Skip to comments.'Winter Soldier' Testimony Still Fuels Discontent
Posted on 10/17/2004 6:19:47 AM PDT by kristinn
Washington -- The nation was divided as never before over a foreign war, and in the country's capital, as protesters massed by the tens of thousands, the president felt he was under siege.
It was April 1971, the president was Richard Nixon and the war was in Vietnam. While Nixon and his aides conferred about ways to subvert the protests by seeking court injunctions and blocking anti-war veterans' access to Arlington National Cemetery, a 27-year-old former Navy lieutenant was girding for the biggest moment yet in his public life.
John Forbes Kerry's two-hour appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would launch him on a political career that may carry him to the presidency on Nov. 2. But it has also fueled the bitterest attacks by his critics, who say his angry words of that day show he is unfit for the nation's highest office.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
NEVER FORGET ..... NEVER FORGIVE......
Bitter? You betcha....
If John Kerry were President it would be the height of hypocrisy for him to ask any man to die for somthing that he has deemed a mistake (Iraq).... His very own words from 1971 spell doom for our military defense... The military may very well put down their arms and walk away invoking John Kerry's own rhetoric. What happens then? Has America even asked itself this question?
PEOPLE NEED TO SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT THIS>..
In the first debate, Lehrer actually put a good question to Kerry about that 'last man to die for a mistake' comment from his testimony and asking how that doesn't apply to today's Iraq war which Kerry obviously deems a 'mistake'. Kerry really didn't have much of an answer and it's something he should be hit on.
LEHRER: Speaking of Vietnam, you spoke to Congress in 1971, after you came back from Vietnam, and you said, quote, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?
KERRY: No, and they don't have to, providing we have the leadership that we put -- that I'm offering.
I believe that we have to win this. The president and I have always agreed on that. And from the beginning, I did vote to give the authority, because I thought Saddam Hussein was a threat, and I did accept that intelligence
KERRY: Not necessarily be in power, but here's what I'll say about the $87 billion.
I made a mistake in the way I talk about it. He made a mistake in invading Iraq. Which is a worse decision?
"Several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis, with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."-John Kerry, April 22, 1971
Steve Pitkin and the Winter Soldiers, Scott Swett tells the story of a former VVAW member and participant in the Winter Soldier Investigation who states that John Kerry and others pressured him to give false testimony about American atrocities in Vietnam.
After more than 33 years, Pitkin is the first Winter Soldier "witness" to file a legal affadavit regarding that event...
AFFIDAVIT OF STEVEN J. PITKIN combat veteran of the Vietnam War (Kerry pressured him to give false Winter Soldier testimony)
AFFIDAVIT OF STEVEN J. PITKIN
STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF PALM BEACH
Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Steven J. Pitkin, known, to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to this instrument, who, after first being duly sworn by me, upon oath stated:
1. My name is Steven J. Pitkin. I am over the age of twenty-one years, and I am fully competent and able to make this affidavit. I am able to swear, as I do hereby swear, that all facts and statements contained in this affidavit are true and correct and within my personal knowledge.
2. I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, having served with the Ninth Division of the U.S. Army beginning 25 May 1969. A mortar explosion wounded me, my wounds gradually became infected, and I was treated in an Army hospital in Okinawa. I contracted hepatitis C from blood transfusions I received during that time. I was honorably discharged from the Army on 28 August 1969.
3. Medals received for my Army service include: Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, RVN Cross of Gallantry, Air Medal, Purple Heart.
4. During my service in Vietnam, I neither witnessed nor participated in any American war crimes or atrocities against civilians, nor was I ever aware of any such actions. I did witness the results of Vietcong atrocities against Vietnamese civilians, including the murder of tribal leaders.
5. Upon my return to the United States I encountered anti-war protestors who, at various times, threw feces, spit, and screamed obscenities.
6. I met Scott Camil, an organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), at Catonsville Community College in Baltimore in 1970, and joined that organization.
7. In January of 1971, I rode in a van with Scott Camil, John Kerry, a national leader of the VVAW, and others from Washington D.C. to Detroit to attend the Winter Soldier Investigation, a conference intended to publicize alleged American war crimes in Vietnam. Having no knowledge of such war crimes, I did not intend to speak at the event.
8. During the Winter Soldier Investigation, John Kerry and other leaders of that event pressured me to testify about American war crimes, despite my repeated statements that I could not honestly do so. One event leader strongly implied that I would not be provided transportation back to my home in Baltimore, Maryland, if I failed to comply. Kerry and other leaders of the event instructed me to publicly state that I had witnessed incidents of rape, brutality, atrocities and racism, knowing that such statements would necessarily be untrue.
9. In April 1971, I attended a VVAW protest in Washington D.C. known as Dewey Canyon III. During this event I was present when protestors, including John Kerry, threw medals and ribbons over a fence outside the U.S. Capitol. I witnessed a man holding a bag of ribbons and medals and handing them out to other protestors. I saw that many of the ribbons and medals were not those that would be received by veterans of combat in Vietnam.
10. During the Dewey Canyon III protest, others and I confronted protestors who were wearing or carrying Vietcong flags.
11. After the Dewey Canyon III protest, I was no longer invited to meetings of the VVAW in Baltimore, and ended my association with the organization.
12. I joined the 5/20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland National Guard in 1974, was graduated from paratrooper jump school with honors in 1976, joined the Coast Guard in 1978 and served there until my retirement in May 1997.
(signed) Steven J. Pitkin
Further affiant saith not.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 31st day of August, 2004.
Commission # DD235268
My commission expires July 28, 2007
Steve Pitkin Affadavit, August 31, 2004
Steve Pitkin DD-214
Steve Pitkin WSI testimony
Steve Pitkin WSI video clips -- February 1, 1971 (4:16, 1.6MB)
From Kerry's "The New Soldier":
Al Hubbard Sgt., 22 Troop Carrier Squadron Aug. 65-June 66
Emotions: Walking down the flight line at Saigon past stacks of aluminum cases containing American bodies and past stacks of aluminum luggage containing American currency. Seeing the tight, sad face of an Airman loading the bodies aboard a dirty Air Force Transport and the wide smiling face of a stewardess greeting the passengers aboard a clean Pan American Clipper Jet. Hearing a Vietnamese beg you to leave his country and an American colonel tells you to bomb his country. Hearing a Vietnamese invite you to live in his home, after the war and an American explain why you cant live in his block, after the war. Flying over barren, brown, safe American held terrain and over lush, green unsafe enemy terrain. Feeling happy to be leaving a country in which you do not belong and sad to be returning to a country in which you are not allowed to belong. Sacrificing a portion of your consciousness so you wont have to deal with being there and building mental blocks so you wont have to deal with having been there.
- Al Hubbard, proven fraud who never set foot in Viet Nam. The only Vietnamese he ever met was when he was collaborating with the North Vietnamese in Paris on the American Communist Party's nickel.
John Kerry's explanation: "He (Hubbard) simply exaggarated his particular position. But nobody knew it at the time. And those things happen."
"Phony Vietnam veterans alleged in books
Guenter Lewy's 1978 book America in Vietnam (pages 316-317) and B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley's Stolen Valor (Verity Press, Inc., Dallas, Texas)(pages 113, 131-137) contain similar information about alleged flaws in Lane's book. Neither book, however, refutes any of the testimony given during the Winter Soldier Investigation.
Lawyer and leftist activist Mark Lane was one of the organizers of Winter Soldier. In 1970, Lane had published a book called Conversations With Americans purporting to be interviews with Vietnam veterans about war crimes, containing Vietnam tales of atrocities. Reporter Neil Sheehan showed some interviewed in Lane's book had never served in Vietnam and others had not been in the situations they described. Lane admitted he did not check military records, as confirmation of details was not relevant. Lane later confirmed these militarty records.
The following are often falsely listed as being participants in Winter Soldier, but were actually in Lane's book instead. This confusion is probably due to Stolen Valor having an explanation of Lane's history within the section on Winter Soldier.
Chuck Onan, stock room clerk in Beaufort, S.C.
Michael Schneider, deserted in Europe and deserted again in the USA.
Terry Whitmore, was in an unpopulated area of Vietnam.
Garry Gianninoto, medical corpsman at battalion headquarters.
VVAW leader and Winter Soldier co-organizer Al Hubbard lied about being an officer, and sustaining war injuries - but he never testified at Winter Soldier .
According to the investigative work of Burkett, Lewy and others, there were many imposters, liars, and plain nutjobs who infiltrated the ranks of the anti-war movement, and, in some cases, testified to war crimes and atrocities that never occurred in order to get attention, sympathy, and, in one documented case, medals and honors."
"...At the time, Kerry was serving as the point man for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The president of the organization was Al Hubbard, who claimed to be an Air Force captain who was severely injured during his service in Vietnam.
It turned out Hubbard was a sergeant who never served in Vietnam.
He did, however, as Kerry knew, serve the communist cause with great enthusiasm and distinction making propaganda trips to Hanoi paid for by the Communist Party USA. "
I've often wondered why he was wearing army fatigues. Plus I take it his testimony was given before he catapulted his medals/ribbons/somebody else's ribbons away.
The average Kerry voter thinks the Swiftees are as made up as the CBS documents. But somehow this guy's affadavit just a month ago makes so much sense, and it explains the WEIRDO testimony that was coming out of that Winter Soldier meeting. (Frankly, it reminds me of that McMarten Preschool scandal, where the kiddies' tales got more and more ridiculous.)
This whole incident, as well as the meeting where Kerry took part in the Senator assassination vote, would resonate enough with many ho-hum Kerry supporters (MOST of his voters are ho-hum!) to change their vote. Wish we could get it out there.
Any Vet who supports Kerry should hang their heads in shame.
"Al Hubbard, proven fraud who never set foot in Viet Nam. The only Vietnamese he ever met was when he was collaborating with the North Vietnamese in Paris on the American Communist Party's nickel."
I never knew this!!
Their hands are covered in blood.
Between 10.000 and 20,000 of our men in uniform
died when in front of congress Kerry lied.
An unknown number of our POWS where tortured and
murdered when in front of congress Kerry lied.
over one million Vietnamese and over ten million
Cambodians died when in front of congress Kerry lied.
Kerry's hands and the hands of those in congress
and the media who bought into Kerry's
lies are covered in blood.
Now look at your hands. If you are supporting
John Kerry in his bid for the office of President
of the United States your hands are also covered in
Roger Yaste ATC Ret USN
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