The first Winter Soldier hearings were organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in January/February 1971. At those hearings over a hundred fifty U.S. military veterans of that war testified publicly about war crimes and other atrocities against the Vietnamese people that they had either participated in or personally witnessed. Initially largely ignored by the mainstream media as the hearings were going on in Detroit, Winter Soldier would eventually play an important role in the transformation of Americans' consciousness regarding the systemically criminal nature of that colonial war in Southeast Asia.
And now, thirty seven years after the first, there is a second Winter Soldier event being held at Silver Spring, Maryland. This time the U.S. military veterans coming forward with their first-hand experiences of war crimes and atrocities are recently back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The event is being organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).
As expected, the mainstream media has (again) largely ignored the event. A quick scan of today's CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and a few other big papers' websites don't mention the hearings on their front pages.
On the internet though, the testimonies will be archived at the IVAW website; so you'll be able to watch them there. Today Democracy Now! had a good story on Winter Soldier (including a brief interview with two Vietnam War veterans; one testified at the original 1971 hearings), and The Real News Network will be posting excerpts from Silver Spring for the duration of the event (click here to view the intro video to the series). Please help spread the word about this very important event.
Okay, goodbye for now, I need to get to bed. Can't seem to rid myself of this nasty cold... ~ pinky
P.S. Thank you to Brian Koontz for reminding me to post this information.
[ Kim, 3/15: I found a story about Winter Soldier in the Washington Post (it's in Section B though) and there's also a story in the Boston Herald. The media blackout continues in the big ones - NYT, LAT, CNN, etc. ]