Winter Soldiers - Congress - May 15th
Mark your calendars, History on our Military Occupations will, sadly, be made once again, as the Conflict Rages, the Truth be told!
Below you will find cuts from an IVAW Newsletter along with some well deserved recognition on the airing of the 'Winter Soldier Testimony' on March 14th to the 16th 2008.
On Thursday, May 15th, IVAW members will testify before Congress, under oath, about the realities of the occupation.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus will host Thursday's testimony in the Rayburn House Office Building in DC, and will hear testimony on the rules of engagement, the killing and abuse of civilians, the use of drop weapons, and the true consequences of the "surge." Bios of the testifiers, including veterans who served during the surge, are available on our website. You can get more information about next Thursday's hearing on our website, and find out how you can support this important event by helping us pay for travel expenses for the testifiers.
Winter Soldier goes local
Winter Soldier was a watershed event for IVAW, and our members continue to bring the testimony we collected, along with new testimony, to people around the country.
Our Gainesville chapter recently organized a local Winter Soldier at the University of Florida, with six veterans testifying, and they signed up several new members in the process. You can read about the Gainesville edition of Winter Soldier here. Other chapters are planning local events as well. We'll announce future events through this newsletter, and on our website.
There's also a great article in the Houston Chronicle about IVAW members and their thoughts on speaking out at Winter Soldier. And the Christian Science Monitor has an audio slideshow of IVAW members at Winter Soldier.
(And don't forget, you can watch all the Winter Soldier testimony yourself on our website. And broadcast-quality video is now available for download on our site, as well.)
Veterans and Active Duty speak out
IVAW members have found many ways to speak out about why they're standing against the war. From bus tours to leafleting, books to concerts, movies to works of art, our members raise their voices both to spread the word and to let our brothers and sisters in the military know that they, too, have the right to express their opinions.
Once again, mark Your Calendars, drop C-Span a line and tell them you want this televised, write about this on your sites, let your local papers know about this historic event and testimony to the Congessional Record, testimony on the Failed Policies of War and Occupation of this countries recent history and Failed Incompetent Leadership!
Speaking of the Media.
There was only One Media Outlet that carried the March 14th-16th live broadcast “Winter Soldier 2008: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations” on War Comes Home. That outlet was KPFA & Pacifica radio. But they didn't only broadcast this on their radio station, they streamed it live, audio and video, across the internet for any and all to view, in real time, as the soldiers gave their testiimony!
I found the following over at After Downing Street Winter Soldier Wins a Project Censored Award
The letter sent to KPFA:
Dear Aaron Glantz and Aimee Allison,
Your hosting of the live broadcast “Winter Soldier 2008: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations” on War Comes Home, by KPFA, March 14-16, 2008, has been selected as a finalist for the Project Censored "Most Censored" News Stories of 2007-08 Awards. Hundreds of news stories were nominated this year and your story has been ranked in the top twenty-five most important under-covered of the year.
All of the top twenty-five stories have been forwarded to our national judges for final ranking. We will be in touch soon to let you know the results of that ranking and to invite you to take part in the Fall 2008 Project Censored lecture series.
Over 250 faculty and students at Sonoma State University reviewed your story and voted on it on April 15. A synopsis of your story will appear in Chapter 1 of the book Censored 2009: Media Democracy in Action, scheduled for release in October from Seven Stories Press. Please be sure to include your mailing address and contact information below so we can send your award and a copy of Censored 2009 upon release.
We would like to include an update on your story as part of Chapter 1. This is intended to give readers additional information and suggest possible ways to become proactive on the issues presented in your story. Following each synopsis we give space for you to write a short (under 500 words) summary updating your story. Please address the following in your update summary:
* the importance of this story,
* any relevant information that has developed since publication of your article,
* mainstream press response to your story,
* How a person might get more information on the subject of your story.- Please include contact information for relevant proactive organizations, sources or web sites.
Your update is an important part of keeping your story alive. The Project Censored stories go on to receive national attention from the mainstream and alternative/independent press in the United States and abroad. Millions of additional people will hear about your work. Please help us keep on schedule by e-mailing (blanking) your update by June 1. Please also complete and return the enclosed information form at your earliest convenience.
On behalf of the Project Censored staff, faculty and students, we thank you for your courage and professionalism in investigative reporting. Congratulations and welcome to the Year 2008 Project Censored program.
Now if you go over to Project Censored you will find this about the 'Winter Soldier Testimony' and it's airing, Censored by everyone else.
#019 Iraq Vets Testify
Researched by Kat Pat Crespan and Erica Elkington
Iraq Veterans Against the War brought together more than 300 war veterans on March 13-16, 2008 to discuss soldiers’ actions and the impact of the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. At the “Winter Soldier” event, dozens veterans publicly testified about crimes they committed during the course of battle — many of which were prompted by the orders or policies set down by superior officers. Some international law experts say the soldiers’ statements show the need for investigations into potential violations of international law by high-ranking officials in the Bush administration and the Pentagon. The event was designed to demonstrate that well-publicized incidents of US brutality, including the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha, are not isolated incidents perpetrated by “a few bad apples,” as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern, the organizers said, of “an increasingly bloody occupation.” Though BBC predicted that this event would dominate international news, there was a near total back out on this historic news event by the US corporate media.
In June 2007 The Nation also published interviews of 50 Iraq vets in a comprehensive investigation into the effects of the occupation on Iraqi civilians.
“Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan— Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations”
Live Broadcast Pacifica Radio. March 14-16, 2008,
You will also find some of the other articles of under reported news they picked, as well as archived reports of their past Censored, or under reported, Features.
"Project censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcast outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism."
— Walter Cronkite