Part 1 of 2
SIR! NO SIR! -- ILLUSTRATED SCREENPLAY
A David Zeiger Film
© 2005 Displaced Films, Inc.
[transcribed from the movie by Tara Carreon]
A DISPLACED FILMS PRODUCTION
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ARTE / FRANCE
[RADIO FIRST TERMER] This film is in living color, and has been rated "X" by the Vietnam Academy of Maggots.
This is Radio First Termer operating on Dave Rabbit's own frequency at 69 megacycles on your FM dial.
The purpose of this program is to bring vital news, information, and hard acid rock music to the First Termers and non-reenlistees in the Republic of Vietnam.
Radio First Termer operates under no Air Force regulations or manuals.
In the event of a Vice-Squad raid, this program will automatically self-destruct.
[Music: Soldier boy
Oh my little soldier boy
I'll be true to you]
[DONALD DUNCAN, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES] Don't misunderstand. I liked being in the Marine Corp. I thought it was good.
[ELDER HALIM GULLAHBEMI, U.S. ARMY] When I did go into the military, I went in there gung ho. In basic training, you have these 500 points that you score. I scored like 501 or something. I was really ready.
[BILL SHORT, U.S. ARMY] I was certain that every member of my family had their war, and that there would be a war for me. And I would go off and be a hero, and fight the good fight for this country.
[SUSAN SCHNALL, U.S. NAVY NURSE] I've tried to spend my whole life having people live a better life and basically feel better. That's what nurses do, right?
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] It took us almost three weeks to cross the Pacific, and there wasn't too much to do on a troop ship. So we'd sit up on the deck at night and have raps. And a lot of times we'd get to what we were going to, whether it was right or wrong. And we'd go back and forth, back and forth. And we'd always end up concluding, well, let's hope we're doing the right thing, because that's where we're going.
A DAVID ZEIGER FILM
[NARRATOR] In the early 1960s, the United States Government began sending combat troops to South Vietnam.
[DONALD DUNCAN, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES] I was really proud of what I thought I was doing.
The problem I had was realizing that what I was doing was not good. I was doing it right, but I wasn't doing right.
[DR. HOWARD LEVY, DERMATOLOGIST, U.S. ARMY] I was asked to train Green Beret people ...
Special Forces men.
Why were they training these guys in dermatology?
Well, they were training them to do dermatology in Vietnam because they knew that if they were able to offer a few simple remedies, and help cure a few children of some simple bacterial infections ...
that that would ingratiate themselves to the Vietnamese community.
And you remember the phrase, "Winning the hearts and minds of the people" ...
so this was how you were going to win the hearts and minds of the people.
And while they were offering the bandaids of helping to cure a few cases of impetigo ...
they were bombing the hell out of the villages.
[DONALD DUNCAN, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES] I was out on patrol near Hipwa, and we took a couple of prisoners. I don't know whether they were combatants or not. Who knows?
[ARVN = South Vietnamese Army -- U.S. Allies]
[DONALD DUNCAN, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES] The patrol was led by Americans, but there were Vietnamese ARVN there. And they were turned over to ARVN. And ARVN used the old-fashioned methods of interrogation, force, and torture. That was pretty common practice.
I tell you, as bad as that treatment was, the cynicism that attached to it was the part that was really sickening, I thought: anathema to everything I'd been taught, everything I learned, everything I grew up with.
This is just not the way we treated human beings.
And it was all done for the good of the cause, I guess.
[Ramparts -- "I quit!"]
["The whole thing was a lie!" By Donald Duncan]
[DONALD DUNCAN, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES] I got out of the military in 1966. I got out because of the things I saw, the things I was doing, and the reasons that we were given for doing them. It was a personal protest. It was just me getting out of the service. There was no movement to join.
[DR. HOWARD LEVY, DERMATOLOGIST, U.S. ARMY] I found the war in Vietnam more and more repulsive.
And I felt that I just couldn't be a part of it.
Eventually, I said, "Look, I'm not training you guys anymore. I don't agree with what you're doing. I think it's immoral. I think it's medically unethical." And I just stopped.
Threw them out of the clinic. It took a few weeks for the army to catch up with that, and when they did they invited me into the commanding officer's office and said, "Look, what are you doing here?" And I told them exactly what I was doing. I said, "I'm not training them." And they said, "Well, you should know the consequences of that." And I said, "I'm perfectly aware of the consequences of it, I'm not training them." At that point, it was obvious that I was going to be court-martialed, and a few days later I got the court-martial notice.
[Levy Found Guilty of Disobeying Orders]
[NARRATOR] Howard Levy spent three years in prison.
Along with him were three G.I.s at Fort Hood who refused orders to Vietnam and received five years hard labor and a dishonorable discharge.
[FORT HOOD THREE]
Army Lieutenant Henry Howe, who carried a sign at a demonstration reading, "END JOHNSON'S FASICST AGGRESSION IN VIETNAM," was sentenced to two years.
And two marines, William Harvey and George Daniel, received 6 to 10 year sentences for organizing a meeting about whether black people should fight in Vietnam.
And on March 3, 1966, former Green Beret, Donald Duncan ...
was the featured speaker at an anti-war meeting at the town hall in Manhattan.
[DONALD DUNCAN, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES] I just wanted to tell what I knew about it, and let people then judge for themselves.
[DR. HOWARD LEVY, DERMATOLOGIST, U.S. ARMY] I think the most startling thing to me occurred, however, as the court-martial began.
What would happen was we would walk from the parking lot to the building where the court-martial was being held ......
and it was the most remarkable thing when hundreds, hundreds of G.I.s would hang out of windows, out of the barracks, and give me the "V" sign, or give me the clenched fist.
This was mind-boggling to me.
This was a revelation.
[Capt. Levy Is Given 3 Years in Prison; Ousted From Army
[Vets: 'Free Levy']
[ARMY DOCTOR FACES ADDITIONAL CHARGE]
[DR. HOWARD LEVY, DERMATOLOGIST, U.S. ARMY] And at that point, it really became crystal clear to me that something had changed here ...
and that something very, very important was happening.
[QUESTIONER] How many people in the Army would you think feel the same way perhaps as you do ...
are against the war?
[KEITH MATHER, U.S. ARMY] I really don't know how many, but I know how many I met, and that was a majority of the men that I met in the service were opposed. But they really didn't know how to voice their opinion.
[NARRATOR] 1968 was the turning point.
By then, America had over a half a million troops in South Vietnam.
But during the lunar new year holiday called "Tet," the enemy, the North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front armies, launched an offensive that overran the entire country before being pushed back.
The Tet Offensive revealed that the enemy had widespread support from the Vietnamese people ...
and America was mired in a war it couldn't win.
And with soldiers beginning to question the war in the wake of the Tet Offensive ...
thousands began going AWOL, or absent without leave.
[ACTIVE DUTY G.I. AGAINST THE WAR]
[NARRATOR] Many found their way to San Francisco where a series of events brought the emerging G.I. anti-war movement onto the National Stage.
[THE NINE FOR PEACE]
[QUESTIONER] Have you given much thought to the penalty of being AWOL?
[KEITH MATHER, U.S. ARMY] Yes.
[QUESTIONER] Can we see your chains, please?
[OLIVER HIRSCH, U.S. AIR FORCE] We joined together in July, 1968, and we took sanctuary in a church, and chained ourselves to ministers.
We essentially called the press and said, "We're not going to Vietnam.
We're refusing our orders, and in fact, we're resigning from the military. Come and get us."
The fact that it took them three days to decide how to deal with this tactically, it was great.
[KEITH MATHER, U.S. ARMY] We had nothing to lose. And we had no idea what was going to come.
And that's a free place. It's a really free place, you know.
You don't know what's going to happen; you don't know where you're going; but you know what you're doing.
And that was my introduction to the San Francisco Presidio stockade.
[OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW IS FREEDOM]
[FORMATION FOR ROLL CALL]
The population fluctuated usually upwards. [The Presidio] was built and I think could hold about 60. And there was sometimes double that in there. It was overcrowded; toilets were backed up; food was short; the guards were mean, and it wasn't any fun.
[NARRATOR] With the Nine for Peace held in military prisons ...
soldiers throughout the Bay Area began planning for the first anti-war demonstration in the country organized by G.I.s and veterans.
[Civilians, Join the GI's and VETS MARCH FOR PEACE]
[SUSAN SCHNALL, U.S. NAVY NURSE] I was a member of the medical committee for human rights.
We got together a number of times and talked about how we were going to organize active duty G.I.s to go to the peace demonstration.
And then I remember also hearing about the B-52 bombers that were dropping leaflets on Vietnam, urging the Vietnamese to defect.
And I thought, well, if they can do it overseas, then we can hire a small private plane, load it up with leaflets, and drop the leaflets on military bases in the San Francisco Bay area.
Thousands and thousands of leaflets.
At one point I know we were a little concerned about getting shot down, but nothing happened. Evidently they landed pretty accurately. That's what they testified at the court-martial.
[BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW]
And on my way driving in to the demonstration, I decided I was going to wear my naval uniform.
My opinion was really straightforward.
It was if Westmoreland could wear his uniform, being for the war, and talking in front of Congress ...
then as an active duty person, I certainly had the same rights that he did ...
[Oppose the War]
[BRING OUR BOYS HOME
RESERVISTS FOR PEACE
Support the G.I.'s Right to Oppose the War
VIETNAM VETS FOR PEACE]
and I could wear my uniform protesting the United States' involvement in Vietnam.
[NARRATOR] Susan Schnall was court-martialed for making a political statement while in uniform.
[March, Air Drop
Nurse Charged in Anti-War Protest
LT. SUSAN SCHNALL
Uniform seemed logical]
And following the GI and veterans' march for peace, four AWOL G.I.s turned themselves in to the Presidio Army Stockade, which was about to reach a breaking point.
[RANDY ROWLAND, U.S. ARMY] The moment of my epiphany ...
or the thing that came to me, was working in a hospital, in the military hospital up at Fort Lewis on a neurology floor.
And it was all head and neck injuries: guys that were so paralyzed that they couldn't turn the page of a book, and they couldn't even take a poop by themselves, and they couldn't kill themselves.
And every day we'd come in as the medics to take care of them, and they would beg us, every day, to kill them, because they couldn't kill themselves.
And it was such a horror, it caused me to think to myself -- 'cause I grew up in a military family, my grandfather was a career officer, and my father was a career officer -- and I had no reason at all going into the military to think that there was anything wrong with the Vietnam war, or anything wrong with America the Beautiful, and then there I was, faced with this situation where guys every day were asking me to kill them.
And it was so horrible that at a certain point I just made a vow to myself that I would never put somebody else into the hospital under those circumstances, that I wouldn't be the guy that squeezed the trigger that caused some human being to be in that dreadful situation.
The other thing that bothered me was that those guys that could talk, the ones who would beg you to kill them, the ones that couldn't turn the page of the book, that couldn't wiggle anything from their chin down, none of them felt they had made their sacrifice for a good reason.
They all told stories of, you know, of brutalizing the Vietnamese people, of being the thugs.
And not a single one of them felt like his sacrifice was for a good cause.
[CHANNEL 5 REPORTER] For 19-year-old Private Michael Bunch, life in the Army had been little more than a series of AWOL violations.
BY ORDER OF C.O.]
His last stop was here, the Presidio Stockade, where he was fatally shot last Friday while trying to escape from a work detail.
[RANDY ROWLAND, U.S. ARMY] So I'd been assigned, kind of, by the Movement people. to go into the Stockade and find out what was going on, because they had shot this prisoner and killed him.
Identification photograph of ...
(Sports noted on nose and both ...]
CRIME SCENE AREA
A. Area where guard fired his weapon at prisoner.
B. Area where prisoner fell after being shot.]
[KEITH MATHER, U.S. ARMY] The guard shot him and killed him, you know, point blank.
And his only crime was not wanting to be there. And going AWOL.
And he was cut down at a really young age, and for no good reason, not unlike a lot of his brothers in Vietnam.
So we reacted viscerally and with anger and disgust and outrage.
And we tore that jail apart. We ripped the wires out of the walls, ripped the squawk-box off the wall, and then things started to calm down because we started to plan.
We came to a decision that the best thing we could do was to have some kind of a demonstration.
[RANDY ROWLAND, U.S. ARMY] And it was at the roll call formation we had a signal.
That was when we were supposed to break ranks, and we did. And then we walked over here and sat down.
At a certain point, the Commandant came out and read us The Mutiny Act.
And we just kept singing louder ...
and kind of linked arms and sang and sang.
[KEITH MATHER, U.S. ARMY] And we were scared, man.
I tell you, we were really scared.
We had them right where we wanted them.
They were finally listening to us, man.
That's the first time I can ever remember anybody listening to us while I was in the military.
[RANDY ROWLAND, U.S. ARMY] The commanding general of the Sixth Army -- which was the jurisdiction -- he said they thought the revolution was about to star,t and that they really had to set an example, you know, come down hard.
We were the guys that they decided to do that with.
And they did.
I mean, we were on trial for our life.
You know, I kind of came in as an AWOL, and within two days of hitting the Stockade, I was facing the death sentence for singing "We Shall Overcome."
[Presidio 27 Face Trial On 'Mutiny'
Presidio 'Mutiny' Hearings
Six in Stockade Accused of Mutiny]
[NARRATOR] Initially sentenced to 16 years for mutiny, the Presidio 27 spent up to two years in federal prison.
And facing decades in jail for both The Nine for Peace, and Presidio Sitdown ...
[Dozen Presidio GIs Convicted in Mutiny]
Keith Mather escaped from the Presidio Stockade and made his way to Canada, where he spent the next 18 years living in exile.
But in the summer of '68, as thousands of supporters protested the jailing of the Presidio 27 ...
[20,000 Marchers at Presidio]
the G.I. movement had arrived.
[LOUIS FONT, U.S. ARMY] My background is Puerto Rican.
I was born in New York City.
When I was 17 years old, I entered the United States Military Academy at Westpoint.
I graduated with honors, and the Army sent me to graduate school at Harvard University, to the Kennedy School of Government. I was there for a year and a half, at which point I wrote to the Army and said that I would refuse to serve in the Vietnam War.
[West Pointer From Kansas Objects to War, Wants Out]
I came to believe it was a war of aggression by the United States against the Vietnamese.
Officers Speak Out
BALTIMORE, MD., February 6, 1971]
[Lt. Font held for his expose
By J.O. Williams
"My concern for those less fortunate than myself began in the home with the teachings of my parents."
The words are those of 1st Lt. Louis P. Font this week.
However, Lt. Font's concern for the GI's at Ft. Meade, Md., has brought down the wrath of the U.S. Army and he faces court-martial for five counts of disobeying orders.
In an exclusive AFRO interview, Lt. Font explained the circumstances of the case. "I have experienced discrimination myself," he said. "My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is French."
So when he discovered the "deplorable" GI living conditions at Ft. Meade, he began to make complaints to his superiors.
"There were blacks living in the barracks under inhuman conditions. They were paid less often, placed on detail more often and assigned to ...
THE EVENING STAR: Officer Ruled Too 'Selective' For Discharge as Objector]
It was really a troubling decision, because I knew that my career would be over. And I didn't know what the future would bring. At the time, the press said that I was the first West Point graduate to refuse to serve in a war in the history of West Point.
I remember calling my parents, and they were in tears, just totally in tears, thinking that I would end up in prison instead of getting a master's degree from Harvard. But I told them, I remember in that conversation I said, "You always taught me to do what's just, to do what is right," and I really felt that I was doing the right thing. And I believe that to this day, 34 years later. I know I did the right thing.
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] I was wounded three times while I was out in the bush.
The third time I was wounded was on December 20, 1967, and we got overrun by North Vietnamese irregulars.
They started like a human wave attack.
And a guy came up behind our hole and stuck his rifle in the hole, and I saw the front side of an AK-47 and a muzzle flash.
And I had my M-16 pointed up, and I pulled my trigger when I saw the AK site.
And the bullet hit me in the knee. And I blacked out, and came to a few minutes later. And my gun was jammed, and my knee was shattered.
After the fighting ended, and the sun came up, and they carried me over to this guy who had shot me, and he was sitting up against the tree stump, and he was dead.
He had three bullet holes up his chest, and he had his AK laying across his lap. And the sergeant said, "here's this gook you killed; you did a good job."
And I seen this guy, and he was about my age. And I started thinking, you know, "Why is he dead and I'm alive?"
It was just a matter of pure luck.
Then I started thinking, I wonder if he had a girlfriend, and how his mother is going to find out, and things like that.
And when you just went through an experience of that nature, and you find out that it's all lies, and that they're just lying to the American people, and your silence means that you're part of keeping that lie going, I couldn't stop. I mean, I couldn't be silent.
I felt I had a responsibility to my friends, and to the country in general, and to the Vietnamese. The last guy who I shot, and I don't consider he was the first guy I shot, but it was the first guy I shot where I was shooting it out barrel to barrel with him and looked him in the face afterwards, and I felt a certain amount of responsibility to him, to make his death not be in vain.
It meant that I had to try to advocate for the justness that he was fighting for. Because I believe he was fighting for his country. So I became involved in the Movement.
[NARRATOR] With more and more soldiers turning against the war, a handful of peace activists opened the first of what would become a network of dozens of anti-war GI coffeehouses ...
located in the towns that hovered near military bases.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The duty Texas town of Killeen, just outside Fort Hood, which housed over 30,000 troops, became the home of the GI coffeehouse known as the Oleo Strut.
[the oleo strut]
[JOIN US MARCH FOR PEACE]
[SUMMER OF '68
[COFFEEHOUSE GI] Being in the Army, I can get over here, and I can sit down, and I can write poetry.
And I can sit here and listen. And I can forget I'm in the army for about 15 minutes to an hour, or something like this.
[COFFEEHOUSE GI] We have three very simple rules here ...
Three very simple rules and that's all.
(1) We got no holding in the place.
If you're holding, this is a bad place to be.
[Holding = Carrying Drugs]
The sign over there says the Man is welcome. So always remember the Man is welcome here. Not so much that he is welcome, it's that he's just here.
[The Man = THE MAN]
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] The name "Oleo Strut" came from a shock absorber on a helicopter.
So that's what the Oleo Strut was. It was a place where you go there and they sold sodas. And they had a record player, and all the latest rock records. And underground papers and such.
Fort Hood was both a combination of guys going to Vietnam, and guys who had been to Vietnam and came back.
And as time went on, the guys who had been to Vietnam played a subversive role to the guys who were going.
[COFFEEHOUSE GI] And they go out on ambushes. Like, for a one-month period ...
we go out on ambushes, and we kill over 50 people ...
in the early hours of the morning ...
And you start looking at bodies, because they've got to get their body count ...
And who's there? A majority were women and children.
And what were they doing? What was their crime?
They were carrying food ...
They were carrying food to their friends up in the hills.
For anyone who thinks that he can duck out of it ...
and hopefully be a clerk typist, and not have to see any of that ...
he's making a mistake, because he's supporting the war.
[Body Count = how the U.S. measured success in Vietnam]
THE RIGHT TO READ AND RETAIN COMMERCIAL PUBLICATIONS
THIS IS YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY, IT CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU
JUNE, 71 ISSUE 50
[photo by flinch]
[Young's SPORTING Goods]
[Tyrrell Jewelers, Inc.]
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] I remember that probably one of our campaigns that was a pretty good effort was the Tyrrell's boycott.
And they used to have these guys standing out on the sidewalk soliciting you. GIs would come into town, and they'd say, "Hey, why don't you buy your mother a ring?
Why don't you buy your girlfriend a ring?"
And particularly, they were trying to get the guys who were going to go to Vietnam:
"Better buy something for your mother, you might not get to see her again. Something to remember you."
They'd be out there hustling, and they knew all the different raps to pull on a lonely GI's heart strings.
And then they used to have this deal where if you bought the ring, and you were killed in Vietnam ...
any payments were suspended. The ring was paid off at that point. And they put your name in the window on Tyrrell's Roll Call of Honor. Which was outrageous, because it was like, "Oh, you owe us money, and you got killed, so we're going to put your name in the window to get some other guy to do it."
So we decided to do a boycott at the store in Killeem, and we began picket lines in front of the Tyrrell's place.
They arrested picketers several times.
We tried to maintain the picket lines ...
[10 Arrested in Picketing Incident Here]
but what happened was the Tyrrell boycott started spreading to other bases around the country ...
because word of our protest started spreading.
There were GI activist groups all over the country by this point.
[American Serviceman's Union]
[Movement for a Democratic Military]
[Black Liberation Front of the Armed Forces]
[Black Brothers Union]
[Concerned Officers Movement]
[GI's United Against the War
POWER TO THE PEOPLE NOW]
[NARRATOR] But along with the growth of the Movement came the attacks.
BUT SOLDIERS ON THE MOVE
By Donna Mickjeson
On September 11, eight black GI's appeared before a Pretrial Investigating Officer at Ft. Hood, Texas. They had been charged with disobeying a lawful order to disperse, and hauled off to the stockade along with some 35 other black soldiers from a demonstration early on the morning of August 25th. All 43 members of the First Armored Division (composed mostly of Vietnam vets finishing up their hitches), were demonstrating ...]
The Shelter Half Coffeehouse near Ft. Louis in Washington was declared off limits by the military.
[LOS ANGELES TIMES
Sun., Jan. 4, 1970 - Sec. A
'Off-Limits' Tag Faces Coffeehouse
BY PETER OSNOS
Exclusive to the Times from the Washington Post]
[GI Coffeehouse Operators Tried in S.C.]
[S.C. Jury Convicts 3 Operators of GI Coffeehouse]
And in Columbia, South Carolina, the staff of the UFO Coffeehouse was arrested and charged with maintaining a public nuisance.
[GI Coffee-house Organizers Sentence to Six Years]
[Attack on Antiwar Office Wounds Man
Group Blames 'Atmosphere' for Shooting on Statements by Officers at Pendleton
Attack on Anti-War Unit Office Wounds Marine]
Night Riders shot into a movement center near Camp Pendleton Marine Base in California, seriously wounding one marine.
[Ft. Dix GI coffeehouse bombed]
And in Mountain Home, Idaho, the Covered Wagon Coffeehouse was firebombed and burned to the ground.
[BANK OF LOUISVILLE]
In the little town of Muldraugh, Kentucky, home of Fort Knox, a scene worthy of Franz Kafka emerged.
[Muldraugh Coffee House Fights Off New Attacks]
[STEVE GOLDSMITH, CIVILIAN ORGANIZER] Soldiers were mostly the driving force, and we were the supporters.
And they did things like put up pictures of Che Guevara. One whole wall was an American flag painted upside-down.
The stars part of it was a toilet seat.
And if you lifted the toilet seat up, there was Lyndon Johnson's picture.
And when the police officer who came into examine the place saw that, he just hit the roof.
[HAL MUSKAT, U.S. ARMY] I got sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, to protect the nation's gold supply.
I got to Knox at a time when their coffeehouse was experiencing a lot of repression.
[STEVE GOLDSMITH, CIVILIAN ORGANIZER] I spent 13 days in this little jail that still had a trap door from when they did lynchings before the Civil War. There was a hook up on the wall. What they were trying to do was drive us out of town. But we weren't going away.
[The Battle at Muldraugh Hill
[Leafletting Draws Crowd Near Ft. Knox]
They indicted six people for two offenses: one was maintaining a place visited by idle and evil disposed people. We always thought, "idle and evil-disposed people"? You mean, like soldiers?
[HAL MUSKAT, U.S. ARMY] The whole emphasis of the coffeehouse in giving us an off-base center to congregate and meet was a good thing. But in defending those centers to exist, it pulled us off the base, which was where we were effective and powerful.
When you put us in a coffeehouse, we were just like a bunch of other young people in a coffeehouse. Put us in a barracks with a stack of papers and half a dozen guys around us, and we were fucking Atlas.
[WALTER CRONKITE] A new phenomenon has cropped up at several army bases these days, a so-called "Underground GI Press," which consists largely of anti-war newspapers. Military authorities are clamping down hard on the papers. Recently it was announced ...
[THE ARMY BUILDS MEN
[DAVE BLALOCK, U.S. ARMY] There was an underground newspaper laying on the bed, and it was called "LAST HARASS."
[Darnell Summers, U.S. Army]
They freaked out, man. They were freaking out.
"This is unauthorized material. And this is subversive material.
You're not allowed to have any copies of this inside the barracks.
Go and turn this in immediately."
That night, then, the paper went around in the barracks, everyone is reading it, two or three guys at a time, sitting around on a bed, around guys' beds and stuff like that, checking out this paper.
TO GI's, civilians and even lifers]
This newspaper is your personal property. It cannot legally be taken from you for any reason.
Army Regulation 381-135(d).]
[OUR FIGHT IS NOT IN VIETNAM]
What I liked about it was the fact that the officers hated it.
To me, it had to be good ...
there had to be something about this that was good.
[NARRATOR] Typed, mimeographed, printed, the G.I. Underground Press exploded.
[Ft. Lewis stockade beatings]
[CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE
FOUR YEAR BUMMER
THE TIME HAS COME FOR A LONG-NEEDED SHAKEDOWN
THOUSANDS MARCH ON FORT DIX]
[BY GI'S, FOR GI'S -- FATIGUE PRESS]
Fatigue Press is published by a group of radical soldiers stationed at this army base.
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] And we used to distribute it clandestinely on base. We'd go around and leave bunches of them in barracks. We'd go through a barrack at night and leave them in footlockers.
[RIOT CONTROL -- 180 YEARS OF SUPPRESSION!]
[GI'S UNITE! TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!]
If you were caught distributing literature on base, it was a court-martial offense.
[NARRATOR] Shortly after the first issue was published, the GI who founded the Fatigue Press, Gypsy Peterson ...
was pulled over by Fort Hood police.
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] And they vacuumed out his car, and claimed to find remnants of marijuana, and arrested him for possession of marijuana in an attempt to suppress his movement.
[NARRATOR] Following a two-day trial in a Texas court, Gypsy Peterson was sentenced to eight years in prison.
[FREE THE NEWPORT 15,000
FRIGGIN PEACE! SOME KINDA COMMIE PLOT!
[THIS PAPER IS COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA!]
Despite the military's best efforts, the Underground Press became the lifeblood of the GI Movement.
[BRING ALL THE GI'S HOME NOW!! ALIVE!! FTA]
The Army's own recruiting slogan, "Fun, Travel and Adventure," turned into the popular GI expression: FUCK THE ARMY.
[BRAGG BRIEFS: GI'S UNITED AGAINST THE WAR IN INDOCHINA
BRAGG NAM VETS GET IT TOGETHER why don't you?
THE SHORT TIMES
THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS PAPER ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE DEPT. OF THE ARMY
AR 381-135: GI'S HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE AND KEEP ANY PRINTED MATTER THAT THEY DESIRE
BOX 543, Columbia, S.C.
FT. JACKSON GIs REPRESENTED]
[OPEN SIGHTS: BY GI'S FOR GI'S
Volume III, Number 2 -- Call to Action Issue -- March, 1971
[WE GOT THE brASS
Stockades in Germany
Issue No. 3]
[HAL MUSKAT, U.S. ARMY] There were close to 300 anti-war newspapers written, produced and published on bases all throughout the world, wherever there were American GIs in the world.
[Now Hear This!]
[ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE
IN THIS ISSUE:
STOCKADE, FONDA, CHANGES]
[NARRATOR] Linking soldiers around the world, the GI Press also inspired many outside the military.
[JANE FONDA] I grew up believing that if our flag was flying over a battlefield, that we were on the side of the angels.
My father fought in the Second World War. He won awards and medals. And I grew up during the "good" wars.
Pusher of Causes]
[JOE URGO, U.S. AIR FORCE] Here's this woman who steps out on the world stage as a famous actress, comes from one of the ruling class families in Hollywood, and makes a political decision to change sides. She steps on to the side of the people, particularly the Vietnamese people. She stands with the GIs. And she stands with the GI Movement. And she says, "I'm going to stand with this. I'm going to give vent; I'm going to help support it and build it," and etcetera, like that. And the FTA Show --
[JANE FONDA] Mr. President, there's a terrible demonstration going on outside.
[MICHAEL ALAIMO] Oh, there's always a demonstration going on outside, Pat.
[JANE FONDA] But Richard, this one is completely out of control.
[MICHAEL ALAIMO] What are they asking for this time?
[JANE FONDA] Free Angela Davis, and all political prisoners; OUT OF VIETNAM NOW; and DRAFT ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.
[MICHAEL ALAIMO] We have people to take care of that. They'll do their job; you do your job; and I'll do my job.
[JANE FONDA] But Richard, you don't understand, they're storming the White House.
[MICHAEL ALAIMO] Oh, in that case I better call out the Third Marines.
[JANE FONDA] You can't, Richard.
[MICHAEL ALAIMO] Why not?
[JANE FONDA] It is the Third Marines!
[NARRATOR] For years, pro-war comedian Bob Hope had toured Vietnam entertaining American troops. .
But soon the cheers turned to jeers ...
and a new kind of entertainment emerged.
[JANE FONDA] Howard Levy, himself a celebrity within the GI Movement, he met with Donald Sutherland and me and he said, "What if we put together an anti-war show that's the opposite side of the coin from the Bob Hope Show?"
FREE THEATER ASSOCIATES, 1972]
I went down to that base, they took one look at my face, and read out an order to Barbie. I said Foxtrot, Tango, Alpha, FREE THE ARMY!
"F" the Army. We always said, "Free the Army," or "Fun, Travel and Adventure." But it really meant, "F[uck] the Army."
FTA, FREE THEATER ASSOCIATES] So we said, "Foxtrot, Tango, Alpha ..
FUCK THE ARMY ...
AND THE NAVY ...
AND THE MARINES!"
[JANE FONDA] Here was a way that I could combine my profession, my acting, with my desire to end the war. It just seemed like a perfect fit.
[FTA SHOW PRESS CONFERENCE]
[JANE FONDA] The show that we bring to these bases is not trying to tell the people on the bases anything that they don't know.
We are coming in response to what is probably the most powerful movement going on in this country, the movement of the men inside the military, and the women, who are beginning to understand how they are being used, and what the nature of American foreign policy is.
And we come there because they have asked us to.
We come there because for the last year we have read in the newspapers from Vietnam, from West Germany, from Okinawa, from the Philippines, from Japan, that
"What we want is entertainment.
We want people who speak to how we feel.
And the majority of us don't know why we're going over there.
We don't know why we're being shot at.
We don't know why our buddies are being killed.
We don't know why we're killing those people."
[BILL SHORT, U.S. ARMY] If it had been another time and place, and another war, I might have actually been a very good soldier.
Because there is part of the military life that I really liked.
This replaced my dogtags.
This little tear-drop peace sign became my official dogtag for myself.
I went through my whole tour in Vietnam without a set of dogtags. Anything but thinking about where you were.
When you started thinking about where you were, that's when you started getting in trouble. And that's when I started getting in trouble.
It was when I started really seeing.
I started seeing stuff like I'm seeing right now.
You know, the way we judged our success was through body count.
And most of the time, even though I was part of the command structure, being first a squad leader, and then a platoon sergeant, most of the time it's supposed to be my responsibility to do things like check the bodies.
But I never wanted to do that.
That's not what I want to do, or understand I was doing.
I was brought into the Company office, and I was told by a major that I would be brought up on charges of leading and conspiring to mutiny against the United States government, because there were three of us who were refusing to go on combat operations.
And that I would be facing a 20-to-life sentence. And so I walked out of there in shock thinking, "Well, I'm going to jail for a long time." I didn't know there was a GI Movement. I just had this strong moral sense of something not being right.
[SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SELECTIVE
FIRST NAME: WILLIAM
MIDDLE NAME: RALPH
LAST NAME: SHORT
SELECTIVE SERVICE NO.: 33 13
DATE OF BIRTH: SEPT. 17, 1947
PLACE OF BIRTH: CINCINNATI, OHIO
COLOR EYES: BRN.
COLOR HAIR: BRN.
HEIGHT: 5 FT. 11]
Then they sent me to see the "Company Shrink." He said, "Well, what are you really concerned about?" And I said, "I don't care about prison time, I just want to have some connection with my home." I didn't want to be ostracized from American culture and society. And he said, "Well, let me show you something." And he reached into some drawer that he had, and he pulled out this New York Times newspaper. And there was a full page ad that had all these signatures of all these people who were opposed to the war.
[GIs Stationed in Vietnam
Sp/4 James R. Abbott
Sp/4 Kenneth E. Adams
Sp/4 David A. Anderson
Sp/5 Thomas W. Arbogast
Sp/4 Rayfield Archer
Pfc. Eddie Arnold
Pfc. John Ashley
Sp/4 Robert J. Aune
Sp/4 Clark J. Bailey
A1c. Gary s. Baklund
Cpl. Martin D. Ballard
L/Cpl. Russell E. Barnes
L/Cpl. Wayne Belcher
Sp/5 Stuart Bernstein
L/Cpl. James R. Blanke
Pfc. Ernest A. Blouin
Sp/4 David A. Bodge
Cpl. Terry L. Bostic
Sp/5 David G. Briddick
Sp/4 Robert N. Bright
Sgt. Thomas Principe
Sp/5 Nicholas O. Rawling
Sp/4 Bernard Remez
L. Cpl. David A. Ritchey
Pfc. Eddie Rivera
L/Cpl. James A. Roberts
Sp/4 Randle Rockford
HN John M. Rohrs
Sp/5 Howard F. Said
Sp/5 Daniel M. Sakach
Sp/4 Joseph R. San George
L/Cp. Gerald L. Schaff
Sp/4 John M. Scheuer
Sgt. James H. Schumock
L/Cpl. John D. Sheets
1Lt. Glenn W. Shriver
Pfc. Edward J. Sklenchar
Sgt. Timothy N. Smith
Sp/4 Warren V. Smith
Pfc. Henry F. Souza]
[DAVE BLALOCK, U.S. ARMY] It was a full page advertisement signed by 1,400 active duty soldiers, denouncing the war and supporting the November 15th demonstration, the November 15th moratorium demonstration.
[Helping Hand Available Here]
The discussion started going saying, "Man, why don't we do something?" On this day, November 15th, we're all going to wear these black armbands as a form of symbolic solidarity with the protesting in the United States.
We were up all night long just talking about this. And I couldn't sleep. There was no way. I was so excited by this point.
So we go out in the morning formation, all our guys had black shoestrings on.
We get over to the combat engineers now, though, there was a different story.
The Company commander had grabbed some guy by the collar ...
and had his .45 pistol up to his head.
You could vaguely hear him threatening this guy ...
to summarily execute him on the spot because he's inciting a mutiny.
["Charlie" = Enemy Soldier]
[FTA, FREE THEATER ASSOCIATES, 1972] I've seen Charlie, Luke the Gook, whatever you want to call him, NVA, right there laying down as I walked by.
I looked at him; he looks at me. I keep going about my business. This man isn't doing me nothing. He ain't hurting me in no type of way. He ain't hurtin' none of my black people, none of my families. So why should I shoot him?
I feel all black men should be exempt from military duty anyway, because the only place a Black man should fight is where he is being oppressed. I'm not being oppressed in Japan. I'm not being oppressed in Vietnam. And I'm not being oppressed in Pakistan.
[GREG PAYTON, U.S. ARMY] Guys were coming from all over the country. So you're getting people coming in with different information about black power struggle at that time, and black unity, and feeling real good about yourself.
You had to really question what you were doing in Vietnam
[OUR FIGHT IS NOT IN VIETNAM
FREE THE GIS]
[The Black Man's Stake in Vietnam
By Eldridge Cleaver
Minister of Information]
[U.S. NEGRO ARMY MEN!
YOU ARE COMMITTING THE SAME IGNOMINOUS CRIMES IN SOUTH VIETNAM THAT THE KKK CLIQUE IS PERPETRATING AGAINST YOUR FAMILY AT HOME]
I remember one day this 1st Sergeant was talking about gooks. To show you how naive I was, I didn't know that gook was a racial slur.
I didn't really understand that. And one day he was talking about gooks, and I remember a light went off in my head. And I said, "Wow! A gook is the same thing as a nigger."
[DARNELL SUMMERS, U.S. ARMY] During my whole tour in Vietnam ...
when you met a black soldier, you had a special handshake.
You got to the point where you could even tell what part of the country he was from ...
because everybody had their distinctive dap, or handshake.
You definitely could tell if he wasn't in your Company, because everybody had their little nuance.
[BRO. LUCKY] This is the greeting.
This is the greeting of my brother.
I'm glad to see him.
I don't have to know his name, just the fact that he is black is good enough for me.
You know we got a common ground.
[DAVE BLALOCK, U.S. ARMY] They slap this way, this way, then fist, fist, then high, and then down this way like this.
[DARNELL SUMMERS, U.S. ARMY] Oh, let's do this one again. I like it.
[DAVE BLALOCK, U.S. ARMY] You come down, you grab --
[DARNELL SUMMERS, U.S. ARMY] There you go! That's it!
[BRO. LUCKY] Like in the Marine Corp., the bloods, especially on the bases ...
they been going to jail for doing the dap, the power, the handshake. This is the way we greet each other.
They been going to jail just for doing it.
[LONG BINH JAIL (LBJ)]
[GREG PAYTON, U.S. ARMY] Long Binh Jail was the stockade in Long Binh, Vietnam.
It was pretty much just like jails in America: 99.9% black.
There was a lot of violence in this prison, a lot of stuff going on.
People were angry.
It was a pretty dire situation.
A group of inmates got together, and we decided that we were going to escape from this place.
And what happened was that as a result, there was a Long Binh rebellion where a lot of GIs accosted guards ...
and they burnt down the jail .
And there was just mayhem.
I'm a survivor, so I was going to survive no matter what.
[NARRATOR] During the Vietnam war, the Pentagon documented 503,926 "incidents of desertion."
[TERRY WHITMORE, U.S. MARINES] The President shook my hand, and pinned a medal on me.
[U.S. military hospital
You can say that that was one of the most proudest moments of my life.
[Stockholm, Sweden -- 1970]
[QUESTIONER] How did you come to the decision to decide?
[TERRY WHITMORE, U.S. MARINES] You know, when you land on your back, and you can't move for day in and day out, you have a lot of time to think.
So you think about what you did, what you've done, the things that you've gone through, people that you've killed, the people that have died. I mean there's always something that reminds you of the thing that you've done in Vietnam, the things that you've seen.
When you actually see what I saw, what was going on in the States, dudes are running down the street and wearing the same kind of uniform that I got.
They're in Memphis. They were beating up on people ...
Wait a minute!
We're over here beating up on people over here ...
and then you're beating up on black people ...
dogs are running everywhere, tanks are on the streets ...
[NARRATOR] In the summer of 1968, Army and National Guard troops were sent into American cities as thousands of black people rioted following the assassination of Martin Luther King.
That Spring, troops were used against anti-war demonstrators at the Pentagon.
Then in August, soldiers at Fort Hood were told they would be sent to Chicago where anti-war demonstrations were planned for the Democratic Party's national convention.
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] We had just come back from fighting the Vietnamese, now they want us to fight the Americans.
The night before the troops were supposed to leave, there was a meeting of black G.I.s that gathered up in a parking lot in the First Armored Division section.
And they were out there all night in the parking lot talking, and you know, they were having like a rap session or rally ...
about why they were opposed to going to Chicago.
[ELDER HALIM GULLAHBEMI, U.S. ARMY] We were making it clear that it was a genocidal thing that was going to go on, and, "How can I go and commit genocide on my people, shoot my people?"
There were hundreds of black GIs out in that field.
Brothers came up and really started pouring it on then about discrimination and unfair treatment ...
not getting the rank they needed ...
and about what was happening with the war.
RIOT CONTROL DUTY NO!
Black GIs at Fort Hood Refuse 'Riot Control']
[NARRATOR] As the meeting stretched into the night, Fort Hood's commanding general showed up to talk to the GIs.
[ELDER HALIM GULLAHBEMI, U.S. ARMY] "You see, I'm just a two-star general -- let me go talk to my boss, and I'll have an answer for you in the morning."
So we just relaxed, you know, went to sleep.
All of a sudden, crack upside the head. They cracked me upside the head, you know. What the hell is going on? MPs are all around us, man.
They came at us with bayonets.
I got cut. I got hit right here with a bayonet.
(2) Bayonets -- Considerable controversy developed around the use of bayonets by National Guard and Army troops in controlling riots. Proponents of this weapon argue that it has the strong psychological impact necessary for an effective show of force, and provides a means of self-defense for the individual guardsman. Opponents point out that bayonets are likely to cause death or severe wounds and may inflame a crowd to greater disorder.
One commentator, after pointing out that successful modern armies have trained men to perform effectively in combat without bayonets, concludes:
In any case, the bayonet is completely useless as an instrument of riot control and the management of civil disorder. As a device for separating hostile groups or controlling mobs, it has some of the impact of a police dog, in that it produces counter-effects that are not desired. It is not a weapon which reassures soldiers, especially national guardsmen; federal troops tend to avoid its use. Even in most difficult riot control situations which faced British forces as for example in Hong Kong, the bayonet was absent. 
The Commission recommends that the Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau reexamine their policy underlying the use of the bayonet for riot control operations. At the very minimum, the Commission believes that nonlethal chemical agents should be utilized before bayonets are fixed.
(3) Chemical Agents -- The National Guard is equipped with CS, the standard Army chemical agent for riot control. The Army has recently developed a variety of dispensers that include small hand-thrown rubber grenades; grenade launchers accurate to a range of 200 meters and useful, for example, against a sniper firing through a window; and large devices that can be mounted on helicopters and disperse effective amounts of the agent over relatively large areas. These should be made available to Guard units as soon as possible.
Despite the existence of some problems, previously discussed in the control chapter, the only present alternative to use of CS is the application of potentially lethal force. New delivery projectiles now enable CS to be used in a highly discriminating manner against individuals or small groups, and they can provide more flexibility in the present range of coercive force. The Commission, therefore, believes that until more selective nonlethal weapons are available, CS should be utilized before rifles and bayonets. The Commission urges the Department of Defense to expedite the development and production of advanced delivery systems, which should also be made available to police departments.-- Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission Report, 1967
And then every now and then they opened this formation up, and a group of MPs come in and grab a brother, and take him back in the back, and beat the shit out of him.
He was screaming in the back. Damn!
[5 FOES OF RIOT DUTY CONVICTED BY ARMY]
[Black GIs Refuse]
[3 MORE CONVICTED IN PROTEST AT FORT]
[More GI's Resist]
[DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY] And they were court-martialed, brought up on various court-martial charges. But it scared the hell out of the military. Then they went around and went through the roster of all the units who were supposed to go, and took off those who they considered "subversive." So a number of people, myself included, were not sent to Chicago.
[NARRATOR] In one of the most infamous events of the 1960s, Chicago police brutally attacked the demonstrators in front of the Democratic Convention.
Although the Army had sent a contingent of riot control troops to Chicago from Ft. Hood, they kept them off the streets. It was no longer certain which side the GIs were on. The military had a problem on its hands, and it was about to go from bad to worse.
1. WE DEMAND AN END TO THE ____ OF GIS AS COPS AND STREET ___ BREAKERS.
2. WE DEMAND THE US TO GET OUT OF SOUTHEAST ASIA.
3. WE DEMAND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR ALL GIS.]
[* GI SOC *]
[MICHAEL WONG, U.S. ARMY] We were in the breakfast line, I believe. It was a long line.
And all of a sudden, we see this commotion kind of start at the beginning of the line, and then start to come up towards us.
And we could see people: like one guy would turn to the guy behind him and there would be this excited conversation; and then that guy would turn to the guy behind him; ...
and finally the guy in front of me got the news, and he turns around and he says to me, "They are killing women and children in Vietnam."
And I said, "Who's killing women and children? The Vietcong?" And he said, "No, we are."
[NARRATOR] March 16, 1968, the soldiers of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division ...
entered the village of My Lai.
24 hours later over 500 villagers: ...
men, women and children ...
lay dead, brutally and wantonly murdered in cold blood.
Around the world, the My Lai massacre would become the touchstone event of the Vietnam War.
For over a year, the American military covered up the My Lai massacre, claiming only enemy soldiers were killed.
And when the truth was finally brought to light by journalists, the highest ranking officer tried and convicted was William Calley, a lieutenant.
[Lieutenant = lowest officer rank in the U.S. Army]
In a cramped, Detroit hotel ...
a new organization ...
Vietnam Veterans Against the War ...
held an unprecedented investigation that exposed a much deeper truth.
[JOE BANGERT, U.S. MARINES] I think the Winter Soldier Investigation was to try to point out -- it wasn't really in defense of Calley -- but it was going after the notion that the policies of the U.S. Military created things like My Lai. Okay?-- Winter Soldier, by Winterfilm, Inc.
That it was a policy. It was both a written and an unwritten policy.
And the truth has to be told. You can't duck away from the truth.
You can't lie and put up a smokescreen and say, "Oh" -- this was the words they used back then -- "an isolated instance of aberrant behavior."
[JOE URGO, U.S. AIR FORCE] You weren't just coming home saying, "I'm against the war." You're saying, "This is what we did; this is how we did it; this was a crime; this was wrong." It helped people to really cross the bridge, and to see us in a way that I think the anti-war movement had not seen GIs before.