Winter soldier coverage.

Several users have posted about the Winter Soldier hearings, The Real is giving the hearings extensive coverage;

I'm listening now...

So sad. One woman called up and was crying because the media isn't covering it. You could hear the fear in her voice. The realization that not everything is as it seems.

Who Is? Archives

I cried


Winter Soldier Testimony on YouTube

War stories echo another winter By Steve Vogel, Washington Post

War stories echo another winter By Steve Vogel, Washington Post

War stories echo another winter
Former soldiers, Marines share their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan
By Steve Vogel, Washington Post

Grim-faced and sorrowful, former soldiers and Marines sat before an audience of several hundred yesterday in Silver Spring and shared their recollections of their service in Iraq.

The stories spilled out, sometimes haltingly, sometimes in a rush: soldiers firing indiscriminately on Iraqi vehicles, an apartment building filled with Iraqi families devastated by an American gunship. Some descriptions were agonized, some vague; others offered specific dates and locations. All were recorded and streamed live to the Web.

The four-day event, "Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan -- Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations," is sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War and is expected to draw more than 200 veterans of the two wars through tomorrow. Timed for the eve of the fifth anniversary of the war's start next week, organizers hope the soldiers' accounts will galvanize public opposition.

For some of the veterans speaking yesterday, the experience was catharsis.

Former Marine Jon Turner began his presentation by ripping his service medals off his shirt and tossing them into the first row. He then narrated a series of graphic photographs showing bloody victims and destruction, bringing gasps from the audience. In a matter-of-fact voice, he described episodes in which he and fellow Marines shot people out of fear or retribution.

'I'm sorry'
"I'm sorry for the hate and destruction I've inflicted upon innocent people," Turner said. "Until people hear about what is happening in this war, it will continue."

Winter Soldier is modeled after a well-known and controversial 1971 gathering of the same name at which veterans of the Vietnam War gathered to describe alleged atrocities. John Kerry, then a young veteran, spoke at the Detroit event, which brought him to prominence. The soldiers' claims sparked lasting enmity, which resurfaced during Kerry's run for president in 2004.

The 2008 Winter Soldier will probably be no different. The event drew dozens of counter-protesters who were kept from the conference site at the National Labor College by a contingent of Montgomery County police. Although entrance to the event was limited to participants and the media, one protester managed to slip in and walked toward the stage, interrupting a speaker.

"Kerry lied while good men died, and you guys are betraying good men," the man yelled. The protester was roughly hustled from the room by several men in red knit shirts and jeans -- members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, who are providing security for the event.

Counter-protesters outside derided the event and were deeply skeptical of the claims being made inside. "We want absolute specifics," said Harry Riley, a retired Army colonel who leads Eagles Up!. "This is too important to our nation. The credibility of our nation and the credibility of our soldiers are involved."

Riley said those making allegations against the U.S. military should have to give sworn testimony instead of speaking at an antiwar conference.

Organizers said they have sought to verify the records of all soldiers speaking, including reviewing their service records and talking to other members of units. Some soldiers had videos and photographs, which were displayed yesterday on a large screen in the auditorium.

"The ubiquitous nature of video, photo and technology really sets this apart" from the original Winter Soldier, said Jose Vasquez, an IVAW member who directed the verification process. Organizers and speakers said Winter Soldier is not meant to vilify soldiers. Instead, they said, it is aimed at changing war policy.

"These are not bad people, not criminals and not monsters," said Cliff Hicks, 23, a former 1st Armored Division soldier from Savannah, Ga., who spoke about his experiences in Iraq. "They are people being put in horrible situations, and they reacted horribly."

A Defense Department spokesman said he had not seen the allegations raised yesterday but added that such incidents are not representative of U.S. conduct.

"When isolated allegations of misconduct have been reported, commanders have conducted comprehensive investigations to determine the facts and held individuals accountable when appropriate," Lt. Col. Mark Ballesteros said.

Yesterday's panels included two sessions on "Rules of Engagement," in which soldiers and Marines described in emotional and often graphic terms incidents in which they said unarmed and innocent civilians were killed.

Most of the stories involved Iraq, though some took place in Afghanistan.

Two former soldiers who served with the 1st Armored Division described an attack by an AC-130 "Spectre" gunship on an apartment building in southern Baghdad that they said took place Nov. 13, 2003.

"It was the most destructive thing I've seen, before or since," said Hicks, one of the soldiers.

Adam Kokesh, a student at George Washington University who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq, said Marines were often forced to make snap decisions about whether to fire on civilians.

"During the siege of Fallujah, we changed our rules of engagement more often than we changed our underwear," he said.

On the screen, a photograph showed him posing next to a burned-out car in which an Iraqi man was killed after approaching a Marine checkpoint.

"At the first Winter Soldier in 1971, one of the testifiers showed a picture like this and said, 'Don't ever let your government to do this to you,' " Kokesh said. "And still the government is doing this."

At a session on shortcomings in veterans' health care, audience members sobbed as Joyce and Kevin Lucey described the suicide of their son, Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Lucey, a death they blamed on his inability to get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental health specialists were on hand to help speakers and audience members, and a workshop was offered on PTSD.

Those who spoke yesterday described the experience as intimidating.

"It was terrifying for me," said Steven Casey, a former 1st Armored Division specialist from Missouri who also described the AC-130 attack. "I knew somebody needed to hear it. All I wanted to do is say what I saw. I'm not accusing anyone of a crime."
© 2008 The Washington Post Company

North Texans for 911 Truth (new site)

Thanks for posting this

The word "counter-protester" bugs me. The people inside are holding an event, and they are protesting it. I wouldn't call the Winter Soldier testimonials a protest. Nor would I use the word "claim," which I doubt is used by WaPo when an "anonymous official" makes an assertion.

Colonel Riley should worry more about the refusal of the president to testify under oath and allow administration officials to testify under oath.

If this is not on CSPAN

It damn well should be.

Saturday, March 15,

Saturday, March 15, 2008
Good night pictures

IVAW Group photo op taken today

Your entrance and exit is greeted by our security
Good Night!

Posted by Mary at 7:14 PM 1 comments
Cost of War at Home

Saturday, March 15th 7:00PM - 8:30PM

*Note – We are Live Blogging Winter Soldier Friday through Sunday. *
You may see more typographical errers errors than usual as we type like @$#!*
*Please bear with us as we get the news out to you*

7:15: Adrienne Kinney Whistle blower

One of the biggest costs at home are to the Constitution
Why it matters where an American is in the world whether they are protected by the constitution" is hard to understand.
Our government is using these occupations to destroy constitutional rights of all Americans.
She apologizes for her service because she believes that it might have contributed to the trials of the veterans here this weekend. The Audience stands and applauds as it does with each revelation and appology and special truth spoken this weekend.

Carlos Arredondo
His son was killed in fighting in Najaf in 2004. He speaks of the heartbreak that so many families endure from losing their children to this war.

7:40pm:Fernando Suarez del Solar
Fernando reports his son who was killed in Iraq by stepping on an illegal cluster bomb and died after waiting 2 hours for medical help.

He says that his and Carlos families are one of 4000 families that have endured these losses and asks: How many more before we all stand up against the war.

7:45: Nancy Lessin - labor lawyer
Nancy is one of the founders of Military Families Speak Out and a labor lawyer who says that the contract the US military has with service members is not being honored by the US government.

Nancy ends by thanking the IVAW for telling the real "Ground Truth". Political leaders have never stopped a war - it takes a a social movement and it is here.

Charley Richardson - labor lawyer
The Iraq war is also a war on dissent within the military, a war on freedom and a war on truth.
Leaders children never serve today. Most of America is isolated from the war leaving the burden on the military and their families.

Cost of the war at home is a loss of democracy and a social outlook that cedes our freedom and decency as a people. The truth is that funding the war is killing our troops and the iraqi people.

Not one more lie, not one more dime
bring our troops home and take care of them when they get here!

8:05pm: Brooks Sunket:
Presents the cost of war interms of what we could have had - very much like our VFP chapter 78 Cost of War campaign ie how much health care, education, etc could we buy with the money spent on war; how much security and freedom have we lost. He then did a comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq and finds many differences.

Catherine Lutz - anthropologist
Analysis of how taxes for the military are redistributed - more goes to wealthy corporate owners and less to poor and middle class families.

A good example is Fort Bragg at Fayetteville which is an economically poor area because of Fort Bragg - working class minimum wage jobs and low pay for soldiers keeps the economy poor.

Racism and sexism pervades the culture of the military and is encouraged by war making.

Massive environmental damage has also been caused by the industrial process that is part of war making. Military installations are often exempted from environmental regulations.

Cultural arrogance is encouraged and indeed is encouraged by war and occupation. Being the largest arms dealer in the world, having hte largest nuclear stock pile in the world has to affect the culture of Americans.

Lutz says her University system is constantly being coerced by the military and the government to participate inthe military industrial complex.

She describes the changes in social support system which is being traded out for a support system for military corporations. And she describes the massive amounts of money- money - money that is poured into the advertising campaign that gives a "military definition of the situation".

We must constantly question that definition and continually count the costs that could make this society a better place.

My favorite site on Cost of War is the National Priorities Project The counter you see here is from that site and if you click below you will go to an interactive site that gives "trade-offs" of what (health care, education, housing) we could have spent that money on at home.

click here to learn more

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Cost of Iraq War Now Beyond Human Comprehension
War is Hell, But What the Hell Does it Cost?
One Week at War in Iraq and Afghanistan for $3.5 Billion

"If economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes are right in their recent calculations and this will turn out to be more than a $3 trillion war (or even a $5-7 trillion one)"

"Nothing, of course, has been cheap for American taxpayers who are financing the Bush administration's war policies. It's been like putting up money for an administration staffed by shopaholics let loose in Neiman Marcus or gambling addicts freed to roam Las Vegas with no betting limits."
Posted by Mary at 6:12 PM 0 comments
Photos on Flicker

Here are the photos we have taken so far posted on Flicker. We are trying tomake this Blog dial up friendly so we are using Flicker instead of Google.
Posted by Mary at 6:07 PM 0 comments
Stars and Stripes Reports on IVAW and their opponents

Stars and Stripes: Veterans groups offer different views of conflict
Posted by Mary at 6:02 PM 0 comments
Civilian Testimony: The Cost of War in Iraq

Fernando Braga (Chair)
Announced a video archive for citizen testimony at Alive in Baghdad

The videos showing now at the conference of Iraqi civilians testimony are streaming
on the IVAW website

Dahr Jamail
Un-embedded journalist in the Middle East
Dahr describes the raid on a school looking for students age 12 to 17 who had protested for Saddam Hussein. The children were terrified by this raid. Children through rocks at departing Bradley and a soldier in the Bradley fired over their heads with an M16. The studnets recognized who the terrorists were in this instance.

Jamail described Medical report on a Bath party member who was dropped off at a local hospital in a coma. The report claimed he suffered form the hear but did not mention broken thumb, whip marks on his body, trauma to his head and electrical burns on his feet and genitals.

April siege of Falluja - Jamal saw bullet holes in Ambulance windows reportedly from American snipers. He witnessed many examples of gun shot wounds being brought in. By hte end of this seige doctors reported 736 deaths, about 60% were civilians. A soccer field had to be used as a grave yard. Cluster bombs and white phosphorus were used at this time (against the Geneva Conventions)

Rahid (Raed) Jarrar (see his blog)- A native of Baghdad
Smart bombs obviously killed civilians - between 100,000 and 1 million (?)
Rahid participated in a door to door casualty survey that brought home to him all the uncounted suffering but Americans still see Iraqi deaths as numbers. He also saw evidence of illegal cluster bombs and depleted uranium in residential neighborhoods. He went with journalists with Geiger counters and disabled American tanks with Iraqi children playing in them were highly radioactive.
Imagine if 1 of every 5 people you know were killed, injured or displaced.
How can staying in Iraq be good for the Iraqi people
We must withdraw and cease intervention - as demanded by the majority of Iraqis
When you step on someones foot on the bus, first you remove your foot and then you apologize!"
"Leave Iraq alone to the Iraqis!"

Salam Talib -Iraqi engineer interpreter and journalist (because they was nothing else to do)
Begins in Arabic - explains that this might be the problem.
His own experience taught him that any contact with US soldiers is really deadly.
He has had almost 40 friends die from these types of incidents

The Arabic we need to know is "Salam" which means peace. And we should never never go somewhere else and steal their peace

Posted by Mary at 3:06 PM 0 comments
Racism and War: The Dehumanization of the Enemy: Part Two

Joshua Casted - Chair
Army Intelligence interrogator at Abu Ghraib
"Moral slippery slopes have to go from top to bottom not bottom to top."
Joshua was briefed by Col Geoffery Miller about how all "Non-democratic" persons were considered the enemy, effectively separating the Iraqi populace from American forces.

2:05: Andrew Duffy - Served as medic in Iraq at Abu Ghraib
Request for insulin for a 23 year old diabetic detainee was denied twice. The detainee eventually died and the command denied that they had refused treatment and the commander who had denied treatment remained in charge of of the night shift medics at Abu ghraib.
Andrew described a sargent at Abugrhaib

2:17: Mike Prysner - Served in Iraq - here is his story on the ANSWER website
Use of racist words such as "Sand nigger", "Haji" started at the top of the command. The Haj is the pilgrimage to Mecca and a Haji is one who has made the pilgrimage.
Ordered to remove families from their houses with no alternatives offered.
Served as an interrogator - described a prisoner who kept collapsing - after a Sargent came along and slammed his head against the wall. Mike would then let the man sit until the sargent came back and he realized he was now protecting this man form his unit instead of protecting his unit from the man.
The wealth of our rulers depend upon their ability to convince the soldier to suffer and hate and die in an occupation that insures their ability to increase that wealth. "We have more in common with the Iraqi people than we do with our rulers that send us to war."
The enemy is the profit system that turns us out of our homes, ships our jobs over seas, send us to war, denies us health care. It is not 5000 miles away but right here at home.

Chris Arendt - Army National Guard form Michigan - his family was poor- joined for school - has yet to receive any help for school.
"I want to tell you what it is like to become a concentration camp guard
without ever knowing what is happening"
His artillery unit got sent to Guantanamo Bay to serve as prison guards. They received one month of training.
Was a 19 year old guard in Camp Delta - papers, numbers, shackles and keys had to be accounted for. He dispatched detainee movements. Chris described how some detainees were shackled to the floor in 10-20 degree temperatures with loud music playing for the length of his 12 - 13 shift. He discusses what is and is not touture and how the system works or does not work.

Geoff Millard -
Geoff heard the use of the word Haji form General Casey, top commander in Iraq, while he was serving in Iraq and he heard it used by other generals as well. He states that the use of racist words to describe civilians comes formthe type down. Sargent Miller attended a briefing on the death of 4 Iraqis including a 4 year old boy and a 3 year old girl who were shot at a check point. He heard the colonel describe this ded family as "f#@ Hajis who needed to learn to drive"

2:45: Domingo Rosas - was stationed in El Anbar Province at Tiger Camp. He was put in charge of a detainee center. One Iraqi general who was in good health while in his custody, died during interrogation. His 14 year old son was also detained and was taken away to identify his father's body.

2:55: Christian Appy - Historian on Vietnam era
He said that the veterans testimony brings hope to him personally and to the anti-war movement as a whole.
Racism is an undeniable factor in this war but is rarely covered in the media. Although racism has deep roots it invariably comes from the top because it needs to have sanction from the top of the government.
The jeopardy our military is paced in is both physical and moral and psychological. We are all tainted by this war - not just the veterans. War brutalizes us all.

3:10pm: Dr Dahlia Wasifi M.D.
Dahlia is a child of an Arab father for Basra and a Jewish mother form New York City.
The participants here today hare heros not because they pick up a gun but because they put it down"
Racism - denial of humanity - do not respect them as human beings -
Vietnams- Names (gooks) - 3millin plus - Iraq - Names (Haji) - 1 million plus - they are disposable.
Illegal immigrants can have their citizenship processes speeded up?
"We have to stay and help"
300 years (USA) 7000 years of civilization (Iraq)
Agneda - US relationship with Israel - Occupation ofIraq - is an extension of the occupation of Palestine
" you know what Iraqis are saying? I don’t speak Arabic, but I can translate for you. They’re saying, “Get out!” They’re saying, “NO way - you’re staying for 60 years.” They’re saying, “Get your oil the old-fashioned way - pay for it!”

North Texans for 911 Truth (new site)

A soldier...

Just talked about how the media, after 9/11, fueled racism against Arabs, and how he wanted to make the Middle East a glass plate (with nukes), and the audience applauded him.

Who Is? Archives

Yes, I remember Christiana Amanpour hosing a particularly

disgusting propaganda series on CNN about Muslim fanatics & Islomofascism a couple of years ago.

Consider mass emailing truth messages. More info here:

Winter Soldier: America Must Hear These Vets' Stories

Winter Soldier: America Must Hear These Vets' Stories
By Penny Coleman

Saturday 15 March 2008

If America listens to what they say, the war would be over tomorrow.

I missed the Winter Soldier Investigation in 1971. At the time I was married to a vet who desperately wanted to put his war behind him - and he wanted me to help him do it. We were supposed to pretend it had never happened. It didn't work.

Daniel refused to talk about Vietnam. "Talk to your old lady? No fucking way," his friend Bobby Lanz shot back when I said I thought that maybe Daniel wouldn't have killed himself if I had been able to get him to talk about whatever it was that was causing him such pain. "With other vets, you can say, 'shit man, I did all this horrible stuff. You're not going to believe the stuff I did', and someone who has been there will say, 'Yeah, so did I, so did we all.' But with your woman? You start to talk about having fucked some folks up bad, doing awful things, killing people, maybe, and she starts to cry and you don't go there again. You think, Fuck me, man, I don't need to hurt her. This is psychological abuse, so I am going to shut up."

Maybe I wouldn't have understood. Completely. But not knowing was far worse. For decades, I took responsibility for his death. I thought it was my fault. And even if I hadn't been able to understand exactly what he was talking about, I would have understood that he was in a kind of lethal pain. Whether it was that he thought he deserved to die or that he deserved to be put out of his misery, either way, execution or euthanasia, I would have understood that he had been injured in the war. And I would have known where to focus my grief and my rage.

What I kept thinking today, listening to all those who testified at this new Winter Soldier investigation sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War at the National Labor College in Washington, DC, is that so much grief and pain for the past 30 years has been mis-directed, so much energy wasted, blaming ourselves and the soldiers we loved for the injuries that we couldn't see. Joyce Lucey, the mother of a soldier who took his own life after returning from Iraq, said that when he left he gave her a coin and told her to hold it like an amulet to keep him safe. She did, but she now understands that even though her son had been returned to her, his soul had been destroyed. "I should have been holding that coin after he came home."

But, she continued, "His voice is silenced. Ours is not." And she quoted Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil in America is for good men to do nothing."

Everything I heard today spoke to that challenge, to the challenge of channeling our combined grief and rage into a focused fight that will really, finally make a difference. Clifton Hicks began his testimony by saying that all of the men he served with in Iraq were there for love: love of country, of ideals, of comrades, and "for that they are beyond judgment. I am here," he added, "to judge the war itself."

One after another, veterans told conflicted stories, some with tears, some with rigid control, some with visible shakes, but all with hard-won moral courage and deep sorrow. John Michael Turner began his testimony by telling the audience that as far as he was concerned, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" was history. For him it is now "Eat the apple and fuck the corps." Then he tossed his dog tags into the audience saying, "Fuck you, I don't work for you no more." Turner's first confirmed kill was on April 18, 2006. He shot an Iraqi boy in front of his father. It took a second shot to kill him. He had a photograph of the boy's open skull. Turner was personally congratulated by his commanding officer, who proceeded to offer a four day pass to anyone who got a kill by stabbing one of the enemy. Turner ended with, "I am sorry for the hate and destruction that I have inflicted on innocent people. I am sorry for the things I did. I am no longer the monster that I once was."

Hart Viges told of having an insurgent, armed with a rocket-propelled grenade, in his sights during a firefight and not being able to pull the trigger. He was frozen by awareness that the fear and confusion he saw on the Iraqi kid's face was exactly what he imagined was on his own.

Adam Kokesh enlisted in the Marines not because he agreed with the war, but because he "wanted to help clean up the mess." Instead of the schools and water facilities his President had promised he would be helping to build, he found himself policing a wanton project of human and social destruction. He manned "snap" check points where Marines in camouflage at dusk shot unsuspecting drivers who had failed to see them. He described feeling "funny" when he had to decide whether or not to pose with the trophy remains. "I wasn't the one who killed this guy." Kokesh was ordered to shoot at Iraqi police and firemen who were out after curfew putting out a fire that had been started by American rounds. That one he managed to stop with his "little bit of Arabic," but Kokesh wasn't optimistic about our prospects in Iraq. "We care so the American people don't have to. As soon as you choose looking good over doing right, you lose."

Clifton Hicks talked about free fire orders in city neighborhoods and the indiscriminate, often vengeful, targeting of cars and civilians, and about riding through the gates of their compound one night, aware that the humvee in front of his had run over a civilian. No one said anything because it had been a long hard day. They had all been in country long enough to feel that the bigger deal was "being separated from your cot" for the hours it would have taken to fill out the paperwork.

Jason Hurt, a medic from East Tennessee, said, "I am a peaceful person, and I drew down on an 80 year old woman. I hate guns. They should all be melted down into jewelry." And he added, if this were happening where he lives, if some foreign occupying force came into his part of the world, "every self-respecting citizen would come out of the hills with a shotgun to defend their country."

Vincent Emanuelli was appalled by the way American soldiers treated Iraqi dead. "Standard operating procedure was to run over them or take pictures."

Sergio Corrigan said that all an Iraqi needed was a heavy bag and a shovel to become a target. And looking back, with a "clear mind and not so much anger," he wanted to "apologize to the people of Iraq."

James Gilligan struggled to tell about the night he saw a flash on a mountainside and tried to call in for fire. But he took his compass reading too close to a machine gun and the heavy metal threw he reading off. An Afghani village was decimated and he will never be the same.

As Adam Kokesh put it, they were all struggling all the time because their morals were at odds with their survival instincts.

These new Winter Soldiers look so young to me. They are my son's age. My daughter's age as well. The last time young soldiers like these tried to get Americans to listen they were ignored. And that can't be allowed to happen again. The message of Iraq Veterans Against the War came through clearly in every tortured testimony. This is an illegal war. It has cost us our peace of mind. The longer we are there, the more of us will be injured. Bring our troops home now.

It is tempting to despair, but as Logan Laituri reminded the audience, Logan who had testified that his unit unknowingly used white phosphorous for training rounds and that it had "a significant impact on the surrounding communities, what Dr. King said in 1967 is equally true for us now. He said that he opposed the War, then in Vietnam, "because I love America. I speak out against this war not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world."

The Winter Soldier Hearings can be viewed on satellite TV, streamed live over the internet or can be heard on select Pacifica Radio stations. For more information, visit Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Penny Coleman is the widow of a Vietnam Veteran who took his own life after coming home. Her latest book, Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide and the Lessons of War, was released on Memorial Day, 2006. Her website is Flashback

Veterans recall horrors of war in live broadcast By Anna Badkhe

March 16th, 2008 3:54 am
Veterans recall horrors of war in live broadcast

By Anna Badkhen / Boston Globe

CAMBRIDGE, MA - Liz Jackson's eyes were fixed on a screen showing a live broadcast of anguished testimonies by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans describing what they had seen and done during their combat tours.

Jeffery Smith recalled how his Army unit beat and humiliated Iraqi prisoners. Former Marine Bryan Casler recounted how fellow Marines urinated and defecated into food and gave it to Iraqi children. Former Marine Matthew Childers talked about how he used to humiliate Iraqi civilians during predawn raids on their homes. When he described turning away an Iraqi father who was asking American troops to help the badly burned baby he carried in his arms, Jackson began to weep silently.

"These soldiers are saying: 'I'm complicit,' " said Jackson, 29, a community organizer from Cambridge. "But every American citizen who saw this happen and isn't out there protesting is complicit. I include myself."

Hundreds of soldiers and Marines from across the country are testifying this weekend in the "Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan" hearings, a four-day event held at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md. The event is named after the 1971 Winter Soldier hearings in which Vietnam War veterans testified in a Detroit hotel about war crimes they had participated in or witnessed.

The hearings, which began Thursday and end today, were organized by the Iraq Veterans Against War, a national antiwar organization, and broadcast live in locations across the country. The veterans who testified called for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

"In the United States today people's minds have gotten off the war. We are trying to get their attention," said Paul Shannon, whose New England United antiwar network organized the live screening shown yesterday in First Parish Unitarian Church in Harvard Square, in a side room that was packed with about 300 antiwar activists, former troops, local residents like Jackson, and curious passersby.

On Friday, more than a dozen Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from Massachusetts drove to Silver Spring to observe and participate in the hearings.

One of them, Ian J. Lavallee, an Iraq war veteran from Jamaica Plain, said in a phone interview yesterday that although he was not planning to testify, he wanted to attend the hearings because it was his "duty to the people of the world" to condemn an "occupation that is being waged in our name and with our tax dollars."

"We dehumanized people. The way we spoke about them, the way we destroyed their livelihoods, their families, doing raids, manhandling them, throwing the men on the ground while their family was crying," recalled Lavallee, 23, who served in Iraq in 2005 and was honorably discharged from the Army in 2006 after he attempted suicide.

"I became a person I never thought I would become," he said. "It really upset me that I did these things."

From a folding chair in the Cambridge church, a fellow veteran, Patrick Dougherty, watched the hearings intently.

"It just takes me back there," he said. The testimonies reminded him "how malicious we were over there."

Dougherty, who was deployed to Baghdad and Mahmoudiya for 14 months beginning in 2003, "felt from the start that we had no intention to win hearts and minds," he said, his hands nervously running from the stubble on his chin to his hair and back to his chin.

"The way we treated our detainees like animals, kept them in cages in the hot sun all day - " said Dougherty, 24, who studies biology at the University of Massachusetts and lives in Fields Corner.

Dougherty was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he had considered testifying at the Winter Soldier hearings, but his doctor talked him out of it because the event could conjure memories too difficult for the veteran to bear.

Most of the people who came to watch the testimonies were members of antiwar groups in Massachusetts. Jennifer Magee, who works at Harvard University Art Museums, came because her roommate, an antiwar activist, had told her about it.

"These are the stories you never hear in the paper," said Magee. "It's really powerful to hear from the veterans."

Charles Gluck, a social worker from Long Island who was visiting Cambridge yesterday, wandered in after he saw a poster outside the church advertising the event.

"Some of the things I heard were shocking," Gluck said after listening to several testimonies. "My hope is that a movement like this would expand and . . . give people opportunity to make a more informed decision as to who the next president will be."

No public screening of the hearings will be held today. Recordings of the testimonies are available at