Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans

Your relationship with government is simple: government knows everything about you, and you know nothing about government. In practice this means government can do whatever it wants to you before you know it's going to happen. Government policy makers think this is a good way of ensuring citizen compliance. Thus, all of these investigations are retrospective -- they look back at the squirrely shit that government has pulled, and occasionally wring their hands about trying to avoid it happening in the future. Not inspiring reading, but necessary if you are to face the cold reality that Big Brother is more than watching.

Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:47 am

Winter Soldier Investigation
Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc.



Table of Contents

1. Need for Investigation. Remarks by the Hon. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon In the Senate of the United States, Monday, April 5, 1971.
2. Opening Statement of William Crandell
3. 1st Marine Division
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
4. 1st Air Cavalry Division
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
5. Weapons Panel
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
6. 3d Marine Division
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
7. Racism Panel
o Part I
o Part II
8. "What Are We Doing To Ourselves?"
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
o Part V
9. Prisoners of War Panel
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
o Part V
10. Miscellaneous Panel
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
11. Third World Panel
o Part I
o Part II
12. "What Are We Doing to Vietnam?"
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
13. 25th Infantry Division and Public Information Office
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
14. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and 173rd Airborne Brigade
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
15. 1st, 4th, and 9th Infantry Divisions
o Part I
o Part II
o Part III
o Part IV
16. Americal Division
o Part I
o Part II
17. Medical Panel
o Part I
o Part II
18. Closing Statement of Don Duncan
19. 1st Marine Division Panel Roster
20. Glossary of Military Terms & Slang from the Vietnam War K-P

"We came across four NVA nurses that were hiding out in one of the bunkers. They were nurses, we found medical supplies on them and they had black uniforms on. The ROK Marines came up to us and one of their officers asked us if they could have the NVA nurses, that they would take care of them because we were sweeping through the area, and that we couldn't take care of any POWs. So, I imagine, that instead of killing them, we handed them over to the ROK Marines. Well, we were still in the area when the ROK Marines started tying them down to the ground. They tied their hands to the ground, they spread-eagled them; they raped all four. There was like maybe ten or twenty ROK Marines involved. They tortured them, they sliced off their breasts, they used machetes and cut off parts of their fingers and things like this. When that was over, they took pop-up flares (which are aluminum canisters you hit with your hand; it'll shoot maybe 100-200 feet in the air) -- they stuck them up their vaginas -- all four of them -- and they blew the top of their heads off.

-- David Bishop, 21, L/Cpl., "H" Co., 2nd Bn., 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:48 am

I. Need for Investigation

Hon. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon
In the Senate of the United States
Monday, April 5, 1971

MR. HATFIELD. Mr. President, the moral sensitivity of the Nation has been aroused by the conviction of Lt. William Calley. More clearly than before, this incident has focused the fundamental moral questions that our Nation must confront regarding our conduct in Indochina.

The Department of Defense said in its recent statement relating to the Calley conviction:

The Department of the Army has had a moral and legal obligation to adopt a continuing policy of investigating fully all substantive allegations or violations of the laws of war involving American personnel.
Every allegation of misconduct on the battlefield--regardless of the rank or position of the person purportedly responsible--must be thoroughly explored.

There has recently been brought to my attention testimony relating to the policy and conduct of American forces in Indochina which has grave and very serious implications.

The testimony is given by honorably discharged veterans who had served in Vietnam, and was conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Three days of testimony were conducted in Detroit, Mich. on January 31, February 1, and 2 of this year. This group, which represents 11,000 veterans, plans to send several thousand to Washington the week of April 19 to petition Congress for full congressional hearings.

I, of course, have no way of ascertaining the veracity of all the testimony given, and I am not in agreement with certain of the statements and judgments made by those who testified.

However, I believe that the allegations made by these Americans, who served their country in Vietnam, are so serious and so grave that they demand the full study by the appropriate committees of Congress as well as by the executive branch.

The testimony and allegations raised by the experience of these veterans includes charges regarding: the torture and murder of suspects and prisoners of war captured by Americans and South Vietnamese forces; the wanton killing of innocent, unarmed civilians; the brutalization and rape of Vietnamese women in the villages; military policies which enabled indiscriminate bombing and the random firing of artillery into villages which resulted in the burning to death of women, children and old people; the widespread defoliation of lands of forests; the use of various types of gases; the mutilation of enemy bodies, and others.

A recurrent theme running throughout the testimony is that of institutionalized racist attitudes of the military in their training of the men who are sent to Vietnam--training which has indoctrinated them to think of all Vietnamese as "gooks" and subhuman.

Further, the thrust of the allegations made in the 3-day testimony is that such actions were the consequence of reasonable and known policy adopted by our military commanders and that the knowledge of incidents resulting from these policies was widely shared.

Several of the allegations made in this testimony would place the United States in violation of the Geneva Convention and other international agreements relating to the conduct of war which have been ratified by our Government.

Therefore, the necessity for investigating fully these alleged actions, and all evidence that bears on our actions in Indochina and the international agreements we have ratified cannot be overstated.

Therefore, first I ask unanimous consent that the testimony presented by over 100 honorably discharged veterans in Detroit be placed in the Congressional Record.

I realize that the testimony is very lengthy, but its full force and content must be made available so that it can be read and judged on its own merits.

Second, I will transmit this testimony to the Department of Defense and the Department of State and urge, in accord with its stated policy, that the evidence and allegations it contains be fully investigated.

Third, I urge the appropriate committees of the Congress to conduct hearings on the policies governing the use of military force in Indochina and their relation to international agreements our country has ratified.

Fourth, I recommend consideration be given to forming a special commission that would investigate in full these matters and would provide a forum to assess the moral consequences of our involvement in Indochina to us as a Nation and a people.

We as a Nation must find the proper way to honestly confront the moral consequences of our actions, and to corporately turn ourselves from the thinking and the policy that has degraded our moral posture and to recognize that out of contrition an self-examination can come a genuine rebirth of the ideas we hold as a people.

The testimony that follows and the steps I have advocated are presented with this hope.

I ask unanimous consent to have the testimony printed in the Extensions of Remarks.

There being no objection, the testimony was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:48 am

2. Opening Statement of William Crandell

"Over the border they send us to kill and to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten." These lines of Paul Simon's recall to Vietnam veterans the causes for which we went to fight in Vietnam and the outrages we were part of because the men who sent us had long ago forgotten the meaning of the words.

We went to preserve the peace and our testimony will show that we have set all of Indochina aflame. We went to defend the Vietnamese people and our testimony will show that we are committing genocide against them. We went to fight for freedom and our testimony will show that we have turned Vietnam into a series of concentration camps.

We went to guarantee the right of self-determination to the people of South Vietnam and our testimony will show that we are forcing a corrupt and dictatorial government upon them. We went to work toward the brotherhood of man and our testimony will show that our strategy and tactics are permeated with racism. We went to protect America and our testimony will show why our country is being torn apart by what we are doing in Vietnam.

In the bleak winter of 1776 when the men who had enlisted in the summer were going home because the way was hard and their enlistments were over, Tom Paine wrote, "Those are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of his country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." Like the winter soldiers of 1776 who stayed after they had served their time, we veterans of Vietnam know that America is in grave danger. What threatens our country is not Redcoats or even Reds; it is our crimes that are destroying our national unity by separating those of our countrymen who deplore these acts from those of our countrymen who refuse to examine what is being done in America's name.

The Winter Soldier Investigation is not a mock trial. There will be no phony indictments; there will be no verdict against Uncle Sam. In these three days, over a hundred Vietnam veterans will present straightforward testimony-- direct testimony--about acts which are war crimes under international law. Acts which these men have seen and participated in. Acts which are the inexorable result of national policy. The vets will testify in panels arranged by the combat units in which they fought so that it will be easy to see the policy of each division and thus the larger policy. Each day there will be a special panel during the hours of testimony. Today, a panel on weaponry will explain the use and effects of some of the vicious and illegal weapons used in Vietnam. Tomorrow there will be a panel on prisoners of war composed of returned POWs, parents of a POW, American POW interrogators and vets who served in our own military stockades. Every witness throughout the three days will be available for cross-examination by the press after their initial statements and questioning by their fellow-vets who are acting as moderators.

We had also planned to present a panel of Vietnamese victims of the war who would testify by closed circuit television from Windsor, Canada. Last Wednesday, after we had spent a great deal of time and money arranging to bring these people to Windsor so that they could tell the people of the United States and Canada what we are doing to their country, the Canadian government denied them visas. We need not speculate upon the motives and policies of the Canadian government as our primary concern is with the motives and policies of our own government.

In addition there are two evening panels. Tonight at 7:30 a panel which includes Sid Peck and John Spellman will discuss what we are doing to Vietnam. Tomorrow night at 7:30 two psychiatrists, a lawyer, and three vets will discuss what we are doing to ourselves.

It has often been remarked but seldom remembered that war itself is a crime. Yet a war crime is more and other than war. It is an atrocity beyond the usual barbaric bounds of war. It is legal definition growing out of custom and tradition supported by every civilized nation in the world including our own. It is an act beyond the pale of acceptable actions even in war. Deliberate killing or torturing of prisoners of war is a war crime. Deliberate destruction without military purpose of civilian communities is a war crime. The use of certain arms and armaments and of gas is a war crime. The forcible relocation of population for any purpose is a war crime. All of these crimes have been committed by the U.S. Government over the past ten years in Indochina. An estimated one million South Vietnamese civilians have been killed because of these war crimes. A good portion of the reported 700,000 National Liberation Front and North Vietnamese soldiers killed have died as a result of these war crimes and no one knows how many North Vietnamese civilians, Cambodian civilians, and Laotian civilians have died as a result of these war crimes.

But we intend to tell more. We intend to tell who it was that gave us those orders; that created that policy; that set that standard of war bordering on full and final genocide. We intend to demonstrate that My Lai was no unusual occurrence, other than, perhaps, the number of victims killed all in one place, all at one time, all by one platoon of us. We intend to show that the policies of Americal Division which inevitably resulted in My Lai were the policies of other Army and Marine Divisions as well. We intend to show that war crimes in Vietnam did not start in March 1968, or in the village of Son My or with one Lt. William Calley. We intend to indict those really responsible for My Lai, for Vietnam, for attempted genocide. General Westmoreland said in 1966:

I'd like to say that let one fact be clear. As far as the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam is concerned, one mishap, one innocent civilian killed, one civilian wounded, or one dwelling needlessly destroyed is too many.

By its very nature war is destructive and historically civilians have suffered. But the war in Vietnam is different; it is designed by the insurgents and the aggressors to be fought among the people many of whom are not participants in or closely identified with the struggle. People more than terrain are the objectives in this war and we will not and cannot be callous about those people. We are sensitive to these incidents and want no more of them. If one does occur, mistake or accident, we intend to search it carefully for any lesson that will help us improve our procedures and our controls. We realize we have a great problem and I can assure you we are attacking it aggressively.

We need not judge Westmoreland's bland assurances nor need we pass responsibility for these crimes. You who hear or read our testimony will be able to conclude for yourselves who is responsible.

We are here to bear witness not against America, but against those policy makers who are perverting America. We echo Mark Twain's indictment of the war crimes committed during the Philippine insurrection:

We have invited our clean young men to soldier a discredited musket and do bandit's work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear not to follow. We cannot conceal from ourselves that privately we are a little troubled about our uniform. It is one of our prides: it is acquainted with honor; it is familiar with great deeds and noble. We love it; we revere it. And so this errand it is on makes us uneasy. And our flag, another pride of ours, the chiefest. We have worshipped it so and when we have seen it in far lands, glimpsing it unexpectedly in that strange sky, waving its welcome and benediction to us, we have caught our breaths and uncovered our heads for a moment for the thought of what it was to us and the great ideals it stood for. Indeed, we must do something about these things. It is easily managed. We can have just our usual flag with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and crossbones. We are ready to let the testimony say it all.
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:49 am

Part 1 of 2


MODERATOR. I'd like to welcome you all. This is the First Marine Division. It landed in South Vietnam in 1965 and is still there. You've probably all heard the quotation "Ask a Marine." So after these gentlemen have finished their testimony, you'll be allowed to ask a Marine and find out what really went on over there.

CRAIG. My name is Stephen Craig. I'm 23 years old. I entered the service about two weeks after graduation in 1965. I entered the service after high school in 1965. Went to Vietnam in 1966 to serve with Second Battalion, 5th Marine and served there from September '66 to September '67. When I got out of the service I worked as a laborer. My testimony basically covers the maltreatment of prisoners, the suspects actually, and a convoy running down an old woman with no reason at all--no provocation or anything. And bounties were put on our own men in our own companies if they were inadequate in the field. And they were either disposed of, or wounded, or something to this effect just to make sure they were taken away. I was a Pfc. in the service.

MODERATOR. We're going to allow everybody to speak first and after that the press will be allowed to ask questions.

SACHS. My name is Rusty Sachs. I entered the Marine Corps in 1964 after working as a news broadcaster for a network radio station. I was a helicopter pilot. I came out as a Captain. I was in Vietnam with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 as a medivac pilot from August of '66 to September of '67 and my testimony concerns the leveling of villages for no valid reason, throwing Viet Cong suspects from the aircraft after binding and gagging them with copper wire, and racism in the assignment of priorities to medical evacuations where white people were given priority over nonwhite people.

CAMILE. My name is Scott Camile. I was a Sgt. attached to Charley 1/1. I was a forward observer in Vietnam. I went in right after high school and I'm a student now. My testimony involves burning of villages with civilians in them, the cutting off of ears, cutting off of heads, torturing of prisoners, calling in of artillery on villages for games, corpsmen killing wounded prisoners, napalm dropped on villages, women being raped, women and children being massacred, CS gas used on people, animals slaughtered, Chieu Hoi passes rejected and the people holding them shot, bodies shoved out of helicopters, tear-gassing people for fun and running civilian vehicles off the road.

CAMPBELL. My name is Kenneth J. Campbell. I'm 21. I'm a Philadelphia resident. I was a Corporal in the Marine Corps. I was an FO, Forward Artillery Scout Observer. I FO'd for Bravo Company, First Battalion, First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division. I was in Vietnam from February of '68 to March of '69. I went straight into the Marine Corps from high school and I am now a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. My testimony will consist of eyewitnessing and participating in the calling in of artillery on undefended villages, mutilation of bodies, killing of civilians, mistreatment of civilians, mistreatment of prisoners and indiscriminate use of artillery, harassment and interdiction fire.

SIMPSON. My name is Chris Simpson. Age 21; of New York. I was a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps from '66 to '70. I was in Vietnam from '67 to '68. I'll be talking about maltreating of prisoners, destruction of villages, crops and animals. I was attached to Echo Company, Second Battalion, 5th Marines.

OLIMPIERI. My name is Paul Olimpieri. I entered the Marine Corps about nine months after graduating high school. I was in 1st Battalion, 5th Marines in Vietnam and my testimony is on killing civilians and killing livestock and destroying villages.

NIENKE. My name is Fred Nienke. I joined the Marine Corps shortly after graduating from high school in 1966. I went to Vietnam and was assigned to Delta, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. My testimony includes killing of non-combatants, destruction of Vietnamese property and livestock, use of chemical agents and the use of torture in interpreting prisoners.

BISHOP. My name is David Bishop. I was attached to Hotel Company Two Five. Before I went into the Marine Corps I was a lab technician. I'm still a lab technician. My testimony is going to consist of my skipper, or my captain, killing prisoners, throwing heat tablets or trioxylene gas to children, four NVA nurses that were captured--were POWs--were raped, tortured and then were completely destroyed--their bodies were destroyed--and free fire zones and health problems in Vietnam.

BANGERT. My name is Joe Bangert. I'm a Philadelphia resident. I enlisted in the Marine Corps for four years in 1967. I went to Vietnam in 1968. My unit in Vietnam was Marine Observation Squadron Six with the First Marine Air Wing and my testimony will cover the slaughter of civilians, the skinning of a Vietnamese woman, the type of observing our squadron did in Vietnam and the crucifixion of Vietnamese either suspects or civilians in Vietnam.

BRONAUGH. My name is Jack Bronaugh. I joined the Marine Corps about six months after getting out of high school. I was 18 years of age at the time. I enlisted for four years. I went to Vietnam in February of '68. I served with Echo Battery 213 attached to 2nd Battalion, 27th Marines. Mainly my testimony is about the indiscriminate murder of, in a sense, civilian women and children, torture of prisoners for fun and other reasons.

KENNY. Michael Kenny. Joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17 in '68. Served in Vietnam '69-'70, Second Battalion, 26th Marines. My testimony mainly concerns the maltreatment and murder of Vietnamese non-combatants and the general maltreatment of the civilian population.

DELAY. My name is Kevin Delay. I entered the Marine Corps shortly after graduating from high school. I served in Vietnam with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines from October 1969 to March 1970. My testimony concerns the falsification of body count reports.

ECKERT. My name is Ted Eckert. I'm 21 years old and I'm a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. I entered the Marine Corps in March 1968 and was sent to Nam July of the following year. I was attached to Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Air Wing. My testimony deals with harassment fire from the air, burning of villages from the air, and black marketeering in Da Nang itself.

MODERATOR. We'd like to ask a few questions of the gentlemen up here. Mr. Craig, on that thing with the convoy, the people you saw a convoy run down an old man--it was an old woman--okay, who is the, or did the convoy commander-- what was his rank and did he do anything about it? Did he try and slow the convoy down or did they just run right over her?

CRAIG. The convoy was moving pretty slow and the old woman, like, most of the civilians over there sort of ignore the military people going down the road. And it didn't seem--like he didn't beep the horn or like do anything--like, he just moved up to the old woman and started nudging her and then I saw her fall out of the way. When the convoy had completely passed, like she was on the road, really like squashed.

MODERATOR. How many--was it a large convoy?

CRAIG. No, it was about five trucks, maybe six.

MODERATOR. Five or six trucks. Did anybody stop from the convoy and see...

CRAIG. No, they kept moving. They were loaded.

MODERATOR. They kept moving. Also, did you ever see the mistreatment of prisoners that we had taken? Viet Cong suspects or NVA?

CRAIG. Yes, I did. These people were only suspects taken from a village after we had a mine sweep team that was wiped out and I guess people more or less went out to pick up these suspects on a grudge basis. When they brought them back in they were loading them on a truck to take them to (?) and they were making a game out of it by grabbing their feet and their hands and swinging them up in the air to see how high they could throw them and land in the back of a duce-and-a-half truck which had a steel bed.

MODERATOR. Okay. Were there any senior NCOs present?

CRAIG. There was a Staff Sergeant present.

MODERATOR. Staff Sergeant--that's a staff NCO?

CRAIG. Yes, sir.

MODERATOR. Okay, Mr. Olimpieri, I wish you could... there's some testimony witnessed a 70-year-old man wounded about 20 miles southwest of Da Nang. Could you elaborate on this, please?

OLIMPIERI. Yeah. We were in a sweep in a rice paddy and the flank man spotted somebody and told him to halt and started running and I fired an M79 over the trees. It went off and the man went down and our Lt. told us to go over there and check and see if he had an ID and find out if he was dead or what was happening with him. We went over there and he was still alive. He was about 70 years old. I believe he was some sort of religious, like a monk or something like that, from his dress. He had an ID card and he was in pretty bad shape so they didn't want to call in a MEDIVAC chopper so they told us to kill him. And the person who did the killing fired about six rounds in him and I had to tell him to stop. Right after that we told the Lt. what the situation was and he called in and said "Get rid of the...". He told us to get rid of the ID card before we killed him. He called in one VC body count.

MODERATOR. So this man who was killed wasn't even a suspect. He was civilian.

OLIMPIERI. Right. He didn't halt when he was told so they shot him.

MODERATOR. Mr. Nienke, I understand you were in the same unit with Mr. Olimpieri. Were you present when this happened?

NIENKE. Yes. Paul Olimpieri was my squad leader and I was in the same squad.

MODERATOR. So you can in fact substantiate this. He did tell the person who did the shooting to stop afterwards.

NIENKE. Correct.

MODERATOR. When you did take POWs were they tortured or what was the procedure or if you did take prisoners?

NIENKE. We took a lot of prisoners. Some of them were suspected VC, NVA, and they were usually brought to the compound, when we took prisoners, and turned over to an interpreter usually a South Vietnamese or Korean interpreter, and if the information couldn't be extracted from them they were tortured and sent back to the CP, the Command Post.

MODERATOR. What type of torture was used? Would you know?

NIENKE. Well, we were basically on the lines and we could hear screaming. I didn't see any torture, but we could hear screaming and somebody was being beaten.

MODERATOR. Mr. Sachs, you testified that there was prisoners thrown out of a helicopter. Could you elaborate upon that subject?

SACHS. This was one of the big games. Whenever any prisoners were taken, the crewmen in the helicopters were in charge also of loading, in addition to maintenance on the aircraft would blindfold the prisoners, holding the blindfold on with heavy wire, safety wire. They'd bind their hands, bind their feet and maybe bind them into a fetal position and upon landing, rather than releasing them so they could walk off the aircraft, they'd throw them out--get the grunts to mark how far they could throw them and have little contests. This was done with officers observing, at least all company grade officers. There may have been a Major present too.

The general attitude of the officers was (I was a Lt. at the time) "Well, there's somebody senior to me here and I guess if this wasn't SOP he'd be doing something to stop it," and since nobody senior ever did anything to stop it, the policy was promulgated and everybody assumed that this was what was right. We'd never had any instructions in the Geneva Convention. When we were given our Geneva Convention cards the lecture consisted of "If you're taken prisoner, all you gotta do is give 'em your name, rank, serial number, and date of birth. Here's your Geneva Convention cards. Go get 'em, Marines." We were never told anything about the way to treat prisoners if we were the capturers rather than the captee and this was very standard.

MODERATOR. Mr. Delay, on your testimony on the 24th of December 1969, twenty-five people were killed. Could you elaborate on this subject?

DELAY. Yeah. Christmas Eve shortly before midnight, a group of Marines from India Company had set up an ambush in Arizona territory and they killed twenty-five people. To my knowledge, it was never determined whether they were civilians or were, in fact, the enemy, but in examining the bodies they discovered one weapon. It was a 9-millimeter pistol. The next day, on Christmas Day, the battalion commander sent an order all about the battalion area, Hill 37, requesting any enemy weapons that were in the hands of individual Marines. A friend of mine from Delaware, ------ ------, had bought an AK47 from another Marine when he came in the country. I was ordered to take this weapon down to the command bunker and give it to Major ------, the executive officer of Third Battalion, 1st Marines. When I gave this to him he gave it to another Marine and told him to go smear some mud on it. There were several other weapons acquired in this manner and they were all sent in to regimental headquarters as being captured Christmas Eve with those bodies to make the group of people appear to be a heavily armed enemy force.

MODERATOR. Do you remember if there was a Christmas truce announced at that time?

DELAY. Yes, there was.

MODERATOR. So it could be said that at least on this level that the Christmas truce was broken?


MODERATOR. All right. Mr. Camile, you were in Artillery, FO. You were attached to the 1st Battalion, 12th Marines.

CAMILE. I was in the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, attached to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines.

MODERATOR. You have some testimony here on the burning of villages, cutting off of ears, cutting off of heads, calling in artillery on villages for games, women raped, napalm on villages, all sorts of testimony of crimes against the civilians. Could you go into just a few of these to let the people know how you treat the Vietnamese civilian?

CAMILE. All right. The calling in of artillery for games, the way it was worked would be the mortar forward observers would pick out certain houses in villages, friendly villages, and the mortar forward observers would call in mortars until they destroyed that house and then the artillery forward observer would call in artillery until he destroyed another house and whoever used the least amount of artillery, they won. And when we got back someone would have to buy someone else beers. The cutting off of heads--on Operation Stone--there was a Lt. Colonel there and two people had their heads cut off and put on stakes and stuck in the middle of the field. And we were notified that there was press covering the operation and that we couldn't do that anymore. Before we went out on the operation we were told not to waste our heat tablets on food but to save them for the villages because we were going to destroy all the villages and we didn't give the people any time to get out of the villages. We just went in and burned them and if people were in the villages yelling and screaming, we didn't help them. We just burned the houses as we went.

MODERATOR. Why did you use the heat tabs? Did you just light off the villages with matches or just throw the heat tabs in so it would keep burning?

CAMILE. We'd throw the heat tabs in because it was quicker and they'd keep burning. They couldn't put the heat tabs out. We'd throw them on top of the houses. People cut off ears and when they'd come back in off of an operation you'd make deals before you'd go out and like for every ear you cut off someone would buy you two beers, so people cut off ears. The torturing of prisoners was done with beatings and I saw one case where there were two prisoners. One prisoner was staked out on the ground and he was cut open while he was alive and part of his insides were cut out and they told the other prisoner if he didn't tell them what they wanted to know they would kill him. And I don't know what he said because he spoke in Vietnamese but then they killed him after that anyway.

MODERATOR. Were these primarily civilians or do you believe that they were, or do you know that they were actual NVA?

CAMILE. The way that we distinguished between civilians and VC, VC had weapons and civilians didn't and anybody that was dead was considered a VC. If you killed someone they said, "How do you know he's a VC?" and the general reply would be, "He's dead," and that was sufficient. When we went through the villages and searched people the women would have all their clothes taken off and the men would use their penises to probe them to make sure they didn't have anything hidden anywhere and this was raping but it was done as searching.

MODERATOR. As searching. Were there officers present there?

CAMILE. Yes, there were.

MODERATOR. Was this on a company level?

CAMILE. Company level.

MODERATOR. The company commander was around when this happened?

CAMILE. Right.

MODERATOR. Did he approve of it or did he look the other way or...

CAMILE. He never said not to or never said anything about it. The main thing was that if an operation was covered by the press there were certain things we weren't supposed to do, but if there was no press there, it was okay. I saw one case where a woman was shot by a sniper, one of our snipers. When we got up to her she was asking for water. And the Lt. said to kill her. So he ripped off her clothes, they stabbed her in both breasts, they spread-eagled her and shoved an E- tool up her vagina, an entrenching tool, and she was still asking for water. And then they took that out and they used a tree limb and then she was shot.

MODERATOR. Did the men in your outfit, or when you witnessed these things, did they seem to think that it was all right to do anything to the Vietnamese?

CAMILE. It wasn't like they were humans. We were conditioned to believe that this was for the good of the nation, the good of our country, and anything we did was okay. And when you shot someone you didn't think you were shooting at a human. They were a gook or a Commie and it was okay. And anything you did to them was okay because, like, they would tell you they'd do it to you if they had the chance.

MODERATOR. This was told you all through your training, then, in boot camp, in advanced training, and so forth and it was followed on then, right on through it?

CAMILE. Definitely.

MODERATOR. Mr. Campbell, you were, I believe, in the same unit that Mr. Camile was. There was a period of perhaps two months separating the time that he left and the time you came. Was this same unit type policy, was this carried on?

CAMPBELL. Some of the policy was not carried on because of an incident that happened in Quang Tri Province that Scott Camile witnessed and there was a big stink about it. There was some kind of investigation into it and I heard about it when I got to Nam and all the guys that were there before me talked about it and things were kind of cooled down and so a lot of this stuff when I first got there wasn't actually carried out. Bravo Company was to cool it for a while. The whole Battalion, actually, because we had a bad mark against us from the incident previous to the time I got there.

MODERATOR. One more question on that. The training--What did you consider the Vietnamese? Were they equal with you?

CAMPBELL. The Vietnamese were gooks. We didn't just call the VC or the NVA gooks. All Vietnamese were gooks and they were slant eyes. They were zips. They were Orientals and they were inferior to us. We were Americans. We were the civilized people. We didn't give a ------ about those people.

MODERATOR. Mr. Eckert, you stated that you witnessed an old Vietnamese woman shot by security guards in Quang Tri Province. Could you elaborate and tell us if she was a VC or a civilian?

ECKERT. I was up in Quang Tri visiting a friend of mine who was on security, which is like a rat patrol. They go out in the little jeeps and patrol the perimeter. We were out about five o'clock in the morning, just about coming in, when they spotted this old woman about--she looked about fifty but she was probably about twenty-five--and she was running across some trees and everyone in the jeep--no one was supposed to be out there, of course, it was not a free fire zone but from the hours from dusk to dawn there's not supposed to be anybody out there, and if there is, you're supposed to stop them, check them out, and eliminate them if you have to. So these guys decided that they would kind of play a little game and they let her run about fifty yards and they'd fire in front of her so she'd have to turn around, and then they'd let her run another direction and then they'd cut her off. This went on about a half hour until the time the sun started to come up. So then they decided it best to eliminate her as soon as possible, so they just ripped her off right there, and then the guy, the corporal that was in charge, he decided that they'd better check her out for an ID card just to be safe about it and they went over and, of course, she didn't have an ID card; she didn't have anything. Her only crime was being out probably tending to her buffalo before the time she should have been. These guys just took it upon themselves to waste her.

MODERATOR. What was the general attitude of the men in your unit toward the Vietnamese? Was this a common experience?

ECKERT. I think the feeling was pretty wide spread that these people were inferior to us and based on the training we received these people were not looked upon as even humans. If they had slanted eyes they were the enemy and the only good one was a dead one. And that was for the majority of the people in my unit, that was the only way they looked at it.

MODERATOR. Mr. Bishop, you've stated in your testimony that you witnessed your commanding officer killing a prisoner. Could you go into that a little bit, please?

BISHOP. Right. This would have been on operation in Quang Nam Province between August and September of '69. We had just gone on a search and destroy mission in the mountains and we made no contact. We were on our way back and we knew of enemy in the area. There was a lot of rock formations where we were and we were checking out the bunkers and the holes and everything in the rocks and we came across a wounded prisoner who was a wounded Vietnamese. He appeared to be VC or NVA. He didn't have a weapon. There were a few grenades and rounds laying around him. He seemed to have been in this hole for quite a few days. One of his legs was broken in half and the maggots had already gotten into one of his legs and they were living inside his leg while he was still alive.

Well, we dragged him out and we had quite a distance to go down the mountain to get back to the base camp and the squad that found him had to report him to the skipper. The skipper came down to where they had found the prisoner, had asked the people around him to get going and that he would tend to the prisoner. I was machine gunner at the time and I had to set up some security around him and I came up over a rock to watch what he was doing and he took out his .45 and he blew his head off. This, like, wasn't really the first time this ever happened.

This happened quite a few times during this operation because we were working in the mountains and any POWs that we had it was really hard to get them back down the mountains and it was the general consensus of everyone that there would be no POWs. That any people that we did find would be KIAs and they were reported as such. They weren't reported as POWs.

MODERATOR. Do you know of many instances were, say, MEDIVAC choppers were called in to bring out wounded Vietnamese, be they NVA, VC, or civilians?

BISHOP: Very few times. I hardly saw any MEDIVACS at all taking out wounded Vietnamese civilians or Vietnamese prisoners. Usually we didn't have any prisoners. The prisoners were exterminated.

MODERATOR. Mr. Sachs, you were a heliopter pilot. Dif you fly many MEDIVAC missions?

SACHS: I flew probably 500 MEDIVAC missions in the course of 13 months. I can't recall ever evacuating a Vietnamese civilian. Allied with this, there were times at night in bad weather during the monsoon season we could not launch a night MEDIVAC unless it was an emergency. There were instances where a frag would come in; my co-pilot would go out to start the aircraft while I took down the numbers to get to the zone correctly and the major, the operations officer of the squadron, would say "Now hold it a minute. It's bad weather out there and you're going to get your [expletive deleted] killed and these are only ARVNSs. There aren't Americans. These are gook Marines. We don't need 'em. We're not going to risk ourselves for them." We would try to fly the mission anyway. But it was a squadron policy, unwritten, not to launch for gooks if you could possibly avoid it.

MODERATOR. Mr. Bangert, there's an incident here where you found crucified bodies hanging on barbed wire fences and in the same incident you witnessed South Vietnamese civilians shot without provocation on Highway 1. Could you go into this and kind of see how they are related?
BANGERT. I can cover a couple of these at the same time. The first day I got to Vietnam I landed in Da Nang Air Base. From Da Nang Air Base I took a plane to Dong Ha. I got off the plane and hitchhiked on Highway 1 to my unit. I was picked up by a truckload of grunt Marines with two company grade officers, 1st Lts.; we were about 5 miles down the road, where there were some Vietnamese children at the gateway of the village and they gave the old finger gesture at us. It was understandable that they picked this up from the GIs there. They stopped the trucks--they didn't stop the truck, they slowed down a little bit, and it was just like response, the guys got up, including the lieutenants, and just blew all the kids away. There were about five or six kids blown away and then the truck just continued down the hill. That was my first day in Vietnam. As far as the crucified bodies, they weren't actually crucified with nails, but they would find VCs or something (I never got the story on them) but, anyway, they were human beings, obviously dead, and they would take them and string them out on fences, on barbed wire fences, stripped, and sometimes they would take flesh wounds, take a knife and cut the body all over the place to make it bleed, and look gory as a reminder to the people in the village.

Also in Quang Tri City I had a friend who was working with USAID and he was also with CIA. We used to get drunk together and he used to tell me about his different trips into Laos on Air America Airlines and things. One time he asked me would I like to accompany him to watch. He was an adviser with an ARVN group and Kit Carson's. He asked me if I would like to accompany him into a village that I was familiar with to see how they act. So I went with him and when we got there the ARVNs had control of the situation. They didn't find any enemy but they found a woman with bandages. So she was questioned by six ARVNs and the way they questioned her, since she had bandages, they shot her. She was hit about twenty times. After she was questioned, and, of course, dead, this guy came over, who was a former major, been in the service for twenty years, and he got hungry again and came back over working with USAID, Aid International Development. He went over there, ripped her clothes off and took a knife and cut, from her vagina almost all the way up, just about up to her breasts and pulled her organs out, completely out of her cavity, and threw them out. Then, he stopped and knelt over and commenced to peel every bit of skin off her body and left her there as a sign for something or other and that was those instances.

MODERATOR. Okay, there were American officers present when this happened or...

BANGERT. There were two super-secret. I know they were field grade officers, who were with MACV in Quang Tri Province in the area. They knew about it.

MODERATOR. Mr. Bronaugh, I believe you mentioned something earlier of the massacre of women and children in late March, early April of 1968. Could you go into that a little bit please?

BRONAUGH. Yes. Well, I was with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Marines, attached to them with Battalion FSEC.

MODERATOR. Which is the Fire Control Center?

BRONAUGH. Right. It coordinates everything for the Battalion Artillery and troop movement and everything. I had some spare time this particular day so I left the compound and went to a bridge where people usually go and swim and they had a detachment on this bridge, in total about two platoons of people. A 2nd Lt. in charge of the bridge and a gunnery Sergeant that was staff NCO of the bridge. There were people from mortars platoon, weapons platoon, there was a tank, there were a couple of mules with 106 recoilless rifles, two snipers, and assorted machine gun crews. This particular day I was going to go swimming and I was at this bridge and they had sent a patrol out from our battalion CP. They had gone north of the CP for about a half a mile or a mile. There was a few huts that comprised a small village north of the compound.

The bridge got a radio call that they had supposedly received a sniper round from this village. So the Lt. on the bridge told them to sweep the village. They swept the village and they called back that there was nothing found. There was nothing found, I mean, there were just people in the village and so the Lt. told them to burn the village. From my position, which was about 150 to 200 yards away, and there was a tree line in the way, smoke started coming up over the tree line and about this time, I guess about three minutes after the smoke started showing, there was a lot of screaming and just chaos coming from the direction of the village and a lot of people started running out of the tree line. From where I was standing, I saw maybe two or three male villagers and the rest were women and children--some of the children walking and some of them young enough to be carried, I would say under a year, maybe. The last thing I heard as a command was the gunnery sergeant told them to open fire to keep them back. Their village was on fire and they were in panic; they didn't stop, so they just cut down the women and children with mortars, machine guns, tank, snipers were...
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

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Part 2 of 2

MODERATOR. There was a tank there also?

BRONAUGH. Yes. Well, the tank, the 90 millimeter gun wasn't used because, I mean, it was too close a range, but they used the .50 and the .30 off the tank and all the troops that were at the bridge with M16s. The officer, a Lt., a few got close enough to where he used his .45. They used a few frag hand grenades.

MODERATOR. The fifty caliber. That was used specifically against the people?

BRONAUGH. Yes...Yes.

MODERATOR. Right. Just for general information, the .50 caliber machine gun is specifically forbidden to be used against people. It's an anti-vehicular weapon.

BRONAUGH. Yes, it was used in automatic and single fire, against human beings.

MODERATOR. There are many different types of ways that we have heard of people being mutilated, of villagers being killed, but there is one way that affects the people afterwards. They don't physically shoot them or hurt them at the moment and this is the use of chemicals. And Mr. Bangert, I think, has a good example here where he shows twenty deformed babies resulting from Agent Orange Defoliant Spray. Could you tell us what Agent Orange is and the type of deformity that was the result?

BANGERT. I used to work with the pacification program in Vietnam and I traveled extensively through Quang Tri Province. Specifically in the area of Quang Tri City and west, Trieu Phong District, I saw approximately, during my tour, twenty deformed infants under the age of one. It never made sense to me, I thought it was congenital, or something, from venereal disease, because they had flippers and things. I didn't understand what I saw until approximately six months ago I read a report that was put out by Stamford which talked about the thalidomide content within Agent Orange and it was common knowledge that Agent Orange was sprayed in the area and we used to see it about every three to four days where I was in Quang Tri Province. If I could get back to the Vietnamese woman I saw that was mutilated so horribly by that person, it didn't really shock me because I think I talked about my first day in Vietnam.

You can check with the Marines who have been to Vietnam -- your last day in the States at staging battalion at Camp Pendleton you have a little lesson and it's called the rabbit lesson, where the staff NCO comes out and he has a rabbit and he's talking to you about escape and evasion and survival in the jungle. He has this rabbit and then in a couple of seconds after just about everyone falls in love with it, not falls in love with it, but, you know, they're humane there, he cracks it in the neck, skins it, disembowels it, just like I testified that this happened to a woman--he does this to the rabbit--and then they throw the guts out into the audience. You can get anything out of that you want, but that's your last lesson you catch in the United States before you leave for Vietnam where they take that rabbit and they kill it, and they skin it, and they play with its organs as if it's trash and they throw the organs all over the place and then these guys are put on the plane the next day and sent to Vietnam.

MODERATOR. Mr. Camile, you have testimony here of napalm being dropped on villagers. Could you go into this and kind of let us know what napalm is and how it was used and any of the results?

CAMILE. I really don't know that much about what it is or what it's made of. I just know that when it gets on you it burns and when they drop it from the planes, they usually drop two big canisters of napalm at a time. It just burns everything up, including the people. Many times we've called in air before we'd go into a village, or if we had a village where we'd lost people because of booby traps, we'd call in napalm and it just burns down the village and the people.

MODERATOR. Wasn't it usually normal, or so-called operating procedure, you don't fire until fired on, and on these villages, did you usually receive a lot of fire from them of the type that would say, we can't take the village, you'll have to call in napalm?

CAMILE. No, most of the time it was for safety. We'd napalm it first before we'd even go in just to make sure we wouldn't lose any men without any fire whatsoever. It was just for our protection, supposedly.

MODERATOR. Mr. Nienke, it says here that you used CS grenades clearing bunkers and hootches. Could you tell us if these were enemy bunkers or hootches or if they were civilian bunkers or hootches? Just exactly what was the incident?

NIENKE. I think every person who was in Vietnam who was in the infantry used CS, which is a gas, chemicals, Willie Peter--that's White Phosphorus--and we used these sometimes to clear bunkers and other times to destroy a hootch. We used to think that was kicks; there would be people in a hootch or something like this and we'd throw in a gas grenade and they'd cough and then we'd leave. And other times we used to use--we had mortar squads in the infantry used to avoid going into a village or something if we thought it might be VC infested or something like this, we'd send in Willie Peter mortars, 60 millimeters, and this would burn up the hootches -- that explode --throwing white phosphorus on different hootches in the village. Start the hootches burning and also kill people. It's probably one of the worst sights I've ever seen is a person that's been burned by Willie Peter, because it doesn't stop. It just burns all completely through your body. The only way you can end this burning is to cut off the air. It's very difficult.

UNIDENTIFIED PANELIST. I'd like to add that white phosphorus is not supposed to be used for personnel. It's supposed to be used for marking and in artillery for spotting. But as you know, these rules are not too well followed most of the time.

MODERATOR. Mr. Olimpieri, you were in the same unit. You were Mr. Nienke's squad leader. Who was in charge of calling in on the mortars or ordering of the throwing of the CS grenades?

OLIMPIERI. Well, it was usually the officers, but I can remember times where we'd be sitting up on a hill, Nick and myself, and they used to have these things called "Pop-ups." You hit them on the bottom and it shoots like a green star cluster up in the air. It's used for location when somebody wants to find out where you are and we used to shoot them down into the village that was below and watch the people run around and we used to get big kicks out of it.

MODERATOR. Were there usually any officers present around this or was it usually known that this was done, wasn't it?

OLIMPIERI. Yeah, it was pretty well accepted. I mean, everybody did it.

MODERATOR. But nothing was said about it. The Vietnamese were considered...They were gooks, right?

OLIMPIERI. Right, nothing was said about it at all.

MODERATOR. Mr. Bishop, we were told that you were in Vietnam from '68 to '69. I believe this was before President Nixon said we had any troops in Laos or Cambodia at all. It says here that you entered Cambodia in pursuit of enemy between '68 and '69. Is this a true fact?

BISHOP. That's correct. We were on Operation Taylor Common. We were up in the mountains. We were operating just above the Laotian border where Laos and Cambodia meet. We were making heavy contact up there. We had quite a few losses and most of the operations we were holding were usually squad type or platoon type because the area was so thick and we couldn't send big units in there. We were very close to the border and very many times we were fired upon and we would chase the enemy back and you wouldn't know really how many grid squares you would go. We would come back to the unit and even though we knew we were close to Cambodia, we'd come back and the skipper would kind of get us all together and say like, "That was really a far out thing we did today and just for your own information we were in another country." This was general knowledge at the time that we were going back and forth into Cambodia.

MODERATOR. So you could say in effect that Mr. Nixon might possibly have been guilty of untruths in a matter that it was your company commander or platoon commander who told you that you had been in another country.

BISHOP. That's correct. The platoon commander didn't really tell us to go in there but once he found out that we were in there, because we report grid squares and our operations as we're moving, it was kind of a neat thing to do because we were in Cambodia and I'll admit that about the Nixon thing, really.

MODERATOR. Was there no distinction between the borders?

BISHOP. No, there's no distinction at all. It's on your map. You can't tell, like your border could be a tree line away and you just don't know. You can't tell.

MODERATOR. So you could have gone into Cambodia more than once then?

BISHOP. Oh, that's correct. We could have held patrols there and if we weren't informed about exactly where we were, then we wouldn't have known.

MODERATOR. Mr. Kenny, you mentioned earlier that shooting of unarmed civilians. You weren't supposed to shoot civilians at all unless you found that they were armed. Could you go into this and explain how they explained the dead bodies if there were no arms on them?

KENNY. Yes, in many instances, particularly Operation Brave Armada which took place in Quang Ngai Province in the summer of '69, circumstances would come up where there would be a patrol walking along, a single person or a small group of persons would be sighted at a distance of anywhere from, like, one to maybe five hundred meters. The standard procedure was to holler "Dong Lai!" which is "Stop." A lot of times the civilians or Vietnamese couldn't hear at that distance and if they didn't respond immediately, the procedure was to have the squad or platoon open up on these people. Upon approaching the bodies it was usually found that these people had no weapons at all; that the only reason they hadn't stopped was that they hadn't heard or were frightened, and in order to explain these civilian bodies it was standard procedure to carry several extra fragmentation grenades in the field and these would be planted on the bodies in order to make them a Viet Cong rather than a civilian.

MODERATOR. Do you know whether this went on in other units besides yourselves? I realize this is hearsay, but from things that other people have told you.

KENNY. Yes, I understand from other people I have talked to that this was fairly standard operating procedure.

MODERATOR. And usually the platoon commander was present when this happened?

KENNY. That's correct. On several instances, the platoon commander, a lieutenant, actually ordered this to be done.

MODERATOR. All right. Was anything ever said to you about civilians? What defined a VC? When they were dead, when it was just a body count?

KENNY. When a body was found, the general procedure was that if the body didn't have a weapon it was a Viet Cong suspect. If a weapon could be planted on it, it became a Viet Cong and if the body had any other equipment other than a weapon, that is any piece of uniform or other equipment, it became a North Vietnamese and this was the general criterion that our battalion used to discriminate.

MODERATOR. There's a program in Viet Nam called the Chieu Hoi program where they leaflet and they pass out these passes where the enemy, the NVA, or the VC with these passes can get safe conduct and be treated as respected human beings, not as POWs, but we have an instance, Mr. Camile, could you go into this, where Chieu Hois were shot and their passes were rejected?

CAMILE. We understood what the Chieu Hois were for, but we were told why should these people be able to shoot at us and then run and when they got close to being captured, come out with it and get away with it.

MODERATOR. Was this on orders or...?

CAMILE. It was on orders.

MODERATOR. And what was done with the Chieu Hoi pass after the person was killed?

CAMILE. Anytime a person was killed, if they had any identification or passes or anything that would get us in trouble, they were destroyed.

MODERATOR. The platoon commander was present when this happened?

CAMILE. Definitely.

MODERATOR. Mr. Nienke, it says here there was torture of POWs. Did you ever run into any Chieu Hois or any type of prisoners trying to surrender?

NIENKE. Yes, I ran into some prisoners that tried to surrender but we were a roving battalion in Vietnam and we went to a lot of different places, mostly way out in the bush, up in the mountains, not close to any major Army or Marine bases such as this, and we didn't believe in Chieu Hois. We didn't take prisoners. When we did take prisoners, like, we'd come into a village and there might have been somebody that we thought could have possibly been a prisoner or a POW or a VC, whether it might be an old lady or a young kid or something like this, they were always brought back to our local platoon or CO position where we set up that night and interrogated.

MODERATOR. Did you ever witness any of this interrogation?

NIENKE. Like I said before, we were mostly on the lines and I walked back, I'm not sure what province this was in, I walked back to talk to the captain because I was going on a listening post that night and I saw a young man and he was being beaten by an ARVN interpreter that came along with us. He was being beaten and I was told to leave the area.

MODERATOR. Okay, thank you very much. Before we open up for questions, these Marines are seated in chronological order of when they were in Vietnam. Mr. Craig was in Vietnam in '66 and at the end Mr. Eckert ends it with 1970. So we're trying to show that the policy that was carried out wasn't by one man when we first got there, wasn't by the next man when he got there, but it was standard operational procedure that was carried through from when we've been in Vietnam and it's still going on now. These are not isolated incidents. It happens in the Army and in the Marine Corps. I guess we could open up questions to the press or anybody who had questions.

QUESTION. I'm _____ of WBAX News and I have a couple of questions. First were there any GIs or people in your battalions that objected to these kind of atrocities or made any effort to stop it when they saw them?

MODERATOR. Is this a general question? Would anybody like to answer that? Mr. Camile.

CAMILE. When people first got there they were pretty idealistic about what you're supposed to do and what you're not supposed to do. The first time you see your buddies get killed, then that changes your mind and the group pressure, like, if people wouldn't do things, people would beat up other people and say "You either do it the way we do it or else you're going to get shot."

REPORTER. Did anyone actually ever stop an act of terrorism that he witnessed?

CAMILE. Only when the press was around and that would usually be Lt. Colonels or Majors.

REPORTER. How did they do that?

CAMILE. They would tell them that the press was there and not to do it and that was it.

REPORTER FROM AP. Question for Mr. Delay. What was the unit involved in the ambush you described?

DELAY. That was India Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.

REPORTER FROM AP. Was it ever established who the people who were ambushed were? Where they came from?

DELAY. Not to my knowledge.

REPORTER FROM WJR. One of your men who was here before mentioned in your opening statement generally something about fellow Marines who didn't do their job would be purposefully wounded or something. Could you be more specific?

VET RESPONSE. Excuse me, would that be in reference to like fragging that's been in the newspapers lately where they throw hand grenades at their own officers an staff NCOs?

VET RESPONSE. The question was if some sort of value was put on men who were inadequate in the field. What I was basically familiar with was newer personnel coming in country and taking the place of somebody who was more experienced in the field and maybe causing unnecessary deaths in the field or something like this and the men felt that if they put a little money together somebody would have the guts to wound them or something so they'd be drawn out of the outfit.

QUESTION. Did you actually ever witness that happening?

VET RESPONSE. Yes, I have.

MODERATOR. Any of you gentlemen here on the panel, could you release any incidents of fragging that you ever heard of or saw? Mr. Campbell.

CAMPBELL. In January of 1969, a couple of miles northeast of An Hoa, in the Arizona territory, my unit was temporarily assigned to Operation Taylor Common. We moved out, we waited until dark and moved out into a very heavily booby-trapped area. The lead platoon hit a booby trap. The word was passed back that it was the platoon commander that hit it and then the CO went up to check to see how the platoon commander was and there was another explosion. The initial word came back that the CO hit a booby trap.

Now from the first blast, the first booby trap that was hit, the platoon commander's radio man was also hit. He went to the hospital and was back to the unit about two weeks later. He told me and several other people, two or three other people privately, that the second booby trap was not a booby trap but that one of the men from the platoon of the commander who hit the first booby trap fragged the company commander because he was very upset about the platoon commander hitting the booby trap. He was upset about the CO waiting until dark to move out. He thought it was a stupid move and figured that got his platoon commander, and the men in that platoon were pretty tight with that platoon commander. I witnessed the explosion. I witnessed the flash, but it was dark. I couldn't see the guy throw the grenade. I didn't know that he threw it until the platoon radio man explained this to me.

MODERATOR. Mr. Bangert, you said you had an incident of this.

BANGERT. I guess the majority of us had been in country for about nine or ten months and this new guy came. The new guy was a lifer. A lifer was in charge of the mail. He stopped the mail for about three days because he wanted his troops to shine their shoes or something or clean up or shave or get a haircut and he stopped the mail. So someone told him if we don't get mail by noon on a specific day before midnight, that night you're going to be offered. But since he was hard and he was in the Korean War, he thought that what happened in the old Marine Corps is happening in Vietnam, he persisted and the mail wasn't gotten out and before midnight he was fragged. And the mail did come through the next day.

QUESTION. A couple of people on the panel mentioned brutalities to women. Is rape and other sexual brutalities to women--brutality involving the vagina in particular--is that a usual feature of people on tour in Vietnam?

SIMPSON. Me myself, I think it's pretty usual over there. Cause you'll be out in the bush and you'll meet women out on the trails. And the Marines over there, just like the Army and the Navy, are human. But they just don't go about it the right way--they might stick a rifle in a woman's head and say, "Take your clothes off." That's the way it's done over there. Cause they're not treated as human beings over there, they're treated as dirt.

QUESTION. Another question was: In your training is anything ever said about women in particular? Is there anything besides just being "gooks"? Are you encouraged to rape women in any way? Or think of them in any particular way?

PANELIST. Yes, in ITR in the Marine Corps you go through Infantry Training Regiment. They have a class on when you interrogate a POW or a villager what to look for--where they hide things. They stress over and over that a woman has more available places to hide things like maps or anything than a male. So it took about twenty minutes to cover where to search for a male suspect, and about an hour on a female. It was like everyone was getting into it pretty heavy like, you know, wishful-thinking, you know. But it seems to me that the philosophy over there is like somehow or another we're more afraid of females than we are of males, because, I don't know why, but the female was always like you never knew where you stood, so you went overboard in your job with her in all your daily actions. You doubled whatever you would do for a male. Because we always heard these stories that, like, the fiercest fighters were the females over there. You know, we didn't want to be embarrassed by getting our asses kicked by a bunch of females. So that's about it.

QUESTION. In terms of practice does that mean that women were treated especially rudely? You said "double everything."

PANELIST. Yes, I would say so. Because it makes a lasting impression on some guy--some "zip"--that's watching his daughter worked over. So we have a better opportunity of keeping him in line by working her over.

MODERATOR. Mr. Bangert did you have something to add?

BANGERT. Yeah, I think that in regards to women in Vietnam, first of all, you get this feeling sometimes when you're over there that you don't even think of their sex. This is really disgusting. You don't even think of them as human beings, they're "gooks." And they're objects; they're not human, they're objects. The general rule was a Vietnamese who is dead is confirmed Viet Cong and one who is living is a Viet Cong suspect. And that's the way it was. Back to this specific instance where I talk about the disembowelment of the women--I think the person involved was a freaked out sexist, if that's what you're trying to get at. I think maybe he had problems. He had to be--he was in the Army for 20 years.

QUESTION. You were talking about mutilation of bodies and, in general, murder. I was wondering--how did you get rid of all these mutilated bodies?

CAMPBELL. A particular way that the people I was with got rid of bodies was on Operation Meade River in November '68. There were some mutilated bodies. The Engineers blew them with C-4. They put 40 pounds of C-4 underneath the bodies and blew them. This was done for kicks; not just to dispose of them, but for kicks, to watch them go up. Another thing, I wasn't given a chance to make this clear earlier and I'd like to make this clear now. When we were showing the policies within the same unit changing--from when Scott Camile was there to when I was there a few months later--I mentioned the fact that things cooled down after the incidents that he explained. But they picked up again about three or four months later. And then came the blowing away of vills and the mutilation of bodies and stuff. All the incidents that I described earlier.

QUESTION. Was there discrimination between the black soldiers and the white soldiers in the service, or were the white soldiers supposed to be superior to the black soldiers? I mean, did they tell you anything about that over here before you went over there, or was it put into practice anyways over there?

PANELIST. I went to Boot Camp at Paris Island and we had a lot of brothers from Philly there and the common term used in discussing the brothers amongst the DIs, the drill instructors, was they were "niggers." "Come here nigger, do this nigger." I think this had a carry-over effect throughout the entire training. It always seemed to be that the brothers were always looked down upon.

QUESTION. I just wondered if there were any correspondents, or any newsmen, or any of the media that was present during these brutalities that these men know of and just ignored reporting any of these things?

BANGERT. I testified to the fact of the bodies outside Quang Tri City. Sometimes people from the press would drive through there, specifically women journalists who were readily welcomed into the unit. There was always this whitewashing thing. Well, sometimes these people would go right past the bodies and come into our base to get a story. They were kept away from the enlisted men, away from the people who were involved. The typical thing was to take them down to the Officers Club, get them soused, get them in a flight suit, and take them out and fly them through Quang Tri Province. And if they wanted to, they could see what it's like to shoot a gun. That happened a couple of times when I was there.

QUESTION. My impression is that it doesn't sound like even if the newsmen had gotten to you that any of you would have been willing to talk about these things at that time. Is that true?

CAMILE. That's very true.

MODERATOR. On Tuesday when the 25th Division gives their testimony, there are former PIO men from MACV who will talk about the civilian press at length. These questions will be answered then.

QUESTION. Mr. Sachs, you told about a prisoner being pushed from a helicopter. It wasn't clear whether or not that helicopter was on the ground or not.

SACHS. The incident I was talking about when they were making to see who could throw the gooks farther? It was done on the ground because it's hard to mark them from 3,000 feet. However, it was an official policy that after every mission you fly, you have to fill out an After-Mission Report to show them all the good stuff you did during the day. Like, how many pounds of rice you carried, and how many Americans and how many gooks you carried. Well, we were given very specific oral orders from the Colonel on down: When you are carrying VCS, Viet Cong Suspects, you don't count them when you get in the airplane, you count them when they get out of the airplane because the numbers don't always jibe. And if one of them happens to get scared of heights and decides to get out, or something like that, or if he looks like maybe he's going to try and raise some shit in the belly of the aircraft and the crewman has to kick him out, that's none of your business; it didn't really happen because you counted the men when they got off.

QUESTION. Did you ever witness anyone being thrown from a helicopter in the air?

SACHS. I'm a pilot and they're below you and behind you and you can't see.

PANELIST. Another method they used in regard to helicopters is sometimes when they captured three suspected enemy people they might take them for a joy-ride. They usually tie them up and put a blindfold on them and they'll put maybe three guys in a C-54 and fly off. They'll ask the guys in the air, "What is your unit?" and all this jive, and if they don't cooperate, they just might take one of them and say, "Okay, take off the blindfold," and just shove him right out. Now this gives us a psychological edge because apparently it works. When the other two guys come down to the ground, they're scared and they cooperate more readily than they ever would before.

MODERATOR. Mr. Camile, you had some actual instances of observing Vietnamese being thrown out of helicopters.

CAMILE. On Operation Stone, I was on the ground and I didn't see this Vietnamese pushed out, but I did see him come flying out and land over where we were.

MODERATOR. Perhaps he decided to take a little walk or something. Any more questions?

QUESTION. Mr. Bishop, could you elaborate some more on the circumstances of the killing of the four NVA nurses?

BISHOP. I didn't say it in the testimony, but it's written on my testimony sheet. The operation was Meade River, a very large scale operation. ROK (Korean) Marines were involved, U.S. Marines and Army were involved, and the ARVNs were involved. A cordon was set up outside of Da Nang and a big squeeze was put on right outside the airport. There were quite a few body counts as far as the enemy went. It was something like 1,300. The allies had something like 700 or 800 so-called dead -- we never knew. On part of the operation, we had just gotten through making heavy contact and we went through a bunker system. It was a large bunker system and we found hospitals. We came across four NVA nurses that were hiding out in one of the bunkers. They were nurses, we found medical supplies on them and they had black uniforms on. The ROK Marines came up to us and one of their officers asked us if they could have the NVA nurses, that they would take care of them because we were sweeping through the area, and that we couldn't take care of any POWs. So, I imagine, that instead of killing them, we handed them over to the ROK Marines. Well, we were still in the area when the ROK Marines started tying them down to the ground.

They tied their hands to the ground, they spread-eagled them; they raped all four. There was like maybe ten or twenty ROK Marines involved. They tortured them, they sliced off their breasts, they used machetes and cut off parts of their fingers and things like this. When that was over, they took pop-up flares (which are aluminum canisters you hit with your hand; it'll shoot maybe 100-200 feet in the air) -- they stuck them up their vaginas -- all four of them -- and they blew the top of their heads off.

MODERATOR. Any further questions?

QUESTION. It was stated by one veteran, I don't know which, that on the last day, and I believe it was at Camp Pendleton, they were given a briefing by a sergeant, apparently, where they skinned a rabbit, disemboweled it, and he told them or instructed them that this is how it's done. Can anybody else corroborate that?

MODERATOR. How many guys in Marine Staging saw this--the last day in Staging Battalion? I saw it myself in Staging Battalion. All those who saw it please raise your hands again.

MODERATOR. The question for those who didn't hear it was in reference to the skinning of a rabbit as an example of "This is how it's done in Vietnam," or, "This is what happens in Vietnam." In answer to the question, most of the Marines here did see it.

QUESTION. This is still part of Basic Training? Are we to understand that this is part of the course before combat in Vietnam?

MODERATOR. This is part of the Staging Battalion which is the last day before you go to Vietnam. Could we have the show of hands again?

[Note: A majority of hands were raised.]
QUESTION. Are there officers present at this?

PANELIST. Yes. It usually was a company formation. They made quite a spectacle of this. They made a moccasin out of the skin. A couple of dudes were playing with the organs. It was a really cool thing, I guess.

MODERATOR. We'll now show Mr. Camile's slides and he'll narrate them.

CAMILE. (First Slide) This particular picture is what the houses generally look like when we go through and throw our heat tablets in. They catch on fire very quickly and there are people in these houses. The houses are made of grass. Sometimes if the people don't get out before we throw the heat tabs in, they don't get out at all. (Next Slide) We carried aces of spades and it was kind of like a game. When we killed someone, you plant an ace of spades on him and you'd pose with the body because it was something really cool to do, to show everybody how many people you'd killed. (Next Slide) These are bodies that attacked us at a place called Alpha North and after we killed them, they were inside our position, we threw them on trucks and took them to the middle of the village. We dumped them out in the middle of the village. We dumped them out in the middle and left them there like that. We don't treat any bodies like they were human bodies. It was just like throwing out garbage.
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:51 am


MODERATOR. Brothers and sisters, or sisters and brothers, I'd like to present to you the veterans from Vietnam who will be testifying about the atrocities that took place and were created by American troops with the 1st Air Cav. Division in Vietnam. To give you a little history on the 1st Air Cav. Division, it is an air-mobile division; it was the first created and the 1st Air Cav. was the first air-mobile division to ever take place, or to function, in Vietnam. It arrived in Vietnam in 1965, in Qui Nhow. Now I'd like to introduce to you the first testifier, former Captain John K. Mallory. Mr. Mallory?

MALLORY. I'm Jack Mallory and I served as a captain with the Eleventh Armored Cavalry Regiment, which during most of my time in Vietnam from May 1969 to May 1970, was under the operational control of the 1st Air Cavalry Division. I served as Regimental Assistant Civic Action Officer and Civic Action Officer for the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cav. I'd like to say a few words about treatment of Vietnamese civilians by members of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The destruction of crops and killing of domestic animals was common whenever the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment operated in populated areas. Crops were destroyed in the building of defensive positions and animals were run over when the tracks--armored cars, tanks--ran through the villages. Civilian deaths were quite frequent, Vietnamese civilians were killed accidently when tracks and tanks running through their villages, often at excessive speeds, struck them, ran off the road, ran into their houses, hit their bicycles, etc. On at least one occasion, the village of An Phu, in Binh Long Province, was struck by artillery fired from Quan Loi Base Camp causing several casualties. A civilian riding on an ox-cart, just south of Quan Loi Base Camp, was intentionally struck by an American aircraft which came in out of the sky, hit him in the head, and traveled on. The man was killed; the aircraft was never identified. A helicopter, also never identified, dropped two white phosphorus grenades (they're incendiary grenades) into the village of Sa Troc, also in Binh Long Province, burning down several buildings and two small Montagnard children. In Loc Ninh, a young boy about twelve years old was attacked by two American soldiers, severely beaten, resulting in a broken arm. There is no reason known for this attack. On one occasion, a North Vietnamese Army nurse was killed by 11th Armored Cavalry troops; subsequently a grease gun of the type used in automotive work was placed in her vagina and she was packed full of grease. On several occasions, enemy graves were violated, their skulls taken out of the graves and used as candle-holders and conversation pieces. CS gas, better known as tear gas, was often used on civilians to chase them away from our positions where they came to sell, or to look for valuable American trash, in our trash dumps. On one occasion, this gassing of Vietnamese civilians was done by an American Army major. On another occasion, Vietnamese selling their wares in the area had their wares taken and destroyed by American troops led by two captains. One of them was myself. In August, in Binh Long Province, north of An Loc, six Vietnamese (friendly Vietnamese soldiers or civilians or regular Defense Group soldiers) were killed by helicopter gunships from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Although the CIDG area of operations was clearly marked on our tactical map in our tactical operations center, sheer carelessness of the duty officer from the 11th Armored Cav. led him to give our gunships permission to fire at armed Vietnamese in the area, although it was quite well known that there were friendly armed Vietnamese in that immediate vicinity. In general, U.S. attitues towards Vietnamese civilians were not inhumane per se, but they were certainly not human. The Vietnamese civilians were regarded much as America regards her own minorities--a pat on the head for a trick, a kick in the ------ for an imagined fault, and invisible the rest of the time.

MODERATOR. Okay. The next speaker or testifier is James Mackay, former E-5. James?

MACKAY. My name is James Mackay. I served with Headquarters Third Brigade of the Ninth Division from October '68 to August '69, and I served with the First Cav. from August '70 to December '70. Our AO was from Song Be north to Cambodia. During this time our helicopters, our Cobra gunships, and small observation helicopters would go out on search and destroy missions more or less where they'd go out and they'd shoot anything, any structures they saw. They'd shoot all structures; they'd shoot all people, be they men, women, or children--old men, children, whether they had arms or not. They'd shoot all livestock, destroy all food. They'd destroy everything they saw that was man-made. Also, to prove that they'd been getting body counts, the troop commander had given the order (not given an order, but let it be known) that the next time Vietnamese were killed, the body would be taken and dumped from two hundred feet right to Brigade TOC, right in front of the TOC, and this was done, and there was no reprimand to the officer. Explosives have been put in the dumps for the purpose of exploding and injuring men, women, and children while they're going through the trash--while they're going through this valuable trash. Consequently, one of my friends was blown and burned on the upper portion of his body due to the carelessness of the discarding of trash and purposely planting booby-traps.

MODERATOR. James, you stated that on the first time that an A-troop, recon missions, right?--the Cobra and the Loach -- when they fired on any moving target that meant men, women, and children? Right?

MACKAY. Right, this meant, anybody they saw whether they were men, women, or children, or whether they had arms or not. One kind of joke that went between the pilots was if they fired or not, upon anybody they saw, it was whether they waved or not. This was a kind of joke going between the pilots, but it didn't count, because they just shot anything they saw, any structures.

MODERATOR. Could you clarify on the booby-traps set into the fire-dump? They were charges from the artillery battery-- excessive charges from the artillery battery?

MACKAY. Right, excessive charges were thrown in the dump, and then fires were set so that they would burn people. At this time, when my friend was injured at the dump it was artillery charges that had been thrown away and set to go off. How they were going off, I don't know. I found that they were set there.

MODERATOR. The fires were set?

MACKAY. Oh, I heard, I had a lot of friends in artillery, and they told me many times when we were sitting around talking that they put charges out there. The excessive charges they don't use during their midnight missions, they'd put in the dump, and these are all supposed to be destroyed in a certain point through EOD and they were thrown in the dump for the purpose of going off.

MODERATOR. They were deliberately set up, so that the children or the young men, could walk into the dump, get close to the charges, and then they were set on fire and they'd go up relatively fast. Is that correct?

MACKAY. Right, and the dumps were all supervised. There was a supervisor there, but he was never there; he was supposed to be there. He was supposed to make sure that no ammunition was thrown away. There was not supposed to be any ammunition or any kind of explosive or inflammable material thrown in the dumps except trash, and consequently, when they were thrown in there, they were thrown in with the knowledge that someone might get hurt, and would probably get hurt when these burned or exploded grenades, etc.

MODERATOR. Thank you. The next testifier is former Spec. 4 Craig.

CRAIG. One incident I'm referring to is the Second Battalion, Eighth Brigade--their policy of mortaring the local dump every night. My statement reads: I was stationed in LS St. Barber, roughly between the months of March and August 1969. And it was battalion-originated policy to mortar the neighboring dump on the pretext "the gooks are scavenging food." It was proven that it was civilians from the town of Loc Minh. Roughly two a week were killed and occasional injury was often treated at the battalion first aid hootch.

MODERATOR. All right. Craig, let me ask you a question. How many black personnel, and when I say black personnel, how many black men, were assigned to your company?

CRAIG. Company strength varied between 80 and 120 and it was usually about a third.


CRAIG. A third of all personnel, yes.

MODERATOR. Let me ask you this. When you point, it's well known to all us vets that when initial fire takes place usually the first five people are the ones that got hit, is that correct?

CRAIG. That's true.

MODERATOR. How are blacks used as far as walking point? Explain that for me, Okay?

CRAIG. They're considered to be more adept at walking point. Plus the added factor, blacks came under a lot of blame for some of the so-called fragging that goes on. Anybody under suspicion found himself on point, usually pretty fast.

MODERATOR. Thank you. The next speaker, testifier, is former Spec. 4 Robert Wiktorski.

WIKTORSKI. All right, my first complaint would be on August, or in August, I worked in Quang Tri Province near the city of Quang Tri. We were on a searching mission...

MODERATOR. Excuse me, Robert, could you start off by giving your company, and your unit and the time you served in Vietnam?

WIKTORSKI. I was with Charlie Company, Second and Twelfth, First Air Cavalry, and I served there from May of '68 to May of '69. Now in August of '68, we were sent on a searching mission of a supposedly evacuated or deserted village. Now the policy of searching a village is that they take the whole company--that is about a hundred and sixty guys, it varies--and they put you on the line, and they're going to cover every square inch of this village, they're theoretically going to turn up every booby trap that was set in that village. And you can't always see the booby traps. Now, we took a bunch of prisoners there, approximately 30, and we were going to evac them for questioning--bring in a helicopter and lift them out. Now as the helicopter came in (they were going to remove the wounded also) we took fire; we received one mortar round. They got the civilians and wounded out and nobody was hurt as a result of that mortar round. We were given the order to move out again, and as we did, I turned behind me and some of the drag elements, some of the guys that were lagging behind, were burning hootches. It wasn't our policy to destroy anything, but for some unknown reason, somebody had set fire to about four hootches. It was also our policy to frag any suspected position. Now, every one of these houses in this village has an adjoining bunker in case of mortar attack--see, they're going to get it from either end; if they support the U.S., they're going to get attacked by the Vietnamese, the North Vietnamese. Now they used these bunkers that were adjacent to their houses more or less as an air-raid shelter, rather than a fighting position. Most of the openings, or the access holes to these bunkers were inside the houses so that if a person was in the house and something happened, they could run into the bunker. On that particular day, there was an order given to frag all suspected positions.

And it got to the point where we didn't so much look out for the booby traps as you were looking out for the guy next to you who was throwing grenades in every direction. You'd yell a term, "fire in the hole," when you'd throw a frag. And, like that just echoed all day, "fire in the hole". Now, the next day we continued on our sweeping mission and that night we set up a perimeter. I wasn't familiar with the area I was put in, so I took another man with me to sort of recon the area and I engaged a booby trap. I was wounded as a result of this. Now, if this village had been swept properly, or as it was supposed to have been, that booby trap should have been discovered. I was looking for booby traps, but they're pretty well hidden; they're pretty hard to see. Another incident I'd like to mention is at L.Z. Grant. This is near Tay Ninh in Tay Ninh Province. We had been hit; we were attacked. The landing zone itself was attacked at night by NVA soldiers. They had taken approximately 200 bodies on the wire, on the barbed wire, that were dead. To the best of my knowledge, they had only captured one prisoner and he was a high-ranking NVA official. Now, en route from L.Z. Grant to Tay Ninh for interrogation, this man was pushed out of the helicopter approximately a quarter mile from the perimeter, and consequently died as a result of the fall. On that same night that the base was attacked, they called in jet air support. The jets--they had jets in the area and they had helicopter gunships in the area working in a ------, you know, in just a scattered pattern. They asked the jet to move in a little closer to the perimeter for closer support. And the pilot, I guess, misjudged the perimeter and dropped a napalm bomb on one of the bunkers. As a result, one man who was formerly with my unit was killed. He had been put in the rear as a safer place to be because he only had 29 days left in the country. It was usually a policy where if you got within a short time of your DEROS date they would try and give you a position that would be less detrimental. Now, I don't know how detrimental that can be; the guy was burned beyond recognition. The only way we know it was him is because he was missing and he had a wallet on him. Another incident I'd like to mention was just after getting out of the hospital. My unit had pulled a big shift from up north in I Corps area to the III Corps area near Tay Ninh. And this was in Cu Chi. It's a large base camp; they have planes land there and it is pretty civilized. My unit was lining up for chow. We were going to go in and eat supper in the mess hall and the CO gave the order to spread it out in the chow line. Now the reason behind this is that when you're out in the field the guys get a little hungry and a little anxious for some hot chow and they tend to bunch up together. As a result, it can be pretty bad if somebody pops a couple of rounds at you-- like a mortar round could kill up to 30 guys, if they're grouped together and it's placed right. But in a big base camp, it's relatively pretty clear. Guys are walking around with baseball hats on, trucks are driving by, guys are swimming in swimming pools.

Our CO told us we had to wear our helmets in the chow line and spread five meters apart. Some of the guys expressed their, you know, feelings about this and the CO said, "All right, you're not going to spread it out," and went and got a fragment grenade and fragged our chow line. As a result, he wounded one of my ammo bearers. He wasn't hurt too bad, but what the heck, when you're fighting one enemy you don't have time to fight your friends, or your leader. Another incident happened up in the I Corps area. We had been working the Street Without Joy (it's adjacent to Highway One). It leads from a place called Wonder Beach almost directly to--at that time it was the Cavalry Headquarters--Camp Evans. We were told to establish a perimeter and setup positions, which we did and as the days passed, more and more people were coming to this perimeter, engineers and the like, and setting up barbed wire, and extending the perimeter--making it bigger. They were planning on making a large stationary camp in this area. Now in the early days of this, when there wasn't any barbed wire (it was just us guys on the line) they had us stringing barbed wire. I was on a barbed wire detail and that night I had to pull an ambush. The area we were in was hilly and small brush. You could see for miles. Clearly, for miles. And I commented to one of the guys who was on ambush with me, I asked him, "What makes you think that anybody is going to come walking along through the middle of nowhere? You know, just in the middle of the night, you know, helter-skelter?" and he said, "Well, we've got two bodies." We were given the order not to take any prisoners or wounded on this mission. If we ambushed anybody that night, they had to be killed.

They had taken two prisoners earlier, and they were shot and their bodies were placed approximately 30 yards from the perimeter site, from the ambush site, and Claymore (Claymore mines) were setup in a defensive position around the bodies in order to decoy, as bait. We never executed an ambush; nobody ever came along. So following about three days of this, a bulldozer from the engineering outfit came over and just pushed dirt over the bodies because they were starting to smell. And another incident I'd like to mention is that we were on a, just a random pattern of walking around in the jungle, near Nui Ba Den, near Tay Ninh, working that area, when we engaged the enemy. To the best of my knowledge, there were only two of them, maybe three at the most. One was killed as a result of it, and we were in the process of tracking the other one. Now that day ended and the next day came and we were still tracking this guy, when we, the point element, thought they saw something. So the CO got a little anxious and said, you know, let's get with the program: if you see something, shoot it. When you're the point element, and you figure that the first five, six, seven guys get hit in the initial volley of shots, you're not too anxious, you know, you're pretty cautious, and when you've got somebody who's sitting maybe two hundred yards back on a radio telling you to hurry up, you really don't appreciate it; he's not the one up there. So, this NVA apparently didn't have a rifle--we didn't find any rifle. He had a Chi Com pistol with him and a few hand grenades. Now, he had gotten to the point where I guess he was exhausted; he couldn't run any more, and with this hot pursuit on his trail, I imagine he was pretty scared. He threw a couple of frags at us, you know, in an attempt to hold off impending doom, and then took his own life. Shot himself through the head. He never once tried to surrender. I think we would have taken him as a prisoner. I don't think he would have been abused--we didn't usually make a habit of abusing prisoners. We sent them in the back, and possibly there they were abused, but not out in the field. We got rid of them too quick.

MODERATOR. Robert, I'd like to call you Rob, if you don't mind, to get on that last one that you stated, would you say that the actual main reason why he did shoot himself was that a superior force was after him and all he had was a pistol so his destiny was pretty well determined if he continued to fight? Or if he had yelled "Chieu Hoi" would you have taken him as a "Chieu Hoi". Or if he had thrown away his pistol, and yelled and put up his hands would you have taken him as prisoner?

WIKTORSKI. Well, the reason I said that he was probably pretty scared is because of what happened to his buddy. Now, upon killing the other member of his team, a lieutenant from either the 2nd or 3rd platoon (it wasn't my platoon) came up from the rear, saw the dead body, and seemed satisfied that he was dead. But then he took the body and set it up against a tree, crossed his legs, put a cigarette in his mouth, put a hat on his head, folded his arms, and then with a sharp instrument (he might have even taken a stick and sharpened it) took a Cav. patch and just tacked it to his chest and left it there -- we left it there; we marched right on by it.

MODERATOR. All right, if I may explain to the audience that to mutilate a Vietnamese body or a Buddhist body (anything of the Buddhist religion or Hindu or Indian) is to violate their religious rites; to take any part off the body or to mutilate it means that the soul cannot go to heaven or wherever it's supposed to go. It lies in limbo, and to the North Vietnamese and to the Vietnamese, this is the most horrible thing that could ever happen. This breaks up the family dynasty that they have going. That's why we are told not to pet the little children on their heads because this directly offends the Vietnamese people. The head is the most, how would you say it, sacred part of the body. Now, to get back to Rob. The military tactics that are being used in Vietnam, when we were there and that are being used now, are vesting the lives of Americans and civilians for no necessary reason; this is through carelessness. Now, am I right, or am I wrong?

WIKTORSKI. Well, I have to state this from my own point of view. I didn't go over there because I wanted to, or because I liked it, but you have to do something, so I went over there. I think what happens, the way they get you into actually fighting--where the bullets are exchanged--is that when you're ambushed, or when you hit contact, usually, I'll say usually, somebody is hurt in the initial contact. So if you're following some guy and he drops in his tracks, are you going to turn and run? Or are you going to stay there and try and help the guy? The army puts you in a position where you are not obliged to the army itself, but to your friend. You know, the friends you made over there, the guys you live with. When one of them is hurt, you just can't leave him. If there was an initial volley of shots and nobody was hurt, we would withdraw out of the area, and we would call in support artillery, jets, whatever it took, until we felt it was safe to proceed. But when somebody was hurt in the initial volley, somebody had to stay there with him.

MODERATOR. In other words, what the military system is doing with the American troops in Vietnam is using them, the infantry troops, the grunts that hump the fields, is using them as bait.

WIKTORSKI. That's putting it kind of rough. I would say that the army put you in a bad position and you just got to make the best of it. You know, whatever comes, may come. Like I said, if nobody was hurt, all the guys would withdraw; nobody was for pushing ahead; nobody wanted to make contact. Everybody dreaded contact because usually with contact came injury and maybe even death. I know they never got me in a position where they would say, "All right, I need three men to go up here and do this or that." It was always, "There's somebody hurt up there," or something like that, and, "You guys get down there and help them." That kind of thing. It was never a voluntary basis out of the clear blue. When they sent us on patrols, I would have to say that the guys I was with kept it to a bare minimum as far as looking for trouble. We didn't poke our noses into places we didn't want to go. If the CO said, "Well, go out about two miles and turn left and circle back in," we might go out of sight and just sit down and wait a half hour and then come back in.

MODERATOR. Okay, to get back on to the same thing about the fragging in the villages, that specific village of Quang Tri. Was there any enemy activity in the village itself?

WIKTORSKI. Well, like I said, we received one mortar round, no small arms fire or anything else and the reason I don't think there was any enemy activity in it was because we would have heard the tube fired for one, if it was in a reasonable amount of distance, let's say within a mile. So it was pretty well out somewhere where we didn't hear it. And they just lobbed one round in. I think they were too far away to engage us in small arms fire. In fact, I went so far as to walk into a clearing and look over the terrain. It was all rice paddies and I found a sandal in the mud, right there, and I kind of got scared and I pulled back into the trees. But I believe that if there had been close enemy activity, I would have been shot at.

MODERATOR. Okay. When the men of your company fragged the shelters that the Vietnamese had in their houses, could there have been a possibility that there were children -- women, children, or older men -- in the bunkers and if so, were there enemy bodies found after they fragged these bunkers?

WIKTORSKI. Well, like I said, I think they were used more or less as an air-raid shelter or a place of hiding rather than a place of fighting. There was no accessible fighting position. They were completely blocked off on the outside. The only access was through the inside of the house and it wouldn't make a very good place to sit and try to fight. But still and all, they made sure they fragged every bunker at least once. We never once in that whole village, in the two days that I remember did we ever find a weapon. We found a poncho, a wallet (an unidentified wallet) nothing in it, and booby traps and thirty civilians, about thirty civilians.

MODERATOR. Thank you very much, Robert. The next testifier we have is former E-5 David Stark. David.

STARK. Yes, I'd first like to clarify my unit which was the 524th Military Intelligence Detachment. It had no direct connection with the 1st Air Cav. I'm not part of this other unit. I was in Vietnam from October '67 to October '68 and I had the opportunity, the unfortunate opportunity to be there during the original Tet offensive in Saigon. I have two photographs here that were taken from my house. I lived in a rented French building in Cholon, which is a district of Saigon. The picture on the top right I took one day from a water tower on the roof of our house. That fence, the barbed wire fence in the foreground which isn't clear to people sitting too far away, is on the back perimeter of our house. The picture encompasses an area of approximately one quarter square mile. It was taken approximately January 29 or January 30 right about at the beginning of the Tet offensive. The second picture, on the bottom left, which is labeled "after," was taken just less than two full days later. This was a result of a bombing run called in on a rumored number of 300 Viet Cong living in the area. Where that information came from, I'm not quite sure. That was not part of our unit's doing. There was a Korean compound down the street. A Korean general's house who was active in that movement and I think the figure 300 came from them. The Koreans later related to us during the clean-up phase they reportedly found somewhere from 1,300 to 1,400 bodies. Due to the nature of my job in Saigon I had friends in other units (intelligence units in Saigon) and one of these friends took me to an interrogation compound located between Cholon and Tan Son Nhut. I myself, at that compound, witnessed minor beatings of Viet Cong prisoners, especially in chairs where they would be strapped down and their legs would be beaten. I also saw in that same compound (I didn't see it used on an individual), but I saw an apparatus I can only describe. It was a fence about seven feet high and it had high hooks mounted in the wood. I was told that the prisoners were stripped of clothes, placed up against this fence, and approximately ten to fifteen feet away there was a pipe sticking out of the ground on the top of which there was mounted a high pressure water nozzle, the same type you would be familiar with on a fire hose. I was informed that prisoners would be placed up against this fence and this high pressure hose would be turned on, for any period deemed necessary, I guess. I also saw in the building a table with a piece of apparatus on it that I was told was the inside of a field telephone and it did look like a field telephone to me. I have seen them a number of times. This was taken out of the case and it had two long wires, electric probes that I was told were used on all parts of prisoners' bodies for electronic type torture. The way this operates, there is a crank on a field telephone and when this is cranked it builds up enough power inside to transmit over the wires a strong enough signal to ring the other person's telephone. I don't know the voltage of it, or what, but I understand it is very painful. I was just told that the faster you crank it, the higher the voltage, so I guess the more you crank it, the more information you got.

MODERATOR. David, and to the rest of the panel also, if there is a feeling that I am baiting you into answering a question, just tell me to cool it. David, how many North Vietnamese were supposed to have occupied Cholon?

STARK. The entire area of Cholon?

MODERATOR. Right. That vicinity that was burned.

STARK. That vicinity in the pictures?


STARK. I couldn't really estimate that number because the area was a refugee area--not a sanctioned government refugee area--just an area where people saw space and moved into and built houses out of whatever was available. It was a very highly concentrated population, I'm sure, because the houses are just stacked on top of each other and right next door to each other and many people live in single room dwellings, so I'm sure there were several, several thousand people in that area.

MODERATOR. What about the enemy activity in that area? How many people? The troops, an estimate that was related to you?

STARK. Activity?

MODERATOR. The enemy activity, right. The troops that had supposedly moved into Cholon?

STARK. Oh, well at the onset of the Tet offensive there was a great deal of fire activity all throughout the city. The highest concentration of activity was in Cholon, Phu Lam and Phu To which are all suburbanite districts of Saigon. It's not in downtown Saigon. It's as a neighboring area within the city limits would look to Detroit, I'm sure. And the activity was very indiscriminate sniper fire, occasional rocket rounds, mortar rounds, this sort of thing.

MODERATOR. But yet there were thirteen hundred bodies counted?

STARK. Approximately thirteen hundred bodies were picked up after, during clean-up period.

MODERATOR. All right. Thank you, David. The next speaker, a former E-5, James Duffy. James.

DUFFY. I served as a machine gunner, on a CH-47, Chinook helicopter with Company A, 228th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cav. Division, from February '67 to April '68. Most of our missions we flew alone and we had a wide variety of missions. One such mission was a gas run where we loaded the ship with twelve 55 gallon drums of what I was told was CS gas which we dropped into a well traveled path in the An Lo Valley. We were told that gas would be effective for a number of weeks; it would remain there. Another mission was a defoliation run on our own perimeter in An Khe--that was the base camp at the time. The perimeter was occupied by GIs, grunts, pulling guard duty, and also Vietnamese civilians from the neighboring town who were allowed to chop wood there. So both our people and theirs were exposed to the defoliants. And when I first became a gunner, I was told the company policy was to return fire from all guns when fired on. To continue fire until our supply of ammo had been expended. This was usually thousand round belts that we kept in each of the two M-60 machine guns. Also the crew chief, myself, and the flight engineer had M-16s with as much ammunition as we wished to fire. It was quite usual that there would be a sniper outside a village in the foliage, in the trees, and if we took fire from one sniper we'd return fire on that sniper and then continue to spray the entire village with machine gun fire and M-16 ammunition until we either ran out of ammunition or we had flown so far away from the village that we could no longer reach them with the weapons. Now, the thousand round belts we used in the machine guns were usually straight tracer rounds so during the dry season (when the Vietnamese live in these hootches made of C-ration cans and straw huts) the tracers would set fire to the huts so the ones that we didn't get with ammunition we could try and burn them out. The free fire zones were posted on the operation map in the operations tent and this gave us a policy to kill anything that moved within that area. On one operation, I was flying an LZ. We took fire when a round hit one of our fuel pods and one of the jobs of a crew member is also to pull maintenance on the ship--and the more maintenance you have to pull the less flying time and the less chance you get to kill gooks because that's the mental attitude that the army forces you into. So we were kind of mad that we had taken a round in the fuel pod, so after leaving the LZ we requested the pilot fly over the area we had taken the round from so we could get whoever it was that had fired at us. We were all pretty up- tight about it, and as soon as we left the LZ, I noticed a contingent of Vietnamese peasants chopping wood and I decided, well, if the Vietnamese can fire a round into my ship, then I can fire as many rounds into the Vietnamese as I want to.

So I swung my machine gun onto this group of peasants and opened fire. Fortunately, the gun jammed after one or two rounds, which was pretty lucky, because this group of peasants turned out to be a work party hired by the government to clear the area and there was GIs guarding them about fifty meters away. But my mind was so psyched out into killing gooks that I never even paid attention to look around and see where I was. I just saw gooks and I wanted to kill them. I was pretty scared after that happened because that sort of violated the unwritten code that you can do anything you want to as long as you don't get caught. That's, I guess that's, what happened with the My Lai incident. Those guys just were following the same pattern that we've been doing there for ten years, but they had the misfortune of getting caught at it. And rotor wash from the helicopters was a very effective and sadistic weapon. Chinook helicopter is basically a cargo ship; that's what it's designed for. I forget the weight you can pick up with one, but when you've got a full load, you can put out a rotor wash at certain times that approaches a hundred miles an hour. Some of the things we used to like to do was in the morning the people from hamlets and villages go out to a designated field to defecate and if we'd be on an early morning mission, we'd spot them, make a swoop in, and we could get up to a hundred twenty knots, about a hundred thirty miles an hour. And as you swoop in with the ship, just as you approach, the pilot would flair the ship on its tail, and the rotor wash would spin around and hit the people, blowing them over through the sand and their defecation. This was one of the things that we did for kicks. Rotor wash was also used to blow down the huts, literally blow down the villages; like I said they are made out of straw and junk. So we'd come in and flair on a ship and just blow away a person's house. Also, the Vietnamese, when they've harvested a crop of rice, put it out on these large pans to dry and that harvest is what is supposed to maintain them for that season--what they're supposed to live on. We'd come in to flair the ship, and let the rotor wash blow the rice, blow their entire supply of food for that harvest over a large area. And then laugh, as we'd watch them running around trying to pick up individual pieces of rice out of a rice paddy. Over an area larger than this room. It was also used to spook water buffalo. The Vietnamese when they plow their fields and rice paddies they follow the rows of plants which are fairly straight. And if we'd spot somebody plowing his field, we'd make a run on him. That would spook the water buffalo and the water buffalo would take off in any old direction with that plow ripping up the field and usually the farmer being dragged with the plow through the field. Once we were picking up a sling load of ammunition and the army had a habit of putting pick-up zones and drop-off zones right near well traveled roads, you know, roads traveled by the local villages.

So we were hovering over this sling load of, I think it was Howitzer rounds, and I was hanging out the window observing what appeared to be a twelve year old Vietnamese boy standing there watching us. And as we lifted up with the load, the rotor wash increased because of the weight and it blew him into the path of a 2 1/2 ton truck with trailer which killed him instantly. The psychological effect is something I'd like to bring out here to you people. When that happened, my first reaction, and my flight engineer who was observing this too, our first reaction was, I guess, you would call normal. It would be horror, pain, and then I realized that I caught myself immediately and I said, "No, you can't do that," because you develop a shell while you are in the military. They brainwash you. They, they take all the humanness out of you and you develop this crush which enables you to survive in Vietnam. And if you let that protective shell down, even for a second, it could mean, it's the difference between you flipping out or managing to make it through. And I caught myself letting the shell down and I, and I, tightened up right away. And started laughing about it and joking about it with the flight engineer. He sort of moved on the same logic because I guess he thought it sort of knocked his shell down too.

MODERATOR. Excuse me, Duff. We're running out of time.

DUFFY. All right.

MODERATOR. Quickly, could you go over the mistreatment of the POWs and the feeding of the Vietnamese the poisonous food?

DUFFY. All right, all right. When we picked up POWs to transfer them to a POW camp, they'd be blindfolded and their hands would usually be tied behind their backs. On a few occasions, not often, I and other people would pistol whip them with our .45s and when that wasn't cool to do, because maybe we had a, you know, somebody flying the ship that really wasn't hip to how to off the gooks, then we'd just kick them around as we walked around the ship. Also, on the ship, when we hit the LZ at times, we'd drop the ramp down halfway and, like I said, these people are blindfolded and tied and we walked them off the ramp and it was literally like walking off this table blindfolded with your hands tied. So they'd just fall flat on their faces. Also, during test flights, we'd go to a specific area where the pilots could check out the controls and this would attract a lot of Vietnamese. We'd throw out the C-ration cans that we didn't like and, after they thought they were getting a lot of food, we'd hand them cans of 5606 which is helicopter hydraulic fluid and very poisonous. And I observed one kid, that I handed a can of hydraulic fluid, take a good healthy drink out of it before his mother knocked it over, knocked it right out of his hand, and he was immediately sick right after that happened. In one incident we were flying back from Khe Sanh Valley and we took fire from six NVA which caused the ship to explode in the air and make a crash landing. Now, on the way down, because our company policy was to just keep on firing, I had fired at all the military targets I could spot and I looked out across the field and I spotted a Vietnamese woman peasant running away from the ship. I fired a burst of about six or seven rounds into her back before we fired, before we hit the ground. When I was being questioned as to what happened about two weeks later by a captain in my company, I told him what we did and what I did. We both had a good laugh about it. That was pretty much company policy. Also in Hue, during the Tet offensive in '68, I observed American fighters and bombers (Phantoms) dropping bombs and napalm into very crowded streets full of civilians. I don't know how many people were wiped out in that place. They blamed that on the NVA. Also, I was flying tail gun at the time on one mission into Hue, and just for kicks, the pilot told me to spray a house with my M-16. I don't know if the house was occupied, but the area was occupied by civilians. This was common policy. Kill anything you want to kill, any time you want to kill it, just don't get caught.

MODERATOR. Thank you, James. Before we go on to the next one I'd like to ask all the veterans that are in here to please leave and give your seats to people that are trying to come in. It's imperative that these people get in and understand know what's going on.

Our next speaker is Kenneth Ruth, an ex-E-4 of the United States Army.

RUTH. My job while in the service was medic. I was attached out to different companies at different times. I'd just like to say that each of us could go on all day talking about atrocities that we witnessed, every veteran in here, not just the guys up here. Each of us saw many, and many of them we all participated in, so I am not going to run into a whole bunch that I saw. I'd just like to name a few. At one time we were securing, which means that we set up a perimeter around it to protect it, and you know you might sit there for four, five, six, seven days, and so we wanted to make sure our weapons were in order. What you do is you test-fire your weapons, just shoot 'em off for about two minutes or so into the distance. Well, we were told one day that we had to test-fire our weapons and be prepared to do it. Well, many of us knew that on the other side of these bushes, out in front of us, was a whole village of people, and that if we did test-fire our weapons, those people would be in jeopardy. So I approached the platoon leader and the platoon sergeant and told them this--that there were civilians on the other side of the village beyond the bushes. I was told first of all by the platoon leader that he just didn't care, and when I told the platoon sergeant about it, he said he'd shoot a Montagnard as fast as he would a Cong, so it didn't make any difference to him. Nobody else cared. This is the general attitude. You know, Vietnamese aren't humans, they're targets. And one other thing I'd just like to point out is when I was one time attached out to the Special Forces once in a while they needed a medic, and I was usually, I usually "volunteered" to go along with them. And one time--I have some slides of this--can you show these slides?

MODERATOR. Can we have those lights dimmed, please?

RUTH. See, I'd just like to point out some of the intelligence and modern interrogation methods used by the modern and sophisticated war machine. This first one will just give you an idea of how we go into a village and get information on enemy movements and things like this. This is our Special Forces. You can't see it too well, but that big guy there, the guy on the far side of the picture there, he's a Special Forces officer or probably an enlisted man, a sergeant, and first of all we go into the village and ask people who they think are Viet Cong.

(Next Slide) So we were given two people that we were told were Viet Cong. See, what we do, is we took these two guys out in the field and we strung one of 'em up in a tree by his arms, tied his hands behind him, and then hung him in the tree.

(Next Slide) There you can clearly see the prisoner being strung up into the tree. Somebody point out that Special Forces man on the far side of the picture, the big guy. That's him right there. That's a Special Forces man. He's running the whole show, and this is all under their command and everything, and it's not the Vietnamese. Now what we did to this man when we strung him up is that he was stripped of all his clothes, and then they tied a string around his testicles and a man backed up about ten feet and told him what would happen if he didn't answer any questions the way they saw fit. Now all we had to go by was that we were told that he was a suspect by other villagers. Now the other villagers weren't going to point out themselves, and somebody had to be pointed out. So they'd ask a guy a question: "Do you know of any enemy units in this area?" and if he said, "No," the guy that was holding that string would just yank on it as hard as he could about ten times, and this guy would be just flying all over the place in pain. And this is what they used--I mean anybody's just going to say anything in a situation like this to get answers out of him. And then when they were done, when the guy was just limp and hanging there, the South Vietnamese indigenous troops who worked with the Special Forces, went up there and then to get kicks, would run their knife through his ear and carve little superficial wounds on his body, not deep ones, but just you know, trickle it down his body to make fun of the guy.

We took a guy to the other end of the village, and we didn't do this, all we did was burn his penis with a cigarette to get answers out of him. And if--I'm sure people understand what that would be like if it was done to yourself or to your children. Like I said, this is just one of the things I saw. I could just go on all day. All of us could. And every GI in this room could say the same thing. But it's not just us. Everybody knows this. It isn't just Lieutenant Calley. I was involved, I know there are so many other people involved in all this American policy in Vietnam.

MODERATOR. I might state that Kenneth Ruth is a police officer and is working on his Master's Degree in Education. All right, the last testimony that we have to give is from myself. I am Michael Hunter, 24. I served in Vietnam two tours, the first tour was from the 1st Air Cav. Bravo Company 5th/7th Air Cav. and the second tour was the 1st Infantry Division, I Company, 75th Rangers, Lurps (LRRP) about 40 miles west of Saigon. The first thing I want to bring to you is that I arrived in Vietnam during the Tet offensive and Bravo Company, 5/7 was already outside of Hue. I flew out, and the second day that I was in the field, we came across a boy--he couldn't have been any older than fourteen--his arm was half, I'd say, 90% blown off. It was hanging by the skin, I mean it was hanging up to here. I requested--as a matter of fact, I didn't request--I demanded, from the medical NCO, that we had there that something be done about him or else he'd die. He was so far gone, as far as deterioration, that he was stinking. You couldn't stand too near his body. The NCO said, "No, I don't want to waste my medical gear. It's no use now wasting our medical gear, because if we make contact we're going to need it. We don't have that readily available medivac or the ships to supply us medical aid." I told my CO and he said, "Well, we don't have the time to stop and help him. He's going to die anyhow. We've got to move on because we got a mission to perform." That was the first incident. Later, in between Hue Phu Bai and Camp Evans, which is also in the I Corps area, we came across and had an awful lot of fire fights with mainly the NVA. After the fire fight was over and the NVA were laying on the trail, we would approach the bodies, we'd shoot again to make sure that they were dead and then we'd carve--and I would say we, meaning myself also--carve Cav. patches (what you see on that gentleman's arm right there) into his chest. And after that, if that wasn't sufficient (and this was done quite a few times) the heads of the bodies were cut off and they were placed on stakes, jammed down on stakes, and were placed in the middle of the trails and a Cav. patch was hammered into the top of his head, with Bravo Company's "B" written right on the top. Now this hasn't happened just once or twice, it happened five or six times. It didn't happen just in Hue, Phu Bai, it happened around the Tay Ninh Province also, when the First Cav. moved north or south. We also dug up bodies, bodies that had been dead, gone for about three or four weeks when we weren't making that much contact, and we would take the skulls and do the exact same thing--put them on the stakes on the trail, put another Cav. patch on it, plus we would use them for body counts, repeated body counts, and what I'm saying, so no one will just misquote me, is that the body count given to the American public is extremely exaggerated. Every bunch of hootches that we came across (and I may say we didn't take activity around the roads unless we were resting) of huts numbering them six to twelve and on up, whether they were occupied or unoccupied, were burned.

And if we didn't have the grenades or satchel charges to destroy the sanctuary holes for the Vietnamese, then we would tear them apart by hand. This was a standing order for Bravo Company 5/7, and it was standing order for 5/7 alone. As far as CS gas, we always used CS. CS is the most powerful gas that can be used that will not kill you. It can create bodily harm if you're close--extremely bad burns. My CO of Bravo Company, 5/7 gave an order, or I should say, gave permission to all the senior NCOs the officers, and the enlisted men who were on guard on the outposts, to use CS on the civilian population who were congregating around the fences or the wires. Now this particular area was a rest area no more than 50 feet from a village directly on a road, and directly between a road and a bridge. The Vietnamese farms or their property lay on the other side of the bridge. They had to go past this bridge to get there. Smoke was constantly thrown outside the fence area at people walking by, and when the kids, and I do mean kids, four years old, ranging up to sixteen years old, came around the fence to sell GIs cigarettes, or candy, or beg for food, they were CSed. And what I mean is they were gassed. This didn't happen just once, it happened constantly, the whole time we were there and when we were in the base camp also. And when we didn't use CS out of the grenade we used CS out of the canister round of the M-79, which, if you're hit by it, you can be killed. We were in a free fire zone just outside of Camp Evans and an old man, age 68, (I must say we could not tell that he was 68 at the time) was approximately 100 meters away from us cutting pineapple. It was very visible that he was cutting pineapple, and that he did not have a weapon. What he had was a machete. Machetes are carried in Vietnam by almost every civilian that works in the field and by the children. I was ordered by the senior NCO that was backing me up at the time, right behind me, to open fire. I opened fire and killed the man that was 68 years old. We found identification on his body stating that he was not a VC, not a Viet Cong, not an NVA. He was a civilian and he did live in the nearby village, which was no more (and this was a free fire zone, I may add) than 1,200 meters away. That was his farmland that he was cutting down--the crops on the farmland. It was reported to the battalion that this was a body count. He had a weapon--the weapon being the machete. Suspected VC. I served with I Company, 75th Rangers, excuse me, H Company, with the 1st Air Cav., and as you know, we do not have permission to cross the Laotian border. Up around A Shau Valley, which you might have heard of, or might not have, we crossed twice. When I say we, I say the teams that I was with, and we located enemy positions--how large the enemy was, its capability, and so on. That is not the thing. The fact is, we crossed a border line illegally. And you haven't heard anything about that yet.

QUESTION. Could you give us a date on that, Mike?

MODERATOR. As far as a date, as far as crossing the Laotian border, that took place in March 1968, twice. That was just prior to the Ashau Valley incident involving the 1st Air Cav., I, One Second. I also served with the 75th Rangers, I Company, attached to the 1st Infantry Division, just outside of Saigon. Prior to my getting there, in March, April, May, and June of '69, one helicopter of Lurps was sent across the Cambodian borderline, and I may add this was also illegal because we had no right in sending troops over there. The chopper was lost. It was hit by a B-40 rocket round and exploded in mid-air. We lost seven Lurps and four crewmen. Another time, another team was sent across the borderline, dropped off just short of it, walked across, and was never heard from again. To this day they are missing in action, presumably killed in Vietnam. Now, as far as atrocities, my company, Bravo Company, 5th of the 7th, when we were outside of Hue shortly after the Tet offensive, went into a village (and this happened repeatedly afterwards) and searched for enemy activity. We encountered a large amount of civilian population. The civilian population was brought out to one end of the village, and the women, who were guarded by a squad and a squad leader at that time, were separated. I might say the young women were separated from their children and the older women and the older men, the elderly men. They were told at gunpoint that if they did not submit to the sexual desires of any GI who was there guarding them, they would be shot for running away. And this was best put in the language as best possible for the people that cannot speak Vietnamese and they got the point across because three women submitted to the raping of the GIs. I think that pretty well does it.

QUESTION. Mike, back to the body count. Were the body counts just enemy or were they men, women, and children? You said they were grossly exaggerated. Does that include the men, women, and children?

MODERATOR. A body count is a body count. I mean, that's exactly what it says. When the battalion commander calls up and says he wants a body count, if there are men, women, and children laying out there, he gets a body count of that many people. And usually we'd count about five bodies and it gets back there and it's about 25 or 15 bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED PANELIST. I'd like to add something to that. I know on numerous occasions, when we would receive contact in the field, we would call in support--artillery, gunships (by that I mean helicopters) and, if necessary, jet fighters. Now, every time someone is killed, there is kind of a dispute over who got him. So the Air Force claims one, the Artillery claims one, the Infantry claims one, and the gunships claim one. So you've got only one body, but you've got four people claiming it. Ah, I don't know, it was my distinct impression that during periods that I was over there, that we weren't winning the war.

MODERATOR. OK, I'll open it up to the press now and to questions, for a brief amount of time because we are way overtime as it is now.

QUESTION. I am not clear on the point I think Robert was making, or somebody else over there, about the role of the point men and how the black GIs are used as point men. This is not clear. I don't understand that. Could you amplify that point?

ANSWER. The point man is a function where the company moves in three ranks, somewhat like a wedge. The point man is in the middle column in the front. If there are any booby traps with a wire, the wire hits him. Any enemy in a concealed position waiting to ambush, day or night--the point man sees him. The point man should be super-alert, super-apprehensive but at the same time collected enough to function. Like if he gets shot at and he is pinned down, he should be able to not only keep things cool to his front, but at the same time get word back exactly what he thinks is up there. It's extremely dangerous. Most point men are volunteer. If they are volunteer, they're gung ho and got their just-come-uppance. Or the practice of fragging, which you might have heard about where certain career-motivated personnel have to be disciplined by the EM (enlisted men). Standard procedure is the first time to put a CS grenade in his lodging. You know, he sleeps on a cot, most other people sleep in the mud. If he still doesn't straighten up, hand grenade or claymore. This happened to our master sergeant in 8th Brigade.

QUESTION. My name is _____ and I'm from the Detroit Women's Media Co-Op. I have a couple of questions. The people mentioned that there was brutality done to people's testicles and stuff like that. I just wanted to know if that kind of specifically sexual brutality to men is done a lot, you know, is a lot of brutality aimed at a guy's penis and stuff like that because people talk about what they've seen with the...

MODERATOR. Do you want any one of the panel to answer that question?

ANSWER. Anybody that knows about it.

MODERATOR. Yes, Dave. The question was about the pictures of people torturing the men by wires and other means by using their testicles. Is this done frequently?

STARK. I can't speak too much for the frequency of it, as much as for the reason. There are two basic reasons for it. One is that if you are looking for information, you seek the most sensitive areas of their body. If you're out in the field, you basically want to degrade them more. And attacking their sexual organs would be more degrading that their arms or legs.

MODERATOR. Okay, we are extremely overtime. Okay, the last one, since you had your hand up. Go ahead.

QUESTION. I was in Vietnam with a service project that was a private program. It wasn't anything to do with the government. I lived in An Khe, in a refugee camp. I didn't see torture, but I heard a lot of stories because I spoke Vietnamese, from the refugees there. And I think that it does no good to tell of all these atrocities unless you explain what you understand of why we are in Vietnam and I learned one Vietnamese phrase very well from these people "De Quoc My" it means American imperialist.

AUDIENCE. Right on.

SAME QUESTIONER. Please, each of you, try and explain what you understand from this. Whey are you working in the Police Department after being in Vietnam? These people are working at the base for $.50 to $1.00 a day. And they have to eat rice from the United States. They were rice farmers. They left their villages because they had been forced to leave them and forced to work on the American base because there was no alternative. They were filling sandbags, cutting grass, doing anything. Their kids couldn't go to school because they had to sell peanuts and pop to the soldiers. They hung laundry, which was given to them to wash as a security measure by the GIs. They have machines on the base. This was in order to give them some means of income. They washed it by hand.

UNIDENTIFIED PANELIST. Could you come down, please, to the room at the end of the corridor? I'd be glad to rap with you about that. If you were over there and you want to know how the GI looks at it--the ideologies--and you referred to him being a cop now -- The difference is believing in what you are doing and being forced into what you are doing. I'd like to talk to you later about that.

SAME QUESTIONER. Who is the enemy?

MODERATOR. Well, I'm sorry. I wish we could sit up here all day and talk to you, but we are 45 minutes overtime and we're keeping other people from coming up and testifying to atrocities that happened in Vietnam. At this time I'd like to thank you, the press, and my brothers and sisters out there, all of you, and thank you very much. I forgot to remind you that every person that sat at this panel for the 1st Air Cav. has stated that they would swear, under oath, for everything that they have said.
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

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Part 1 of 2


MODERATOR. This afternoon the people on this panel are going to be testifying about weapons. And, I would like to take this time to introduce myself and the members who are going to give testimony. My name is David Braum and for military purposes my serial number was RA13766564. The Pentagon has a record of it and the paper can check it out. In Vietnam, in 1963 and 1964, I was a helicopter crew chief with the 119th Aviation Battalion, assigned to 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, headquartered at Pleiku, and operating out of II Corps. I went there under the adviser myth during the administration of John F. Kennedy and later Lyndon Johnson and I worked in I Corps, II Corps, and the Delta, so I've seen a fairly good section of Vietnam. My qualifications to be the moderator this afternoon for the Weapons Panel are that in civilian life I was, for five years, purchasing all materials and supplies for the United States Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Army and the CIA, and I worked for Columbia University's Government Contract Purchasing Division. The members of the panels this afternoon are: Dr. Bert Pfeiffer, whose subject will be defoliation in Vietnam; Mr. Art Kanegis, who will discuss automated battlefield equipment and anti-personnel weapons; Mr. Doug Hostetter, who will document actual effects of chemical and biological warfare programs on people, animals and crops in the Southeast Asian area; Mr. Richard Ward, who will show you the results of bombing in North Vietnam and Laos, and Mr. Wilbur Forester, former 1st Lieutenant with the American Marine, 11th Marine Division. He was an artillery officer and he will be here to provide testimony relevant to Art Kanegis' material on battlefield electronic equipment. I would like to make an opening statement and I quote, "Every violation of the law of war is a war crime," as published in the United States Army Field Manual 27-10, the Law of Land Warfare, page 179. We are going to be able to, if you need it, document the applicable laws under the Geneva Convention and various treaties should these questions arise later. I would like to begin by having Dr. Bert Pfeiffer introduce himself and give you his qualifications to discuss the subject of defoliation. Dr. Pfeiffer.

PFEIFFER. Thank you very much, Dave. I want to say that it's a real honor for me to have been invited by this outstanding group of Vietnam war veterans to participate in this very important meeting. First, I'd like to say that I am a biologist, professor of zoology at the University of Montana. I've taken my degree in Biology at the University of California, at Berkeley, some years ago. With respect to the thing I want to talk about, which is the chemical war in Vietnam, with particular reference to anti-plant chemicals, I would say that I, like many of my colleagues, have been greatly concerned about this massive use of these chemicals; they've never before been used for military purposes and we have been very concerned about what the short and long-term effects were. Our concern, which dates way back to when they were first being used, has been thoroughly confirmed by the evidence that I am going to present and some others will. My concern has led me to Indochina on three different trips. In '69 I went, sponsored by a group of scientists, Social Scientists for Social Responsibility. We spent about two weeks mostly with the DOD people with the Air Force. I flew with the 12th Air Commando Squadron on a couple of defoliating raids. We made one raid up into the Plain of Reeds, a heavy suppression mission. We'll get into that a little bit more later on. On my second trip, I was fortunate enough to be the guest of the Royal Government of Prince Sihanouk, the man who I still consider to be the legal ruler of Cambodia. We were in his country as his official guests, just about a year ago, 13 months ago, to inspect the damage caused by American defoliating aircraft in his neutral country, at that time, and I want to talk about that. A third trip took me into Laos and parts of North Vietnam. I might also say, I suppose it's pertinent to indicate that I had five years from '40 to '45 in the Armed Forces fighting the war against Fascism which we all know has not been completely won yet. I want to, as I say, talk about chemical war and go through this rather lengthy paper that I want to summarize and then show you some slides. The chemical war that the Americans have been carrying out in Vietnam and other areas in Indochina as we will see it, is of two components: one, anti-plant warfare, anti-herbicidal warfare and anti-personnel gases. I'm going to say a little bit about gases. Not very much, and spend considerable time with the anti-plant chemicals. These are known as herbicides because they do kill plants; they also in lesser amounts defoliate them; they remove the leaves; and they also damage plants (some of the agents) by drying them up. The one we use against the rice, Agent Bile, is a desiccating agent. It makes the plant die. Now, the other agents are synthetic plant hormones. When we put the slides on I'll show you the chemical formulations for them, but they are essentially called briefly 24D and 245T and picklerram and I want to emphasize one should not confuse these with things like DDT or pesticides. These chemicals act more or less like plant hormones.

They interrupt plant metabolism and in relatively low amounts do not have too much effect on animal systems although it has been found, and we'll hear more about this, Agent Orange the one most commonly used--something like 120,000 tons of this agent has been dropped upon Vietnam in the past 7 years by the United States--this has now been found to be highly toxic to experimental animals because it causes in a wide range of animals, chicks, rats, and guinea pigs a very high incidence of malformed offspring and stillborn young. Now the levels at which this will produce these pathologies in experimental animals is such that if the Vietnamese women are as sensitive as a laboratory rat is, they can very well ingest enough of these chemicals to produce malformed infants. As you know, there are many reports in Vietnamese papers about increasing numbers of malformed infants and this is a possibility. It's not proved yet that we may have created a really catastrophic situation with respect to future generations because of the use of these chemicals. The Department of Defense has recognized the toxicity of this Agent Orange which until last year was the most popular one in use and they have, as you probably all know, banned the use of this agent for any more activity at all in Vietnam. It's one of the most irresponsible situations, I think, one can imagine where for eight years they used a thing that they finally realized was too toxic and had to be removed. Now, there have been several groups of scientists who have assessed the effects of this chemical war, anti-plant warfare, on Vietnam. Dr. Shirley of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, myself, Dr. Orient, Dr. Westing and, very recently, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, concluded a study--in fact, they got back in September of '70, and they have summarized what all of us who have been there have found, and I want to quote now their summary--rather briefly--from their official publication called Science. This, that I'm going to read was published in the January 8, 1971 issue. It says, "As a result of the anti-plant chemicals dumped upon Vietnam, one-fifth to one-half of South Vietnam's mangrove forests have been utterly destroyed and even now, years after spraying, there is almost no sign of life. Half of these trees in the mature hardwood forests north and west of Saigon are dead and the massive invasion of apparently worthless bamboo threatens to take over the area for decades to come. Six point two billion board feet of merchantable timber has been destroyed at a loss to the South Vietnamese economy of a half a million dollars minimum. The army's crop destruction program which seeks to deny food to enemy soldiers has been a near total failure because nearly all the food destroyed would actually have been consumed by civilian populations, particularly Montagnards."

This AAAS team, made up of Dr. Maiselson, one of the country's leading biologists, found evidence of shocking deficiencies in the precautions taken by the U.S. military authorities to protect the civilian populations from needless attack under the Army's Crop Destruction Program. About five hundred thousand acres of arable land have been sprayed, good cultivable land, have been sprayed according to the Army's figures, the actual figures probably much more. This amounts to enough food, Maiselson and his group calculated, on the basis of that many acres having been destroyed, to feed six hundred thousand persons for one year was destroyed. This is concrete proof that the main purpose of this was not to deny food to NLF soldiers but to deny it to civilian populations in areas that we did not control. Most of this spraying has been in the food-scarce central highlands which is principally inhabited by Montagnards. This AAAS team this summer was flown over an area in Guang Ngai Province. (I'll show you one of the slides that they have lent me) where crop destruction operations had been conducted only a few days previously. They were accompanied by the chemical operations officer, a colonel, who had planned the operation, and he assured them that the fields destroyed were growing food for the NLF. The reasons given for his assessment were found by this official team to be all false. Although the officer said there were no dwellings below and none could be seen from the air, aerial photographs taken by the AAAS and a map in 1965 indicated more than nine hundred dwellings in the area suggesting that that target area had housed about, or was inhabited by, some five thousand, mostly civilian people. The boundaries of the fields seen in the photographs compared with ones in 1965 indicated no major crop expansion. The AAAS team concluded the land cultivation was just about enough to support people apparently living there. They said, "Our observations lead us to believe that precautions to avoid destroying crops of indigenous civilian populations have been a failure. Nearly all the food destroyed would actually have been consumed by such populations." Now I want to ask the question, "Does the use of these anti-plant chemicals violate the terms of the Geneva Protocol of 1925?"

This, as you know, outlaws chemical and biological warfare. The Nixon administration maintains that the use of anti-plant chemicals does not. However, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution last year making clear that those countries that voted for it viewed the Geneva Protocol as prohibiting herbicides in war. The resolution declares that any chemical agents of warfare which might be employed because of their direct toxic effects on animals, man or plants, is prohibited by the generally recognized rule of international law. The vote was 80 to 3 to ban anti-plant chemicals. Only Australia and Portugal joined the United States in opposing this resolution. Crop destruction involves violating more than the Geneva Protocol of 1925. It involves violation of two other rules of international law. They are both embodied in treaties which the U.S. has ratified. As you know, we have not ratified the Geneva Protocol, so we are not theoretically violating a law there. The first rule is from a 1907 Hague Convention. It prohibits employing poisons or poisonous weapons in war. The U.S. Official Army Field Manual on the law of warfare, which we've just heard referred to, clearly implies that this 1907 rule bans the use of defoliants to kill crops intended to feed civilian non-combatants, whether enemy or not. One of the crimes against humanity of which the German leader Goering was convicted was the denial of food, the removal of food, from occupied territory to supply German needs, and if this resulted in starvation, this was one of the crimes with which he was charged. The U.S. also supported the prosecution of Japanese military officials for the destruction of crop-growing lands in China. In 1949, the Geneva Convention, relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war, forbids occupying powers from destroying enemy farm lands except in the event of absolute military necessities. So we have the Hague Convention and the 1949 Geneva Convention which specifically ruled out poisoning food for civilians. According to Professor George Bun, who spoke three weeks ago at the AAAS convention in Chicago, a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin and formerly General Consul of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, he concluded that American spraying of Vietnamese civilian food crops with herbicides is totally inconsistent with the rules of international law. In addition to spraying anti-plant chemicals in Vietnam, the U.S. has sprayed the neutral kingdom of Cambodia in April and May of '69, exactly one year before Nixon openly invaded the country.

As I said, I had the honor with Dr. Westing of Windham College in Putney, Vermont, to be the guests of the Royal Government who took us on a ten-day tour all through the defoliated areas. I'll show you some photographs. About 180,000 acres of Eastern Cambodia, what is called Fishhook, was sprayed by an agency of the United States government, the name of which we cannot find. The U.S. government is negotiating to pay something like twelve million dollars damage for this violation of Cambodian neutrality, but when one asks (I've asked Senator Mansfield, Senator McIntyre of the Armed Services Committee), they cannot find what agency of the government mounted this massive attack. It's a rather bizarre phenomenon that the files got lost or something. As a result of this attack, which most Americans probably don't know even happened, one-third of the rubber trees in production in Cambodia were damaged and it has very severely knocked out Cambodia's principal source of foreign exchange--rubber. In the area actually hit, rubber production fell 35% to 45%. Damages to crops other than rubber were estimated by the Cambodian government to be approximately 1.2 million dollars. The area that was hit was inhabited by about 30,000 people and their crops of pineapple, guava, jackfruit, and papaya were simply destroyed. Approximately 45,000 jackfruit trees were killed, and I think you know that the jackfruit tree is one of the principal sources of food for the peasants of Indochina. Now, in addition to anti-plant chemicals, we are, of course, using anti-personnel gases. The only ones that I know much about are CS, DM, and CN. CS is a fast-acting tear-gas. As you know, we have CS2 now which is very persistent. It is spread as small silicanized pellets and will last for many, many weeks. DM is a vomiting agent. CS and CN are so-called tear-gases. The U.S. has maintained that since these agents are in routine civilian use that they're just anti-personnel weapons. They do not constitute gas war. They are not lethal. However, I want to categorically state that there is conclusive proof that adamsite DM gas has killed people, civilians, and I want to read the letter. In 1967 I received a letter from Dr. Algy Vetama, the medical director of the Canadian Aid Mission to Vietnam. And he directed the TB hospital at Quang Ngai. Dr. Vetama wrote me as follows:

During the last three years I have examined and treated a number of patients, men, women, and children, who have been exposed to a type of war gas, the name of which I do not know. The type of gas used makes one quite sick when one touches the patient or inhales the breath from their lungs. The patient usually gives a history of having been hiding in a cave or tunnel or bunker, into which a canister of gas was thrown in order to force them to leave their hiding place. These patients that have come to my attention were very ill with signs and symptoms of gas poisoning similar to those that I have seen in veterans from the First World War treated at Queen Mary Hospital in Montreal. The mortality rate of adults is about 10%, while the mortality rate in children is about 90%.
This is from a respected member of the Canadian medical profession whom I have met and he has attested to the veracity of this letter. It seems clear to me that in using herbicides and anti-personnel gases, the U.S. is violating several international rules of law, some of which have been ratified by the U.S. government. I want to conclude by briefly mentioning another very serious violation concerning conventional weapons, the results of which I personally witnessed and photographed in Cambodia. This was about 200 miles north of where the defoliation occurred. It was an attack upon a Cambodian anti-aircraft position in late November 1969 in which 25 Cambodian soldiers were killed by 500-lb. bombs by F-100 fighter planes. It is the post at Dak Dahm, which is right across from the Special Forces camp at Bu Prang. I don't know if you people know where that is, up in the central highlands. Now, the reason for the attack was that the Cambodians had defended their air space by shooting an American observation plane, shooting it down, that had been flying over them. In response, the United States Air Force attacked this position, killed these Cambodian soldiers and attacked a hospital. I'll show you the destroyed, well-marked hospital; and they also attacked an ambulance. The United States government, on February 20th, 1970, issued a statement in which it apologized for this. The U.S. government expressed its profound regrets and condolences and requested the Royal Cambodian government to facilitate the payment of the equivalent of $400 to the next of kin of each twenty-five persons killed. I don't know how you assess the life of a Cambodian at $400 per person. I'm quoting the State Department now. "In addition, the U.S. expresses its special regret and apologies for the attack upon an ambulance, the character of which the pilots concerned inadvertently failed to distinguish." I saw photographs of this ambulance; it was a white vehicle, well marked with a red cross.

This incident was investigated by the International Control Commission. I talked with the Indian, the chief of that commission; he verified what the Cambodians told us and what we saw. This was sold in the United States as an attack upon a North Vietnamese Army artillery position inside Cambodia. This was the justification given for this attack. This was a complete lie. I can verify this. The only places that were attacked were well-marked Cambodian installations. There were no North Vietnamese anywhere in the area. I'd like to conclude this short presentation; then we'll switch to the pictures. It should be recalled that President Nixon, in his May 1st speech announcing the invasion of Cambodia, stated that the U.S. had always scrupulously respected the neutrality of Cambodia, and it was the North Vietnamese who were violating the territorial integrity of that kingdom. The attack upon Dak Dahm, with the destruction and killing of twenty-five Cambodian soldiers and the defoliation attack that I just described and that I will show you pictures of, show, I think, how far from the truth the President of the United States can stray. Could somebody get the lights and we'll run through these pictures, so you can see I wasn't making these things up. This is just a slide of types of chemicals, just to show I really am a scientist. I can go into ... dicholorphenoxyaceticacid, that is.

(Next Slide) Now the next slide simply shows how it's escalated and only takes it up to about '68. I want to say that my friend, Art Westing, who just came back, has calculated that about 12% of the total land surface has been sprayed with these chemicals, something like 50% of the hardwood forests of Vietnam have been hit, a very high percentage of them having been killed, the merchandizable timber. This is not a Tarzan-type useless jungle. The timber industry is a very important part of the economy of Vietnam.

(Next Slide) Now this slide shows the way in which the spraying has been done. These are C-123 aircraft. They carry 1,000 gallons in their fuselage of the defoliant. The raid that we went on was a heavy suppression mission. We were accompanied by F-100 fighter bombers dropping CBUs because we have to get down just above treetops and fly quite slowly about 130 knots and then this is applied at a rate of about 27 pounds per acre. The maximum in my home state is two pounds per acre, so you can see there's quite a difference in the amount of stuff we put out over there. (Next Slide) These are some slides given to me by Dave Braum.

It shows you again C-123s. Now the interesting things are the Vietnamese markings on this one, but I'm told by Dave that this is flown by American pilots with Vietnamese markings on the aircraft so the U.S. government can say, of course, that this is the Vietnamese doing it, not us.

(Next Slide) Here's another shot. If you focus that, I think that they have pipes with nozzles. I think there's something like sixteen nozzles coming out the wings and tail and they lay down a very wide swath of this chemical. It comes out as an aerosol, and it falls on the roofs of houses if they're down below and this is what's pertinent here. I took this on the border between Cambodia and Vietnam. This is a typical situation in a village. The people during the monsoon collect their drinking water off rooftops. This pipe runs into a great big earthen cistern. You see, they sell them (the cisterns) in the marketplace. They're huge; they hold, oh, forty, fifty gallons, I guess, and we have calculated that, at the rate of application a spray plane dumped this Agent Orange on the roof of that house during the rainy season, enough stuff could wash into the drinking water of a pregnant woman so that if she's as sensitive as rats, she'd get enough dose to make a malformed offspring. Now, keep in mind that thalidomide, which also does this (what I'm saying is this Agent Orange is a thalidomide type agent), if it's like thalidomide, women are much more sensitive to it, in terms of malformations, than the rats were, but we don't know but what this isn't true of this Agent Orange.

(Next Slide) That's why it's been banned. It's no longer in use. This is what it does to chicks. We'll just run through these in a hurry. I was given samples of all three agents, Agent Orange, White and Blue, that we use over there, by the chemical operations at Tan-Son-Hut Air Base. I had them tested for toxicity by a (look at these malformed limbs on these chicks) U.S. Food and Drug Administration doctor, Dr. Jacqueline Veret. She found all of the agents that we use over there highly toxic to chick embryos in her preparations. Keep in mind that we're dumping tons and tons of this on these people.

(Next Slide) We now know that all of them are toxic. Now here's the way it looks when you fly over a sprayed area in the Saigon River Delta. This is down near Vung Tau and you can see a swath of gray.

(Next Slide) This is a healthy mangrove swamp. The reason that we sprayed in here was the freighters coming up from the South China Sea to supply Saigon have to go through these narrow channels and the military felt that it would prevent ambush if we defoliated the area, so just hundreds of square miles have been killed.

The next picture shows you what it looks like. We went sixty-five miles on PBRs down through there and these mangroves are killed. They're not sure whether they'll ever come back. Westing, who's a forester, the second time he was in there, couldn't see any sign of regeneration. These things were sprayed maybe eight years ago. There's nothing green at all. No birds, no nothing.

(Next Slide) Here's a close-up that Art Westing took. This is what you call a free fire zone and we went down on a BBR with our flak jackets and all. He made a landing here and took these pictures and took soil samples in August of this summer (1970). Now, I want to say a word or two about this because the same PBR that took the AAAS scientists down went down a week later and at the precise point where this picture was taken, where the Americans had made a landing, the NLF had brought up a forty-millimeter rocket and wiped out that PBR one week after my friends got off. Now, there's a lesson here, because it proves that this defoliation did not prevent the ambush. The other side got in there even though it was defoliated and did the damage that the Army said it was preventing.

(Next Slide) There's a very serious erosion problem. I think those of you who have had some ecology, know that happens when you remove the top comver of a forest. Now, here's a hardwood forest. These are dead trees; these trees are probably 150 feet high. They're logostromia...We saw a lot of them in Cambodia. They're a very, very valuable source of timber. This is the sort of tree that I said 6.2 billion board feet have been killed, particularly up and around war zone C & D, Tay Ninh northwest.

PFEIFFER. (Next Slide) Now, this is the valley in Quang Ngai that was sprayed. You see the brown swath right down that valley. The Ranch Hand boys, the ones who defoliate, the Twelfth Air Commando Squadron. I think it was that did this, got almost all that rice. Now, the colonel told the AAAS team that was all destined for NLF soldiers. In fact, they found out from the USAID people that it was all Montagnards living there.

(Next Slide) Now, we're on the Cambodian border now. I just want to show you what's really there. This is in Me Mot. This is the place, if I can diverge a little bit and get a little political, that President Nixon pointed his finger to this town and said it'd been the headquarters of the NVA in Cambodia for the last five years. He said this place was completely controlled by the NVA. Well, there they are, but if you know Indochina, they're all Cambodians.

As you know, the Vietnamese look very different from Cambodians. Cambodians are much larger, much darker, they wear totally different dress, the women do. I should also point out that in this so-called communist sanctuary in Cambodia, the Sihanouk government had invited and actually took through this area, this commie sanctuary, four American experts in July of 1969. They were taken all through, they flew over the commie sanctuaries in helicopters. One of them is Charles Minnerick from Fort Detrick and it doesn't seem logical to me that if it was what Nixon characterized it to be, that they would have allowed officers from Fort Detrick and Washington, D.C. to wander all through those sanctuaries so I think he was misinformed on that. I'm going to take you all through these communist sanctuaries in Cambodia. Here we are flying over 'em now. This is in a Royal Cambodian airplane. You see over the right wing is Black Virgin Mountain in Tay Ninh. I don't know if anybody's been up on that. A lot of people died on that mountain. It now belongs, I think, to the NLF.

(Next Slide) Here we are flying over a defoliated Cambodian rubber plantation. This, as I say, Nixon said, was completely under NVA control. The facts are these were very lucrative French-owned rubber plantations and there were many, many French people living there and Belgian, the plant pathologists with their wives and children. We asked them, "Have you seen any military activity, any soldiers?" "None at all, just a few of the Royal Cambodian Army troops." It's interesting that the rubber plantations of Cambodia were the world's second largest source of natural rubber. I dare to think of what the first source is. It's U.S. Firestone in Liberia. I don't know if there's any connection between the destruction of the second-French-owned one and the first.

(Next Slide) Cambodian rubber production is now completely destroyed. Here's the way it looked on the ground. We are now in the heart of the sanctuaries. The Vietnam border is just down that road. It was through this road that many of the American troops came across into Cambodia. I saw them on TV shooting right into this very plantation.

(Next Slide) Now, I want to show you some of the other...(you saw what happened to the rubber trees) now this is jackfruit tree. There's a little Cambodian boy. It's perfectly obvious the difference.

See, they look very different from Vietnamese. These jackfruit were killed with a single application. They're like the mangroves. They don't just defoliate, they die. See, there's a big branch of one of the earlier fruits remaining. It's a very good source of food for these people.

(Next Slide) As I say, thirty thousand people were in the area. Now this is interesting from the standpoint of a biologist because we're taking these pictures eight months after the attack and this is what is known as a custard apple. It should be about the size of a grapefruit and a nice, big, green, juicy thing, but due to this chemical (we don't yet know exactly what it was because it's hard to get anything out of Uncle Sam about this attack), whatever it was, it caused these fruits to dry out and go black. And this was very rough on these peasants. They're subsistence farmers. There are no supermarkets for them to go down and buy food. They grow most of their own food.

(Next Slide) Now this is what it did to papaya. These are leaves they have eight months later and the tree is still sick as a dog. The leaves have refoliated by now they're dying and the fruit is very, very deformed. Keep in mind, these herbicidal weapons are very, very effective against subsistence farmer populations of the sort that we have in Indochina, Africa, and South America and if we don't put a stop to their use now, I think we're going to see them employed against Third World peoples on a tremendous scale. We were told when we were in Vietnam the only limits to the operation at that time was the fact that they did not have enough C-123s and crews to do it. Now, I want to conclude by showing you--I just can't resist showing you--what happened to the Cambodians at Dak Dahm. That is a Soviet thirty-seven millimeter aircraft gun, which they have every right to have, and it had fired at an American plane. While we were there, we saw at least three aircraft openly violate, fly right over, right across Cambodia--American aircraft. The whole gun crew here was killed, of course.

(Next Slide) Here's a trench. About fifteen of them were dug out of this trench where they were taking cover. On the skyline there is Vietnam and the Special Forces camp at Bu Prang. We can see it. What made the Americans mad and was that they want to be able to fly over Cambodia to maintain good aerial reconnaissance and because the Cambodians had the gall to defend their air space, they decided to take out this post.

(Next Slide) There is the smashed up hospital. And it was well-marked. There were bomb craters about one hundred feet away from this. We picked up medicine, etc. The point about this hospital was it was at least a quarter of a mile from the gun positions. It was deliberately attacked. I'm ashamed to have breaks my heart to have to say this about...what our government had done. Whether this is an aberrant phenomenon, I don't know...but I saw this with my own eyes. Here are the broken bottles.

(Next Slide) This is Art Westing down in one of these craters. This is a five hundred pound bomb crater. This is the one that knocked over the hospital. It was not aimed at the military installation at all.

MODERATOR. Thank you very much, Dr. Pfeiffer. In order to facilitate a considerable amount of questioning later, rather than allowing questions now (we had fewer panelists here than we had with the other group), we'll go on with the testimony and then we'll all tie it together for you in the end. The next person to speak to you will be Mr. Doug Hostetter, who will discuss the actual effects of chemical-biological warfare programs on people, animals and crops in the Southeast Asian area.

HOSTETTER. My name is Doug Hostetter. I'm a resident of Harrisonburg, Virginia, currently in school in New York City in the New School for Social Research, graduate study in Sociology. I worked for three years for Vietnam Christian Service from July 1966 until June 1969 in Community Development in the village of Dahm Ke in the Province of Quong Thimh, South Vietnam. During that time, I learned to speak Vietnamese and lived in the area and learned to know the people quite well. I recently got back from a National Student Association trip both to Saigon and Hanoi during the month of December. I spent ten days in Saigon and at that time and eight days in Hanoi and surrounding areas. I'll speak a little bit first about the use of defoliation and the movement of personnel, specifically refugees. Quong Thinh Province has a population of about 300,000 people. According to the government statistics in 1966, over 100,000 people in this area were refugees. The people from western Quong Thinh from about a kilometer west of Route 1 all the way to the Laotian border, were almost completely removed with the exception of two Special Forces camps--one at Dien Phuk and one at Han Duc. The movement of these refugees was done in a number of ways. Earlier there had been attempts to move them by taking American troops in with helicopters and bringing them out by helicopters. They were unable to get all of the people in this method, and in some areas, it was too insecure to take in American choppers. So for these areas, they would go across the areas, heavily defoliating the areas. I speak Vietnamese and I would go out to the Vietnamese in the reception center and ask them about the situation in the homes where they had come from.

All of the areas west of Quong Thinh have been heavily defoliated. The reason why most of the people came in was because there was no more food to eat or because they were forcibly brought in by American helicopters. The people said that usually right around the harvest time, the planes would come over and defoliate the whole area. It would destroy all of the rice crop and any other above-the-ground vegetation. Sweet potatoes and peanuts that were reasonably developed could be dug up and could be lived on for a short period of time, but if an area was repeatedly defoliated, they were not able to subsist from one planting to the next on sweet potatoes and peanuts and so they would be forced to come in. During this time I did have the chance at times to go into areas which were defoliated by American planes out of Da Nang. In March of '68 I went into villages, the village of Ke Phu, Quong Thinh Province, and talked with the farmers and villagers in this area. They informed me that about four or five days before I had come there, the area had been defoliated. I checked back and the attempt had been to defoliate the village of Ke Ahn, which at that time was under the control of the National Liberation Front, but that morning there had been heavy coastal winds which had lifted the defoliants up over one village and landed them down in Ke Phu and Ke Troung villages. I spoke with farmers and they informed me that they had lost cattle, pigs, water buffalo, ducks, and chickens.

Another farmer showed me the dead animals.

I talked to quite a number of the farmers and I made up a list of how many water buffalo, pigs, and cattle the farmers had lost because this was in a Saigon government village. I took the list with the names of the villagers, the hamlets, and the villages which they had come from, and took it to the MACV headquarters in Dahm Ke. I spoke with the Deputy Province Adviser for Quong Thinh Province and also with a number of CORDSC people--Civilian Organization Revolutionary Development Support Command. I spoke with both of these men and I informed them of the villages that had been defoliated and according to CORDSC regulations, they had to go back and pay these villagers for their losses in livestock and losses in rice, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. When I told the officers about the cattle, pigs, and water buffalo being lost, they referred me to the Army Manual which assured me that these defoliants do not in any way harm or injure any human beings or animals so, therefore, these animals did not die. I gave them the names of the farmers, the hamlets from which they came, and the villages and districts, and asked them to go out and speak with the farmers and persuade them that their animals had not died. They all declined at this point. There were no reparations paid for crops or animals killed during this time. You were informed by Dr. Pfeiffer that after much pressure from American scientists, Agent Orange has been discontinued officially by the American forces in South Vietnam. What has happened is that these defoliants have been turned over to the Vietnamese government so that the Americans no longer have control over Agent Orange and its use. According to American officials.

Two weeks ago, Judy Coburn of the Institute of Policy Studies was in the airport of Da Nang and saw the barrels of Agent Orange standing in the airport. When asking about it, she was again informed that these are no longer under American control. You also noted from the photographs that the airplanes which are now flying the defoliation missions are marked with Vietnamese markings so that it is an official Vietnamese operation now. However, due to the fact that they have no Vietnamese pilots that can fly C-123s they have to be flown by American pilots. But it is a Vietnamese operation now and the Americans officially are not using Agent Orange in Vietnam. You will be glad to hear that, I'm sure. While I was in Hanoi, I spoke with Dr. Nguyen Swong Nguyen of the Bien Vinh Hanoi Hospital. He works in the ward that is dedicated to Southerners, which treats the Southerners, that come up to the North. I will read just a few quotes from his report from our interview:

In our hospital we have 903 patients from the South. One hundred seventy-nine of these show the effects of chemicals; of these, 90 are men, 19 are women, and 70 are children. They have lived in the affected zones for periods of two months to five years. When speaking of the symptoms, the first symptoms (this is in people who have been exposed to defoliation) appear in 24 hours to a few days. These are irritations of the eyes and nose. After this time there is disturbance of the digestive system, vomiting and diarrhea. Those hit directly also have irritation of the skin and later swelling. In addition to these symptoms, there are other symptoms which appear later, perhaps as complications of the earlier effects, and some as direct but chronic effects. The most important is malaise and asthenia (general weakness). Treatment involves five to six months in bed. Another symptom is weakness of the eyes. Patients can read no more than three to five minutes. Ocular complications result in hyperocudidity, lesions affecting up to 24.6% of the eye. Of the 19 women we have treated in North Vietnam, four of them were pregnant. One was delivered in South Vietnam, the other three in the north. One child was normal, the other three were abnormal. One child was one month premature. All of the mothers had been in the defoliated areas, at least through the sixth through the eighth week of pregnancy. The mothers were all normal, and had not taken any medication during pregnancy, and none had ever been x-rayed. There were no abnormalities in any of their families for three generations. One of the abnormal children was a typical Mongoloid, and another was a Mongoloid plus microcephalic, and the third was a Mongoloid with many other abnormalities. Mongoloidism usually occurs in older women, but these women ranged in age from 23 to 37. For three of the women, it was her first child, and for the fourth, it was her third. The first child, which I met, and talked with the mother and saw the child (these pictures I've all taken personally) is Wang Thi Tute, 3 years old, and his mother is Lei Ting Yu Mai. She was from Quong Nam Province, Phuk Shan village. The mother lived four years in the defoliated zone, but was never hit directly by the chemical spray. She drank water and ate food from the area. The child shows effects of being a typical Mongoloid; the eyelids have an extra wrinkle typical of Mongoloidism, and there is only one crossline across the palm. Feet and hands can both be bent back in the wrong direction, and the heels can easily be made to touch the ear. The child cannot walk or talk, except to say "Mama." The second child is Nguyen Thi Thi, and the mother is Trang Thi Chuc, Quang Tri Province, the village of Trich Phung. The mother lived two months in a defoliated zone. When seven weeks pregnant, she was hit directly with defoliation chemicals. She went to the North when she was four months pregnant and the child was born there; this was her first child. The child has one line across the palm, has a small head, and shows symptoms of having no cerebrum. The child convulses with legs crossed and head tilted backwards. The hard palate of the mouth is much higher than normal; there are lesions in the respiratory system. When the child breathes, the neck immediately above the chest collapses inward. The child can only eat, defecate, and urinate. The third child is Wang Thi Aich; the mother had two previous. The mother Wang Thi Li, 37 years old, Quang Tri Province, Cam Lo village. The mother had two previous children, 15 years of age and 17 years of age. Both are normal. The mother was hit directly with chemical spray when seven weeks pregnant. The child was born in North Vietnam. The child's head is flat from behind with prominent forehead; index finger is flat, three toes are abnormally long. The left foot has six toes. Tear ducts, instead of running out onto the eyes, run down into the nose, causing choking when the child cries. Tears run into the nose cavity and back into the throat, and it also causes permanent infection of the eyes. The child can neither stand nor walk, has very low intelligence, can cry, but cannot talk. And here's another shot of two of the mothers with some of the NSA team that met with them and talked with them in the North. Thank you.

MODERATOR. Thank you very much, Doug. Our next testimony will come from Mr. Art Kanegis. The information we will be discussing is with reference to automated battlefield equipment, electronic equipment, detection and anti-personnel weapons which are specifically covered in the laws and rules of Land Warfare. Art, introduce yourself.
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

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KANEGIS. My name is Arthur Kanegis and I work with NARMIC, which stands for National Action and Research on the Military Industrial Complex. I'm not a veteran, but I'm very pleased to be invited to come to this meeting. I'm not like most of your other panelists, speaking from first hand experience, but rather from research that we've done on the staff of NARMIC. NARMIC, by the way, is a special project set up by the American Friends Service Committee which is the Quaker organization. I'd like to start off by trying to give you some sense of the military's projections in the automated battlefield area by starting off with a simple science fiction scenario. The earthman leaves his hut, to slip through the rainy forest, to an isolated spot where he will join his comrades in the struggle against the invading masters. Jungle sounds penetrate the dark night air, but otherwise the woods are quiet. No one is in sight, and there is no indication that the invading masters are in the area. The earthman feels confident. He does not know it, but his every step is being felt by ADSID sensors. Every word he speaks is being listened to and recorded by Acousid. He is smelled by an XM-3. If he is carrying a hoe or a gun, that too is registered by a magnetic sensor. This information is relayed through a communication link to an EC121R Relay Platform in the sky. As he makes his way toward the spot in the jungle where he will join his comrades, a blip appears in the SRP, Sensory Reporting Post of the STANO Control Room. Computers whir, lights flash, and a blip appears on the screen. The lone earthman is watched as he and five other blips approach the same spot. The computer measures his speed, 2.31 miles per hour. It measures the speed of his comrades, and computes when they will reach their destination, figuring in the terrain and other relevant factors. With a flash of electricity this information is fed into the huge ADSAF computer network, which instantaneously correlates this information with previous intelligence data and with information from the SLAR radar and the ICR night vision device to determine the mission of the grouping earthman. The mission, the IBM 360 decides, is dangerous.

Another bolt of electricity carries the word to the Tacfire Central computer. This computer determines the appropriate tactical response and flashes this information to one of the interlinked data processing systems in the field. Seconds later, the field computer sends coordinates of the earthman to a fully automated high firepower aircraft with an array of night vision capability sensors.

From a point high above the gathering earthmen, the B57G and a nearby F4 are automatically steered over the target. One aircraft releases a laser guided bomb automatically released by the computer at the appropriate time. Another releases an EO or Wall Eye television guided bomb with a television camera in its nosecone focused clearly on the six earthmen. This Wall Eye Two bomb follows this picture on a self-contained TV screen correcting its course with a wave of its movable fins until it reaches the target. The highly lethal firepower eliminates this threat to the invading masters and successfully sanitizes the area. Meanwhile in Zone F, another blip appears on the screen. Does this sound as if it were set in the year 2000 by a science fiction writer? It's actually set for the 1970s by the U.S. Pentagon. In fact, at this very moment, in a war room in Fort Hood, Texas, the MASTER group, which stands for Mobile Army Sensor Systems Test Evaluation and Review, is evaluating reports on TAC fire, Tactical Fire Direction System in the integrated battlefield control system. In July of 1969, the U.S. Army set up a program called Surveillance Target Acquisition and Night Observation to plan, test, and put into operation a totally controlled and computerized electronic battlefield. William Westmoreland, who commanded the U.S. forces in Vietnam and is now Army Chief of Staff, discussed the automated battlefield in a speech to the Association of the U.S. Army last year.

"On the battlefield of the future," Westmoreland said, "enemy forces will be located, tracked, and targeted almost simultaneously through the use of data links, computer assisted intelligence evaluation and automatic fire control." These weapons, the computer systems for detection, have been used both in Cambodia, Vietnam, and in Laos--largely, so far, on an experimental basis. They have been testing detection systems which amplify the light of the stars, and numerous other detection systems which are integrated into the ADSAF, Automatic Data System for the Army in the Field.

Some of the information on these sensors was released by the Senate Armed Services Committee in hearings released last week and they do show pictures of some of these sensory devices, but they're probably too small for many of you to see. But in this case the Accuboy is a sensor that's camouflaged, dropped in a jungle and it catches in the trees. Here it's camouflaged and it looks like part of the jungle, but it actually picks up voices and during the hearings in Washington, they played tapes in which you could hear the Vietnamese talking as they walked by, hear what they were saying...very clear detection of everything that was being said in the jungle below. And this APSID is a seismic detector that falls down into the ground and gets buried in the ground with just the antenna sticking up. It, too, can continue to transmit data to the data links and to the computers. They're moving more and more toward the computers, but they're starting with a lot of man-controlled elements.

During these hearings, they mentioned specific use of this in the EGLO White program in Laos; it's a specific operation called Commando Bolt. An assessment officer monitors the sensor activations in the area of interest. When he recognizes the target signature from a particular sensor stirring, he calls up on his cathode ray tube a sketch of the road net which that string of sensors is monitoring. The computer automatically displays and updates on the CRT the movement of the target along the road. He then can instruct one or a number of the F4s, which I mentioned earlier, to enter these coordinates into the aircraft's computer. This gives the aircraft a course to steer to that point and produces an automatic release of ordnance at the proper time, to hit the target.

Now this automated battlefield program has been a very top-priority item within the Pentagon. It was originally conceived as the McNamara Line, or it was derisively called that, which was the idea of setting up a line that would cut off all infiltration from the North. It would cut off infiltration from North Vietnam, but when that seemed to be failing, the Army response, rather than dropping a program that seemed to be failing, was to put more money for a larger program into it.

The Defense Communications Project Group, which oversees this, is authorized to use the highest industrial priorities, according to these hearings, to guide its development and procurement efforts. "This speeds up work by putting us at the head of the line," this general says, "for materials, facilities, and contracting." He says that virtually every U.S. ground unit in South Vietnam is now applying sensors to detect the enemy. Also training programs have been set up in a Central Sensor School in Vietnam to train the Vietnamese in using these, who, according to these hearings, have taken over 47% of the use of sensors in ground tactical operations in Vietnam.

The U.S. Border Patrol in the United States is also using some of these sensors to patrol the borders of the U.S. You may have read of some recent incidents like in Mexico where they were using these to detect possible border crossings with marijuana and things of this sort. The Justice Department has also put out contracts for surveillance-type data of this sort to bring home some of this technology to use on the home front. So what they bragged about during the hearings was that they've been able to reduce the normal five to seven year defense development cycle by a factor of four. That is, the period elapsed from the time that the need was discerned for these sensors until the time they were placed in the hands of the troops was fifteen to twenty-two months rather than the usual five to seven years. So it has been, as I mentioned, a top priority item within the military. When the army outlined its eight major items for the '70s, automated battlefield components composed most of the list. The expenditures on this according to these hearings are $1.6 billion, which is, when you think about it compared to anything else like the poverty program or HEW, is just phenomenal. Much larger than expenditures for federal aid to education or anything else.

However, according to columnist Jack Anderson, this figure is actually an underestimate. You get that feeling clearly from the hearings, too, when they talk about various parts of it that are funded under other agencies. So, in fact, it probably comes closer to four billion that's been spent on developments for the automated battlefield. An important part of this is not that these sensors are tied in to a total system. The automated battlefield concept is not just a concept of sensors, but as it comes through in these hearings it's using these sensors and in tying them in through the data links and through the various data processing equipment to automatically release the weapons that are actually used in Vietnam.

Most of the weapons outlined in the hearings are anti- personnel weapons. Well, many of them are anti-personnel weapons, some of which has been used before in North Vietnam and South Vietnam, but which are constantly being modernized and improved with newer and better versions. I want to show these slides. This is Ken Kirkpatrick who is with the American Friends Service Committee office in Seattle. He took the pictures that you are about to see. With him is one of the girls who is a napalm victim. You can see her hands. Here's a Laotian holding up what they call the pineapple bomb.

PFEIFFER. I actually took those pictures with Ken. This is in a Laotian refugee camp outside of Vietnam. These people had been moved forcibly from the plain of Jars, their ancestral northern part--well, I wouldn't say forcibly, they told us they couldn't withstand the bombing, so they agreed to come down near Vietnam in the American-held area. They brought with them this souvenir, a pineapple bomb, which did not go off. These people had fashioned a little war-wick lamp out of this. They're very innovative, I think. They put it to positive use.

KANEGIS. I can just say that the last one has little fragments embedded in its side. When it explodes it spews out in all directions, tearing into people's flesh. Even if it just struck them in their arm, the pellets could run up through their body and be almost impossible to remove. Now let me go on to these other things. This particular one shown here, what do the Laotians call it?

PFEIFFER. This is a guava bomb.

KANEGIS. This is the one where the strings are shot out. The term for it was spider bomb, the term used in the electronic battlefield hearings is wide-area anti-personnel munition, which they abbreviate Wampum. In the picture in the automated battlefield hearings, they show a large canister that looks like an egg box with all the little wide-area anti-personnel munitions falling out. These have a spring in them that shoots out a string in all directions.

BRAUM. It's not a proximity type device; it has a chemical timing fuse in it. These are tripped as the spring goes out as it passed out of the casing of the bomb. It can spread destruction in a wide area, somewhere as much as a 60-yard circle which is representative of about the size of a rice paddy. It has the possibility of getting five or six people immediately. If these bombs do not go off immediately, a slight jar will set them off later. So people who have been in an area that's been bombed could conceivably come back into the area to work, feeling they were secure from no air raid, and dislodge one of these, or disturb it, committing havoc again as a result of it.

KANEGIS. In this particular one, the springs shoot out a string that's triggered. This is a mine, rather than a bomb. But if anyone walks through the area and touches the string, this immediately explodes, and like the guava bomb, it would have pellets embedded in it that would tear into people's flesh. The military nomenclature is a wide-area anti-personnel weapon. It's not aimed at, and wouldn't even be effective against, sandbags or military installations, only against unprotected human flesh. It couldn't be considered a flak suppressant or anything of that sort. It is not something that you would shoot at people below who are shooting back at you in the plane. I guess they would call it an area denial mine. In any case, it's something that would be set off at some later point and it would kill any people who happen to be in the area and across the string. Here's both the pineapple bomb that you saw before and the guava bomb with the little pellets inside of it. Over on the other side you see what the Vietnamese call a cloth mine. Is that correct?

PFEIFFER. A leaf mine.

KANEGIS. Ken Kirkpatrick mentioned to me that sometimes the Vietnamese children would see those things on the ground and would think they were toys or something and pick them up. Basically, that's also mentioned in the hearings. They're referred to as gravel mine, the XM41-E1 gravel mine. According to [the hearings] it's an anti-personnel mine system. The only kill mechanism is blast. Gravel will blow a man's foot off, but it will not blow a hole in a truck tire. It's not even a weapon aimed at killing anybody in the area, but rather causing them a maximum amount of suffering--blowing off their leg or something like that. It's purposely not powerful enough to kill people, but rather to maim them for whatever military reasons you can figure out. Perhaps it's to demoralize the population or to tie down other people in aiding these peoples. Of course, the Hague Convention specifically says that it's illegal to employ arms projection or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. But clearly this is its only purpose. It wouldn't put somebody out of commission, it would just cause them unnecessary suffering.

PFEIFFER. This shows again the leaf mine, as the Vietnamese call it. It's a little bit of black powder plastic with holes in it. It's just enough to split the foot. That knocks you off balance and then you fall, put your hand out, and split your hand. The ground will be covered with hundreds of these. If people come to help you, they'll get their foot split, too. It's almost impossible to detect; there are no metal components in it and it's only about two or three inches square. The one on the right is Bouncing Betty. They told us that the 7th Fleet used to put these into the villages. What happens is that they have a canister fired from a Naval gunnery gun. It explodes thousands of these things. They come down and are designed to hit at a specific detonating point. This then sends up another bomblet at about five feet height, which then goes off with little pellets and catches you right in the face and chest.

KANEGIS. On the next one, you can see the writing on it. It says "Mine Apers, A-P-E-R-S," which means anti-personnel M-14 with fuse interval. The one right next to that looks like a little bat, which is the term they used on that one. In the terminology used in the automated battlefield hearings (talking about the use of these munitions as a part of this complete system, though of course it can be used even without the sensory devices and so forth) in the complete cycle, it is talked about as the dragon tooth anti-personnel mine system. Major Anderson, in the hearings, said, "It is purely anti-personnel. If a person steps on it, it could blow their foot off. If a truck rolls over it, it wouldn't blow up the tire." So again, this is one of the purely anti-personnel weapons. They showed a picture in the hearings of a long sort of tubular thing that drops down from the plane, opens up, lets all of these dragon teeth spin out and fly over a wide area, and the arming begins as it's dropped. Do you want to talk about the next one?

PFEIFFER. That's a picture we took on our first trip, 20 miles out of Saigon. This was what one B-52 would do to manioc fields. Each B-52 has about one hundred and eight 500-lb. bombs or 750s and that's just part of the load from one. Keep in mind, we're now making strides in Laos with up to thirty in one strike. You see what one B-52 does; what is the daily bombing of the B-52s doing to the countryside up there?

KANEGIS. I forgot to comment on one that was shown before. They're BLU 66, which is another one used in the CBU 46. That's another bomb whose primary kill mechanism is fragmentation. There BLUs can make up a complete CBU when they're combined with the SUU, called colloquially "the mother bomb." It can be a dispenser that stays on the plane. Or the mother bomb, which is like a big 750-lb. bomb case, drops out, opens up, and all these little bomblets (sometimes there are a variety of different types of them inside) spread out over a very wide area. As soon as they stop spinning (they have different type fuses and some are jungle proximity fuses), some detonate as soon as they touch ground; some detonate above the ground and some wait until people are coming to pick up survivors and then go off. But in any case, they spring off with just thousands of tiny pellets that tear into any flesh in the area. Again, they're useless against another industrialized power. They're aimed particularly at a particular type of warfare in Vietnam, where you're fighting a Third World people who don't have the advanced technology that we do. The whole automated battlefield is oriented in that direction.

In other words another advanced industrial nation could jam the sensors, but supposedly a simple people like the Vietnamese couldn't. In fact, there have been a number of incidents where they have been successful in using very simple methods to knock out this advanced electronic equipment. For instance, Mark Lane mentioned talking with one of the GIs who said that the NLF would put buckets of urine under "the people sniffers" and this would totally knock their sensing perspective out of whack. There have been other things like this.

Each of these is looked upon by the military as simply another experiment, another research and development contract for another company to come out with a sensing device that won't be put off by urine buckets. They had the same type of problem when they were dropping the acoustic sensors. First, when they were dropping these into Cambodia the "enemy" would walk very softly in order not to be detected by them. So they dropped tons of these button bomblets which were little bombs that would make a cracking sound when they were stepped on. That would just alert the sensor in the area. But these were also detected so they had some more manufactured that were disguised as animal dung.

A similar problem could be overcome with the planes, the ones that are parachuted down and land in the trees. The microphones for the Accousits were originally able to be detected by the parachutes sill staying up there even though the thing itself was camouflaged. According to one source I talked to, they asked International Playtex to devise a parachute that would disintegrate as soon as it reached impact with the tree. Apparently it has very, very fine wires running all through it which instantly disintegrates the parachute when it touches down.

There have been a lot of failures in the development of this thing over such a short period of time, but they have been simply used as an experiment result for them to move on to the next more lethal experiment. I think it took many of the GIs who have been talking here a long time and a lot of soul-searching to be able to come out publicly and talk about the war crimes they've been made to commit. But there are many officers, generals, that aren't so shy about their war crimes and, in fact, brag publicly about those crimes, even glorify them as saving American lives.

Again in these automated battlefield hearings, General Williamson brags that he was the first commander in Vietnam to use these sensors and he states, "For the past 25 years I have been singing a simple tune. If you have to fight, then fight with bullets, not bodies." And then he goes on to say, "I hope I can demonstrate how these sensors have helped us to make the first steps towards the automated battlefield. This is a worthwhile approach toward fighting with bullets instead of bodies, that is, getting the job done with a minimum danger to friendly personnel."

He says, "In the third week of September," talking about when they were first starting these activities in '68, "our efforts with sensors finally paid off. At eleven o'clock one night the monitor at a French fort indicated movement. This was reported by two of the sensors. It was raining hard but there was no doubt about the reading; something more than rain was being registered. Two 175mm guns opened up slightly north of the sensors. Six 105mm howitzers commence blocking fires just south of the sensors, while two 81mm mortars fired directly in the road junction." He says, "When the patrol arrived on the scene, they found literally a carnage. The big 175mm guns had found their target."

Then he gives another example. He talks about the Nighthawk Helicopters, which he speaks of to emphasize that the sensors were not working in isolation. "This helicopter proved to be a valuable night tool." The HU1-helicopter is fitted with a crew-served night observation device. Alongside the light is an observation device and a pedestal mounted minigun -- the rapid firing machine gun. As soon as an unmanned sensor registered enemy movement, a Nighthawk helicopter was dispatched to the scene. We killed 103 North Vietnamese soldiers during a one month period using this technique at no personnel cost to us, not even an injury.

Diverting from that for a minute, I'd like to give an example of what this looks like from the other side. A Quaker worker in Vietnam was with the Quang Ngai program that AFC sponsors, wrote back in February 1969, "Several of us went to the roof about 3 a.m. The Americans unleashed the terrifying Puff the Magic Dragon which is an AC47 gunship. There is a whole range of helicopters and aircraft that can be outfitted as gunships which spews forth 5,000 machine gun bullets per minute. As I watched it circle overhead last night, silhouetted against the low clouds in the light of the flares, flinging indiscriminate bolts of death earthward, I could vividly visualize the scene below. Men, women, children, and animals caught like rats in a flood; no place to hide, no way to plead their case of innocence to the machine in the sky. No time to prepare for death. The beating the civilians are taking in this war is beyond adequate description. The cold, mechanical compassionless way that monster circled around and around and around ruthlessly pursuing an unseen "enemy" stabbing viciously earthward again and again, probing, searching, killing, maiming all in its path. We have survived but a lot of Quang Ngai people didn't make it and a lot more who are now clinging to life over at the hospital will not make it till morning. If we could only bring the horrifying scene of human devastation in its true dimensions home to the people who must know what it's like. The ones who are pulling the strings on this deadly puppet show. Man's inhumanity to man has reached its climax in Vietnam," she wrote from Vietnam.

Going back to the testimony of Major General Williamson. He says, "I guess the best real war story that I have is Firebase Crook." This is where 142 enemy soldiers were eliminated with a loss of one U.S. soldier. He goes into a lot of the technical details of the battle and shows how the different type radars and sensors were able to detect people at 220 meters this direction 1800 hours and so forth. And then he says, "Starlight Scope operators spotted movement around midnight. Radar detected two groups of about 40 persons each moving 1,500 meters north of the base at about 2030 hours. And the Nighthawk helicopter detected another group of 40 persons actually in formation approaching Crook. The Nighthawk immediately dived in on its targets. All of the targets were engaged with artillery and mortar fire and all available Army helicopters and Air Force attack planes." And then, he said, "Our search of the battlefields proved just how punishing our efforts had been."

He showed the congressmen present a little chart with a body count of the area and he said, "This diagram indicates where the bodies were found and gives us an idea as to which weapons eliminated the enemy. The 60 west of the river were killed almost exclusively by helicopters; the 32 along the woodline were killed by indirect artillery. The 20 close in were killed by direct fire from the base. The 43 along the road were killed by the Nighthawk helicopters and the remainder of over 150 were killed by a combination of U.S. Air Force planes and fire from within the base. In all, in the second night, 323 additional enemy were killed and ten live prisoners taken. I had to move two bulldozers up just to bury the dead."

Then he says, "We in the army are continuing tests in Texas and elsewhere. We're making an unusual effort to avoid having American young men stand toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball or even rifle-to-rifle against the enemy that may outnumber him on the battlefield. We are trying to fight the enemy with our bullets instead of with the bodies of our young men--firepower, not manpower. How less painful it is to use firepower to fight them at a distance rather than to expend your manpower as the enemy makes his close in assault."

And it occurs to me as he goes through this story of how he slaughtered the people mechanically without any deaths on our part, that if the Nazis had had the courage to brag blatantly you might imagine a Nazi general saying, "My best war story is Dachau where we slaughtered one million Jews with less than one guard lost on our part." The Army talks about phasing the war down so they will need less manpower, but...technologically, the war is escalating.

MODERATOR. Thank you very much, Mr. Kanegis. The next person who will give testimony will be Mr. Ward who is going to discuss the results of bombing North Vietnam and Laos.

WARD. To begin with, I want to give my qualifications. I was with the first group of Americans who traveled in North Vietnam under U.S. attack in the summer of 1965. Subsequently I visited North Vietnam again this past summer. I spent almost two months in North Vietnam broken by a visit to the liberated zone of Laos. In 1965 I visited Vietnam, not as a member of any war crimes tribunal, and I was not there to see what the United States was doing in terms of how much damage. I was there to see what life in North Vietnam was like. In fact, I believe the North Vietnamese hoped I would realize something that few Americans could believe: that they were going to resist the U.S. bombings as long as necessary.

So, in fact, they didn't make an effort to show me the damage. They wanted to show me how life was going on and I had to insist with my colleagues, there were four of us, including the then-station manager of WBAI, New York, on this trip--on seeing the bombed areas of North Vietnam.

In other words, going into areas that were under attack. So we traveled down to the city of Nam Diem which you may have heard about. This was made famous because up until then most people in this country believed the words of our President that the United States was bombing only steel and concrete. Nam Diem is a textile town. The textile factory was destroyed. This was in August 1965. The housing around the factory was destroyed and also the area had been strafed.

There was clear evidence of strafing--the lines of bullets along the sides of buildings. This town was very heavily hit. And not until Harrison Salisbury saw Nam Diem nearly a year and a half later did the real evidence appear in the U.S. press, that the United States was bombing civilian targets.

In Than Hoa the main destruction was of the provincial hospital. You could see the medical equipment. By the summer of 1965, most of the hospitals in North Vietnam had been bombed one or more times. This hospital had already been bombed three times and was leveled to the ground. By the time I revisited, in 1970, every hospital outside of Hanoi, I believe, outside of Hanoi and Haiphong, had been bombed, if not completely destroyed. In 1965 many of the victims I saw had been maimed by the napalm and phosphorus.

By 1970 the array of weaponry was much wider. All those weapons that were pictured on the screen have been used during the bombing--during the several years of bombing of North Vietnam. Pellet bombs and the so-called leaf mines.

North Vietnam is a very poor country. The leaf mine looks like a piece of cloth and a person seeing it might pick it up and put in their pocket, thinking that it would make a good patch for a worn-out piece of clothing. As the person brushes his pocket, it explodes and maims him. My conclusion was that already in 1965 the main purpose of the bombing was to destroy the civilian economy, to break the morale of the people. When this failed, the bombing became more intense and the escalation widened and the targets extended beyond just the people themselves. The people resisted. They dug tens of thousands of miles of shelters. Then the Air Force began to systematically destroy the industry. U.S. government reports claimed they bombed--only roads. Well, what does it mean if you bomb all the roads of a country? How do people exchange goods? How do they carry on any possible normal economic life? The main traffic on roads is the normal commerce of a country, the normal economic life. Some areas grow rice, some areas produce other products. There has to be an exchange of products to carry on the economy. Well, the Vietnamese won the battle and decentralized their whole economy and despite all the efforts there was never any starvation. But a lot of people were killed. During my second visit, I noticed a large number of graveyards that I had certainly not seen before.

According to the Vietnamese, the statistics--which I don't have before me--but roughly speaking, two-thirds of the victims of U.S. bombings were women and children, non-combatant women and children. Some young women could be classified as combatants engaged in combatant activities. In brief, that's North Vietnam.

I have a few pictures to show you at the end but I want to say a few words about Laos. Few Americans have ever had the opportunity to get into the liberated zones of Laos. In Laos the United States is carrying on the same program it carried out in North Vietnam, that is, systematic bombing of everything. I was in Sam Neua, the chief city of the liberated zone. I will show you pictures of that city. Not a soul lives in that city anymore. The destruction was enormous although the town was not completely leveled. But every single building had been hit, every village in the surrounding area was destroyed. I had not seen much destruction on that comparable scale in North Vietnam. By proportional comparison there had been greater destruction because North Vietnam had been more populous.

The ultimate strategy of U.S. bombing was to depopulate the liberated zone; to take the people away from the revolutionaries. But it has not completely succeeded, although according to the statistics of Senator Kennedy's refugee sub-committee approximately a third of the people of Laos have become refugees because of U.S. bombing.

Another way they depopulate an area is by sending in CIA teams, sabotage teams, that try to force the people out at the point of a gun. They have little villages in Laos; sometimes only 50 people live in a single village. These teams of mercenaries run by the CIA are brought into this town and try to force all the men to leave--to go into the Vientiane zone. To conclude, in Vietnam the bombing is beginning again. Don't believe Nixon. He's not just bombing military targets. He's bombing the people.

In Laos, the bombing is continuing. According to the most recent press reports the bombing has been heavier than at any time previous in the whole history of the war in Indochina, in Laos and Cambodia put together. That means that this has been done since October of 1970, the end of the rainy season. This is going on to this day and will go on until we and the Vietnamese and Laotians and Cambodians together stop Nixon.

MODERATOR. If you get the lights we'll see the slides.

WARD. (First Slide) This is the city of Sam Neua. From the distance it looks like a very beautiful pastoral landscape and it's impossible to see that every building has been hit by a bomb. That's what it looks like from a distance. So, now, closeups. (Next Slide) You can see that the windows have been blown out. There was just one man I saw walking through the town, except for the people in our party. Every single building, the church, everything had been hit.

(Next Slide) This is again Sam Neua. I could have gone down every street and you would have seen that every building is gone.

(Next Slide) And here is how some of the people manage to survive. This is a mountainside and inside this mountain is a cave and people live in there. This particular cave--is used only for a very important institution. This cave happens to hold a school of art.

(Next Slide) This is a particularly vicious weapon. That's a ball point pen, next to it are these little arrows called flenchettes which are used as anti-personnel weapons against the populace in North Vietnam.

(Next Slide) This is just one example of what it's like to live in a pacified or quasi-pacified area of South Vietnam. This is, to say that until it is pacified this is what happens. This girl was living in a liberated village. She's now in the North for treatment; one eye is still completely closed. She's regained the partial sight in one eye. The surgeons feel she'll regain partial sight in both eyes when they finish about one half dozen operations. Her injuries were caused by napalm.

(Next Slide) This is a Roman Catholic church in North Vietnam. As I said, I was never part of a war crimes tribunal and the Vietnamese made no effort to emphasize how many churches were destroyed. I was examining the photographs of a recent visitor to North Vietnam and I saw at least a dozen pictures of churches destroyed.

(Next Slide) That's the rail lines. Despite the efforts to destroy the railroads--and you see the destroyed railcars still there--the traffic goes on. (Next Slide) This is a hospital, but I should say it was a hospital. There's nothing left of it. It's in the city of Bien, near where I stayed. It's about halfway between Hanoi and the 17th parallel and it was near a small hotel that had just been built because Bien is near Ho Chi Minh's birthplace and they have a number of visitors. I looked around and I asked the interpreter, "Where is the center of the city?" And he said, "You're there." And it was almost bare fields wherever I looked. Vien, the city of Vien, was almost 99% destroyed by the U.S. bombs. (Next Slide) That's another view of the hospital just to show you that everything had been destroyed.

MODERATOR. We only have five minutes for questioning. Please state your name and the organization that you're with.

QUESTION. What criminal corporations are responsible for the research and production of the weapons you testified about?

KANEGIS. Well, for the automated battlefield, first of all, I think there'd be the generals who are guilty of the war crimes. Not just the generals in the Pentagon but generals like General Dynamics, which makes the ANSS squealer intrusion detector that changes frequently as a person approaches it. They make the ANPPS portable combat surveillance radar, they make the grasshopper anti-intrusion mine that I mentioned. General Motors that has been the manufacturer of the M-16 rifle which isn't part of the electronics in the battlefield but is another weapon which has an anti-personnel effect in that it has, the dum-dum effect, and, of course, they're working on an improved version.

This special purpose individual weapon is going to be the M-19. This is a tiny flenchette which has a plastic casting which drops off. A little needle enters a person and spins around inside, makes a huge hole inside, even though the needle penetrates on the outside. It only has to hit their arm and it will kill a person. There is General Electric who makes weapons for the gunships we were talking about--the AC47, the various miniguns, and so forth. They work on it. Let's see, some of the automated battlefield contractors are Western Electric, Westinghouse Electric, Texas Instruments, Sperry Rand, Raytheon, Radio Corporation of America, Radiation Inc., Magnavox, Kaiser Industries, IBM, Hughes Aircraft, Honeywell, Hazelton Corp., General Telephone and Electronics, Sylvania Electric, General Avionics and so forth. If people in the community that you are in would like to know about production of weapons for Vietnam and particularly automated battlefield weapons and so forth, you can write to us at NARMIC.

We have quite a number of detailed sources from the industries involved in war production. They state very explicitly all the contracts that are awarded for any county in the country for each quarter of the year. We also have a book, WEAPONS FOR COUNTERINSURGENCY, that details some of the weapons that we showed pictures of here -- the chemical and biological weapons, the incendiaries like napalm, and talks about who the contractors are. It tells how to organize a project against one of the corporations producing these weapons. You should write to NARMIC if you want to really organize a project. We must conclude with that. The Third Marine Division will testify next.
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

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Part 1 of 2


MODERATOR. This is the Third Marine Division. They landed in Vietnam in March of 1965 and they are still there. There are two people minus their DD-214s, but they do have military IDs and other military identification which the press can check later. Their names are Allan Aker and Walter Hendrickson. Also, attached to this panel because these people can't stay for tomorrow or the next day are Jamie Henry with the 4th Infantry Division, Army and Nathan Hale, an interrogator from the Americal Division.

AKERS. My name is Allan Akers. I am 25 years old and from the city of Chicago. I joined the Marines just after high school and was in Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, Infantry Unit. I am presently in college and work for the YMCA. I was in Vietnam from May of '65 until March of '66. The bulk of my testimony will consist of mass movement of villagers after destroying their original homes, the killing of civilians in search and reconnoiter by fire, the false percentages of blacks in Vietnam told by the Pentagon, and how troops are geared into committing war crimes.

BIRCH. My name is Jonathan Birch. I'm 24. I live in Philadelphia. I joined the Marine Corps right after high school. I was a corporal in "B" Company, 3rd Shore Party Battalion attached to 4th Marine Division. I landed in Chu Lai, South Vietnam in 1965, in May. I was a field radio operator and presently I'm employed as an accountant in Philadelphia. I will be testifying about the forced relocation of villagers in Chu Lai area.

ROSE. My name is Steven Rose and I'm 26 years old and spent four wasted years in the Navy, from 1963 through 1967. I was a Navy corpsman in Vietnam and I'm presently working now at a psychiatric hospital on Long Island. I will testify to the blowing up of a civilian bus by the VC and the throwing out of wounded civilians by their ARVN crew. I will also talk about the preparation of cars from the Marines to be shipped back to the States. Thank you.

NEWTON. My name is Sean Newton. I'm 24 years old and a resident of Santa Monica, California. I joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1964 right after high school. I served in Vietnam from February 1966 to December 1966 as a private in 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. My second tour was as a Lance Corporal with Delta Company, 126 and with 3rd Combined Action Group from August '67 to August '68. I'm now continuing my education at Santa Monica City College.

DAMRON. My name is Mike Damron. My age is 24. I'm from Springdale, Arkansas. I was a student before enlisting in the Marines. My rank was Private and I served with "B" Company, 3rd Tank Battalion, 3rd Marine Division from September 1966 until October 1967. My job was gunner on a tank. I'm presently a student at the University of Arkansas.

SMITH. My name is Jack Smith. I'm 27 years old. I was a student at the University of Connecticut for 3 1/2 years before I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1966 and I was also an unemployed carpenter at the time. I enlisted. I was a Counter-Mortar Radar Team Chief and a Vietnamese interpreter. I served in Vietnam in 1967 and all of 1969. I was with Headquarters Battery, 12th Marines and I am presently an unemployed carpenter and an on-strike student. My testimony concerns genocide against the Vietnamese people, murder of civilians--old women and children--harassment and maltreatment of children and also the murder of children, the maltreatment of ARVN soldiers, racism against the blacks, both institutional and by official policy and individual, the crossing of borders with artillery fire, and the maltreatment of POWs.

MODERATOR. Excuse me, Mike, you didn't give what you were going to speak about. Could you do that?

NEWTON. My testimony will consist of the burning of villages, the killing of civilians, mutilation of bodies, the taking of ears, scalps, and heads, the destruction of crops and livestock, use of defoliants, the evacuation of civilians from their villages to relocation centers, the killing of wounded North Vietnamese army troops, and the resist policies of the armed force in Vietnam.

DAMRON. My testimony will include witnessing of killing of civilians, destruction of villages, and treatment of prisoners of war.

STEWART. Ny name is Gordon Stewart. I'm 20, I live here in Royal Oak, Detroit area. I joined the Marines in January of '68. Until November, '70 I was a Sergeant. I served in Vietnam with the Second Battalion, 9th Marines as a Forward Observer attached to Hotel Company from September, '68 through August, '69. My testimony concerns Operation Dewey Canyon, which is the invasion of Laos, contrary to published documents. I'm mostly going to talk about the genocide committed against the Vietnamese people, the killing of civilians by calling in artillery and white phosphorus on villages and hamlets.

SOARES. My name is Christopher Soares, age 20, resident of New York City, New York. I'm currently an unemployed student because of disability. I was in high school in New York City and had a part-time job before joining the Marine Corps. My rank was Lance Corporal, E-3. I was a rifleman in the infantry: grunt. My outfit in Vietnam was Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. My testimony will consist of the invasion of Laos, correlated with Gordon Stewart, Operation Dewey Canyon, from February, '69 to March, '69, mortar attack on approximately 30 Montagnards; nightly H&I fire, using high explosive and white phosphorus rounds; throwing cans of food at civilians while passing by on truck convoy; .50 caliber machine guns used in anti-personnel weapons; killer teams; distributed contaminated food; witnessed POW beaten and interrogated at knife point; deformed civilians; and my platoon sergeant had a $1,000 bounty on his head.

HENDRICKSON. My name is Walter Hendrickson, age 22. I'm a resident of upstate New York. I'm unemployed now because of disability. I entered the Marine Corps shortly after working 6 months as a turret lathe operator. I was trained as an anti-tank personnel and when I reached Vietnam I was made a regular rifleman grunt. I'm going to be testifying about entering Laos; throwing cans of chow from moving trucks at villagers; wounding of civilian personnel for suspicion of being with NVA; H&I firing nightly; the mutilating of bodies of NVA; and the killing of a Chieu Hoi who was shot to death.

SOARES. I'm sorry, I missed testimony. Also recon by fire by patrol boats, rivers.

HATTON. Ny name is Bill Hatton. I'm 23 years of age and I was a high school student before I entered the Marine Corps in 1966. I spent 4 years in regular enlistment. I attained the rank of Corporal, as a Lance Corporal and Corporal both during my tour. I was in Vietnam from October of 1968 to September of 1969. My outfit was Engineer Maintenance Platoon, FLSG Bravo, Dong Ha. My testimony will deal with the stoning to death of a 3 year old Vietnamese child; handling kids heat tab sandwiches; and firing mad-minutes at [LZ] Stud; throwing cases of C-rats at women and children off moving trucks; and fragging and price-setting on the heads of officers in the unit. My occupation at present--I'm the director of the Department of Planning Promotion for the village of Bagley, Minnesota.

CLARK. My name is Bob Clark. I'm 22 years old. Right after high school I entered the Marine Corps. I served as a Battalion Radio Operator and interpreter with Golf Company Two Nine from May to August 1969. From December 1969 to late February, '70 I served as One Four Chief calling in air strikes in Vietnam. I'm currently unemployed and a resident of Philadelphia. My testimony will concern killing of wounded prisoners; prisoner refused medical attention, and as a result died, with about 30 Marines watching him, including a Colonel; brutalities toward Vietnamese children and women.

HENRY. My name is Jamie Henry. I'm 23 years old. I was drafted on March 5, 1967, ETS'd March 7, 1969. Entered Vietnam August 31, 1967 and returned to the United States in August 1968. I'll be testifying on the murder of innocent civilians which ultimately culminated in the execution of 19 women and children and the causes behind these murders.

HALE. My name is Nathan Hale. I'm 24 years old. I'm a resident of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. I'm currently a student and a candle maker. I joined the Army in April of '66. My rank at discharge was Specialist 5. I was an interrogator-linguist with Americal Division. I will show a series of slides of an interrogation by the Vietnamese National Field Police and describe general techniques used in interrogation.

MODERATOR. Al Akers, you mentioned the killing of civilians as one of the things you will be testifying to. Could you elaborate on that, please?

AKERS. Yes, we were given orders whenever we moved into a village to reconnoiter by fire. This means to--whenever we step into a village to fire upon houses, bushes, anything to our discretion that looked like there might be somebody hiding behind, or in, or under. What we did was, we'd carry our rifles about hip high and we'd line up on line parallel to the village and start walking firing from the hip. There were times when Vietnamese villages had man-made bomb shelters to protect themselves from air raids. Well, sometimes when we'd come to a village a Vietnamese would run out of the bomb shelter for fear of being caught, so consequently this surprise would startle any individual and they would automatically turn and fire, thereby uselessly killing civilians without giving them a chance.

MODERATOR. Could you also explain about the false black casualty reports by the Pentagon?

AKERS. Definitely. I was with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines and the same unit that was there in Hawaii shipped out for Vietnam, and in Hawaii especially, of Two Four, of 1,100 Marines, approximately 600 of them were black and the same went with the other two battalions of the 4th Marines. I know darned well that 600 out of 1,100 is not 10 or 12%. Two and two--you know, that's got to be it.

MODERATOR. Were mostly black soldiers on the front lines? Or did they have people in the rear also that were black?

AKERS. What do you mean by front lines?

MODERATOR. The ones that went out to the field. The grunts.

AKERS. Well, see, consequently because of the balance of black soldiers in the units, whenever a unit was sent out, you know the black soldiers were used as points, rear guards and side guards. Echo Company was considered to be Colonel _____'s most prized unit. Colonel _____ as everybody called him. And Echo Company was Colonel _____'s, what he called "The Magnificent _____." Echo Company was about 50% black.

MODERATOR. Were most of the orders that came down from him--Major _____?

AKERS. Colonel _____? Yes, he was kind of his own man. If you remember, I believe, the book written by Chesty Puller where he was elaborately mentioned in the book as being like one of the few last supposed Marines would be.

MODERATOR. John Birch, you mentioned the relocation of fishermen. Could you elaborate on that, please?

BIRCH. This was in Chu Lai and it was in the period of May to August 1965. I landed at the same time as A1's unit. I was attached to the 4th Marine Regiment of which the 2nd Battalion was a part. I can support his testimony with the percentage of the blacks within the units. On the beach where we landed was a fishing village up in the northern edge of Dong Quai Bay. It was perhaps 5 to 10 huts. These people had been fishermen all their lives. They knew nothing but fishing, but since the Americans--the military--wanted to use that area they moved them up a river, about a mile and a half up the coast. Now they were still fishermen and could still go out, but they were suspected of being VC. They weren't VC. They were just fishermen, and you have to go out every day if you're going to earn your living by fishing. So they decided we'll move them up the river further still, where we can keep a closer eye on them. They did that and then, just about August, they moved them into a relocation village which was off the river. They took their boats away, burned them, and gave them land and said, "All right, now you can become farmers. People need food and we don't trust fishermen."

We personally took some of their little round boats-- they look like little sampans--these little round things-- called bull boats. So these people who had been fishermen for generations now suddenly became farmers on land that could not be farmed because the area in and around Chu Lai on the beach was sand, very dry, rotten sand.

MODERATOR. Okay, Steve Rose. About that blowing up of the bus by the VC. How many people were on there, what was their status, how many of them were killed and wounded?

ROSE. Yes, this is on Highway 1 outside of Camp Evans in I Corps area. I would say there were about 50 civilians on this bus. They pack them in pretty good on these buses, and with all their belongings. This bus was heading up Highway 1 north and the word that came back to us before we went out was that the VC blew up this civilian bus because the convoy didn't come through today.

So I was at 4th Marine Regiment Headquarters and the doctor and I and a few other corpsmen went out to this bus. Now there was people laying all over the mud there and most of them were dead, but there were some that were still alive and we did a little preparatory work and ARVN helicopters came in with American crews as head. We asked the civilians around the area to help us load the wounded onto helicopters, which they refused to do. Now I sort of understand why. It's not really their war. We're too involved there and we shouldn't be. So what happened was that we, the Marines from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, that was on patrol, helped load these bodies onto choppers and as the choppers took off into the distance, the wounded that we put on were being thrown off into the field.

MODERATOR. How high was the chopper when these people were thrown off?

ROSE. It was about a hundred yards out and maybe about 50 or 60 feet high; it was just taking off into the distance.

MODERATOR. How about the taking of ears? Would you explain that?

ROSE. Yeah. It's a thing maybe it's only with 3rd Marine Division, to cut off the left ear of NVA troops that are killed. I had some friends--I was back down to Phu Bai and some friends came out of the field and as a corpsman they asked, "Can we get a bottle and something to put it in so we can ship it back to the States?" and I proceeded to do that--pack 'em for shipment.

MODERATOR. What sort of emotions did the GIs have of cutting off the ears and sending them back to the States? Were they happy about it or were they sad or what was the emotion?

ROSE. I think...I call the time I spent in Vietnam "dead time." I call it a time when you just function and do things that, hopefully, you won't do when you come back home. As dead time, I think it's a sort of emotionless, you know, you do it, your buddy did it, so you can do it. So you just send it back. You don't make a big deal of it.

MODERATOR. Okay, Sean Newton, you say you spent two tours in Vietnam.

NEWTON. That's right.

MODERATOR. The question I'd like to ask you is, "What were the differences, if any, in the policies of units that you were in in Vietnam from the first tour to the second tour?"

NEWTON. The first time I was in Vietnam, I was with the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines; the second tour was with the 3rd Division, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines at Khe Sanh and 3rd Combined Action Group. That job was in an advisory capacity with South Vietnamese militia living in the villages. The overall policy of the Marine Corps in '65 and '66, to me, seemed to be sort of a scorched earth policy. There was a lot of burning and a lot of killing and no one was saying much about it. When I returned in '67, our staff NCOs and officers would tell us, "You know, you just have to be careful. If there are newsmen who go out on the operation with you just be cool, you know, but if there's no one there, do the same thing you did in '65 and '66. So you just have to be a little careful." And that was just about the only change that I noticed besides an escalation of the war.

MODERATOR. Before you went to Vietnam did you have any expectations of what was going to happen there? Did you receive any kind of information while you were going through training?

NEWTON. When we went through the four weeks before you go--staging--I didn't have to go through staging the first time because they gave us three days notice, gave us no leave at all, and put us on ships in Long Beach. We couldn't even call our parents and tell them where we were going or why we were going or anything and they said we were just going out on maneuvers. Like 11 days later we knew we weren't going to be going out on maneuvers. What was the question again? I'm really tired.

MODERATOR. What kind of information did you receive while going through staging?

NEWTON. Oh, yeah, going through staging. They just tried to hype you up and prime you to go over there and just waste them, you know. The Communist threat was brought up time and time again, like, you had to go over there and do this thing so that they wouldn't come invading the United States, make a beach landing, or something or other.

MODERATOR. Mike Damron, you testified to the killing of civilians and the treatment of POWs. Would you like to talk about that?

DAMRON. Well, in January of 1967, we were on Operation Newcastle about 30 miles out of Da Nang and our function as a tank unit--we had our tank and some infantry people on top of a hill while some more tanks and infantry was sweeping through the valley below--and our job was to more or less plaster the area before the infantry got there and if there was any stragglers left, enemy stragglers, after our people went through, we were to plaster them again. We were told we couldn't fire unless we saw people with packs and rifles. That was more or less the policy as written, but what we made it a practice to do, is our unit was to boost the body count. We'd paint a little hat, a triangle shaped hat, on the side of our tanks for each confirmed kill we had, so any chance we got to add more hats to the side of the tank, we fired. And on this particular occasion we fired on five people that we had no way of knowing who they were because they were not armed. As far as prisoners of war go, on the back of a tank there's a thing called a travel lock, so when the gun tube's to the rear it can be locked down where it won't be bounced around. They don't use these in Vietnam, but they use them in the States. But what we used them for in Vietnam was we could put a VC's head or a VC suspect's head in that travel lock and lock it down. But it could be dangerous because if we did hit a bump it could break the person's neck.

MODERATOR. Mike, you said that this could be done. Was it done and did you witness it?

DAMRON. Yes, I did.

MODERATOR. Could you tell us approximately when this was and where?

DAMRON. This would have been in the same general area, around Da Nang I believe in Dai Loc Province. It would have been in late 1966, around December.

MODERATOR. Okay, thank you. Jack Smith, you were going to testify about the crossing of borders and treatments of POWs. Would you go ahead?

SMITH. Right. We were assigned to a counter-mortar unit. We also had other electronic equipment, along McNamara's Wall up there. We were involved in tracking enemy rocket fire and mortar fire and we would in turn direct our artillery fire back on the positions that we located. Now, we were in generally a free fire zone along the DMZ overlooking the river and it was a free fire zone. Anything that moved out there was fair game. The NVA used to come down across the river and fire rockets and mortars at our base at Dong Ha in Quang Tri. We would in turn fire back at them and locate them with our anti-personnel radar that located them and also the counter-mortar weapons that we'd locate their position. We'd follow them with our equipment and also with AOs back across the river as they would flee after firing back across the river. So we would take our artillery and since it was against the regulations to fire across the river, what we would do was call in a grid location, that's a grid coordinates and the numbers of the location--we'd call in a grid this side of the river and we would have clearance then to fire a 1,000 meters around that area. So what we would do is all in a spot right on the bank of the river and then as soon as we got clearance to fire on that spot because this was okay to do, then we would immediately start walking it across the river and fire across the river and up into North Vietnam. We would fire at any truck movements or personnel movements that we found along the thing. We'd just keep firing until we no longer got any movement up there.

MODERATOR. Excuse me, when you say you were cleared, who did you call back to?

SMITH. We had to clear it with the fire direction center back in Dong Ha which coordinated all the movements of allied ground and artillery positions in all the units moving those areas. So they gave us clearance to fire up there.

MODERATOR. Jack, when they'd give you clearance, did these people know that these rounds--the people who gave you clearance--did they know these rounds were being adjusted across the river?

SMITH. Yes, but officially the policy was written that we would not fire across the river, but it was standard operating procedure that whenever we called in along the river bank that we were going to be firing across into North Vietnam. And also this was our practice when we were out at Vandegrift Signal Mountain in the Rockpile out there. In support of Dewey Canyon we were also firing across the river into Laos. We'd call in a grid in South Vietnam just across the border from where we were firing and then in turn adjust the fire across Laos in support of the ground actions over there. As far as the POWs go, our radar location was located right next to the heliport at Charley Two which was overlooking the DMZ up by Con Thien. They'd bring the prisoners in from the field and some of them severely wounded and crying for water. They were always denied medical aid, food, and water until after they had testified to what we wanted to have them testify to. I myself didn't interrogate them. We simply stood out there and watched them and then they would take several of the Vietnamese--they might have four or five prisoners--they'd throw four or five of them along inside the chopper. The chopper would take off, fly over up by the DMZ, come back about 10 or 15 minutes later and unload two. Somehow, along the line, somebody had decided, they were going to take a walk out there so they suddenly lost a couple of prisoners, but we never questioned this. If you questioned it, it was simply--they were just gooks anyway, so it didn't matter.

MODERATOR. Did you ever come into contact with Vietnamese people beside the POWs?

SMITH. Yes, almost every day the vehicle for my...I had three radar locations up along the DMZ there, about forty people there, and we had to make a run in with our vehicle every week, or every day, into the supply base at Dong Ha. So we'd send our truck into Dong Ha every day and we'd have to pass through the village of Cam Lo which was just a civilian village located on the way to Highway 9 which runs into Dong Ha. Every day as we passed through the village--the GIs when they originally get in country they feel very friendly toward the Vietnamese and they like to toss candy at the kids, but as they become hardened to it and kind of embittered against the war, as you drive through the village you take the cans of C-rats and the cases and you peg 'em at the kids; you try to belt them over the head. And one of the fun games that always went was you dropped the C-rats cans or the candy off the back of your truck just so that the kid will have time to dash out, grab the candy, and get run over by the next truck. One of the other fun games was you take the candy and you toss it out on a concertina wire. The kids are so much dying for the candy that they'll tear their flesh and their clothing and their clothes off trying to get at this candy which you've thrown inside the barbed wire. Additionally, when we had to go into Dong Ha we also used to have to make a garbage run about every other day and the garbage dump was located just down the road in front of the village of Cam Lo. In order to unload our garbage with the least amount of harassment to the Americans what we would do is send down our barrels of garbage, we'd send down a team of five or six, or squad of five or six, Marines along with it. One guy would be assigned to dump the garbage and the other six would beat the Vietnamese, shoot them, do anything they could to keep them off the truck while you were unloading the garbage, because they wanted to get into the cans and be the first ones to scrounge through and get something to eat. So in order to save your vehicle and keep the equipment that you had on it, you'd just throw the Vietnamese off the side of the truck and dump the garbage cans on top of them -- just chuck 'em overboard. If they got too frisky you just blew a couple of them away.

MODERATOR. Excuse me, you mentioned that after a while you would be giving candy to the kids, just throwing it to them, but you said people got embittered and you started throwing off the back of the trucks and they got run over. Do you know why you were embittered?

SMITH. Two of our people had gotten killed by stopping in the dump and rapping with the kids and somebody had given a grenade to one of the kids and he pulled the pin on it and walked up to the guy in the truck and just handed the guy in the truck the grenade and blew the kid and the guy in the truck up. One of our guys out there passing candy come up and got shot through the forearm by a .45 pistol. He was shot by about a nine year old kid so they tended to become a little embittered with the kids and as you'd go through the ville the kids would yell, "Chop, Chop, Chop, Chop." They wanted candy and you'd throw them the candy and then they'd go, "_____ you." In general, you tended to get alienated from the kids.

MODERATOR. Gordon Stewart and Chris Soares, both of you have mentioned an operation that I think is fairly familiar to most of the American public--Dewey Canyon--and is that operation crossing the border into Laos. Gordon, could you start by explaining that?

STEWART. The name of the operation was Dewey Canyon. I was a Forward Observer with Second Battalion, 9th Marines, who participated in the operation. My job primarily was calling in artillery fire, mortars, and air strikes with Forward Air Control working with them, except contrary to published documents, the operation did take place in Laos. I have a map here if the press or anybody wants to look at it--it's an official documented map. In the press room I'll show what route was taken, how far we penetrated into Laos. It was approximately four miles. The operation started in January of '69 and ran through March, '69. Approximately February 25th, Hotel Company, Two Nine, pulled an ambush into Laos on a North Vietnamese convoy destroying a tank, bulldozer, trucks and a lot of personnel. Where we got the permission to do this, I don't know. I heard over the radio that undoubtedly it came from higher sources as everything did. The next night at approximately 12 o'clock, Hotel Company moved into Laos again. The whole company had set up a base camp on a hill. For the next three days it was pretty much hell. We ran through a lot of contact and lost a lot of men, but, of course, you know, we never lost anybody in Laos, which is hardly true at all. Many men were lost. The men became quite embittered during this operation. It became easy to kill Vietnamese. You were just animalistic.

SOARES. I was with Golf Company and I was an infantryman. I had just gotten in Vietnam in February. Soon after I was choppered out to a hill, which can be shown on the map, as part of the Reactionary Platoon with the Battalion Commander Major _____. We set up there for a couple of days. We had one of our squads ambushed in Laos. I saw B-52 strikes in Laos. I saw air strikes in Laos, and I saw a hell of a lot of men killed in Laos. We had moved down from this hill, down the valley and across it, across a stream and up another hill. A couple of days later we had come upon a hill which was strewn with rice. This was tons and tons of rice. I believe it was Hotel Company that had found this rice and had destroyed it instead of having airvaced it. Now the people in South Vietnam are pretty _____ hungry for this rice but instead of that, we destroyed it. Another thing is that, Oh, God...I'm sick.

STEWART. I'd like to bring up--Chris is talking about hills in Vietnam--these hills he's talking about I can confirm with the grid coordinates because I called in artillery and air strikes and mortar fire onto the North Vietnamese. To my knowledge we didn't kill any civilians in Laos. That came before and later, but during the Laotian Operation, Dewey Canyon, we moved down Route 922 in Laos. We could have gotten helicopters in to evacuate our dead and wounded but the battalion commander wanted to be gung ho and carry the dead on litters, so we carried the dead for three days on litters. They don't smell very good. The operation was a military success if you look at it from a military point of view. They captured a lot of--this is all documented someplace--they captured a lot of rounds, artillery. What can I say? We were there and I can prove it.

SOARES. The whole 9th Marine Regiment took place in Laos, in Dewey Canyon, and that's approximately 2,000 men. To my knowledge, I may be wrong, but I know that quite a few of these men were in Laos all the time. I would say for approximately a week, a day or so, more or less. The order was, when I left Ashau Valley, where the operation took place, on a helicopter--I was given the order by a second lieutenant--that if we met any war correspondents in our rear, which is Quang Tri, Vandegrift Combat Base, we were not to speak to them at all about Operation Dewey Canyon and if approached by any war correspondents, we were to say nothing. Perhaps just say we weren't in Operation Dewey Canyon and our name and serial number if they requested so. If they persisted, to go up the chain of command. In other words, if a war correspondent had any kind of idea that this operation took in Laos, he could not find anything and you end up knocking on White House and, of course, he wouldn't be let in. So, in a way, the American people perhaps knew about Operation Dewey Canyon but certainly did not know that it took place in Laos. Another thing, too, is body counts. I can verify one thing; we lost, I'll be very conservative, at least 50% of these 2,000 men in this operation--wounded and killed. My company itself which was approximately 115 men, the whole company itself, we had about forty replacements waiting in the rear, and I was one of the replacements during the operation itself. That goes for body counts. Another thing, too, that's the complete devastation and defoliation in that area. I do not know if it was perhaps of shrapnel from high explosives delivered by air strikes or artillery strikes, but I know that quite a few hundred miles were just stumps or something that looked like stumps sticking out of the ground, and just let me say that that land, there is just nothing left of it.
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Re: Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veter

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:55 am

Part 2 of 2

STEWART. When we were in Laos we were very humane about it. We left the bodies piled all along the road in Laos on Route 922.

SOARES. That's true. One point, when we were moving out on the trail, I walked over a body, a dead body, a dead NVA body, and, of course, nobody would move any bodies or any kind of objects that looked like it was either NVA or belonged to us or whatever because of fear of being booby-trapped. So we just left the bodies there.

STEWART. We booby-trapped the bodies. We placed grenades without the pins underneath the bodies in case anybody--they had a policy, the North Vietnamese, of dragging their bodies away with hooks in order to destroy more people. When moving through Laos, taking our dead and wounded, we took a lot of casualties. It was also the policy--they told us not to tell anyone for fear of repercussion that it would be very bad for us. I don't care anymore. This is what happened.

MODERATOR. Excuse me, you mentioned the body count of the U.S. casualties. Were these figures accurate? I mean, you said they were conservative, but when the Pentagon gives out the statistics they have their numbers. But do you agree with the numbers they give out?

SOARES. Definitely not. Marine Corps puts out magazine called Northern Marine. It says that we killed 1,111 NVA soldiers. Now that's a pretty interesting number. Now the only body I saw is the one I walked over and I saw a hell of a lot of bodies of ours being taken away in one piece or another.

STEWART. Echo Company was another company in the Second Battalion, 9th Marines. I can confirm that they were also in Laos, moving through Laos in a different direction from us. B-52 raids were called into Laos and I myself called in air strikes and artillery. White phosphorus was also called in on hamlets and villages. We didn't want to leave anything above the ground level. I don't know why.

MODERATOR. Gordon, something...a question I've got for you is concerning wounded and dead Marines. How did you get them out of Laos, if you did get them out of Laos?

STEWART. We dragged them on litters.

MODERATOR. Were any left behind?

STEWART. A squad was ambushed trying to start a North Vietnamese truck that we destroyed in the ambush in Laos. The squad was completely wiped out. We had to leave our dead and wounded. We couldn't get back to them. Eventually we did. We picked up what was left and dragged it through Laos because the Colonel thought it was nice. It looked like a typical John Wayne epic.

MODERATOR. When you went back to get the Marine bodies and the Marine wounded, did you get all of them?

STEWART. I don't know. There is also one Marine received the Medal of Honor posthumously. It was presented to his parents. His name will probably be mentioned somewhere. I'd rather not. He did receive this Medal of Honor later, some months later. I read it in the Quantico paper and I believe the press has the citation. He was killed in Laos on Route 922 right next to me.

SOARES. I'd like to say something else about body counts, is that no where in any papers that I read, and that's the Sea Tiger in Vietnam or in any magazine like the Leathernecks which was put out by the Marine Corps, or any such thing or, of course, the media, was any actual number of men killed or wounded--our men killed or wounded in this operation. I can say that I remember an incident in which I was there, these two squads got ambushed one right after the other and wound up with 3 men killed and 14 wounded and not one enemy soldier killed. And that's the way we fought in Laos. I mean, like, just everybody was being killed, left and right, and they called this operation a success. I don't know if you call it a success by catching some small arms ammo; they did find a couple of 122 millimeter Russian made howitzers and I believe some trucks and I think also a tank and, of course, the rice. But as far as the confirmation of body counts is concerned, I believe it is very important, is that quite a few times people will, especially airmen, will say we dropped a bomb in such and such a place and we believe that we killed 20 NVAs and wounded 6. Now this cat's about 500 feet up in the air at the lowest point and I doubt it very much if he can see going 600 miles an hour. So that's the way body counts go in Vietnam. Also, counting chickens and pigs.

STEWART. Body counts are like football games. They keep a score and as long as the other side has more dead then it's got to be a success.

MODERATOR. Gordon, you say you were an FO, a Forward Observer. There's a round used over in Vietnam, an artillery round, called a firecracker round. Could you explain what that is and what it does?

STEWART. A firecracker round can be fired from different types of artillery, usually from 105s--105 millimeter artillery. What they do in essence, the round impacts, which causes other rounds to impact out of it like a firecracker, and these other rounds impact, causing shrapnel to fly 100 meters in diameter, causing a lot of casualties. Forward Observers like to use these rounds because they put on a good show for the men.

MODERATOR. While you were there did you know of any instances where this type of ammunition was fired into civilian communities or population?

STEWART. Yes, white phosphorus--which is, well, if you don't know what white phosphorus is, you can't put it out once it gets on your skin--the only way to put it out is maybe in mud--I called white phosphorus in on a village with air bursts, complete destruction.

MODERATOR. Chris, you mentioned something about a bounty put on your platoon sergeant's head. Would you like to get into that a little bit?

SOARES. Well, our platoon sergeant at one time or another, I believe, was a great...well, at that time he was acting sergeant; in other words he had been busted to corporal for some act which I do now know. I believe his previous grade was either an E-7 or E-6, which is either a gunnery sergeant or a staff sergeant, so he was busted back to corporal. Because of his so-called ability, he was given the rank of Acting Platoon Sergeant. He was a _____ let me tell you this much. I mean, like, he drove the men crazy. He used to have the men--just about the only thing he didn't do is polish their combat boots--he used to have the men clean their food, just about shave every _____ day, have haircuts; I personally at one time was growing a mustache and I had to shave it with a dry razor and nothing else--on his own orders--and he just drove a man, like, just about to death. Another thing also is that periodically, maybe once or twice a month, he used to get some beer and also some nice warm soda and nice warm beer. I mean we really dug on that. But they had a thing like finders and keepers. Like you got, say 20 cases for a platoon and wind up with, let's say, about 15 left and 5 cases of each wind up in the platoon command post. This sergeant used to be the biggest pig in the world and he just used to take everything--first man to be on the chow line; first man to grab the best C rations and leave us with the ham and lima beans, which we used to call ham and _____ and so for this reason and for driving us to the point of not knowing where your mind is--not knowing where the _____ to go or what to do--we just hated that guy and we wanted to see him go. As far as the bounty is concerned, the first man with a witness in a fire fight who blew his _____ away with a round across his eyeballs would get a $1,000. And we had a pool going within the platoon. This was around Quang Tri area and I personally offered approximately $25.00 for his head.

STEWART. Bounties were quite common, undoubtedly. I think everyone would agree.

MODERATOR. Due to the fact that one of the men has to leave very shortly to go back to his home, Nathan Hale, I'd like to let him testify to the interrogation procedures and show his slides at this time. Could we have the lights turned off, please, all lights? Could you also turn that screen just a little bit towards us here in this corner? Okay, that's all right. You think the press could get this light out here, please?

HALE. These slides I want to show you were taken in October 1968. I was on a Marine mission called Daring Endeavors. The operation took place south of Da Nang. The idea was to cut off an enemy force. This is just showing the unit.

(Next Slide) This is a group of detainees being brought in.

(Next Slide) This just shows a typical Vietnamese who was bound. The ropes are really super-tight and the idea is to make the prisoner or detainee as uncomfortable as possible.

(Next Slide) I was sitting here drying my boots and I had a little fire going and this man here came over--these are National Field Police--this man came over and put a tin spoon, it's a Vietnamese spoon, it's shaped like a scoop and he put it in my fire. He then grabbed my sock, wrapped it around, and he's burning the skin off of the back of the man's neck.

(Next Slide) This is after he burned his neck. The man's still not giving the correct information.

(Next Slide) And finally the man, in fear of his life, admitted that at one time he had given tax to the VC but you can't prove that.

(Next Slide) I heard earlier today that they used CS. Well, the Marines used a lot of CS on this particular operation, and this particular man wouldn't come out of the hole and they threw two CS grenades at him. I personally escorted this man back to division and he died. So if gas doesn't kill, I don't know what killed.

(Next Slide) Okay, there's an interrogation going on right here. This man here is a warrant officer. This is the way it's conducted. It's a big production. There are all the Marines sitting around giving the various cheers. At all times during these interrogations there were officers present. At one time there was a Lt. Colonel present. This is a good expression of agony.

(Next Slide) The general attitude you can see--of the Marines. That's it.

MODERATOR. Okay, could we have the lights, please? Nathan, you pointed out that warrant officer. I don't know if it was clear or not--the focus for everybody to see. Was he, indeed, an American warrant officer?

HALE. Yes.

MODERATOR. Okay, thank you. Is there anything else you'd like to add in the line of interrogation?

HALE. Yeah, I sure would. I arrived in Vietnam in December of '67. In January of '68 I was assigned to the 1st Cav., Americal Division. I arrived at the base camp of the 1st Cav. which is Hill 29. When I arrived there my S-2, a captain, told me that my job was to illicit information. This meant that I could illicit information in any means possible. He told me that I could use any technique I could think of and the idea is "Don't get caught" and what he meant was I could beat these people, I could cut 'em, I could probably shoot 'em -- I never shot anyone--but I could use any means possible to get information--just don't beat them in the presence of a non-unit member, or person. That's someone like a visiting officer or perhaps the Red Cross and I personally used clubs, rifle butts, pistols, knives, and this was always done at Hill 29. And in the field it even gets better. On this particular operation the National Field Police also hanged two men, just because they thought they were VC. The important point here is that everything I did was always monitored. An interrogator is always monitored. I was monitored by an MP Sergeant at Hill 29 who often helped me in my interrogations -- he and his squad. One other incident on Hill 29--there was a man who was kicked to death by the ARVNs -- the South Vietnamese. They called me the next morning and they said, "You have a dead prisoner." So I had to take a doctor over to confirm that he was dead. My S-2, instead of going through the necessary paper work, had him put in two 500 pound rice sacks and the troops took him out that day and dumped him. He was added to the previous day's body count. I guess that's about it. I can tell you that Americal Division has the ideal interrogation location. There are MPs on the hill watching you but this doesn't mean you can't kick prisoners under the table. We used to take knives into the interrogation huts and use the guys hands as a means of terror. I might also add that I learned everything I know from the South Vietnamese and from my Americal cohorts.

MODERATOR. All right, thank you, Nathan. The next one will be Walter Hendrickson. Would you go ahead and testify?

HENDRICKSON. I spent from November of 1968 to April of 1969 where I was wounded on an operation in Laos and I really don't remember what the operation's name was because we never were told. We just knew that we had landed right near the Laotian border and we had a sniper unit with us who worked right inside of Laos and all our LPs--our listening posts--which were at night and our observation posts in the daytime--all were in Laos plus the fact that we did run patrols constantly through Laos. Also, before we started this operation, we were--Tet offensive -- in the MACV compounds, where we worked out of right around Mai Loc, which is in the Quang Tri Province and working around there the squad I was in. We run into an NVA observation post, it must have been, because they were all sitting around the fire and the point man and the man behind him, I'm quite sure they killed three of the five men and the other two were wounded. My team leader at the time was right up front there giving orders and one of the NVA threw his rifle down--he was wounded--and he was crying, "Chieu Hoi, Chieu Hoi" and my team leader just said, "Burn him" and he was shot to death. Then we were told to pull back and we were working with a 1st lieutenant, he was a tank commander, he was out with us because we were working with the tanks and he called the tanks up on line and they proceeded to shoot into these wounded NVA, bee-hive rounds and HE rounds, plus they were firing from their 30 caliber machine guns.

MODERATOR. Excuse me, there may be some people in the audience who don't know what "Chieu Hoi" means. Would you explain what it means?

HENDRICKSON. "Chieu Hoi" is a Vietnamese word for surrendering. In other words he'll "Chieu Hoi" if he doesn't want any more of fighting. Pretty near every grunt over there, I would say, knows the meaning of "Chieu Hoi" but the six months I spent over there before I was wounded, we never took a prisoner. I can remember one time in the village, we brought a person in for questioning and he was released the next day, but we never took any prisoners. Before I was sent out to my platoon, my squad, we used to have to pull convoy duty quite a lot, and it was the same thing while you were on the back of the trucks, any of the chow that you didn't eat that you were given, was thrown right at the villagers, the civilians.

MODERATOR. Okay, thank you very much. Before we go on to our next person, I would like to ask one question. You say that you didn't take prisoners. What exactly did you do with them and who ordered you not to take prisoners if somebody did?

HENDRICKSON. Well, we really never got an order to take prisoners and I think it was a general attitude of almost everybody over there not to take a prisoner. All the while I was over in Vietnam we were pretty much in a free fire zone and if we saw anybody out there we didn't even attempt to take a prisoner; we just opened fire.

MODERATOR. Bill Hatton, you talked about the stoning of a three year old child. Would you like to explain that, please?

HATTON. When I arrived in Vietnam my MOS was a Heavy Equipment Mechanic. Since there wasn't a real need for my billet to be filled as a mechanic, I was put in my secondary MOS which was 8151, that of a security guard. Since I filled this billet so admirably, they kept me going on perimeter, which was in a sense a _____ detail that they send people they don't like out on. Since I wasn't the most popular type of personality, there I went. Well, at any rate, my duty was to go out and serve as a perimeter guard on the Dong Ha Ramp. This was an LCU ramp on the Quat River where Navy ships came up and they'd off-load supplies. We took our truck outside the combat base every night at 5:30 to set up at the ramp for our night's duty. We used to drive by this row of hootches and a little three year old kid in a dirty grey shorts used to run out and scream, "You, Marines, Number 10," and we'd always go back, "Oh _____ you kid," and all this stuff. So one night the kid comes out and says, "Marines, you Number 10," and throws a rock. So we figured we'd get him because this was a way of having fun. The next night before we went out we all stopped by COC, which is right by the ammo dump, picked up the biggest rocks we could get our hands on and piled them in the back of the truck. So when we left the Combat Base we just turned the corner and we saw a little kid, we were waiting for the kid--he ran out of the hootch--and he was going to scream, "Marine Number 10," and we didn't even let him get it out of his mouth. We just picked up all the rocks and smeared him. We just wiped him out. In fact, the force of the rocks was enough to knock over his little tin hootch as well. I can't say that the kid died, but if it would have been me, I would have died easily. The rocks, some of them, were easily as big as his head. It was looked upon as funny. We all laughed about it. And then we forgot about it. It took me about a year to even to be able to recall the situation. I think it said something about the entire attitude of us over there. I never had a specific hatred for the Vietnamese, I just tended to ignore them. They didn't figure in any calculations as to being human. They either got in the way or they weren't there. And also, we had this habit, when we'd leave the combat base -- I frequently traveled between Quang Tri and Dong Ha and contact teams and we'd take C ration crackers and put peanut butter on it and stick a trioxylene heat tab in the middle and put peanut butter around it and let the kid munch on it. Now they're always looking for "Chop, Chop" and the effect more or less of trioxylene is to eat the membranes out of your throat and if swallowed, would probably eat holes through your stomach.

Another portion of the testimony that I would like to cover is that in March of '69, I was serving as security in a convoy, and this wasn't actually in line of duty, I was able to have a day off and I was going down to Quang Tri so I got on a truck belonging to Seven Motors. They were in convoy; they just gave me a ride at the gate and we got four miles south of the Dong Ha perimeter and there were a group of Vietnamese women and children who were gathered around at this little bridge outposts the ARVNs had as security on Highway 1 there. The truck was doing considerable speed and it was just sort of spontaneous reaction, they said, "Let's get 'em. They want Chop, Chop, we'll give it to 'em," picking up cases of C-rats which weigh up to approximately thirty pounds and threw them off into the women and the kids. You know, just flattened them out and knocked them back quite a few feet. There again, there was no way of determining whether or not they were actually dead but the injuries must have been serious. The whole thing, like I mentioned with the garbage trucks, I never experienced shooting anybody off garbage trucks, but many times we put our boots in the faces of kids and women who'd crawl all over it. There used to be a game we played--we'd pour liquid garbage off the end of our truck to make 'em crawl for it. The mama-sans would come up with half-cut fifty gallon drums and they'd try to fill it up. They'd get pork chops and sloppy rice and mystery meat or wop slop, or whatever we had for chow, and put it in there and we'd let 'em walk so far and then we'd tip it over, spill it on the ground, and watch them scrape the dirt in there. Anything to dehumanize them. I think the program went even farther. We used to have kids from the orphanage visit us aboard Dong Ha and have a party for them so that we could play games like holding sodas in the air and watch them grasp for it; patting them on the head and teaching them little tricks like how to beg for candy bars. A further part of my testimony is, like, with mad minutes. As I traveled variously around northern I Corps I used to go to a place called "Stud" which was later gloriously reclassified as Combat Base Vandegrift. This was due to the John Wayne syndrome which is pretty prevalent in the Marine Corps. They just don't name anything a plain name; it has to have glorious connotations. I had gone over to visit some friends of mine at Third Shore Part and we went over to have a little party out there on the lines and nobody gave me the word that we were going to have mad minute. What happens with a mad minute is that everybody opens up, at least half the guys on each bunker and every sector of the line open up with four duces--the guys in support--and they'll fire for two or three minutes. They call it mad minutes. This in effect kills anything. You don't know what's out there and neither do they. You just fire in the hope that you're going to get something. You cease fire and you wait for a reaction and there's usually none. It's more or less a waste of ammunition. This I witnessed about two or three times. Like I said, I was never assigned as a guard to do mad minutes, but I was witnessing it.

HATTON. The other part I would like to discuss or mention was the private war that used to go on in Dong Ha. My particular outfit, FLSG Bravo was a rear support unit that we sent people out to various commands like One Three and that. We managed to spend two-thirds of our time in the rear and there was considerable friction between the troops back there. There was open warfare between what we called the heads, the people who smoked dope, and what we called the juice freaks, the people who drank. It was heavily weighted for a while, in fact, it was quite evenly matched. There were frequent stabbings and as a result of this mutual paranoia, we put prices on, I'd say, fully the heads of at least 40% of our staff and officers had prices on them. The highest prices going, on the heads of the CID, one Lt. _____, a CID, had a price of $2,000 on his head. Of course, the person who collected the head also had to kick back a $1,000 for a celebration we were going to have. And the same thing with Staff Sgt. _____. He was more clumsy so we didn't have the heart to wipe him out but he still had a $500 price on his head. It was payable. Once you were familiar with the people in your unit, you knew whom to apply for the money. I heard that the 1st Sgt. in Communication Company, 5th Com in Dong Ha, they had a whole unit there locked on a legal hold. In other words, they couldn't rotate from Vietnam because someone had attempted to frag grenade their first sergeant. They had wired it to his desk and a Pfc. was sweeping out his hootch, pulled out the chair, and it blew his legs off. That wasn't the end of the attempts. An attempt to get Staff Sgt. _____ netted another gunnery sergeant who thought he'd use his rack and we lost two gunnery sergeants who bedded down with Willie Peter grenades one night. I think it's pretty indicative of the whole spirit of the troops back in the rear. It's very frustrating. You know, if Vietnam is not violently painful then it's such a crashing bore that you can't stand it.

MODERATOR. I'd just like to corroborate Bill's testimony as to Sgt. _____. We had a murder in our unit and one of our troops was standing trial for murder. At the time that his court-martial came up, we were sent down a report of the hearings and the findings of the court-martial on these same fact sheets, that was sent down to my unit and given to me, there were four men that had just been court-martialed for attempted murder on Staff Sgt. _____. So I still have this in my files somewhere, this testimony as to four men who were indicted and court-martialed for an attempted murder on Staff Sgt. _____.

MODERATOR. Bob Clark, you mentioned the brutality of women and children. Would you give us a run down on that?

CLARK. I served with Golf Company, Two Nine, and due to my popularity and quick mouth in the company, I made frequent garbage runs. We were instructed that when we got down there that if anybody was going through the garbage, chase them away, we could do what we wanted to do and if anybody jumped on the truck they were fair game for anything. Now what they did, they put about 10 grunts on the truck and they just laid down in the garbage and we'd have two standing on the back of the truck. Now when about 30 people would jump on the truck, then the 10 grunts would jump off and they'd just beat them with their rifle clubs until they were either knocked senseless and then they'd knock 'em on the ground and just kick their _____ all the way across the garbage dump which was over a hundred yards long. At the time I was there, nobody ever got hurt in the garbage dump as far as Americans. But a lot of Vietnamese women and children were hurt. And it was fair game between Con Thien and going through the city of Cam Lo, on the outskirts of Quang Tri going into Stud, that American troops would stock up on their heavies (their spaghetti and meatballs and ham and lima beans) and any little children who were begging along the side of the road, which never numbered less than 50 or 60, were fair game for these full cans of food. They wouldn't throw them to the kids, they would just bounce them off their heads or try and knock them off their bicycles. If they ran out of food they would just light up heat tabs and wait until a kid got really close to the truck and then they would just easily drop it into his hands and particularly this Bru village, they relocated them right on Route 9 right close to the Rockpile. And there was a little kid with crutches out there; he was missing one leg; he was about five years old and he was about the most popular target because every time we came by he ran out and the people wanted to see if they could knock his crutch or hit his old man in his woods, because if the kid ever did get any candy, he brought it to his old man and these two people were the most popular targets.

MODERATOR. You mentioned the killing of wounded prisoners. Would you talk about that also?

CLARK. Right on. On June 13th, on Operation Cannon Falls, we were on Fire Support Base Wisemans, Golf Company and H & S Company. Now at 2:30 in the morning I was used as a line filler because one of our listening posts was wiped out and they had to send a platoon of grunts out there to see who was alive and who was dead. At three o'clock, we were hit by exactly a company and a half and the contact lasted until five thirty. We were hit with RPGs and small rifle fire, plus they threw some Chicoms, but everybody forgot to pull the pins so none of them went off. Now twice during the night we were overrun on our lower LP. The whole night we only sustained three dead people and ten wounded. Now in the morning when the mist cleared, about five thirty, everybody just got out of their holes and we started to sweep down towards the bottom of the hill to count our body count and see how brave we were. There was one NVA soldier who was caught on the wire. He had a bullet wound through the neck and numerous shrapnel wounds all through his body from fragmentation grenades. Now this big bad _____ corporal took out his knife and stuck it in his neck and just jiggled it until the man bled to death because he didn't want to carry him to the top of the hill. Another man was laying at the bottom of the hill on his stomach. He was in pretty bad shape but I think he would have made it and three grunts emptied full magazines of M-16 fire in his back. Another man who was shot at the top of the hill and had a bullet wound in his thigh, two in his back, and his elbow was hanging off by a thread, plus he had numerous shrapnel wounds from fragmentation grenades. He was laying on his back at the top of the hill and what was left of second platoon and first platoon gathered around him including a Lt. Colonel, a Major, a Captain, and at least one 2nd Lieutenant. He was made the object of a little game for about a half hour. He was screaming for water and they just poured it on the ground. They laughed at him; they kicked him in the ribs. One time he just jumped up spastically and he sat up on his waist and his arms started to dangle. A grunt kicked him in the chest and he died. While all this was going on, they were suggesting what they should do with him. There were three senior squids there, that's doctors, all three of them were E-6s, none of them would help him. They said, "He's not worth it." Somebody suggested we tie him up because he might be dangerous. It was suggested he might be tied up with barbed wire.

Now after all this happened, they chased what was left of the NVA company out through the woods and an NVA lieutenant surrendered. He ran to the bottom of the hill and he walked up with a Chieu Hoi leaflet to Gunnery Sgt. _____. He was unarmed; he didn't have anything on him; he grabbed Gunnery Sgt. _____'s hand and kissed it and he seemed pretty happy. Well, he got punched out. They brought him up to the top of the hill and he wasn't physically abused because he told everything he knew, plus he got on a loudspeaker, and he talked through a helicopter that was circling the area telling his comrades to surrender. Well, that night he said that we were going to be hit with 60 mortar fire and it was going to march from the east side of the hill to the west side. They decided to keep him there overnight so they took off all his clothes and they dug him a little hole, three feet by four feet. They just put him in there and put a board on top and had the Kit Carson sleep on top just in case we didn't get hit by the mortar fire, then they would take care of him. Well, we did get hit by the mortar fire and we took care of him anyhow. The following day elements of Golf Company claimed that they saw 400 NVA walking along the trail. I informed this to this Major there, since I was in the COC bunker on Radio Watch. He told me I was an _____. So I called up Golf Company again and I said, "Repeat this. This guy doesn't believe me." So he told me again I was an _____ because Recon said there are no NVA in this area, even though the previous night we were hit by a company and a half. Well, about a day following, Hotel Company (and Gordon was there at the time) was hit by about half a regiment, I'm not sure, but they were in contact for nine hours and Major _____ was on the net and the Captain from Hotel called up and he was crying because they were pinned down for nine hours and he wanted air support and he wanted to be lifted out of there because they were pretty well chopped up; they had had hand-to-hand fighting; they were running out of ammunition and Major _____ got on the air and, I quote, called him a _____. He said, "Never in Vietnam has any Infantry Unit been withdrawn," and he said, "You people can do it by yourself. I don't care if you've been there nine hours or nine weeks. You're going to stay out there until there is none of you left or until we come and get you." Later on that night I took the casualty report. It was fourteen pages. There were 43 killed and about 30 wounded and a lot of them were my friends. They claimed they killed a hundred Viet Cong, but Gordon says they killed two or three hundred. Stars and Stripes claimed that only 35 Americans were killed and wounded. I know they're pretty confused out there, but it's pretty _____ up when not even Stars and Stripes can figure out how many people were there.

STEWART. I'd like to add on that, since I was there and wounded there, that they wouldn't bring any ammunition into us, food or water. The helicopters were afraid of getting hit because the one helicopter that came in for a medevac was shot down in the river. We managed to get all the dead and wounded out but one. It was a gunner, I believe. I don't really want to talk about it.

SOARES. I personally know of an incident that...Well, the Marine Corps choppers, the pilots and copilots, are usually officers and the Army pilots and copilots are usually Chief Warrant officers and enlisted men. The officers get paid quite a lot more than the enlisted men do so I know one incident in which this platoon got pinned down. They called in Marine Corps choppers to get them out and there were three of them up there, more than enough to pick up the men and not one of them landed. There was an Army chopper around there--it actually took about one hour for the Army chopper to get there--and that Army chopper went down and between that one hour I was told that something like ten men were killed and wounded, between that time, because three Marine Corps choppers wouldn't land because they got to make more money and they've got their wives and children back home.

MODERATOR. Jamie Henry, could you go into the testimony you have of the murdering of nineteen women and children?

HENRY. Okay, what I have to say is a direct result of the policy by the United States Army in Vietnam and what I'm going to detail was reported to the United States Army CID. I made a full statement to them. I gave names, dates, grid coordinates, etc., etc., etc. We have my signing of the statement on film with the two CID agents, who are really--but we have it on film so they can't deny it and it's witnessed, etc., etc., etc. So there's no way that they can deny this. This statement was given to the CID over a year ago, almost exactly a year ago, and I'm sure they'll come out with something to say about it--why they haven't done anything about it. They'll probably say it's a lie, but it has been corroborated. I just want to give a brief account of what happened. On August 8th our company executed a ten year old boy. We shot him in the back with a full magazine M-16. Approximately August 16th to August 20th, I'm not sure of the date, a man was taken out of his hootch sleeping, was put into a cave, and he was used for target practice by a lieutenant, the same lieutenant who had ordered the boy killed. Now they used him for target practice with an M-60, an M-16, and a .45. After they had pretty well shot him up with the 60, they backed off aways to see how good a shot they were with a .45 because it's such a lousy pistol. By this time, he was dead. On February 8th, this was after a fire fight and we had lost eight men, on February 8th, we found a man in a spider hole. He was of military age. He spoke no English, of course. We did not have an interrogator, which was one of the problems in the fields. He was asked if he were VC and, of course, he kept denying it, "No VC, No VC." He was held down under an APC and he was run over twice -- the first time didn't kill him. About an hour later we moved into a small hamlet, this was in I Corps, it was in a Marine AO, we moved into a small hamlet, 19 women and children were rounded up as VCS--Viet Cong Suspects--and the lieutenant that rounded them up called the captain on the radio and he asked what should be done with them.

The captain simply repeated the order that came down from the colonel that morning. The order that came down from the colonel that morning was to kill anything that moves, which you can take anyway you want to take it. When the captain told the lieutenant this, the lieutenant rang off. I got up and I started walking over to the captain thinking that the lieutenant just might do it because I had served in his platoon for a long time. As I started over there, I think the captain panicked, he thought the lieutenant might do it too, and this was a little more atrocious than the other executions that our company had participated in, only because of the numbers. But the captain tried to call him up, tried to get him back on the horn, and he couldn't get ahold of him. As I was walking over to him, I turned, and I looked in the area. I looked toward where the supposed VCS were, and two men were leading a young girl, approximately 19 years old, very pretty, out of a hootch. She had no clothes on so I assumed she had been raped, which was pretty SOP, and she was thrown onto the pile of the 19 women and children, and five men, around the circle, opened up on full automatic with their M-16s. And that was the end of that. Now there was a lieutenant who heard this over the radio in our company -- he had stayed back with some mortars -- he, when we got back to our night location, he was going half way out of his mind because he had just gotten there, relatively. He was one of these -- I don't know, I guess he was naive or something, believed in the old American ideal. He was going nuts. He was going to report it to everybody. After that day he calmed down and the next day he didn't say anything about it. We got in a wretched fire fight the next day and the whole thing was just sort of lost in the intensity of the war. Now when I got out of the Army an article was written about this and we got in contact with the lt. who was mad and he denied even remembering the company commander's name, which is a bunch of _____ because he's a lifer and he doesn't want to jeopardize his chances for getting promoted, etc., etc. I don't want to go into the details of these executions because the executions are the direct result of a policy. It's the policy that is important.

The executions are secondary because the executions are created by the policy that is, I believe, a conscious policy within the military. Number one, the racism in the military is so rampant. Now you have all heard of the military racism. It's institutionalized; it is policy; it is SOP; you are trained to be a racist. When you go into basic training, you are taught they are gooks and all you hear is, "gook, gook, gook, gook." And once you take the Vietnamese people or any of the Asian people, because the Asian serviceman in Vietnam is the brunt of the same racism, because the GIs over there do not distinguish one Asian from another. They are trained so thoroughly that all Asians become the brunt of this racism. You are trained, "gook, gook, gook," and once the military has got the idea implanted in your mind that these people are not humans, they are subhuman, it makes it a little bit easier to kill 'em. One barrier is removed and this is intentional, because obviously, the purpose of the military is to kill people. And if you're not an effective killer, they don't want you. The military doesn't distinguish between North Vietnamese, South Vietnamese, Viet Cong, civilian--all of them are gooks, all of them are considered to be subhuman. None of them are any good, etc. And all of them can be killed and all of them are killed. Now the second reason for atrocities that occur is because it doesn't take very long for an infantryman in the field to realize that he is fighting for nobody'
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