Sunday, March 2, 2008

WSI: Atrocities, War Crimes and Murder Back On Top

UPDATE: Robin at Chickenhawk Express is on the story!

The photo on the right, with that "We Came, We Saw, We Murdered" is on display at the IVAW home page.

For some weeks now IVAW's Army Sergeant has been trying at this site and others to tell us that WSI is not going to be about such things, but will be simply a chance to give veterans a space to simply tell their stories. Sorry, Sarge, but that is not holding water. This is from the TimesOnLine today, March 2:

"In 1971, the protest group Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered at a hotel in Detroit. More than 100 veterans talked about the atrocities they had witnessed in southeast Asia...The Vietnam vets, spurred on by the court martial of Lt William Calley, who had ordered the infamous My Lai massacre, wanted to turn a tide too – against public opinion, to demonstrate that the execution of hundreds of innocent villagers in 1968 was not an isolated incident as so many believed."

See the recent article “Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit ‘Winter Soldier’ Claims” at

"This month, for four days in Washington, DC, beginning on March 13, there will be a second Winter Soldier gathering...Organised by the protest group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan...will testify about their experiences. They will present photographs and videos, recorded with mobile phones and digital cameras, to back up their allegations – of brutality, torture and murder...they seek to shine a light on the bigger picture: that the Abu Ghraib prison regime and the Haditha massacre of innocent Iraqis are not isolated incidents perpetrated by 'bad seeds' as the military suggests, but evidence of an endemic problem."
TimesOnLine repeats the now thoroughly discredited "revenge rampage" slander of the Haditha Marines, and delivers it in such a way to imply that they got that from IVAW's Jason Washburn:

"It was a squad in [Jason Washburn's] unit that went on the rampage after their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED)."

Wasburn goes on to reveal that while the Haditha incident has troubled him, he was not troubled enough to actually follow the story, and that is no doubt because the myth serves the IVAW purpose better:

“I have a lot of feelings about this incident. A friend of mine from my first two tours was in that squad. He was the guy they gave immunity to to testify against the squad leader. The people on the ground are looking at serious prison time. Like life. The people who were giving orders were only relieved of command. And I don’t think that’s right.” Washburn says Haditha was not an isolated incident. “It’s the one that just happened to be uncovered.”

The Times goes on to claim:

"At the Winter Soldier (1971) event, veterans’ stories will be corroborated by other veterans; backed up by the volume of testifiers who have witnessed the same things – in different units, years apart and in different countries."

Note the odd missing details, like who, when, where, stuff like that. Note how IVAW seriously wants the details that can lead to the truth to be presented:

"There will be up to 100 veterans and, at present, 80 of them have submitted testimonies...Nobody is permitted to name anyone below the rank of captain."

And the money quote:

"After the hearings, all the testimonies will be entered into the congressional record."
IVAW really does expect that to happen again, with no oaths, no cooperation with legitimate investigations, no legally required reports, depositions and/or affidavits! From the statements of signatories to the Appeal to the Senate Armed Services Committee that such an injustice not happen again:

  • “As both a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and one who served during Tet-1968 I ask that you please do not allow our Brave Men & Women serving in Harms Way in Iraq and Afghanistan to go through what we Vietnam Vets went through in returning home.” Lawrence B. Hoffa, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “It is especially important that, if claims of illegal acts are made against US military personnel, the claimant be subpoenaed for sworn testimony.” Dr. Marc Fries, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “Never again let our veterans feel their Country doesn't stand behind them. Thank you.” Gini Squire, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “We will NOT STAND for any repeat of what our veterans went through in Vietnam. NEVER AGAIN!” Robert Caissie, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “As I vividly recall The Congress is charged with providing the Common Defense of this Republic. Do the Right Thing... for those that have served honorably in the Uniform Services of this Nation. Unsworn testimony in the Congressional Record by malcontents? God Save this Republic from them.” Maj. S. M. HARTNETT USMC, Ret, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “The honor of those who serve our country should not be allowed to be stained by these "sunshine patriots." Please do not allow another generation of soldiers to be found guilty in the court of public opinion without signed depositions and witness statements.” Ron Allen, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “As a Vietnam Era USMC Veteran, who also had a sister in the Corps and three brothers in the Army then, and lost a family member in Kuwait in March 5, 2004, I can not stress enough my support for this petition. Our "Troops," "Veterans," and Our "Nation" deserve accountability based on facts not innuendo or political expedience!” Brenda S. Ramos, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “As a retired 23 year special ops veteran, I demand that the US government not allow a repeat of the 1971 winter soldier fiasco of liars, anarchists and socialist politicians. We veterans and active duty military will be closely watching how our collective reputations are protected, or not, by you the government of the US.” Timothy L. Woods, USAF, MAJ, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I'm a proud Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom!” Paul Couturier, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “As a commissioned officer veteran of the Vietnam War, I ask that the honorable members of the US Senate take action to prevent lies similar to those told before you after the conflict in Vietnam from tarnishing the honor of our men and women involved in Iraq.” Gary J. Honold, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am a VietNam Vet. I was offended with John Kerry and the likes of him back i n 1971 and am offended with the so-called Obama story on the lieutenant in Afghanistan. Give us date, times and names. Not usual barracks B.S. talk, but real facts and none of this political rhetoric and war stories without substance. Without facts of dates, times & names, its pure fiction. I didn't like being labeled a killer back then and I know our soldiers now don't either. If you make a public claim, then back it up under oath with a penalty of perjury if you don't. Let's keep the politics out of it and let our troops do their jobs.” Ishmel Taylor, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “It is about time the risks, the service of our military overseas is reviewed, evaluated and protected by honest criteria, instead of lies, innuendo and rhetoric that is intended solely for political purposes.” Tom Page, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am a Korean War Ex-POW and a 2-tour veteran of the Vietnam War with the 101st Abn Div. My generation was disgraced by people of the same ilk as the IVAW. Do not let the IRAQ Veterans suffer the same fate as the Korean & Vietnam Veterans did.” Edwin C. Lundquist, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am a Combat Vietnam Veteran 1965-1967 We do not need the same garbage to happen to the Gallant Men and Women that are now serving. See what happened to our Country before. It took 35 to 40 years to over come the crap. God Bless our Country and the Men and Women who are now serving.” Johnie Lee Qualls, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am a former member of the USAF who served honorably from 1973 to 1984. We must honor our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coasties. They stood up for us by serving voluntarily, Now we must honor them by standing up for them and doing what is right.” Charles F. Gait, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “Unless sworn testimony can be proven to be accurate, this testimony should not be included in the Congressional Record. When the Vietnam Veterans Against the War provided testimony and it was included in the Congressional Record, Congress dropped the ball and failed to investigate. When it was independently investigated, many of those who testified [were] proven to be liars. Don't let this happen to another generation.” Vickie Perkins, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I beg you... Do not let this go unchecked. Not again.” Dan Clifford, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “The Armed Services Committee should be present for the entire proceeding and have access to those testifying. Any allegations against our troops, be it equipment shortages to any alleged atrocities should be aggressively challenged and thoroughly investigated. No one should be able to make any claims unless they are willing to back them up and cooperate with an investigation. I would prefer that they be sworn in before they testify and held liable for any false testimony.” Daniel Recine, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “If testimony regarding the use of steroids by Major League Baseball players rises to the level of requiring sworn testimony in order for the statements to be entered into the Congressional record, certainly claims of widespread atrocities, indiscriminate and unwarranted killing of civilians and destruction of property and infrastructure, torture of detainees, mutilation of corpses and the illegal use of Afghan bodies for medical "practice", rampant sexual misconduct, racism and drug/alcohol use by American soldiers and more should also require that such statements be attested to by sworn statement and legally authenticated affidavits.” Bruce, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “It is our duty as Americans to protect the honor of our troops from slander and defamation at home while they are serving us abroad.” Dan Maloney, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am the sister of a Medal Of Honor soldier killed in Viet Nam and it breaks my heart to see once again our soldiers in Iraq vilified. They are America's best and they are giving their lives for us and the people of Iraq. Please do what is right.” Patricia (Gertsch) Leggate, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “No testimony should be taken without accountability and proof; and certainly not entered into the Congressional Record without that proof. I can't believe that was allowed to happen in 1971!!!” Richard Miller, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “Dearest Honorable members of the SASC, Right your wrong from the past. My father and uncles hung their heads at the admission of their service because of you. Right your wrong. Be proud of your veterans, not suspicious.” Thomas Chandler, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I request that the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee not allow what happened to a previous generation of veterans be allowed to happen to another and even be aided, as it was then, by the United States Senate.” MSG ROGER H. COOPER USA(RET) , SASC Petition Signatory
  • “As a Vietnam War Army volunteer and partially disabled veteran, I have lived through this ugly lie for nearly four decades... almost my entire adult life. Don't let this travesty destroy the public perception of our honored military again. They have more than earned their honor with their blood, their sweat, and the tears of their loved ones.” Donald Castella, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am in full agreement with this petition, and trust that the honorable members of the committee well ensure that these accusations by the IVAW are fully investigated and dealt with appropriately.” Timothy S. Kindred, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “I am a combat veteran 1966-1969. Please do not allow the slanderous travesty that happened in 1971 to once again occur. Our Soldiers and Marines deserve better from their legislators.” Robert l Monahan, SASC Petition Signatory
  • “Past Commander American Legion Post 291 Newport Beach, California If we as a country order our troops into harms way, it seems to me we have an obligation to stand with them in matters of ethics and integrity among other things. Those who are willing to testify, should be allowed to do so under oath and for the record. The record should not include unverified information from those not sworn to tell the whole truth.” Paul Curtis, SASC Petition Signatory


Robin said...

Denis - you beat me to the punch. I was just going to email you about this article. So much for "not indicting the military" claims, huh?

Denis Keohane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denis Keohane said...

Robin, I keep hearing the same tired and drilled into them rhetoric about "bad apples" and we don't really want to blame the troops - and the blind self-centered occupants of their support echo chamber simply won't listen to people who have seen the result of this for decades, on thousands and millions of the "troops"!!!!

You convince enough Americans that this smear is true, a great many will believe the military top brass or politicians are ultimately responsible - but they will also with justification think those troops IVAW falsely claims to care about are dangerous and untrustworthy people! That is what WSI 1971 did for the Viet Vets! They are peddling that the troops are committing these atrocities, and they really expect no repercussions to fall on the troops! Human beings don't operate that way! For most folks, the concept of someone else putting you in a situation or instituting an "informal policy" to kill innocents, children, the elderly, women - will not buy that here is not individual responsibility and accountability! "The Army made me do it" doesn't compute!

And just as with the VVAW, these are the folks who are granted forgiveness because they admitted to it, and the other millions who served honorably are - the ones hiding the truth of their crimes!

It is sickening!

TimesOnLine had:

"Washburn says Haditha was not an isolated incident. 'It’s the one that just happened to be uncovered.'"

So many IVAW say the same thing! You would hope that once, just once, if this was not isolated one of these self aggrandizing morally superior gossips masquerading as moral lights would identify some of these other common incidents with detail! If there are so many, what is the problem????

I deleted the last comment simply because this has me so furious that I made more than my usual typos, like exponentially!

No, they won't! Their handlers didn't train them that way.

talon said...

How about reporting these allegations to the proper authorities and testifying under oath?? How is it that IVAW is so singularly incapable of following proper legal procedures?

In truth, IVAW never got off the "systematic brutality" narrative - they just made it appear so through a sleight of ye olde semantical hand. The only people they are kidding are themselves - they think they can trash their military and civilian leadership with unsubstantiated and unsworn "testimony" to "war crimes" without defaming every GI in the process. For what it's worth, they might as well go back and employ Kerry's "Genghis Khan" rhetoric - it's a difference without any distinction.