and participating in war crimes and atrocities for years!
As such, on the upper left of this page I have posted a Winter Soldier section, under which one can find WSI Testifiers and Testimonies as well as WSI Missing Testifiers and Testimonies. The various testimonies are being verified, as all expect. Yet IVAW members like Adam Kokesh and Geoff Millard play the "Don't throw me in the briar patch" game of hoping that the veteran status of their testifiers is challenged, and that is likely a ruse meant to hide where they know they have a damaging problem. There is an IVAW credibility story, a potentially huge one, in the number of IVAW members and the tales they have told that did not make it to Winter Soldier.
I've listed some of the no-show members as well as stories that were not told or were told at WSI with details missing or changed. I will add to that list, and as always ask for input from any on those I'm missing. Some of IVAW's most lurid atrocity chargers are on that list.
We can't expect the IVAW to admit publicly that they may have found fraudulent claims about themselves or events being made by their members, sometimes for years. When the MacBeth imbroglio hit, IVAW only sought to seriously verify his veteran status after he was effectively challenged by others and merely distanced itself from MacBeth after he was outed. There was no admission to or aplogy for having given MacBeth the platform ypon which to make those false charges.
So researchers, diggers and fact finders, there is a lot to be uncovered about what went missing. I have no doubt that IVAW verifed the DD214s for example of everyone who testified. I also don't doubt that they sought to check the DD214s of those - who didn't testify. And their claims to have participated ot witnessed things. That's a story worth developing.