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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The Sir! No Sir! Blog has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is the Sir! No Sir! Blog endorsed or sponsored by the originator. Links are provided to allow for verification of authenticity.
Critics of IVAW seem to come in a number of forms. Some of these, especially active duty GIs and some veterans oppose IVAW for principled reasons and should be respected. Still others misunderstand the goals and aspirations of the movement, viewing it as a continuation/re-run of the 1960s antiwar movement. There is, however a category which stands out from the crowd and it primarily consists of a collection of bloggers attached to and affiliated with the far right of the republican party. One of the worst of these is the aptly named Chickenhawk Express, whose work is most charitably characterized as ugly and bitter and occasionally veers toward the slanderous.
The following post includes a number of Robin's writing, about IVAW written since the Winter soldier Hearings:
IVAW and VFP leaders must be banging their heads on the wall trying to figure out what they have to do to get a little mainstream media attention. They held another "Arrest Bush and Cheney" Action back on March 19th but to their chagrin, no one covered it. They are just now getting some "publicity" from the "Independent" media (aka their inner circle of comrades) including a YouTube video. VFP and IVAW had BIG plans for this stunt...
The Veterans then proceeded to the National Archives where the Constitution is housed. We had originally planned a civil resistance action inside the National Archives, in the Rotunda, where the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence are displayed. The plan was for a number of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War to enter the Rotunda and to use plastic cuffs to secure ourselves to the massive gates at the entrance to the Rotunda. Our rationale in doing this would be that as fulfillment of the oath we took upon joining the military to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, we would now demand the arrest of those who had most grievously abused that document and all it stands for. Delivering the Warrant in the place of Constitutional housing, we would remain handcuffed to "guard" the Constitution until the aforesaid accused either surrendered themselves to us or to the appropriate authorities.
But the "crowds" waiting to enter the National Archives made the protesters change their tactics...
However, on Monday and Tuesday as we surveyed the huge lines wending around the block waiting to enter and realizing that we couldn't just cut the line and walk in, we changed our plan to an outside occupation with the same demand for a citizen's arrest. The outside plan turned out to be much better.
Yeah the new plan worked SOOOO much better...
Five veterans, Joel Kovel, Diane Wilson, Ellen Barfield, Malcolm Chaddock and Andrew Schoerky decided to handcuff themselves to the flagpole outside the Archives with a huge blowup of the Citizen's Arrest Warrant for Bush and Cheney. There was also a immense canvas replication of the Constitution that would be displayed. That morning as the Veterans gathered on the National Mall, Tarak from VFP, Adam Kokesh, Daniel Black and James Gillian from IVAW decided to climb over the 10 ft. spiked metal fence at the top of the front steps of the Archives and to occupy the 40 ft. high ledge on the front of the building with an upside down American flag (symbol of distress) and a megaphone so that they could speak to the crowd more effectively. Our assumption was that both the flagpole occupation and the Vets on the ledge would result in arrests but we felt that the Vets on the high ledge would have more time to speak to the crowd before the police would venture out to arrest them. (Thanks to VFP Pres. Elliot Adams for a leg up when we were climbing over the fence) As it turned out the Vets on the ledge were there for 90 minutes broadcasting before the Archive security ventured out to offer them safe passage if they would only leave the ledge peacefully. The police had opened the previously locked gate in the fence. After some discussion we decided to accept their offer. As we left the ledge to the cheers of the crowd below, a few of the police actually shook our hands. It seemed as if the police had made a decision not to arrest the Vets. Andrew, Ellen, Diane, Joel and Matthew decided to stay handcuffed to the flagpole, at least for a while, even though the march would move on.
Sadly there were no arrests, no scuffles with police and no street blockades. As far as the cheers of the crowd, watch the video. The only ones cheering are part of the demonstration itself. The crowd waiting to enter the National Archives looks bored.
Watch for FAIR and other organizations in the pocket of these groups to issue a demand for an explanation as to why the media failed to cover their "action". They are still whining about the lack of media coverage of Winter Soldier II. Maybe the mainstream media is smarter than I give them credit for being...
Talk about audacity... IVAW has issued a press release countering the testimony of General Petraeus and Amb Crocker. Here's snips from the press release...
WASHINGTON, DC - April 9 - Contrary to General Petraeus's testimony, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) attest that the major destabilizing force in Iraq is the ongoing U.S. occupation. What's more, U.S. troops are being commanded to perform acts that directly violate their moral codes and the rules of war, making a positive outcome exceedingly difficult to achieve.
Less than one month ago, over 100 veterans and active-duty soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan shared their eyewitness accounts of the occupations at Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. Their testimony illustrated how the ongoing occupation of Iraq is resulting in the dehumanization and abuse of the Iraqi people, the destabilization and breakdown of the U.S. military, and the emotional and physical injury and damage to thousands of U.S. troops.
Testifiers gave firsthand accounts of being ordered to raid the homes of innocent Iraqis, physically and psychologically abuse Iraqi prisoners, and indiscriminately shoot at civilians.
Dear Martha -I listened to the audio of the testimony and read the reports (from both sides) about the testimony given at WSII. Most of it was simply "war is hell and it sucks" type testimony. The "war crimes" and atrocities never materialized in the testimony. And as far as the "dehumanization" claims - give it a rest. Millard's "haji" story is as ridiculous as his claim of depleted uranium exposure. The abuse and indiscrimate shooting of civilians was mostly "I was told" testimony and no one has yet to go under oath with their claims.
"Petraeus continues to repeat the administration's talking points while ignoring what the soldiers on the ground know: the Iraq occupation is not working," said Kelly Dougherty, a former Military Police Sergeant in Iraq and Executive Director of IVAW
Frankly Kelly - IVAW keeps repeating the talking points from UFPJ, CodePink, ANSWER, Dahr Jamail, VFP and VVAW. The only ones ignoring what is happening on the ground is IVAW and those who have everything to gain by a humilating withdrawal of US forces while leaving Iraqis at the mercy of Al Qaeda. This isn't Vietnam and your retread of the same tactics will not work.
But to claim that you guys and gals know more than General Petraeus is beyond laughable.
The five year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq sent the moonbats into a complete and total frenzy of protest activity. According to people on the ground in DC, the city was awash in the unwashed and covered in pepto bismal pink.
Jonn over at This Ain't Hell was all over the place. He went from protest site to protest site and recorded the events for posterity. He's got lots of pics and videos posted. But this scene makes me scratch my head.
What exactly does Medea flashing her goodies in a bed on the streets of DC mean? Is she protesting Eliot Spitzer? Or maybe she's looking for some hot hippie action. Weird - just freakin' weird.
Of course IVAW was out in force despite the lackluster WSII performances. King Kokesh led the pack. He certainly has a way with street theater. Too bad he's not a mime.
Every time I see the American Flag flying upside down, it makes me want to vomit. Yes - I know it symbolizes a country in distress but damn it sends such a negative image around the world. Oh wait - that's the point.
TSO over at The Sniper got in on some of the protest action. He's got several posts up about today's events but my favorite is his deconstruction of the anarchists and his lunch with Suzie Rottencrotch.
After suffering through WSII and now this, I hereby award Jonn and TSO the Blogger Courage Award. Sorry - not a money award but lots of hugs and my deepest respect for you two guys!
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!”
Last Monday morning (Feb 25) Scott Swett’s timely article “Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit ‘Winter Soldier’ Claims” on the discovery of the summary files of the Army CID Investigations of VVAW War Crimes Allegations from the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation was published at FrontPageMag.com. By late that evening, at the suggestion of a friend, I had gotten the on-line petition entitled “Appeal to the Senate Armed Service Committee” up, and it has been there for less than two full days.
Many of the hundreds of signatories have made comments. Many of those show how truly appalled people are that the Senate allowed the 1971 Winter Soldier Testimony to be entered into the Congressional Record, with none of that testimony having been given under oath or accompanied by legally binding affidavits or depositions. When that is added to the Senate also giving VVAW’s John Kerry a televised and credible platform to smear the Vietnam veterans, without rebuttal or follow-up hearings or report on the veracity of the charges by the Senate, the emotions and righteous indignation run high.
That combination, with already available quotes by and statements about IVAW and its members allow for – something of an overview:
“Charges of atrocities must be taken seriously and investigated. False allegations are equally serious and must be prosecuted.” Lewis Waters, SASC Petition Signatory
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars to be treated and appreciated by their nation." -- George Washington Michael Dennin, SASC Petition Signatory
“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
“Not again, nope, not again!” Steve Nelson, SASC Petition Signatory
“Please don't make the same mistakes that were made in 1971.” Robert H Veno, SASC Petition Signatory
“DO NOT allow lies and innuendo to become part of history! Stop the smear of our good men and women in uniform by this maladjusted group of malcontents. They lied during Vietnam, and their offspring are attempting to do the same...NEVER AGAIN!” ROGER ERIC PETERSON, SASC Petition Signatory
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Douglas Craig claimed at WSI that members of his battalion had fired mortar rounds each night into a local dump, intentionally killing civilians who were scavenging for food. Craig told investigators he had no direct knowledge of these events and expressed misgivings about making allegations in Detroit he could not substantiate. FrontPageMagazine.com “Personally, I will be testifying to the illegal use of Afghan corpses for medical "practice," which I witnessed while serving as a medic in Afghanistan.” (Perry O’Brien, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
“Any and all claims MUST be investigated and charges brought forth under UCMJ. This can not further erode the confidence the American public has, we must stand behind our brave men and women in the armed services.” Garth von Homan, 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
“I am a Viet Nam veteran. I served from 1965 to 1969. I ask that you do not let this happen again. These men and women serve a far greater need than to be labeled as those in 1971. It was crap then and it will be crap again today”. Jerry D. Christensen, SASC Petition Signatory
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Larry Craig claimed at WSI that he watched US soldiers murder a Vietnamese civilian and, on another occasion, desecrate Vietnamese graves. Craig admitted to investigators that the man who was killed could have been Vietcong, and that the soldier allegedly digging in a cemetery could have been looking for weapons caches. FrontPageMagazine.com "The policies that the military engages will create situations, create dynamics, create, ultimately, atrocity." (Matt Howard, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
“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
“Take good care of those who take care of you. Use due diligence when proving/disproving stated claims. Remember, these people have a specific agenda which does NOT include defending the United States.” James B. Faux Jr. , SASC Petition Signatory
“So that lies will not go unchallenged, and unexposed THIS TIME.” William G. Smith, SASC Petition Signatory
“My younger son is a newly minted Marine presently stationed at Kaneohe Bay, awaiting deployment. I am proud of him, as I am of all the other men and women who have chosen to serve this country, risking their lives for our sake. I deplore the politicization of our engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, putting the lives of our military in unnecessary jeopardy for the sake of political posturing and gain. I sincerely hope that the Senate Armed Services Committee will assure that their sacrifices will not be blemished by those whose opposition to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is motivated by a desire to see the United States as inevitably wrong, and act from the desire to see us fail.” Rita F. Mattingly, SASC Petition Signatory
“This is right on track and we should have learned from past mistakes. Let us not forget Vietnam and what was said about those who served our nation at that time.” Stephen R. Dodimead, SASC Petition Signatory
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Donald Donner claimed at WSI that Army personnel had murdered a Vietnamese male, intentionally wounded a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl, indiscriminately slaughtered livestock and failed to bury enemy dead. Donner admitted to the CID that his stories were actually lies, rumors and accounts of accidental events. FrontPageMagazine.com "The killing of innocent civilians is policy…It's unit policy and it's Army policy. It's not official policy, but it's what's happens on the ground everyday. It's what unit commanders individually encourage." (Mike Blake, Iraq Veterans Against the War )
“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
“I am a 100% disabled Vietnam Veteran…the Winter soldier fiasco of 71 was fraudulent and backed by communist organizations who backed the VVAW...the IVAW now is taking directions from the VVAW...It would be a crime against our armed forces to allow several hundred men out of millions who served to tarnish their service to our country.” Gary Assell, 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
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: John Lytle claimed at WSI that his unit murdered civilians by destroying villages with artillery fire without making any effort to determine who was there. However, Lytle told the CID that the villages were actually fired on because it was suspected that Vietcong occupied them and incoming fire had been received from the area. FrontPageMagazine.com "...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… No, I didn’t personally witness any [atrocities], but I came to know about certain cases." ( Harvey Tharp, Iraq Veterans Against the War, interviewed in the Yemen Times 2/25)
“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
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Robert McConnachie claimed at WSI that Army troops in a convoy threw C-ration cans at Vietnamese children with such force as to kill one or two. He also said an artillery unit had intentionally shelled a hospital and killed civilians. McConnachie backtracked when questioned by military investigators, saying that no Vietnamese children were actually killed by troops throwing C-rations. He said he now believed that the alleged killing of civilians in a hospital by artillery fire was accidental. FrontPageMagazine.com “I type furiously for three hours, trying to keep up with the stories each of the men shared….about the atrocities of what they saw, and committed, while in Iraq.”
Dahr Jamail, independent reporter, writing in Aug 2005 about a conversation with Iraq Veterans Against the War members Abdul Henderson, Alex Ryabov, Camilo Mejia, Harvey Tharp, Michael Hoffman and Charlie Anderson. Details of the hours of atrocity stories were not provided.
Harvey Tharp, who this month admitted in the Yemen Times that he had never witnessed an atrocity in Iraq, told Dahr Jamail in 2005:
“Most of what we’re talking about is war crimes…war crimes because they are directed by our government for power projection.”
“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
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Ronald Palosaari claimed at WSI that Army troops killed two children and an old lady by throwing a grenade into a bunker next to a house. He also said he saw a Vietnamese soldier cut off the ear of a NVA soldier who had just been killed. Interviewed by Army investigators, Palosaari was unable to provide specific dates, locations or the names of any individuals involved in the alleged grenade incident. He admitted that he did not actually witness the mutilation of any enemy dead. FrontPageMagazine.com “When my unit came home (I was not sent with them because mechanics were deployed as infantry, and as a female I was barred) one of the older guys told me a story. He said they would arrest Iraqi's in night raids and turn them in only to be later asked to go get them again after they were released, as they were now wanted. He told me (E-6, in his 40's, pro-war) that they would just shoot the guys when that happened. He said this as if it were normal and ok.” ( Jen Hogg, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
“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
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Donald Pugsley claimed at WSI that a helicopter gunship strafed and killed water buffalo. He admitted to investigators that no water buffalo were actually fired upon. FrontPageMagazine.com Claims to have witnessed Americans "murdring thousands of Iraqis"during the invasion. (Charles Anderson, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
“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
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: Kenneth Ruth claimed at WSI to have witnessed the torture of Vietcong suspects, and told Life Magazine that he saw troops test fire weapons into a village, wounding 43 civilians. However, Ruth admitted to Army investigators that he had no personal knowledge of such an event. The CID found his torture claims unsubstantiated. FrontPageMagazine.com "During the initial invasion we killed women. We killed children. We senselessly killed farm animals. We were the United States Marine Corps...and we left a swath of death and destruction in our wake all the way to Baghdad..." ( Matt Howard, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
“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 wholeheartedly agree with the proposal outlined in this petition and request appropriate action be taken by those in Congress. We don't need another group making false allegations and destroying the public's faith in our military.” Dave Nesbitt, SASC Petition Signatory
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: George Smith claimed at WSI that members of his Special Forces unit had beaten enemy prisoners and placed them in small barbed-wire cages. Smith backtracked on these claims when interviewed by Army investigators, saying that the alleged acts were actually committed by South Vietnamese forces rather than American troops. FrontPageMagazine.com
"We would declare zones 'weapons-free'...and shoot everything that moved...weapons-free means you can shoot anyone and that's exactly what we did...tanks went in and shot everything that moved: men, women, children, donkeys—it was a turkey shoot." ( Matt Howard, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
“Our military personnel deserve our support and respect for their selfless service, not unsubstantiated and inflammatory charges from sources of questionable veracity and suspect motives.” Stanley J. Dykstra, LTC, USAR (Ret) , SASC Petition Signatory
“As a Viet Nam veteran I have been besmirched by these self serving, lying slugs. As the father-in-law and grandfather of serving soldiers in theatre, I will not stand by and allow the same treatment of my progeny by traitors. If this so called \"investigation\" is not monitored by competent authority it is the same horse puckey perpetrated thirty-seven years ago, and will be legitimized by the same traitors in your august body today and their ilk.” Matthew J Worner , 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
1971 Winter Soldier CID Investigation files: David Stark claimed at WSI that hundreds of Vietnamese civilians were killed by indiscriminate bombing and strafing in the Saigon area during late 1968. He also claimed to have witnessed the maltreatment of prisoners. However, Stark told CID interviewers that he actually saw no bodies, was unable to identify the aircraft or military units involved in the attacks or the cleanup operation, and admitted that he had never witnessed maltreatment of prisoners, except for a single occasion when he said he saw a prisoner pushed and shoved by two South Vietnamese officers. FrontPageMagazine.com "I will be testifying to the abuse of detainees and having participated in the use of sleep deprivation and other inhumane treatment as well as the desecration of Iraqi bodies.”
Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War
“Because of the armed forces from years gone by, we are able to get out of our beds each morning, look out the window and breath in the air of freedom. This petition is long overdue and very much on target. God Bless those who put themselves in harms way and put a serious burden on those they love in order to do what they do.” Martha Gayle Brenizer , SASC Petition Signatory
“Thirty-seven years ago John Kerry was allowed to testify before congress with statements and assertions that were not only unproved but blatantly false about the conduct of Vietnam Veterans. I never raped, randomly shot civilians or killed babies as he testified and know no one that did. Kerry's testimony stained 2.6 million Vietnam Veterans for life and my request is simple do not accept unproven testimony from the Iraq Veterans Against The War. Donald L. Forkum, 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
"...the American G.I., they are taught from the day that they land in Kuwait and every moment that they move north into Iraq and every moment they’re in Iraq, they’re taught to dehumanize Iraqi people. This term “haji” is very prevalent...to the U.S. military, it’s a term of dehumanization, one that’s used so that the American G.I. can kill without question and who can follow an order to kill someone without question...” ( Geoff Millar, Iraq Veterans Against the War)
According to the Frontline Webasite, which has published his attacks on IVAW and VVAW (see post below for an example of his writings) Scott Swett is:
Scott Swett is the primary author of a new book on the 2004 presidential campaign, To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry. He is also the primary webmaster of WinterSoldier.com and SwiftVets.com.
His biography is a little more filled out, by the invaluable Sourcewatch who provide the following, regarding his activities:
Rumored author: Scott Swett. Credited authors: John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi Publisher: Regnery Publishing; (August 15, 2004)
The book does not appear to have an official promotional website.
After bigoted statements made by Corsi at a conservative website became public, O'Neill claimed that Corsi wasn't really the coauthor of the book, but simply helped in its editing (see interview with Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Aug. 11,2004). However, parts of the book are nearly identical to parts of articles posted by Corsi at one of Scott Swett's websites.
Writing in Publishers Weekly, Jim Milliot and Kevin Howell reported that a number of both major chain and independent bookstores had encountered people ringing up to place large orders for Unfit for Command (as well as Michael Moore is a Big Fat Idiot) and leaving bogus names and disconnected phone numbers.
Sheila Burns, the owner of Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, Oregon told Publishers Weekly that the callers were both men and women. "And they sound very orchestrated, like people are being told what to say. They want to know how many books I have on order and whether I will have stacks in the store. When I said that Unfit was on backorder, they wanted to know our distributor. That's pretty sophisticated for a layperson to ask about," she said.