Were many testimonies at Winter Soldier false?

In this Pit thread Sam Stone talks about the Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI), in which Vietnam war veterans confessed to participating in different atrocities during their service in vietnam. Some months after this event John Kerry testified before the House Foreign Committee.

This post contains the following assertions:

  • The testimonies of the veterans at WSI were largely bullshit.
  • Many of the speakers at the WSI that claimed to have been in Vietnam turned out to not even have been in in Vietnam.
  • John Kerry and/or those organizing the meeting in Detroit didn’t bother checking that out.

Those assertions have now been discussed somewhat in that thread, but I think this subject is worthy of it’s own thread, and I would also like to give those that do not generally lurk in the Pit a chance to participate.

Furthermore I would like to set up some ground rules. The assertions made by Sam are pretty straightforward, and a first step towards proving them would be:

Show that one specified participant at the Winter Soldier Investigation:

  • Did speak at WSI, and
  • Claimed to have been in Vietnam, but in fact never were.

And also show that one specified participant at WSI

  • Did speak at WSI
  • Claimed having witnessed specified atrocities, that can be showed not to have happened.

The burden of proof, as usual rests with the party that makes an unproven assertion, here Sam Stone and those willing to help him prove his point.

Just a caveat, if you will.

There were indeed some fake veterans in the VVAW. I was personally close to a number of them, and privy to their discussions, though not a vet myself. It was a troublesome issue, as it led to suspicions amongst them, and difficulties in terms of trust and bone fides. Anyone would naturally be insulted to be interrogated suspiciously, and this would be likely to drive away the very vets they were trying to attract, if every “newbie” had to face a grilling. Its not like they could pick up a phone, call the defense department and get cooperation.

For reasons having to do with the perversity of the human psyche, men will sometimes (often?) claim combat experience they did not have. Lord only knows why, but it happens. There were also, I am sure, fake vets who supported the war. I have no direct personal knowledge of such, but it stands to reason.

So, yes, of course, some given number of the testimonials at the Winter Soldier event were falsified. No question. The questions are 1) how many and 2) what of it?

That may very well be the case, I simply don’t know enough about it myself. But I’d like specific proof on this point first, and then we can move on to how many they were.

Me too. Good idea.

OK. This is easy. Hubbard, the cofounder of VVAW claimed to have been a Vietnam Veteran, and Officer and a pilot wounded when his plane was shot. He in fact was a Sergent, a mechanic, and had never been to Vietnam as far as could be determined. I don’t think Hubbard gave testimony, but he certainly spoke.

Michael Harbert another cofounder claimed to have flown forty seven missions and directed bombing against civilians was actually based in California throughout the war.

It’s actually pretty tough to find and dispute most of the WSI, since they did such a poor job documenting what they did. I don’t think a single incident that came out of WSI was confirmed.

Please meet Mr. Pitkin:


Well yes. The burden of proof does rest with the party making the accusation. That would be on Kerry and VVAW. Nobody has to prove them false. They need to prove their charges true, and they were extremely irresponsible in their gathering of evidence and in the testimony Kerry gave to which I hold him responsible and consider him a traitor for.

You heard it from Elucidator. They didn’t want to hurt their feelings by trying to corroborate their statements or make sure they were who they said they were.

While I admire the genteel sentimentality. I feel that it gives pretty short shrift to the accused

From Sam Stone’s Wikipedia link in the pit thread.

The Link

Some were true, some weren’t. Traitor is a mighty strong word for someone who did tell the truth.

That’s it? Scylla, come now, some substance! One meager cite to the Freepers? We’ve been all through this, you have never been able get away with using that pack of jingoistic nutbars as a cite. Why do you keep at it? Why, it’s almost as though you had nothing else. And of course you do, you wouldn’t form such a damning opinion about a man of proven courage based solely on the testimony of his political enemies.

And your charge, much like Sam’s, remains undefined. What, precisely, is Kerry supposed to have lied about? Did atrocities happen? Of course they did. Are you trying to prove that they didn’t? Or is it that the specific incidents that the WI reported on never occured? You call Kerry a liar, but refuse to specify what he was lying about.

Kerry says the events were “commonplace”. Is that the lie you are sore wroth about? Well, then specify. Quantify, if you can. What did Kerry mean, when he said commonplace. You must know, you have demonstrated that you can peer into his soul and outline his motives. Should be a simple matter to clarify that, given such prescience.

How many is “commonplace”? Then, all you have to do is prove that the actual number of “misconducts” is far less than this number. And that Kerry knew this, or was willfully ignorant thereof.

Whenever you’re ready.

He didn’t tell the truth. His stories were generalized and unsubstantiated. Nothing that came out of Wintersoldier was substantiated.

Atrocities occur in every war. A hero, an honorable man stands up and prevents them from occuring when he is on the scene. Failing that, he brings those to justice who committed the crimes.

A traitor, a whiny opportunistic bitch, plays these incidents to his advantage. Kerry prevented nothing, brought no one to justice, interceded in no events. All he did was make a false and generalized indictment of those who did serve. His actions were devoid of honor. He got to play the whiny disenfranchised bitch wronged the the government, but not responsible for his own actions or lack thereof.
At any rate, the OP stated rules and asked for very specific things. Those specific things were provided.

Everything. It was a total and complete manufactured lie. Not a single incident in the Wintersoldier investigation was substantiated, not a single war criminal bought to justice.

It was theater. Fiction.

I have been very specific over a number of threads.

Kerry was lying when he claimed the mission of the swiftboats was to fire on villages and Sampans and kill innocent people. An interview to the Washington Star:

"“We established an American presence in most cases by showing the flag and firing at sampans and villages along the banks. Those were our instructions, but they seemed so out of line that we finally began to go ashore, against our orders, and investigate the villages that were supposed to be our targets. We discovered we were butchering a lot of innocent people, and morale became so low among the officers on those ‘swift boats’ that we were called back to Saigon for special instructions from Gen. Abrams. He told us we were doing the right thing. He said our efforts would help win the war in the long run. That’s when I realized I could never remain silent about the realities of the war in Vietnam.”

From here:


He lied about the meeting with Abrams. His indictment of Abrams was a lie.
He claimed we were committing genocide. That is a lie.

He claimed have committed atrocities personally. He claimed that firing in a free fire zone is contrary to the Geneva conventions and an atrocity. That is a lie. He claimed that .50 caliber machine guns were his only weapon to use against “people.” Not the “enemy” of “enemy soldiers” but people. That is a lie.
He claims to have taken part in search and destroy machines and that they are against the Geneva conventions and are atrocities. That is also a lie. He claims to have burned villages personally. If that is the truth, he should be prosecuted and should not be President. If it is a lie, he should not be President for this slander since he says it was not just him. He said that atrocities and war crimes were a matter of written and established policy from the top down. He puts himself and those who gave the orders in the same category as LT. Calley of Mai Lai. If that is not a lie he should be held to that standard, under law. He claimed we were fighting a war of aggression in Vietnam which was also a lie. He lied about the specifics of his own service, self-aggrandizing at the expense of his fellow veterans. He lied when he said he was no longer with VVAW while they were plotting the murder of several Senators. His cofounders were liars and frauds. If his tribunal “Wintersoldier investigation” could reasonably be considered credible enough to be held to a standard, then he suborned perjury from Pitkin. He lied about the report he cited saying that 65-85% of soldiers in Vietnam were stoned 24/7 to help them deal with the atrocities they were committing.

But mainly, Elucidator, the whole entire fucking thing was a lie from start to finish. There was not even lip service paid to the standards of evidence necessary to support the charges. He didn’t even fucking attempt to substantiate anything. He didn’t need to. These things weren’t put out there for truth, they were put out there for theatre. His little fucking medal tossing play is about as painfully stupid as the street theatre in Billy Jack. He was playing games to fulfill his political aspirations.

Let me give you an example:

If I see a man abusing a woman physically, and I have honor, I intervene. If I cannot or do not, or otherwise fail, I participate in bringing that man to justice. I have conducted myself with honor.

If on the other hand I do nothing, but later gather up a bunch of unsubstantiated stories, and make a general indictment about how men suck, and how terrible and awful it is to be a man, and how disenfranchised I feel to be a man because society has made me into this thing that hurts women, and isn’t just sad…

Then I would be nothing but a whiny self-centered bitch.

What Kerry did is ten times worse, because he solicited false stories to make his case to paint his fellow veterans as war criminals while they in the overwhelming majority served with an honor that Kerry did not reciprocate.

He accused them without taking responsibility, either for himself and his own “war crimes” or for his accusations, by refusing to be specific with his pathetic mewling about “moods.”

He got revealed for the bitch he is on the Dick Cavett show, the only time he faced O’neil and was unable to substantiate any of the accusations he made against others. You should watch it sometime. Rarely has an individual had his ass so completely handed to him. The audience started off supporting Kerry and they were booing him by the end, because his lies were so pathetically obvious.

I can. He is as transparent in this as saran wrap. I don’t have to specify or quantify. Kerry does. He is the one making the accusations. He is the one who held the investigation. He is the one who testified to congress. With nothing. Nothing at all. He just walked in with his medals on his fatigues, and told a bunch of nonspecific generalized lies. It is the very fact that he presented nothing specific, named no names, brought no one to justice, that proves the worthlessness and self-serving nature of his little endeavor. The greatest indictment here against Kerry is that He didn’t even bother to try to bring one person to justice, to make one claim stick.

The fucker didn’t even try.

That shows you it wasn’t about justice. It was about affect.

Generalizations don’t cut it. You don’t get to walk up and make a bunch of generalized statements to indict your fellow servicemen and hope they are so general that they can’t be disproved.

You don’t get to do it if you have honor, I mean. You don’t get to do it if you don’
t want to be branded a traitor. You don’t get to do it if you want to play war hero. You don’t get to do it if you want to be President.
You said it yourself previously:

If you knew it was problematic, certainly Kerry did. If you have honor, and you identify a problem, and you care about justice and the truth, if you care about your country, and those who are still serving… Then you do not go and indict the entire country and those who served based upon what you know is problematic and faulty evidence.

You just don’t go ahead and put these accusations out there because you are afraid it would be impolitic to try to divine the fucking truth.

If you are holding the investigation and you are going to present your evidence it is your responsibility to answer #1, as for “what of it?” If you fail number one, or you don’t even bother to address it, than your results, what you have to say concerning your “investigation” are, on the best face of it, Worthless. In any rational sense you should be held responsible for it if you assert such worthlessness as truth.
Now please be advised my friend, in rereading this before I hit submit, I see that I have put some strong words here, and I have used the term “you.” I understand that you were involved on the periphery of this thing. I know nothing about what you did, and it really doesn’t matter. I don’t want you to be confused and think that my use of “you” is specific to you personally. I am using the generic “you” here.

As in:

If you shoot an elephant you better be sure and finish the job.

Clearly I am not accusing you personally of shooting elephants. The you is generic.

I bring this up to head up any sense of personal affront or huffiness that you may decide to throw my way.

You are over a barrel here Scylla. A man who makes light of another man’s fighting reputation has to take his beatings. This is yours.

Specific and substantiated stories:

Copyright prevents more detail.

When did you become fit to judge another man’s honour Scylla?

There is no reason in your rant, no argument. It is all emotion and dishonesty, lacking the appropriate emotion which is shame.

The day I recognized my own was faulty.

As for your cites, well, I suppose I could indict the men of NYC generally as rapists and get away with it, by showing that a raped had occured according to the logic you present.

Were any of these people at Wintersoldier? Did they tesitify there?
Your cite proves my point. These things were uncovered and brought to justice because of people who had honor. People who, on the scene, intervened, or people who put themselves at risk to bring the specific perpetrators of the specific incidents to justice. People who did there job and served with honor.

This proves that it wasn’t a fucking conspiracy in which the officer corps was complicit, and that it wasn’t commonplace, and that it wasn’t ordered at all levels, and that everyone wasn’t walking around stoned 24/7 to deal with it.

We know about these things and they were brought to justice because people on the scene intervened, and held the others on the scene accountable, and because real investigations were held to bring these criminals to justice.

It sickens me to even see you try to compare Kerry’s Fonda funded fuck party Kangaroo court charade, with real atrocities bought to justice by real responsible people doing their jobs and serving honorably.

Am I speaking too strongly? Well sorry. The difference between Kerry’s Wintersoldier political theater and the real world can be summed up in the following:

If a man walked into the Wintersoldier testimony and talked about how he personally had wired up genitals to a generator and tortured innocent people, killed women and children, what happened to that person?

He was thanked for coming forward.

He was a good guy. He was thanked for providing the ammunition that Kerry sought.

In the real world. In a non-kangaroo court. In non-theatre. You do that and you are held responsible.

Kerry did NOTHING.

He uncovered NOTHING.

HE stopped NOTHING.

He brought NO ONE to justice.
Kerry gathered stories without regard or care to their veracity, and presented them as truth in political theater to serve his personal needs. He did that without regard to his fellow veterans, and he did that without regard to the effect it would have on POWs being held by the VC and other men suffered because of this irresponsibility. Kerry knew better because he had been through a military course in capture and evasion and knew what the POWs would have to deal with.

He did it anyway. There is no excuse, nothing that ameliorates this level of treachery.

All of these blazing charges, substantiated by one cite……one!...and that the same old swifties. Once again, you expect to be taken seriously when the only testimony, the only authority, you offer is the very people making the accusations! The man’s sworn political enemies!

Then you rattle off a litany of charges, without the slightest hint of proof or cite. Having done that, you assail Kerry for…….making unsubstantiated charges! With a straight face!

Says who? You? Let me clue you in, puppy. Attaching yourself to the anti-war movement, in 1971, was not a “career move”. We were not widely beloved. Again, you claim to peer into his soul and inventory the contents, assess the motivations of a man you never met. Who died and made you God?

Good thing. Seeing as you can’t. Very handy that your case remains utterly irrefutable without such minor details.

None of which was his responsibility. It was our responsibility. He told the truth, as best he knew it. It was up to us to stop things, to bring people to justice. Hell, he was testifying to a Senate committee, maybe the poor idealistic fool thought they might do something about it!

But heres one good example: you claim that none of the Winter Soldier revelations resulted in a criminal prosecution. Cite?

(Besides which, may we assume that your authority for that assertion is either swiftvet or freeper? Again? Have you got anything else? Anything at all?)

Balderdash! Poppycock! Smegma, Sir! Cutachese! This dog just won’t hunt. Busllshit of the most egregious sort. The two different cites I have provided are quoting Kerry in his own words. It does not matter on what particular part of the internet they are located. They are Kerry’s words. They are not in dispute.

I have Kerry’s own words. I have cited them. In the previous quote, you note that I have made a cite. A sentence later you accuse me of not providing a cite. I understand where you’re coming from. Any cites that contain information you don’t like don’t exist. Only cites that contain information you like, exist. Therefore I have not provided any cites. :rolleyes:


Kerry had made the charges. He had the responsibility to prove them. I have not made the charges. It is not my responsibility to prove something didn’t happen. Here, I’ll write it so a three year old can understand:

I hereby accuse you of stealing a lollipop on June 2, 1973.

Prove that you didn’t. I want cites.

If you can’t do it, that proves your guilty.

We will call this Elucilogic.

Question for the class. What’s wrong with it?

Oh yes it was. If he saw it (as he claimed to) and he was a party to it (as he claimed to be) than he was responsible for it. The following orders defense didn’t work at Nuremburg, and it doesn’t work for Kerry.

He is also responsible for what he puts out there and for the effect that it has. He is responsible for its content.

I know you are familiar with this concept because you hold Bush responsible for his assertions. You’ve been arguing that false and irresponsible assetions have consequences, so I know this is not Greek to you.

No. He didn’t. You told me that. You knew some of these guys. You knew that there were imposters and liars. You said so in this very thread. Are you asserting that Kerry who was at the very forefront of this thing was not cognizant of this fact that even you on the periphery held? Are you seriously saying that he is that stupid? I don’t beleive it. Kerry isn’t stupid.

He’s not that stupid. Nobody he thinks he’s that stupid. You know he’s not that stupid. I know you’ve read the testimony. Tell me truly, swear on your children that you don’t think he knew exactly what he was doing.

How am I to cite an absence? There is no prosecution, so there is nothing to cite. That’s the point. How the hell am I supposed to find you a link to a case that didn’t exist?

No. That is not the source. I looked myself. I read the FBI file which is available for download at Wintersoldier.com. It took a long time. Actually, I didn’t really read it as much as skim it, but you get the idea. I looked at the VVAW site (I think it’s another name now) and searched.

I found this out all by myself. :slight_smile:

The purpose of the Winter Soldier Testimony was to point out that the problems were endemic. These were the responsibility of a failed leadership.

Did it succeed in that purpose? Yes

Was it correct, were the atrocities widespread? Yes

Were they universal and brought about by a conspiracy? WSI never said so.

So one may have differing views about the best approach to take. ‘Prosecute the culpable individuals’ cries Scylla.

Kerry et co, took a different approach. They saw the fault elsewhere. Were they correct? A matter of opinion.

No, I don’t think Scylla can comment reliably on honour.

The men of New York City are rapists.

Some are.

Discuss the appropriate level of generality to use.

You wish. Still widely known as a Scyllagism

I want credit for stern self-denial in ignoring this straight line.

But you are entirely willing to cite that absence as proof of your case. Didn’t it occur to you that the reason no prosecutions occured after the WS event is the same reason they didn’t take place before? You have some reason for us to believe that the US Army was virgorous in pursuit of such accountability? Besides a faith that surpasseth all understanding, that is?

Holy crap, man, do you realize how bad that sounds if you quickly say it a few times? There are children reading these forums!

Nah, they got those filter-thingys, screen out porno, thought-crime, stuff like that.

I assume this has been pointed out elsewhere, but an FYI for those who might not have caught it, this web site is a freeper site, violently anti-Kerry, and nothing to do with the real Winter Soldiers who told their stories. That URL redirects to http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/

Faux Winter Soldier Liars for Bush.


So…that’s it then? The total and sum of Scyllas substantiation for his charges of treason and treachery consist entirely of the testimony of Kerry’s political enemies?

So, if I tear a headline off of Democratic Underground or Buzzflash and splash it onto this forum, I may reasonably expect that such will be taken as Gospel?

Or have you something else, Scylla?