The "Winter Soldier Investigation" was a media event sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War intended to publicize war crimes and atrocities by the United States Armed Forces and their allies in the Vietnam War. Vietnam Veterans Against the War ( VVAW) is a tax-exempt Non-profit organization and Corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War War crimes are "violations of the laws or customs of war" including but not limited to "murder the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied The United States Armed Forces are the overall unified military forces of the United States The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia The VVAW challenged the morality and conduct of the war by showing the direct relationship between military policies and war crimes in Vietnam. The three-day gathering of 109 veterans and 16 civilians took place in Detroit, Michigan, from January 31-February 2, 1971. A veteran (from Latin vetus, meaning "old" is a person who has or is working in the armed forces Michigan ( is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. Events 1504 - France cedes Naples to Aragon. 1606 - Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes Events 962 - Translatio imperii: Pope John XII crowns Otto I Holy Roman Emperor, the first Holy Roman Emperor Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Discharged servicemen from each branch of military service, as well as civilian contractors, medical personnel and academics, all gave testimony about war crimes they had committed or witnessed during the years of 1963-1970. 
With the exception of Pacifica Radio, the event was not covered extensively outside Detroit. Pacifica Radio is a network of five independently operated non-commercial listener-supported Radio stations in the United States that is known for its progressive However, several journalists and film crews recorded the event, and a documentary film called Winter Soldier was released in 1972. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt in one fashion or another to " Document " reality Winter Soldier is a 1972 documentary film chronicling the Winter Soldier Investigation which took place in Detroit, Michigan, A complete transcript was later entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Mark Hatfield, prompting the Fulbright Hearings in April and May 1973, convened by Senator J. William Fulbright, chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. Mark Odom Hatfield (born July 12 1922 is an American politician and educator from the state of Oregon. The Fulbright Hearings refers to any of the set of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Vietnam conducted between 1966 and 1971 James William Fulbright ( April 9, 1905 &ndash February 9, 1995) was a United States Senator representing Arkansas from US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate.
Prompted by numerous investigations into war crimes and allegations of war crimes, such as the Russell Tribunal, National Veterans Inquiry and Citizens Commission of Inquiry (CCI), the Vietnam Veterans Against the War wanted to have a large scale public hearing. War crimes are "violations of the laws or customs of war" including but not limited to "murder the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied War crimes are "violations of the laws or customs of war" including but not limited to "murder the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied The Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal or Russell-Sartre Tribunal, was a public body organized by British philosopher Bertrand The National Veterans Inquiry was a national-level inquiry into American war crimes in Vietnam The Citizens Commission of Inquiry into United States War Crimes in Indochina (CCI was formed in 1969 by Tod Ensign and Jeremy Rifkin Vietnam Veterans Against the War ( VVAW) is a tax-exempt Non-profit organization and Corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War With the courts martial for the My Lai Massacre making front page news, and the recent disclosure by members of the CIA's Phoenix Program of its record of alleged human rights violations, the VVAW was determined to expose a broad pattern of war crimes in Vietnam. The My Lai Massacre ( approximately) (thảm sát Mỹ Lai was the Mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam almost near as long as it used to be several months ago It has been actively summarized and split into sub-articles and there is a dynamic talk page discussion of all The Phoenix Program ( Vietnamese: Chiến dịch Phượng Hoàng, a word related to Fenghuang, the Chinese phoenix) was a military The Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI) was intended to prove that incidents like My Lai were not isolated and rare occurrences, but were instead the frequent and predictable result of official American war policy. The My Lai Massacre ( approximately) (thảm sát Mỹ Lai was the Mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam almost 
The groundwork for what would become the Winter Soldier Investigation was laid by Jeremy Rifkin, Tod Ensign, Michael Uhl and Bob Johnson of the (CCI). Jeremy Rifkin (born 1943, Denver Colorado) the founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends (FOET is an American economist writer and public Tod Ensign, an American veteran's rights lawyer is the Director of Citizen Soldier, a non-profit GI and Veterans rights Advocacy group based in New York Bob Johnson may refer to Robert L Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television Bob Johnson (outfielder Bob Johnson'' (1905&ndash1982 The Citizens Commission of Inquiry into United States War Crimes in Indochina (CCI was formed in 1969 by Tod Ensign and Jeremy Rifkin In search of first-hand information on war crimes, they contacted the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and gained the support of VVAW co-founder Jan Crumb. Vietnam Veterans Against the War ( VVAW) is a tax-exempt Non-profit organization and Corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War During the summer of 1970, the CCI were approached by Al Hubbard who had become a full-time organizer with VVAW. Alfred H Hubbard was a US Air Force veteran anti-war and civil rights activist Black Panther, executive secretary of Vietnam Veterans Against the War Hubbard suggested that CCI combine their efforts with Jane Fonda, Rev. Jane Fonda (born December 21 1937 is an American Academy Award winning Actress, Writer, political activist, former Fashion Dick Fernandez of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam (CALCAV), Mark Lane and Donald Duncan (who had previously testified at the Russell Tribunal in Denmark). For the US Navy admiral see Donald B Duncan Donald F Duncan Sr The Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal or Russell-Sartre Tribunal, was a public body organized by British philosopher Bertrand The Kingdom of Denmark ( ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊ (archaic ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊ commonly known as Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe An initial steering committee was formed, consisting of Duncan, Ensign, Fonda, Lane, Hubbard, Rifkin, and Fernandez, and continued to organize the WSI through September, 1970. 
Among the growing collective of organizers, differences of opinion and direction arose concerning the planned public event. VVAW leaders felt it should be an all-veteran event, to maintain its credibility. Less than three months into planning for the Winter Soldier Investigation, most of the Vietnam veteran organizers and Jeremy Rifkin had become adamant that WSI disassociate itself from Mark Lane. CCI staffers criticized Lane as being arrogant and sensationalistic, and said the book he was writing had "shoddy reporting in it. " The CCI leaders refused to work with Lane further and gave the VVAW leaders a "Lane or us" ultimatum. VVAW didn't want to lose the monetary support of Lane and Fonda, so the CCI split from the project. The following month, after caustic reviews of Lane's book by authors and a Vietnam expert, VVAW would also distance itself from Lane just one month before the event.  Lane had recently published a book, Conversations with Americans, in which Lane relied on unverified interviews with thirty three servicemen, four of which were later exposed as unreliable by Neil Sheehan in a New York Times book review. Cornelius Mahoney "Neil" Sheehan (born October 27, 1936 in Holyoke Massachusetts) is an American Journalist.  Leaders of VVAW feared involvement with Lane would tarnish the credibility of the WSI. A new steering committee was created without Lane, but he was allowed to continue with fundraising events and was available for legal counsel. The new six-member steering committee for WSI was composed of three national office leaders (Al Hubbard, Craig Scott Moore, and Mike Oliver) and three members of the growing list of chapters (Art Flesch, Tim Butz, and William F. Crandell). Organizers hoped Lane would keep a low profile during the event, and he did, as he spent his time flying around the country defending his book.  Ultimately, the WSI was an event produced by veterans only, without the need of "so-called experts" such as Lane and Fonda. 
After the organizers of the national hearings separated into two groups, they each developed their own events. The CCI advanced its plans for a December event in Washington, DC, while the WSI's new organizers continued with the original plan to hold its hearings in Detroit. The Washington, DC, event would be called The National Veterans Inquiry. The National Veterans Inquiry was a national-level inquiry into American war crimes in Vietnam The Detroit event would be called the Winter Soldier Investigation. Seven of the 142 total participants would provide testimony at both events. 
The support of antiwar celebrities was considered crucial to generate both money and publicity. A series of benefit productions, "Acting in Concert for Peace," were created and featured performances by Jane Fonda, Dick Gregory, Donald Sutherland, and Barbara Dane. Jane Fonda (born December 21 1937 is an American Academy Award winning Actress, Writer, political activist, former Fashion Dick Gregory (born Richard Claxton Gregory on October 12, 1932) is an American Comedian, Social activist, Writer Donald McNicol Sutherland OC (born July 17, 1935) is a Canadian Actor with a film career spanning over 50 years Two concerts by Crosby and Nash, as well as folk singer Phil Ochs, also raised funds. David Van Cortlandt Crosby (born August 14, 1941) is an American Guitarist, Singer, and Songwriter. Graham William Nash (born 2 February 1942) is an British-American Singer-songwriter known for his light tenor vocals and for his songwriting contributions Philip David Ochs ( December 19 1940 – April 9 1976) was a U 
The WSI also relied on considerable support from the Detroit community. Dean Robb and Ernie Goodman solicited donations from their fellow local attorneys, and several clergymen arranged housing for the witnesses. In the words of the Director of Missions for the Detroit Metropolitan Council of Churches, Dr. John B Forsyth, "It is important that the public realize that American atrocities in Vietnam are an every day occurrence. " The Secretary-Treasurer for the United Auto Workers, Emil Mazey and Michigan Secretary of State Richard Austin also helped raise funds for the event. Template talkInfobox Union for usage -->The United Automobile Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Michigan ( is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. 
The purpose of the Winter Soldier Investigation was to show that American policies in Vietnam had led to war crimes. In the words of one participant veteran, Donald Dzagulones,
"We gathered not to sensationalize our service but to decry the travesty that was Lt. William Calley's trial for the My Lai Massacre. William Laws Calley Jr (born June 8, 1943, in Miami, Florida) is American war criminal U The My Lai Massacre ( approximately) (thảm sát Mỹ Lai was the Mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam almost The U. S. had established the principle of culpability with the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of The Nuremberg Trials were a series of trials most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political military and economic leadership of Nazi Germany after Following those principles, we held that if Calley were responsible, so were his superiors up the chain of command — even to the president. The causes of My Lai and the brutality of the Vietnam War were rooted in the policies of our government as executed by our military commanders. "
The name "Winter Soldier Investigation" was proposed by Mark Lane, and was derived from Thomas Paine's first Crisis paper, written in December 1776. Mark Lane (born February 24 1927 in New York City) is a US attorney and author of many books including the bestseller Rush to Judgment Thomas Paine (January 29 1737 &ndash June 8 1809 was an English Pamphleteer, Revolutionary, radical, Inventor, and Intellectual
"We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. } John Forbes Kerry (born December 11 1943 is an American Politician who is currently serving his fourth term as the junior United States Senator The Fulbright Hearings refers to any of the set of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Vietnam conducted between 1966 and 1971 We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out. "
The collecting of testimony from veterans had begun under the auspice of the Citizens Commission of Inquiry the previous year, and it took almost two months of on-site planning in Detroit to organize the conference. Detroit was proposed by Fonda because of its central location in the American heartland, and the "blue-collar" social status of most of the residents. The steering committee set up a collective in a house on the industrial east side of Detroit with the help of Catholic antiwar activists; and five clergymen of different denominations, including the director of missions for the Detroit Metropolitan Council of Churches, offered housing for the witnesses.
The program consisted primarily of testimony, with 109 Vietnam veterans to appear on panels arranged by unit so they could corroborate each other's reports. Grouping these veterans by unit would also help to establish that events and practices to which they testified were unit-wide policy, and not just random and rare occurrences. Several civilian experts who had been to Vietnam were also to speak during this event. Arrangements had been made to include the testimony of several expatriated Vietnamese students residing in Canada, but they were denied visas to the United States by the Canadian government.
Organizers also investigated the legal implications of veterans publicly admitting to criminal acts which they had witnessed or participated in. With legal advice from the Center for Constitutional Rights, the organizers were assured that the armed forces could not charge or try veterans for crimes committed while they were on active duty. The Center for Constitutional Rights ( CCR) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization based in New York City, New York, U  The veterans giving testimony were also instructed not to reveal the specific names of others involved in war crimes. The goal of these hearings was not to indict individual soldiers, but instead to expose the frequency of criminal behavior and its relationship to U. S. war policy. 
The organizers of the Winter Soldier Investigation took several steps to guarantee the validity of the participants.
Each veteran's authenticity was checked before the hearings by the investigation event organizers, and subsequently by reporters and Pentagon officials. In addition, they also gave specific details about their units and the locations where the events had occurred. Those who wanted to testify were carefully screened by the officers of VVAW, and care was taken to verify the service records and testimony of the veterans. After the severe criticism of the accuracy of Mark Lane's book about atrocities a month before the event, the organizers of the Winter Soldier Investigation made the credibility of the participants a top priority. All veterans participating in Winter Soldier were required to bring their discharge papers (DD-214's) and IDs. 
In this connection, the identifying military affiliation of each veteran testifying, including in almost all cases, the dates of service, appears on the roster for each panel that was included with the testimony in the Congressional Record 
As noted in VVAW records, each veteran's authenticity and testimony were checked after the hearings by Nixon's "plumbers. Vietnam Veterans Against the War ( VVAW) is a tax-exempt Non-profit organization and Corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War The White House Plumbers or simply the Plumbers is the popular name given to the covert White House Special Investigations Unit established July 24 " Charles Colson was assigned the task. Kingdoms in Conflict (1988 but I don't know where--> Charles (Chuck Wendell Colson (born October 16 In a confidential "Plan to Counteract Viet Nam Veterans Against the War," Colson wrote, "The men that participated in the pseudo-atrocity hearings in Detroit will be checked to ascertain if they are genuine combat veterans. " At one point, the Nixon team suggested in a memo about VVAW, "Several of their regional coordinators are former Kennedy supporters. "  VVAW was also targeted by the FBI for observation as a possible dissident organization.
Although military documentation was provided, some media organizations such as the Detroit News made further inquiries into the hearings by questioning the authenticity of the 109 testifying veterans. The Detroit News is one of the two major newspapers in the US Discharge papers were examined; military records were checked against the Pentagon records; after all their digging, not one fraudulent veteran was found. The United States Department of Defense ( DOD or DoD) is the federal department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government 
Several months after the Winter Soldier Investigation, NBC News reported on an incident with VVAW executive and Winter Soldier co-organizer Al Hubbard. Alfred H Hubbard was a US Air Force veteran anti-war and civil rights activist Black Panther, executive secretary of Vietnam Veterans Against the War Journalist William Overend stated he had met Hubbard and he had been introduced as being a former Air Force captain who claimed he had been injured crash landing a transport aircraft at DaNang, South Vietnam. Overend learned Hubbard was only an E-5 Staff Sergeant who had never been assigned duty in Vietnam and received his injury playing basketball. After being confronted with this information, Hubbard apologized on the Today Show a few days later, for exaggerating his rank and misrepresenting his service. NBC's Frank Jordan recalls, "He was convinced no one would listen to a black man who was also an enlisted man. " Hubbard did not testify at Winter Soldier, but detractors of the WSI frequently raise Hubbard's fabrication in attempts to generate doubt. Fritz Efaw, a Chapter Representative of VVAW, stated: "The claims that the WSI hearings contained falsified testimony from men who were not veterans is an old one, and it's definitely false. The testimony was startling even at the time it took place: startling to the general public, startling to the military and the Nixon administration, and startling to those who participated because each of them knew a piece of the story, but the hearings brought a great many of them together for the first time and provided a venue in which they could be heard for the first time. It's hardly surprising that those on the other side would set out almost immediately to discredit them. "
Seven years after the hearings, writer Guenter Lewy claimed in his book, America in Vietnam, that allegations against Marines were investigated by the Naval Investigative Service. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service ( NCIS) is the United States Department of the Navy 's primary Law enforcement agency and successor to the former Lewy wrote that the report stated that some veterans contacted by the NIS did not attend the WSI hearing in Detroit or had never been to Detroit, and many refused to be interviewed. However, government officials today cannot verify the report's existence, and no other historian has seen it. Lewy later said that he could not recall if he had actually seen the alleged report or simply been told of its contents. 
In addition, the Army found the allegations made by 46 veterans at the hearings to merit further inquiry, and were able to identify 43 of the complainants. The Army's CID investigators attempted to contact 41 of the people who testified; of the 36 they were able to locate, 31 submitted to interviews.  Scans of the original Army CID Investigation reports are now available online. .
One participant, Jamie Henry, had reported the massacre he described at the hearings  to the Army, which investigated and subsequently confirmed the story. However, the details of the investigation were not made public until 2006, when the Los Angeles Times published the declassified information .
The three days of testimony was presented by unit:
Other veterans testified to the treatment they received when held captive as POWs by the NLF. Events 1504 - France cedes Naples to Aragon. 1606 - Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes Events 1327 - Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen The 5th Special Forces Group is a US Army Special Forces unit that was activated on 21 September 1961 during the Vietnam war by Events 962 - Translatio imperii: Pope John XII crowns Otto I Holy Roman Emperor, the first Holy Roman Emperor The 9th Infantry Division was an important unit of the United States Army in World War II and the Vietnam War. In contrast to accounts of mistreatment described by prisoners of the NVA in the north, the former prisoners speaking at the WSI said they were never physically abused, except for some rough handling during their capture. The NLF provided enough food and medical attention to sustain them, and in the particular case of Sgt. George E. Smith, he claims "I usually had more food than I could eat," although he would often grow ill from intolerance. Smith admitted fearing for his life when he heard Hanoi Radio broadcasts saying NLF soldiers were being executed in Saigon, and the NLF was promising to execute Americans in retaliation. Shortly afterward, two American prisoners held in the same camp with Smith are believed to have been executed in reprisal. At a press conference when Smith was released after two years as a POW, he made statements in support of the NLF and against US involvement in Vietnam, and immediately faced court-martial charges for violation of Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (aiding the enemy). The Uniform Code of Military Justice ( UCMJ,,) is the foundation of Military law in the United States. The charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence, and five years later at the WSI, Smith says he still stands by his statements. 
In addition to the testimony panels, the veterans also held open discussions on related subjects such as "What We Are Doing to Vietnam," "What We Are Doing to Ourselves," violations of international law, Prisoners of War, racism in the military, and also press censorship. Dr. Bert Pfeiffer of the University of Montana presented the first public testimony about the potential toxicity and health effects of the chemical Agent Orange. Agent Orange is the code name for a powerful Herbicide and Defoliant used by the U A special panel of psychiatrists was convened, many of whom had served in Vietnam, to discuss the impact of the war on American society. Midway through the hearings, the organizers insisted that no one make statements on behalf of the Vietnam veterans except for vets. It was presumed by reporters that this was to separate the participation of veterans from that of people like Mark Lane. 
Testimony given during the three day event covered both broad policy concerns, such as the use of chemical agents, indiscriminate bombing, and free-fire zones as well as more specific and unusual war crime incidents, including rape, torture and desecration of the dead. A free-fire zone in US military parlance is a fire control measure used for coordination between adjacent combat units The testifying veterans were usually grouped by branch of military service, and geographic location of service. Before launching into their detailed testimony, each gave a brief statement of personal information including rank, division, unit, length of service and a summary of what their testimony would cover. While only 109 veterans gave testimony, over 700 veterans attended the hearing. Excerpts from the testimony transcripts:
After giving their brief initial statements, a moderator had each of them elaborate upon their testimony, and then the press and observers were given time to ask questions of the veterans.
The previously secret two-week U. S. penetration into Laos in February, 1969, which was part of Operation Dewey Canyon (primarily taking place in South Vietnam at the time), became a controversial subject at this event since the Pentagon had only days before denied that any American troops had crossed the Laotian border and carried out military operations. Year 1969 ( MCMLXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Operation Dewey Canyon was the last major offensive by the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. "RVN" redirects here RVN is also the former callsign of a TV station in Wagga Wagga New South Wales Australia The Pentagon is the Headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. Five veterans from the Third Marine regiment who had returned from the war were present at the WSI and refuted the claims of the Pentagon. They described their secret operations in Laos and also revealed that they were given meticulous orders to hide the fact that they were American including, but not limited to, the removal of identification from uniforms and switching to Russian arms that were typically used by the NVA. They were also ordered to deny all knowledge of involvement of American troops in Laos. A Marine Corps spokesman persisted in issuing a statement at the WSI saying, "no platoons or any large number of Marines ever crossed the border. " This quickly prompted investigations by American media such as the Detroit Free Press, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Boston Globe which were successful in turning up testimonies from other veterans that they had crossed into Laos throughout a 16 month period extending through all of 1971, well past the enactment of the Cooper-Church Amendment forbidding such actions (Cooper-Church came into effect in January 1971). The Detroit Free Press is the largest daily Newspaper in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The St Louis Post-Dispatch is the only major city-wide Newspaper in St The Boston Globe (and Boston Sunday Globe) is the most widely circulated daily Newspaper in Boston and in New England, The Cooper-Church Amendment was introduced in the United States Senate during the Vietnam War. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. The 1969 operation was committed by a company commander and was subsequently authorized by General Creighton Abrams, commander of all US forces in Vietnam. Year 1969 ( MCMLXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The reason given for moving his company into Laos was to combat the North Vietnamese Army and protect his men, later claiming "The political implications of going into Laos were pretty unimportant to me then. "  Investigations also revealed that the Laos operations extended beyond the Marines as helicopter pilots from the 101st Airborne admitted participation in the American co-ordinated secret operation called Prairie Fire (helicopter pilots were not forbidden under Cooper-Church). On March 27, 1974, Senator Harold Hughes informed the Senate that several witnesses had testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee about U. The Committee on Armed Services is a Committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the S. combat forces entering Laos and Cambodia after they were forbidden to do so. Department of Defense white papers revealed thirteen platoon-sized operations in Laos between January 1971 and April 1972. 
Immediately following the WSI, Senator George McGovern and Representative John Conyers announced that they were calling for congressional investigations based on the testimony. This announcement was received with skepticism by the veterans, but VVAW representatives agreed to meet with McGovern and Conyers. 
On Monday, April 5, 1971, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon addressed the WSI allegation made in Detroit that war crimes were the result of military policy and racism was widespread in the armed forces. Events 456 - St Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary bishop Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Mark Odom Hatfield (born July 12 1922 is an American politician and educator from the state of Oregon. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Hatfield noted that some of these allegations, specifically of war crimes, would place the United States in Violation of the Geneva Convention and international laws of war. The Geneva Conventions consist of four Treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland, that set the standards for International law for humanitarian
Senator Hatfield made several recommendations. He asked that a transcript of the Winter Soldier Investigation be read into the Congressional record and made available to the public. Hatfield also asked congress to hold hearings discussing the use of military force in Vietnam and their relation to international agreements our country has ratified. He sent the testimony to the Department of Defense, the Department of State asked Marine Commandant, Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., to investigate the allegations. Leonard Fielding Chapman Jr ( November 3 1913 - January 6 2000) was the 24th Commandant of the Marine Corps and served in that capacity He also recommend consideration be given to forming a special commission that would look into these issues and provide a forum to determine the moral consequence of American involvement in Vietnam.
Mainstream media all but ignored the Winter Soldier Investigation. The East Coast papers refused to cover the hearings, other than a New York Times story a week later. The local field reporter for the Times, Jerry M. Flint, commented with disinterest, "this stuff happens in all wars. " In a February 7, 1971 article he wrote that "much of what they said had been reported or televised before, even from Vietnam. What was different here was the number of veterans present. " Several of the VVAW representatives speculated that there was an "official censorship blackout," and they would express this theory later in their newsletter.
A few articles that were sympathetic to the veterans appeared in lesser-known publications, and Pacifica Radio, known for its left-wing perspective, gave the event considerable coverage. Pacifica Radio is a network of five independently operated non-commercial listener-supported Radio stations in the United States that is known for its progressive The CBS television crew that showed up were impressed, but only three minutes made it to the nightly news on the first night — three minutes that were "mostly irrelevant to the subject," according to VVAW.
The Detroit Free Press printed several stories about the event, including comments from the military. The Detroit Free Press is the largest daily Newspaper in Detroit, Michigan, USA. This included confirmation by the Pentagon that WSI participants investigated by reporters were indeed Vietnam veterans. The Pentagons denials of large scale U. S. activity in Laos was reported as well, until reporters learned from several marines not involved with WSI that operations in Laos had been conducted.
The words of the participants have been permanently recorded in the Congressional Record.  Portions of the testimony, as well as some photos of the event, appear in a book produced by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and John Kerry entitled The New Soldier.
In addition, film footage of the event, as well as some pre-event and post-event footage, and commentary can be found in Winter Soldier: A film / Winterfilm Collective in association with Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The Winterfilm Collective (listed as Winterfilm Inc in the credits to the film Winter Soldier) consisted of Fred Aranow Nancy Baker Joe Bangert Rhetta Barron Vietnam Veterans Against the War ( VVAW) is a tax-exempt Non-profit organization and Corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War Winterfilm, Inc. , 1972.
A documentary film of the event, called Winter Soldier, was first released in February, 1972 at the Cinema 2 theater in the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, New York. Winter Soldier is a 1972 documentary film chronicling the Winter Soldier Investigation which took place in Detroit, Michigan, In May, 1972 it was reviewed at the Berlin and Cannes Film Festivals. The Cannes Film Festival (le Festival de Cannes founded in 1946 is one of the world's oldest most influential and prestigious Film festivals alongside Venice,  Due to the disturbing nature of the subject matter about an ongoing war, it got little distribution and support at that time and had been archived by its creators, collectively called the Winterfilm Collective. The Winterfilm Collective (listed as Winterfilm Inc in the credits to the film Winter Soldier) consisted of Fred Aranow Nancy Baker Joe Bangert Rhetta Barron   In September, 2005, it was re-released across the U. S. in small art house theatres. An Art film (also called an “art cinema” “art movie” or in the U Most of the media reviews have regarded the film positively, with some calling it a "powerful" and "emotional" record of the era. 
Despite significant fund raising efforts by supporters of the VVAW, the cost of the Winter Soldier Investigation event financially bankrupted the organization. Organizers of the event hoped to recoup some of their expenditures through the above mentioned book, film and recording deals. Orders were taken at the event for copies of the film footage, which was to be made available for $300.
Veteran Steve Pitkin, who was 20 years old at the time, has claimed that he was not originally planning to testify at the WSI, but came to Detroit to support his fellow veterans and listen to live music. Pitkin has said he was only asked by event leaders to speak on the second day of the event; he has not indicated why he would have brought the documentation required of all speakers, including discharge papers, if he was not planning to testify. On the panel Pitkin criticized the press for its coverage of the war, and detailed what he considered poor training for combat in Vietnam, and low morale he claimed to have witnessed while there. Pitkin is quoted as saying he was later contacted by a reporter for Life Magazine who asked about war crimes and atrocities. "I didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear," Pitkin is quoted as saying, and nothing he claims to have said was included in the final story. In August, 2004, 33 years after the Winter Soldier Investigation and during the 2004 presidential campaign season, Pitkin signed an affidavit stating "John Kerry and other leaders of that event pressured me to testify about American war crimes, despite my repeated statements that I could not honestly do so. "
Upon hearing of these statements by Pitkin, another participant named Scott Camil filed his own affidavit refuting Pitkin's statements. Scott Camil (born 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, United States) is a noted political activist. Pitkin has subsequently admitted his recollections were flawed, and has re-issued a second affidavit now reflecting a different date of discharge from the Army, different people traveling with him to the Winter Soldier event, and different circumstances under which he joined the VVAW . On September 15, 2004, Pitkin signed a second affidavit stating that he had been instructed by organizers to "publicly state that I had witnessed incidents of rape, brutality, atrocities and racism, knowing that such statements would necessarily be untrue". An affidavit is a formal sworn statement of fact, signed by the declarant (who is called the affiant or deponent) and witnessed (as to the veracity of the However, although he introduced himself by saying, "I'll testify about the beating of civilians and enemy personnel, destruction of villages, indiscriminate use of artillery, the general racism and the attitude of the American GI toward the Vietnamese," his actual testimony contained no such statements.
The U. S. participation in the Vietnam conflict was the source of much deeply divided sentiment among Americans. The Winter Soldier Investigation produced a conglomerate of testimony resulting in the implication and indictment of American leadership in criminal conduct, and thereby further drove a wedge between proponents and opponents of the war.
For more than thirty years since the WSI, individuals and organizations have sought to discredit or at least minimize the painful revelations brought forth at that event. Critics have claimed that participants were frauds; that they were told to not cooperate with later investigators; that their testimonies were inaccurate or just plain fabricated.  To date, no records of fraudulent participants or fraudulent testimony have been produced. 
Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan was an event organized in March 2008 by Iraq Veterans Against the War, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier Investigation, at which U. Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan was an event at which more than 200 U Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan was an event at which more than 200 U Iraq Veterans Against the War ( IVAW) is an advocacy group of active duty military personnel Iraq War veterans Afghanistan War veterans and other S. veterans provided accounts of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iraq War, also known as the Second Gulf War, the Occupation of Iraq, or the War in Iraq, is an ongoing Military campaign The War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7 2001 as the U