Contents: The Sir! No Sir! blog is an information clearing house, drawing on a wide variety of sources, to track the unfolding history of the new GI Movement, and the wars that brought the movement to life.
Where applicable, parallels will be drawn between the new movement and the Vietnam era movement which was the focus of the film Sir! No Sir!
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This announcement was published by EaglesUp, March 4, 2008
Washington, D.C., March 4, 2008 – A national coalition of pro-troop and veteran organizations is gathering in the Washington area next week to oppose a planned reenactment of Sen. John Kerry’s infamous “Winter Solider” anti-Vietnam War event that, like its predecessor, will feature “testimony” alleging atrocities committed by American troops this time in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Eagles Up www.eaglesup.us and other organizations are taking aim at Winter Soldier II, patterned after a similar event staged by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971. Although most of the “veterans” who “testified” in Kerry’s event a generation ago were later found to be frauds, and their testimony was either disproved or impossible to verify, the damage to the Vietnam generation was long enduring.
Hosted by Iraq Veterans Against the War, the ANSWER coalition, CODE PINK, MOVEON.ORG, and associated organizations this generation’s Winter Soldier reenactment is considered to be on a par with its predecessor, with a twist. In 1971 the media accepted the stories of atrocities literally without question, and Kerry even testified before Congress using graphic images of torture and murder, which he claimed were widespread and American military policy.
But Eagles Up and the other pro-troop organizations including Move America Forward and Rolling Thunder will not allow this attack on our troops to go unchallenged. Vietnam and Iraq war veterans and their supporters are demanding that all who participate in the IVAW event submit to identification verification and that their claims are specific including times, dates, places, units involved, leadership and witnesses.
In addition, anyone claiming to have participated in or witnessed an atrocity without attempting to halt it or report it will be referred to the appropriate civilian and military authorities as participants in or accessories to war crimes. Eagles Up leader, Col. Harry Riley, US Army (ret.) said “We have two objectives: To counter and challenge IVAW Winter Soldier II (WSII) Testimony on March 14 by demanding ‘truth.’"
Col. Riley added, “Our second objective is to participate in a peaceful march in Washington, DC on March 15th that reflects a view of appreciation, uplifting, pride in America, our troops and families. This will be a positive event with flags, banners, patriotic music, fellowship, and oriented for the entire family of patriots.
“Americans are standing up to attacks on our nation and people from those that tend to support the constant drum beat of surrender," Col. Riley said.
Thousands will put "boots on the ground" in Washington, DC on March 14/15 to challenge one devious aspect of the threat on America – those that would have us surrender to the Islamic butchers and dishonor our warriors,” Col Riley added.
“It's a sacrifice for many of us to get to DC but it's also a sacrifice for our families and warriors to offer up their lives. The least we can do is protect their backs.”
Yesterday, and in spite of the fact these groups were not able to get more than 50 people these folks put on the best face and claimed it was because most of their supporters were up on Capitol Hill petitioning their Congressmen to not include the testimony offered by witnesses in the Congressional record.
I am constantly amazed at how rank and file chicken hawks continue to beliueve that the War in Iraq is protecting us from terrorism, and seem to be driven insane when they are shown irrefutable proof that the bill of goods they were sold was a forgery. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been trolling through the outer reaches of the virtual universe looking for everything written about the upcoming Winter Soldier hearings, and while the left has its fair share of thoughtless fools, who revel in insulting rank and file soldiers with no understanding that there is a world of difference between the brass and lifers on the one hand and those enlisted men and women who now find themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This stupidity however, pales in comparison the unadulterated brutality of the Orwellian alternate universe Chicken Hawks fly around in. I realize it is a lot easier to read the cliff notes to James Joyce's Ulysses than it is to struggle through the original, but you are not going to be able to do anything more than scrape through a multiple choice quiz about the book and will certainly learn nothing. The same is true with the upcoming Winter Soldier Hearings and the Iraq Veterans Against the War, which are denounced by people based on what they have been told by Scott Swett, John O'Neil and their fellow swift-boaters. Not one of them have bothered to read the transcripts of the Winter Soldier Hearings, but they state with absolute certainty and conviction that the supposed eyewitnesses could only describe war crimes that they were told about third hand and never witnessed.
One of the most unpleasant of these accusers is a lady who proudly class herself Chicken hawk Express. In one of her latest attacks on the credibility of the witnesses at the events in DC this week, she makes the following blanket statement "all in all it looks like it will be the same old thing - claims of "I was told", "I didn’t actually witness but heard about it", ad-nausea." She ends her attack with the threat that the participants had better be sure of their facts because she and her colleagues would be fact checking everything with Lexis-Nexus. While I have access to Lexis-Nexus, it unfortunately does not go back as far as 1971 so one can not use it to check how many times “I was told” and “I didn’t actually witness but heard about it” appear in the transcript. However, I do have access to the Sir! No Sir! Archive dataabase (http://www.sirnosir.com/library/articles/search.html) and was able to do a phase search for both. The phrase "I didn’t actually witness but heard about it" does not appear once in the transcripts. As for the phrase “I was told”, it appears 19 times.
One witness uses it in the context of shoddy medical treament he received after being wounded over the Easter Weekend in 1969 :
“My Easter of '69 wasn't exactly what I'd call a treat. I was wounded. They decided that I wasn't wounded bad enough to be dusted off, so I waited a period of approximately nine hours while I was laying in a pig sty to be dusted off. When I was dusted off, I was taken to the hospital. I will say the treatment I got was fast, but efficient, it wasn't. I was taken into the operating room and worked on. They completely neglected the wounds on my arms and, of course, I had to say, "I don't think you're finished yet." So they sewed up the wounds on my arms. I was then released to get to a ward. I was put in a ward where there was no medic, no supervisor. I was told by the man laying next to me that I was hemorrhaging. Well, since there was no one in the ward that meant I had to get up and walk back to the operating room and open the door and say, "Doctor, I'm not done." Then they put me back on the table and said, "Oh, I guess you're not!" And they finished it up. “ (http://sirnosir.com/archives_and_resources/library/war_crimes/winter_soldier/1st_infantry_1.html)
While the transcripts of the hearings are unpleasant reading, the witnesses are very clear that while they and their fellow GIs committed brutal and unspeakable acts, they were extremely careful not to blame enlisted men or junior officers. The Winter Soldiers, like many in the GI movement laid the blame squarely on the corporate elites who profited from the war, successive administrations and their political allies who were determined not to be the first Americans to lose a war and the brass, who in an effort to ensure victory unleashed the full force of American might upon the population of South Vietnam.
The fact they held the brass and the corporate and political elites responsible for what was occurring in Vietnam was made crystal clear, by William Crandall, who in his opening statement remarked “We intend to tell who it was that gave us those orders; that created that policy; that set that standard of war bordering on full and final genocide. We intend to demonstrate that My Lai was no unusual occurrence, other than, perhaps, the number of victims killed all in one place, all at one time, all by one platoon of us. We intend to show that the policies of Americal Division which inevitably resulted in My Lai were the policies of other Army and Marine Divisions as well. We intend to show that war crimes in Vietnam did not start in March 1968, or in the village of Son My or with one Lt. William Calley. We intend to indict those really responsible for My Lai, for Vietnam, for attempted genocide.”
In an effort to win the war, grunts and junior officers were ordered to “uproot … hundreds of thousands of peasants from their villages and … [move] … them into government refugee camps. The villages were then razed and the destroyed areas proclaimed free-fire zones. Vietnamese found in these zones were automatically considered Viet Cong and … subject to American fire without warning.” (Christian Appy, Working Class War 226-227) Reading through the transcripts of the hearings, most of the atrocities described occurred in these free fire zones.
The indiscriminate killing of Vietnamese, vividly described by the Winter Soldiers, within these free fire zones was driven by the equating iof “victory … [with] … a high body count. … The pressure on unit commanders to produce enemy corpses was intense, and they in turn communicated it to their troops.” (Ibid 227) As Philip Caputo observed, in his memoir a Rumor of War, “if it’s dead and Vietnamese, its VC” which resulted in “even the narrowly defined goal of killing communists proved, in practice, merely an effort to produce Vietnamese corpses.” (ibid 227).
While no detailed study of the political affiliations of the Winter Soldier Witnesses exist, Dr. Hamid Molwana and Paul Geffert detailed “profile study of members of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War”, published in 1971 as the appendix to The New Soldier allows one to draw some conclusions. The majority had enlisted, were politically conservative and had either felt the “US was justified in being there” (28.5%), or had “[n]o strong feeling about our intervention or non-intervention” (47.5%) in Vietnam. When asked what had radicalized them, Molwana and Geffert found the majority of the membership of VVAW (62%), and by implication the Winter Soldiers, had been radicalized by their experiences in Vietnam , not as been claimed over the last 30 years by either the undue influence of civilian activists in the United States or the various Communist Parties in power at the time. A similar drift is occurring among servicemen deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is this drift, not the machinations of washed up old communists and former VVAW members, that is the impetus for the Winter Soldier Hearings.
For the second time in 40 years, American Servicemen and veterans have felt it necessary to publicly challenge the synthesis of military action with the goals and needs of corporate imperialism. Unfortunately, for the last 30 years these servicemen have been successfully misrepresented [swiftboated] as accusing their fellow GIs of unspeakable acts, it is up to us, to support, stand with and amplify their challenge.
The Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) video has been circulating on the Net for over a week, and can be seen at IVAW's Army Sergeant's site, Active Duty Patriot. A friend of mine received an e-mail from a former combat medic in Vietnam, John "Doc" Boyle. "Doc" served as Company Medic in D Co.,19th Engineer Battalion (Combat)(Army), Quang Ngai Province, RVN, 1967-68. The friend suggested that Mr. Boyle forward the e-mail and accompanying pictures to me, which he did, with permission to use the material.
I gave some thought to how to present Mr. Boyle's material, and then simply decided that "as written" is the only method that will do it justice. Mr. Boyle writes with strong emotion, and the photos go a long way in showing why that is the case. Yet he does so without detriment to the intellectual soundness of the points he makes. So also, and something the relative youngsters of IVAW don't seem to be able to or want to grasp, his ire is directed at the legacy the first WSI bequeathed, unfairly, to 2.9 million Vietnam Veterans for what has been the majority of their lives, and that the same may happen to another generation.
What the former combat medic says about medical triage in combat as opposed to how it was presented in the IVAW video is extremely telling.
"IVAW's new preview video of their 'winter soldier' tribunal is just awful. If this is the best they can do, they will never withstand critical inspection. Talk about propaganda! I now *get* that this is timed as an effort to make the war an issue in the election campaign; or, more exactly, to delegitimize any candidate who supports a now 'unfortunately' (to them) successful war.
The event plans look like an exact duplicate of WSI - 1971, including journalists and 'professionals.' Obviously the IVAW's mentors are folks we have run into before. The video is all mournful music and long sections of ominous but generic Iraq war zone videos and graphic photos with zero context: no captions and no voice over, no set-up comments and no after-word comments. The 'witness' talk has no connection to anything depicted in the videos and still photos. None.
One gruesome image is a body with a blown up head, obviously a sniper head shot - but we are not supposed to notice the guy has a suicide bomb vest on. Another body is burnt to a crisp - but we are not supposed to remember that it is a photo from Fallujah of a Blackwater contractor's desecrated body prior to the infamous bridge hanging by insurgents. The 'implication' is that these are all results of 'awfu' American military actions - 'atrocities' (but that word is unspoken - let pictures say the thousand lying words they dare not speak). Going for the emotional gut shot, not rationality or even honesty - or, just like B. Obama - not even any content beyond emotional appeal (or, in this case, emotional aversion).
The three 'witnesses' in the video have not one concrete or specific detail to tell among them. It is all the generalized whining of group therapeutic narcissism, common in the 25 Army WSI witnesses from 1971 whom the CID investigators declined to be bothered with. No dates, no place names, no unit designations, no personnel names. Nada. Pitifully forced angst. And hokum.
Reality check: One 'witness' tells of an American soldier seriously injured in a vehicle roll-over. He claims the soldier was given zero medical help (zero!) because the medics invoked triage protocol and said he was going to die anyway.'Oh, the inhumanity!' we are incited to think.
The 'witness' totally misrepresents what 'triage' means. Triage is only invoked in mass casualty situations where the available medical resources might be overwhelmed by the number of casualties - time wasted on those badly hurt but who cannot be saved, taken away from those less seriously hurt who could have been saved if resources had been properly rationed. Yet this "witness" does not refer to any other casualty in this incident but one. There is no such thing as triage of one casualty. The casualty did die, reports this witness, hours later 'enroute to the clinic.' BUT, if they did 'triage' him out, how did he wind up on his way to a hospital for treatment? The internal inconsistencies are embarrassingly obvious to anyone who knows anything about such situations.
There is not a medic in the Army or Marines (Navy Corpsmen) I ever heard of who would not risk his own life to save another soldier, let alone prefer to not *inconvenience* himself over a dying guy. It's what we were trained for; it's what gives meaning to our even being there. I've personally given CPR to the already dead! In the attached photos (ED: scroll down), I am under that rolled bulldozer with the casualty, and you can see one of our boot soles in the shadows at the center of one of the photos. He did die (three days later in the hospital - the 20 year old on the stretcher - I've blurred his features here deliberately). He stopped breathing while I was under that dozer with him, while between us was a hot engine over the middle of his body and concertina barbed wire wrapped all around. I could not quite reach him - an arms length separated us.
The frustration was agonizing and my own predicament did not even occur to me until later. We literally moved heaven and earth to save him. While the engineers dug out with shovels around the sides, and they searched for wire cutters and flak jackets as heat shields for me to use, a crane was brought up and actually lifted the damn dozer off of us. The heroes of MedEvac did mid-air CPR and got him to a hospital alive.
THIS is why we Nam Vets are so pissed at these goddam liars ever since 1971, and now - unbelievably - again.
Tell them: we know what you are! We are watching you! We will not be silent this time!
Never, never again!
John Boyle Company Medic D Co.,19th Engineer Battalion (Combat)(Army) Quang Ngai Province, RVN, 1967-68"
This is extremely big and timely news.
FRONTPAGE published an article today by Scott Swett, the proprietor of WinterSoldier.com and the author (along with Tim Ziegler) of “To Set The Record Straight – How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry.”
The article is entitled “Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit ‘Winter Soldier’ Claims”, found here.
Read the article. It is devastating to both the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI), and to the IVAW and their upcoming "WSI – Iraq and Afghanistan" that they have so energetically tied, even in name, to that earlier event!
Swett has come into possession of and published on-line copies of the Army CID (Criminal Investigation Detachment) summaries of the investigations of the charges made by purported and real Army veterans and members of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War at the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation.
Similar files and the findings they revealed from the Navy's NIS were written of years ago by the historian Guenter Lewy in his 1980 book ‘American in Vietnam'. While there has been indication that some others had seen those files, they have been missing from the available public record for decades.
Just yesterday I posted “A Vietnam Vet Replies to the IVAW Video”, in which I published comments and photos I received from John “Doc” Boyle. Boyle had sent them to me at the suggestion of a friend. That friend was Scott Swett. Scott and I have become acquainted via e-mail after my article last October in American Thinker, “Investigate the Winter Soldier Investigation”.
Today I find that John Boyle was instrumental in finding those files in the possession of an historian who had made copies before the record disappeared into the labyrinth of the National Archives! Scott and John, well done!
Some at IVAW, members and even non-members operating behind the scenes, have known all along what they were and are attempting. Others have been led, and I have to add willingly, down a primrose path by the old leftist guard of the VVAW and VFP.
Last January, I posted “Winter Soldier 2008 Preview” in which I addressed comments by IVAW member Matt Howard. Howard has become adept at mouthing the empty inanities and pseudo intellectual formulations passed on to him no doubt by and through those elders. At Dandelion Salad, Howard said: “So Iraq Veterans Against the War is taking back our history – the history that has been robbed from us. We are dispelling the myth that the Vietnam war ended when the Democrats started voting against it. Instead we are spreading the truth about how the American War in Vietnam ended. The Vietnam War ended when soldiers put down their weapons and refused to fight; when pilots dropped their bombs in the ocean.”
What struck me at the time I read that is that there are a great many serious historical works written about the Vietnam War, from a wide range of perspectives and political leanings. One can search and search in vain for any remotely serious historical analysis that will credit the ending of that war to anything as delusional as “soldiers put down their weapons…pilots dropped their bombs in the ocean…”
The only explanation for that, and other statements made and actions taken by IVAW members, including simply naming their event after and self-consciously equating it to the 1971 WSI, is that they have been fed a whole lot of outright hokum and garbage by the leftist elders recounting their halcyon glory days when they think they represented a great “resistance” movement within the ranks!
I will have more to say about this later, time permitting. For now, the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) now has the opportunity to know exactly what horse they had determinedly hitched their wagon to for these last few months, even to naming their upcoming event after what was, as many have said, a travesty and an injustice. It is probably too late for the IVAW to change the name from “Winter Soldier Investigation – Iraq and Afghanistan” to something like “Just Us Vets Telling of Our Experiences!”
It is one of those days when yet another member of the Iraq Veterans Against the Word blithely goes about the business of defaming our country and possibly getting some of our troops killed!
Before I take on IVAW member Harvey Tharp, something in a similar vein but more entertaining. No one I know can make me laugh as much while he eviscerates someone as Thus Spake Ortner (TSO), who does so here and here at The Sniper to the well deserving Matt Howard of IVAW.
An interview with Harvey Tharp was published yesterday in the Yemen Times. For any Democrats or geographically challenged out there, Yemen sits along the southern Saudi Arabian border. It can reasonably be described as a Middle Eastern Arab Moslem country.
Here is the lede:
"An ex-American Navy Lieutenant: “It is just a matter of time before the American people get sick of this war and force a pull out.” - Yemen Times"
Tharpe is a military lawyer, and the military financed his education. He was also somewhat proficient in Arabic, and as such was deployed to Kirkuk from October 2003 to March 2004. He was assigned to a diplomatic team handling reconstruction.
Tharp tells the interviewer:
"In April 2004...it...became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that this hadn’t been an honest mistake, it had all been lies."
Tharp is saying this in Yemen. The intelligence service and leaders of Yemen were among those many in the world, some even beyond the reach of Karl Rove's mind control ray, who also believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs before the 2003 invasion! Such easy to find facts of course wouldn't trouble someone as intelligent as Harvey Tharp, who has memorized the entire Code Pink Manual with forward by Michael Moore! The President of Yemen from before the 2003 invasion and continuing today is Ali Abdullah Selah.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
"When the president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had close ties with Hussein, told Vice President Cheney that Hussein did not want war but would use chemical weapons if attacked, Mr. Cheney did not blink. The Americans, said Cheney, would deal with them."
As an aside, the President of Yemen was not the only person stating such a warning. Well before he became the first crooner of the Bush-lied chorus, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, husband of super-duper-top-secret-master-spy Valerie Plame, wrote an Op-Ed for the LA Times on the eve (Feb 6, 2003) of the invasion of Iraq. Entitled A "Big Cat" with Nothing to Lose, Wilson warned that:
"There is now no incentive for Hussein to comply with the inspectors or to refrain from using weapons of mass destruction to defend himself if the United States comes after him.
And he will use them; we should be under no illusion about that."
Tharp goes on to tell the interviewer of his time in Iraq:
"...although I had to display considerable physical courage to drive around the city in a conspicuous vehicle with no radio in a very dangerous situation, I wasn’t a combatant."
This is not the first time I have come across Tharp still seeming very upset that he was driving around Kirkuk in such unguarded fashion as well as commending his own bravery. I do not doubt for a moment that there was risk involved in that, but Kirkuk was in the heavily Kurdish north, crawling at the time with our allied Kurdish Peshmerga. It was not one of Iraq's hotspots. Tharp has never written that I have seen that he ever came under any kind of fire. When asked why he came to live for a time in Yemen, Tharp replied:
"Due to my time in Iraq, I developed post-traumatic stress disorder, so I’m unable to work and I have some spare time."
Alright! Yes, I know PTSD is real. Yes, I know that one does not have to be involved in combat to be exposed to conditions that can cause PTSD. As Mackubin T. Owens wrote of the 1988 Center for Disease Control study of PTSD and Vietnam veterans that found that:
"...15 % of Vietnam veterans experienced some symptoms of combat-related PTSD at some time during or after military service, but that only 2.2 % exhibited symptoms at the time of the study."
And as CBS reported on another study in 2007 by Columbia University:
"Whatever the actual numbers, the researchers said it is clear that the more combat exposure for a veteran, the greater the likelihood of the disorder."
It is four years since Tharp completed his six month tour in Iraq, and he cannot hold a job! My sympathy juices are simply not flowing. There is a man who works at my aerospace company. Other than the occasional "Hi" or "How ya doin'?, we've never talked. We work in different buildings with mostly different people. He is, I would guess, about fifty. Two years ago, when he and his Reserve unit returned from a tour in Iraq, the company held a small ceremony welcoming him back. He was a senior NCO in an engineering unit, maintaining vehicles, and he spoke a bit. His unit had taken frequent rocket and mortar fire, but never engaged in combat. He described what they did as very up-tempo. They tried to keep vehicles in good order and turn around the ones that were damaged, because they knew the lives of the "youngsters" in the fight depended upon them. Sometimes the vehicles came in with damage and sometimes with lots of blood they'd have to clean out. He said that was hard. He thanked everyone for their thoughts, prayers and packages, and then thanked God for granting his prayer that he brought back all of his crew.
He came back from Iraq, spent ten days with his family, and was back at work! The military did not, as they did for Harvey Tharp, put him through law school.
Harvey Tharp was asked what he was going to do when he returned to the U.S. He repiled:
"I’m a member of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. As the only officer who has joined, I’m the highest ranked...I’m going to Washington, D.C. for the winter soldier hearings from March 13-16. Fifty members from the Iraq Veterans Against the War will testify to war crimes they witnessed or even participated in and I’ll be there in support."
Either Harvey Tharp did not get the memo that that is not what Winter Soldier is supposed to be all about (but interestingly he has the more recent "fifty" number, and not the old "over one hundred!), or it's just okay to talk like that to a paper in the Arab Moslem Middle East!
Harvey was asked if he had witnessed any of these war crimes, and gave the standard IVAW reply:
"No, I didn’t personally witness any, but I came to know about certain cases."
Harvey put some moral equivalence perspective into things when he was asked if there were any Yemeni foreign fighters in Iraq:
"I didn’t have any experience of that, but I know Yemenis were among the foreign fighters, although most were Saudis. They were really so-called foreign fighters, but as Americans, so were we!"
Asked if the U.S. has lost the war:
"As far as the U.S. government’s aim to control oil in the Middle East more, it’s been a failure. Once the U.S. military leaves Iraq, the Iraqi government will collapse because it has no legitimacy – and that’s why we’ve lost the war."
Millions of Iraqis risked Al Qaeda "takfirist" reprisal to vote for their government, and Harvey Tharp of IVAW declares the fruits of their risks illegitimate!
Yemen has an Al Qaeda problem. Maybe Harvey Tharp was just trying to help with recruiting. Or just maybe it's the self-obcessed hubris of the morally superior:
"I was able to see the full humanity of Iraqis in a way that we as Americans simply fail to recognize in foreigners generally..."
If Harvey Tharp testifies or takes questions, asking a former Navy JAG about the UCMJ crime reporting requirements could be enlightening.
The membership of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee can be found here.
The addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of members of the United States Senate can be found here.
Please feel free to use the following letter, copy pasted or in any form whatsoever or modified at your sole discretion, to contact members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on this matter.
Click Here to sign the petition, and forward the link to your email lists.
Dear Senator ______________,
During the Democratic Debate between Senators Clinton and Obama televised on the evening of February 21st, Senator Obama spoke of information passed on to him by an officer in the United States Army about our forces in Afghanistan suffering from a shortage of equipment and weapons. The very next day, a member and former Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Warner, sent a letter to Senator Obama, asking for information about these charges. Senator Warner wrote:
“...I, and I believe other members of SASC, have a responsibility to establish where in the military chain of command rests the ‘accountability,’ depending of course, on the accuracy of the facts…
What I need from you are the essential facts of when- the dates- the unit was deployed, to which brigade combat team, or other unit it was assigned, the name and current location of the captain, or other military personnel who shared the alleged facts with you, so that committee staff can debrief them.”
Senator Warner was, as should be the case, taking the oversight responsibility of the members of the SASC seriously.
The anti-war activist organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has advertised widely that it will hold a public event it has entitled “Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI) - Iraq and Afghanistan” near Washington D.C. next month (Mar. 13-16).
The event is self-consciously patterned after the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation held in Detroit by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). During that event, over one hundred purported Vietnam veterans “testified” to widespread and horrific atrocities committed routinely by American forces in Vietnam.
In April of 1971, Senator Mark Hatfield moved that the entire WSI “testimony” be entered into the Congressional Record, while also calling for the relevant investigatory agencies in the military to investigate the charges made. None of that “testimony” had been given under oath or in legally binding depositions or affidavits. Later that same month, Senator William Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee held hearings, well publicized on television, in which young war hero and VVAW leader John Kerry testified to the widespread atrocity “findings” of that WSI.
When military investigators for both the Army and Navy attempted to investigate the charges, those who had “testified” and could be located were almost universally uncooperative with those investigations. They would not give names, dates, units or details of events that would allow investigation to proceed. There is no record that the Foreign Relations Committee or any committee of the Senate ever held hearings to receive those follow-up reports. As such, the general theme of the 1971 WSI of widespread atrocities committed by American forces in Vietnam passed largely unchallenged into much of our culture. It has been a mainstay of the film industry for decades. It has harmed the image of American in general, and the honor of three million Vietnam Veterans in particular.
Various sources on the Internet and in print, including the IVAW, the VVAW and the Veterans for Peace as well as other organizations associated with them have been claiming that “testimony” given next month will be about a variety of matters including 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 on and on.
I (we) the undersigned request that the United States Senate Armed Services Committee take the following steps:
Make request of the Iraq Veterans Against the War that member(s) of Committee staff be permitted to attend the entire Winter Soldier Investigation “testimony” proceedings and be provided access to those testifying.
That in the event that staff determines that there has been testimony given that touches on areas where, in the words of Senator Warner, the members of the SASC “have a responsibility to establish where in the military chain of command rests the ‘accountability,’ depending of course, on the accuracy of the facts…”, the Committee or a Sub-Committee of its delegation begin proceedings to follow-up on the claims made.
That the Committee or Sub-Committee investigation be prepared to request and/or subpoena all documents and records, signed statements and recordings, audio, video or digital, that bear on the claims made and being investigated.
That those making such claims or professing publicly to verify those claims be requested or subpoenaed to appear before the Committee or Sub-Committee, under oath, to answer questions.
The IVAW has also publicly stated that it intends to have the unsworn “testimony” from the upcoming event also entered into the Congressional Record. In 1971 the Senate of the United States was derelict in its duty of both oversight and follow-up and in the reasonable regard and respect it should have shown in consideration of the sacrifice and service of the American armed forces and veterans.
I (we) 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.
As shown in the film Sir! No Sir!, there has been a deliberate and highly successful public relations campaign, lasting 30 years, to prove that GIs in Vietnam were not only stabbed in the back by antiwar activists and their liberal allies in Government, but they were also spat upon and harassed by these same activists when they returned to the United States from Vietnam.
Over the last few days, one of these issues has been brought into focus as a result of Barack Obama's comment, during the Democratic debate in Texas that he had heard from an Army Captain who told him he had been deployed to Afghanistan with incomplete training and a shortage of materials. This claim has been roundly condemned by neo-conservatives and chicken hawks, as well as by Republican senators desperate to avoid the impression that the Administration, in spite of its rhetoric, effectively forced US troops in Afghanistan "with one hand tied behind their back."
On the other hand, Afghan war veterans, through forums such as VetVoice have come to Senator Obama's defense, by illustrating how they had been forced to fight in Afghanistan with too few resources and shoddy equipment. These observations need to be disseminated as widely as possible, as they offer a crucial counter-weight to the bloviations of the neo-cons and their friekorps following. The following are taken from the Weekly Standard's response to Obama's claim and the VetVoice response to the claims made by the Weekly Standard and others.
The Weekly Standard
Captain Tells NBC Shortages Were in Training, Not Combat In Thusday night's debate, Barack Obama said:
You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon--supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq.
And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.
First ABC's Jake Tapper talked to the captain to verify his story. He found the captain credible and gave the all clear, despite the fact that the captain told him that there was no ammunition shortage in Afghanistan. NBC also spoke with the captain, but they weren't quite so quick to declare the case open and shut:
The captain told NBC News that he was talking about not having enough ammunition and no Humvees for training, but that his unit underwent a three-week crash course in Afghanistan before they saw combat.
The captain, who spoke on background because he's still active duty, said that his unit temporarily had to replace their .50-caliber turret-mounted machine gun with a weapon seized from the Taliban because they couldn't get a needed part fast enough.
Obama had claimed that U.S. forces didn't have ammunition for their fight against the Taliban as a consequence of the war in Iraq. There is no evidence that this is the case. Furthermore, U.S. troops weren't capturing Taliban weapons "because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief." They had a broken gun and they temporarily replaced it with a weapon that had already been captured. Big difference. And you know what...if Obama had misremembered this story because he'd spoken with the captain so long ago, it might not be such a big deal. But Obama had never spoken with the captain. His staff had. And so Obama mangled the story.
As an aside, the only other person who's weighed in to support Obama's claims is Phillip Carter. Talking Points Memo, Andrew Sullivan, and others link to Carter as though he's some kind of authority on the subject. He may be, but he's also "doing some work for the Obama campaign," a fact that Obama's supporters in the blogosphere seem all too happy to ignore.
Update: Carter is on Obama's Veterans Policy Committee. Shouldn't TPM note that when the quote Carter as saying Obama's story is "eminently believable"?
The Captain Tells a Different Story
The captain to whom Obama was referring presumably belongs to a battalion of the 10th Mountain Division, which is stationed at Ft. Drum, and as one of the Army's few truly light infantry units, has been deployed more than almost any other formation outside of Special Operations Command. As Jake Tapper reported earlier, the captain was in fact a lieutenant at the time, so he obviously could have been a platoon leader.
But his story isn't quite Obama's story. Obama gives the impression that these guys were about to go to Afghanistan, and then half of his platoon was detached and sent to Iraq instead. The actual story is more prosaic and typical of Army practice in most conflicts, including World War II. Over a period of some months, individuals in his platoon were transferred (not detached) to other units, probably based on immediate operational requirements; e.g., a unit about to deploy to Iraq was short of MOS-11B (Combat Infantryman), and the unit was fleshed out with drafts from other units. Happens all the time, has always happened. In World War II, it was not uncommon for units still in training, or newly arrived in a theater of operation, to be poached for troops to round out another unit about to go into battle.
On going into battle shorthanded--it's normal. If you aren't shorthanded when you hit the ground, you will be shorthanded almost immediately thereafter, as your unit takes casualties or has to detach men for other duties. All rifle squads, platoons and companies in a combat zone are generally short anywhere from 15-25 percent of their TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment) strength, and will remain so as long as combat intensity remains high and the unit stays in the line. On being pulled out for rest and recuperation, a unit will be fleshed out with replacements, who will receive some hasty orientation and training to augment the training they received beforehand. Then it's back into the line, and the unit will be under strength again. That's why a unit's combat readiness is inversely proportional to its employment: units that never see combat always have their full complement of men and equipment, hence are (on paper) always more ready than units which have been in combat for any substantial period. Does this mean that the unit with the higher readiness is more "combat effective" than the other one? Not necessarily--a combat-proven unit at reduced strength may be much better than a rookie unit at full strength. There's a tipping point, but defining it is a very complex subject.
Regarding the HMMWVs, at the time there was a critical shortage throughout the Army in M1114 Up-Armored HMMWVs due to shortages of armor plate. This would have happened, no matter what the Bush administration had done, simply because there was no surplus capacity to produce armor in the industrial base (we have since been importing armor steel from a number of sources, including Russia and Ukraine). Only having two or three operational vehicles ought to be considered par for the course. So is complaining about it. Using other vehicles to make up the shortfall? Also par for the course. In World War II, our troops, the most lavishly equipped in history, often used captured German transport--along with captured German weapons (for instance, the 88mm Panzerschreck and the disposable Panzerfaust anti-tank rockets were considered much better than the 2.76-inch Bazooka, and were picked up wherever they could be found).
On shortages of weapons and ammunition for training at Ft. Drum, again, this is typical of any army during a surge period. It has happened to our troops in every war. Our troops were, until well into 1942, forced to train with plywood mockups of tanks and dummy rifles. Heavy weapons such as the Mk.19 Automatic Grenade Launcher and the M2 Browning .50-cal machine gun are considered support weapons, and while it is nice to be able to train with them, I wouldn't call the inability to do so a crippling disability for an infantry unit. After all, neither one is actually on the TO&E of a rifle platoon.
Mounting a 12.7mm DShK in place of an M2 Browning? Not a particularly smart move, since the Browning has much better ballistics and is more reliable, but hey, with that big muzzle brake on the end, the Dushka really looks cool.
Jake Tapper may think the captain “backs up Obama’s story.” Not really--if the “story” is the story as told by Obama. His version is misleading as a reporting of what the captain said. More fundamentally, it was intended as an indictment of our management of the war. But in this respect it’s silly. In fact, the “story” here merely shows the operation of "real war," as opposed to "war on paper." That a presidential candidate would make something of it either shows a cynical attempt to score political points, or an appalling ignorance of military realities.
Warner Questions Obama's Story
Senator John Warner sent a letter to Barack Obama this afternoon regarding his comments during last night's debate alleging ammunition and other equipment shortages in Afghanistan. Warner refers to Obama's comments as "a disturbing framework of factual allegations."
According to Jake Tapper's report earlier today, the unnamed captain to whom Obama attributed the account was deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2003. Warner was, at the time, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As such, he explains that he has "a responsibility to establish where in the military chain of command rests the 'accountability' [for the shortfalls], depending of course, on the accuracy of the facts."
Warner informs Obama that he is working with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to determine the facts of the incident described in last nights debate, and that he intends to raise the issues next Tuesday when Secretary of the Army Pete Green and General Casey appear before the committee.
Further, he asks Obama to provide the "essential facts of when- the dates- the unit was deployed, to which brigade combat team, or other unit it was assigned, the name and current location of the captain, or other military personnel who shared the alleged facts with you, so that the committee staff can debrief them."
This comes just hours after Reuters reported doubts within the Pentagon as to the veracity of Obama's account.
AP Fact Check: Obama's Story Impossible to Verify
The AP reports:
The Obama campaign offered no details to support the captain's story, making it impossible to verify. A spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about who the captain was and when and how the candidate learned about the allegation.
ABC News said it talked to the unidentified captain, whose account of shortages in Afghanistan was for the most part accurately summarized by Obama, although not verified.
The captain said, however, that the unit did not go after the Taliban for the purpose of getting their weapons, but sometimes used those weapons when some were captured.
"For the most part" is a generous description. Aside from Tapper's faith in the captain as credible, the story remains unverified, and, in fact, "impossible to verify," since the Obama campaign has not released any detail that might corroborate the account. Even if one takes the captain's story at face value, there is a large discrepancy between the story he tells and the story Obama told in last night's debate (mainly that there was no ammunition shortage, and that the unit was equipped with a full compliment of weapons).
But at this point the captain's story cannot be taken at face value, and confirmation of his account cannot be left solely to Jake Tapper's assessment of the captain's credibility. Confirmation requires something beyond the word of an unnamed captain who found his way to a meeting with Barack Obama's staff at some unspecified date in the past. Obama has leveled a specific and unsubstantiated allegation that remains, by any objective analysis, "impossible to verify."
Pentagon Questions Obama's Claim
The Pentagon on Friday cast doubt on an account of military equipment shortages mentioned by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during a debate with rival Hillary Clinton.
During the face-to-face encounter on Thursday evening, Obama said he had heard from an Army captain whose unit had served in Afghanistan without enough ammunition or vehicles.
Obama said it was easier for the troops to capture weapons from Taliban militants than it was "to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief," President George W. Bush.
"I find that account pretty hard to imagine," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters
It is pretty hard to imagine, because that particular element of the story wasn't supported by the captain in his interview with Tapper. And while Obama did leave the impression that U.S. forces were serving "without ammunition or vehicles," that wasn't true either.
Now that the Pentagon has weighed in, it may be possible to get a fuller accounting of what exactly did happen. No doubt that Tapper felt the captain's story was credible, but the Pentagon can verify the details, and it should do so. Did the Pentagon poach members of the unit for duty in Iraq? If so, when did their replacements arrive? And was the unit really using Toyota pickup trucks to ride into battle? Given the liberties Obama took in retelling the story, these are fair questions to ask.
Obama's Captain Talks
The Obama campaign put ABC reporter Jake Tapper in touch with the army captain Obama referred to in last night's debate. Go read Tapper's report of what the captain says. Unfortunately, his statements don’t justify the charges Obama made last night.
Once again, Obama said half the platoon had been "sent to Iraq,"
And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.
Nothing the captain said supports Obama's accusation that soldiers in Aghanistan faced a shortage of ammunition. Nothing the captain said supports the (ridiculous) claim that American soldiers were capturing Taliban weapons "because it was easier to get Taliban weapons" than American ones.
What the captain said was that it was sometimes difficult to get parts in theater, and on occasion his soldiers used captured weapons. If Obama were running to be quartermaster in chief, this story might have some relevance. But Obama hasn't unveiled his plan to streamline the Army's logistics in Afghanistan. And his basic narrative of the commander in chief neglecting equipment needs in Aghanistan isn’t supported by this one account. Moreover, does Obama think (a distortion of) one captain’s anecdote is an appropriate basis for making broad claims about military matters in a campaign to become commander in chief?
The captain's name is withheld in Tapper's piece, but we have submitted a request to the Obama campaign for an interview. More on Tapper's report at Hot Air and Ace.
Brandon Friedman: More on Warner and Troop Equipment Shortages
Here is Senator John Warner in his letter to Senator Barack Obama yesterday:
"As you well know, we in Congress, under our Constitution, have explicit duties to provide for the welfare of the men and women in our armed forces and members of their families,' said Mr. Warner. "We have no higher calling."
That's right, Senator Warner. So, then, who could forget this exchange between Army Specialist Thomas Wilson and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?
"Yes, Mr. Secretary. Our soldiers have been fighting in Iraq for coming up on three years. A lot of us are getting ready to move north relatively soon. Our vehicles are not armored. We're digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass that's already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper armament vehicles to carry with us north."
To which Rumsfeld responded:
"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
Senator Warner is right about there being no higher calling. Unfortunately, he's being completely disingenuous with his faux surprise over the fact that troops in the field aren't being resourced properly. And not only does he know about it, but the Republicans in the Senate--under his leadership--have blocked legislation time and again that would have better provided "for the welfare of the men and women in our armed forces."
So don't give me this "Oh-I-just-can't-believe-our-troops-don't-have-the-right-equipment" nonsense. The troops know the deal.
UPDATE: To highlight the Afghanistan issue, MajorMatthew, who served as the military's senior interrogator in Iraq in 2006, offers this comment in the Open Thread below:
I know that when I went through processing for deployment as an interrogator in 2006, the best interrogators were sent to Iraq and those deemed not having enough experience were sent to Afghanistan. How backwards is that?
IrritatedVet: It's a sham response from Warner
And as far as the Wilson/Rummy exchange, that was nine months after I rolled thru Baghdad (1st day in Iraq) in a humvee with canvas doors. Talk about feeling nekkid!
We have seen since the issues with fielding the MRAP, the M4 problems, shitty Kevlar helmets.
Our administration and Congress has done a piss-poor job of keeping the troops properly equipped overall, and God knows that the military's starting to come apart.
The GOP, in particular, must be held accountable. Their promises of "good government" and "accountability" have rung false for years.
But it's not their fault of course. It was the Democrats fault! (Get ready to hear that refrain for the next 8 months!).
Brandon Friedman: Yeah, when I took part in the invasion...
of Iraq, I had vinyl doors on my humvee and only one plate in my vest. We only had enough plates to give our turret gunners front and back ones.
expat_vet: We had less than that...
... my unit had the old Vietnam era flak vests during the invasion. Things were cool as long as we were in our tanks. Too bad we had to switch to HMMWVs and foot patrols from May 2003 onwards....
Those vests couldn't even slow down a 9mm round at 30 meters (as confirmed by a "hasty" field test during some down time in Baghdad).
Ernie1812: for the invasion in 2003....
tankers never got issued plates for our flaks. Only recently have i been thinking about the full impact of that. I mean I've always thought "oh well, we can do without them, the grunts are the one's that really need them" but sure enough once we reached downtown Baghdad and after "winning" the war my best friend takes an AK round through the heart. The plate part never really bothered me until recently. I just thought, yeah war sucks. I've never really asked the question, "why didn't we all have proper equipment?"
Brandon Friedman: Resourcing the Troops in Afghanistan has Always been an Issue
Hearing Senator John Warner and others bloviate about equipment shortages in Afghanistan (or the lack thereof) is absurd. There is no question that our troops have been under-resourced in both Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.
In my own case, it started in March 2002 in Afghanistan's Shah-e-Kot Valley during Operation Anaconda. At that time, our force of around 2,000 soldiers fought 1,000 (give or take) al Qaeda and Taliban militants in a ground combat engagement without any field artillery. This has been written about extensively in books (including my own) and journals. In the time since, commanders who were there on the ground have covered for the mistakes of Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks (here and here), but there is no question that we fought perhaps the defining post-9/11 ground engagement without artillery--equipment that should have been available.
Anyone who wants to speak with a Field Artillery forward observer who was there, just let me know.
Not just the Arty.
But we were sucking on resupply. That was not a lack of it being at the FOB's but it was a lack of planning on the higher ups.
On about the third or fourth day in Anaconda we were actually digging in the trash piles and making meals out of the iced tea and sugar packets. And to drink, well we melted snow.
Anaconda was supposed to last 72 hours from the day we hit ground, we planned for it to be longer as you always do while you are on the line, but the higher ups never saw fit to plan forward to make sure we were taken care of if the mission lasted longer than 72 hours, which it did.
And the Arty, some piss poor planning on the part of, well pretty much everyone.
Brian McGough: I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments. Jim Morrison
It is instructive to remember...that one of the first tasks Secretary Rumsfeld took on as he took the helm as Secretary of Defense was to cancel the Crusader weapons system.
He complemented this folly by attempting to push through a radical restructuring of combat forces that called for the elimination of Armored Cavalry, Division and Corp Artillery, and the traditional structures of the Division of Corp themselves. His plans also called for the elimination of separate Armored and Cavalry Divisions, and a 'lightening' of heavy and medium Infantry Divisions in the reserve components by removing their heavy assets. He also called for the elimination of separate Aviation Brigades, and the reduction of Military Police forces.
It was going to be all about separate Brigades and Task Forces. Highly mobile, not so lethal forces, supplemented by more unconventional 'special forces.' Largely mop up forces to follow General Horner's 'shock and awe' bombardment campaigns.
Well, we've all seen how well that worked out. What kind of idiot would deploy infantry forces into the mountainous regions of Afghanistan without the artillery, airlift and close air support assets they needed to survive, let alone accomplish their mission? And the rear area protection assets required protect their advance? The air mobile assets required to jump ahead and cut off their escape routes? What fools...
Secretary Rumsfeld almost singlehandedly turned more than 200 years of protocol and experience on its head, helped along by the likes of General Franks, who knew better but had apparently forgotten what leadership actually is. They crippled the Army as a fighting force, as they pushed headlong into reinventing it, allowing it to become essentially combat ineffective in both the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters.
Brandon Friedman: Senator Warner Doesn't Know as Much about Afghanistan as He Thinks
It's somewhat ironic/sad that Senator John Warner has never heard of equipment issues or lack of men in Afghanistan, because we tried to make that abundantly clear to him on May 16, 2007, when we aired this ad in Virginia:
That's right. Last year--long before Senator Barack Obama brought it up during the debate the other night--we tried to bring these issues to Senator Warner's attention--actually made sure it got on his own television set for him to see--and now he's pleading ignorance.
Mike Breen, the Afghanistan veteran featured in the ad, is taking a year to chill out and travel the word, so he can't blog. But when we ran the ad, he sent us his account of his time in theater, which we're posting below, in full detail. It might be hard for the average mainstream journalist to understand--or even civilian. But we're posting it in full, so no one can say this is a made-up story with gaps in detail:
This story revolves around a lack of helicopter support - again the result of the Army being totally overstretched. Because Afghanistan has no road system worthy of the name, our troops there are reliant on helicopters to re-supply them with ammunition and other critical supplies. There are never enough, and being stranded at an isolated firebase for a week or two waiting on a helicopter is a common experience in Afghanistan.
During one operation in late summer 2006, a Marine infantry company I was working with found itself outnumbered in a steep valley, flanked on three sides by insurgents on the high ground (again, not enough troops to secure their own flanks). My artillery platoon fired in support of the Marines, and were able to drive the insurgents back long enough for the lead element of the company to pull back to safety and recover their wounded. Doing so used up most of my ammunition, and I immediately requested an emergency re-supply. The supply chain came through, moving the ammo I needed from Uzbekistan all the way to the nearest airfield in a matter of hours - but there the ammo stopped, because there weren't enough helicopters in Afghanistan to fly the rounds the last leg of their journey to my platoon in the field. So the ammo sat on an airfield less than 100 km away from my cannons for three days. In combat, that's a lifetime to wait for ammo. It sat there while the Marines were ambushed again, still trying to get out of the same valley, and it sat there while we ran out of ammunition trying to hold the insurgents off of their lead platoon.
I still remember their forward observer on the radio, screaming over the incoming fire that he needed every round I had, and he needed it now - and having to tell him I had no rounds left to fire. One of the Marines, a young Lance Corporal - 19 or 20 I think - bled to death waiting on medevac, because the area was too hot for the bird to land. If I'd had the ammunition, I could have easily suppressed the enemy positions and we could have pulled the kid out. When we got his body back to the camp, we had to wait for a helicopter again - there was nowhere to put the kid's remains except the one refrigerator on the camp, where we also kept the food. The day after he died, his buddies all lined up to get breakfast and had to look at their friend's bodybag sitting on the shelf next to their eggs.
A more mundane example is one that occurred on at least a weekly basis. Our small forward operating base would be attacked by insurgents with rockets and mortars. Following the attack, we would request air support, or a predator drone, so that we could find and interdict the insurgents before they reached their safe haven and re-armed for another attack. We would typically be denied, and when they did send us an airplane it was usually a B-52, which is strategic bomber that flies at 40,000 ft and has no chance whatsoever of finding people on the ground. On the one occasion we did receive a drone, we used it to such good effect that attacks against our FOB stopped cold for weeks.
Trueblacman: Let's support and protect our U.S. Armed Forces Recruiters (Time to stop talking and start rallying) myself
With less than 24 hours to go, I am putting out a general call to all DC Chapter Members, GOE, Rolling Thunder American Legion, VFW, Vets and Lurkers in good standing to stand with me and help send a clear message to maggots on the left that attacks on our Men and Women in uniform will not longer be permitted!
If you are within 4 hours of DC and can take the day off than have your assets as 13th and L Streets N.W. tomorrow at 15:00(3pm)sharp to show the left we will not stand for attack on our recruiting stations and police officers standing by and allowing these types of rampages by punks to cowardly to wear the uniform.
Invited guest include the Washington DC Mayor, Conservative Allies and members of the media.
Most of us have stated that, "We will not permit to happen to our Men and Women to be degraded again as they were after Vietnam."
Here is your chance to send a clear message.
We’ll have some Recruiter Support signs and flags, but feel free to bring your own.
Sorry I’m not going to be there. God Bless and thanks for your your service
Leo from Texas
Well if you know some vets in our area give them a call.
Definitely more than four hours away geographically or I WOULD be there. I’ll definitely be there in spirit and cannot thank all of you who carry so much of the burden for us by Freeping all around the DC area on a regular basis.
Hey...2 of us will be there!
I’m gonna try and be there. Depends on what time I get out of my doc appt. Having a physical done.
Out of the country, and did not see the latest news. Was an Armed Forces recruiting station physically attacked? The post would seem to indicate that.
Invited guest include the Washington DC Mayor...
If the Mayor is politically smart, he will make it a point to clear his calendar for the afternoon and be there to voice his full and unconditional support of the US military, as well as his promise to stop allowing rioters to run loose in the streets of DC.
Now, stop laughing, Trueblackman! Barack Hussein Obama says it's OK to dream big and have HOPE!
It's time for a CHANGE in how Washington, DC deals with the radical rioters.
EAGLES MUSTER, MARCH 14/15, WASHINGTON, D.C. Who: Patriotic Citizens Standing Up For Our Troops What: Ivaw Winter Soldier Ii Testimony Truth Challenge When: March 14, 0800 Hours, All Day Why: Demand Truth In Any Atrocity Testimony – Times, Dates, Places, Witnesses, Leadership, All Under Oath (1) Where: National Labor Colleg, 10000 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Md 20903 How: Boots On The Ground Rally At National Labor College
EAGLES MUSTER AND MARCH Who: All Willing To Stand Up For America, Our Troops, And Fallen What: Eagles Patriot March – A Muster When: March 15, 2008 Muster 1000 Hours At The Elipse, South Of White House, March Begins 1300 Hours To 1500 Hours Why: To Lift Up America, Our Troops, Fallen, Their Families, And Onor Those Gone Before Us (2) Where: March Route Begins At The Elipse, Proceed East On Pennsylvania Avenue Finishing At The Us Capitol.
How: Boots On The Ground, Wheel Chairs, Carts, Etc.
1) Winter Soldier False Testimony Of 1971 Betrayed Viet Nam Warriors...It Cannot Happen To Our Current Generation Of Warriors....Sf-180 Will Be Required For Witness Testimony Validation.
2) Anti-America Elements Only Tear Down Our Nation, Our March Will Honor America, Support Our Troops, And Respect Our Fallen, Mia, Families And Sacred Ground.