Sir! No Sir!
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In the 1960's an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. This movement didn't take place on college campuses, but in barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs and in the dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated elite military colleges like West Point. And it spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam. It was a movement no one expected, least of all those in it. Hundreds went to prison and thousands into exile. And by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, infested the entire armed services. Yet today few people know about the GI movement against the war in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War has been the subject of hundreds of films, both fiction and non-fiction, but this story-the story of the rebellion of thousands of American soldiers against the war-has never been told in film. This is certainly not for lack of evidence. By the Pentagon's own figures, 503,926 'incidents of desertion' occurred between 1966 and 1971; officers were being 'fragged' (killed with fragmentation grenades by their own troops) at an alarming rate; and by 1971 entire units were refusing to go into battle in unprecedented numbers. In the course of a few short years, over 200 underground newspapers were published by soldiers around the world; local and national antiwar GI organizations were joined by thousands; thousands more demonstrated against the war at every major base in the world in 1970 and 1971, including in Vietnam itself; stockades and federal prisons were filling up with soldiers jailed for their opposition to the war and the military.
Yet today, with hundreds of thousands of American GIs once again occupying countries on the other side of the world, these history-changing events have been erased from America's public memory.
SIR! NO SIR! aims to change all that. The film does four things: 1) Brings to life the history of the GI movement through the stories of those who were part of it; 2) Reveals the explosion of defiance that the movement gave birth to with never-before-seen archival material; 3) Explores the profound impact that movement had on the military and the war itself; and 4) Tells the story of how and why the GI Movement has been replaced with the myth of the spat-upon veteran.
SIR! NO SIR is a film that challenges deeply-held beliefs not just about the Vietnam War and those who fought it, but about the world we live in today. It is a vivid portrayal of William Faulkner's famous observation that 'The past isn't dead; it isn't even past.'
'David Zeiger's superb documentary about the Vietnam War era's GI protest movement is jammed with incident and anecdote and moves with nearly as much breathless momentum as the movement itself.' Chuck Wilson, L.A. WEEKLY
'Because it's bolstered by proud memories of Vietnam vets who turned against the war, Sir! No Sir! rings with an exultant, even elated tone.' Robert Koehler, VARIETY
'A 'must-see' documentary which seeks to return to the historical record the pivotal story of the GI anti-war movement during the Vietnam War.' Les Wright, CULTUREVULTURE.NET
'A powerful documentary that uncovers half-forgotten history, history that is still relevant but not in ways you might be expecting.' Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES
'This is powerful stuff, offering us not only a new look at the past, but to the unavoidably relevant insights into the present.' Elizabeth Weitzman, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
'A tight, engrossing and excellent chronicle of the movement made by these heroic men who chose to question authority instead of falling in line.' Felix Vasquez, FILM THREAT
'The soldiers' disillusionment at what they saw in Vietnam is palpable, and Zeiger does a service by bringing their stories out of history's forgotten files and into the light. ' Rob Thomas, CAPITAL TIMES (MADISON, WI)
'Sir! No Sir! movingly captures the raw excitement of grunts discovering their power and their voices in their ability to resist.' Nathan Rabin, ONION AV CLUB
'The voices of the veterans alone, however, make this an important and poignant film that can speak to any generation.' John McMurtrie, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
'Zeiger's movie is a timely salute to the risky and brave men and women who had the temerity not only to think for themselves but to speak their minds.' Wesley Morris, BOSTON GLOBE
'This compelling documentary by director David Zeiger recounts what were more than half a million 'incidents of desertion' during the war, many of them acts of direct rebellion against the legitimacy of the war.' Bruce Newman, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
'Honors those who fought, then questioned the morality of that fight, then joined the national protest.' Michael Phillips, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
'Shines a light on a forgotten corner of the antiwar movement: the men (and a few women) who returned from their tours of duty filled with doubt and disillusionment over what they saw, and did, there.' Steven Rea, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
'This is an important chapter in the Vietnam library of films.' Richard Roeper, EBERT and ROEPER
'Sir! No Sir! so vividly evokes the rage, passion and provocation of the era it chronicles that it feels up-to-the-minute.' Gene Seymour, NEWSDAY
'David Zeiger's superb documentary about the Vietnam War era's GI protest movement is jammed with incident and anecdote and moves with nearly as much breathless momentum as the movement itself.' Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly
'An impressive presentation... [Sir! No Sir!] makes a strong case that history has been rewritten to erase the evidence of veterans' participation in the antiwar movement. There's a lot of fascinating material here for viewing, discussion, and, surely, debate. Excellently filmed, edited, and engineered... Very highly recommended.' Library Journal
'*** [Sir! No Sir!] is a compelling tribute to men and women who exhibited real courage and commitment on a different kind of battlefield--one that will surely carry resonance... Recommended.' Video Librarian's Best Documentaries of the Year List
'The powerful, profound emotions evoked by Sir! No Sir, a film about the spontaneous to begin with, then organized, resistance on the part of U.S. soldiers to the war in Vietnam remain with you long after the film is over...In the film talking heads alternate with contemporary documentary footage. The contrast between the unblemished faces of the young men and women back when and their sometimes weathered, sometimes serene present faces is so deeply affecting that finally, it's the extraordinary moral and physical courage of the individuals who instinctively and intellectually knew right from wrong that movingly stays with you, and continues to stay. Highly Recommended.' Rebecca Adler, College of Staten Island, City University of New York, Educational Media Reviews Online
Zeiger, David (Producer)
Zeiger, David (Director)
Zeiger, David (Screenwriter)
Zeiger, David (Cinematographer)
Griego, Evangeline (Producer)
Zarrow, Aaron (Producer)
Garity, Troy (Narrator)
Asner, Edward (Performer)
Editors, May Rigler, Lindsay Mofford; camera, May Rigler, David Zweiger; original music, Buddy Judge.
Distributor subjectsAmerican Studies; Anthropology; Asian Studies; Citizenship; Conflict Resolution; Ethics; Global Issues; History; Human Rights; Humanities; Military; Political Science; Social Justice; Social Psychology; Sociology; Vietnam; War and Peace
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The following program is in living colors and has
been rated \"X\" by the Vietnam academy of maggots.
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This is Radio First Termer
operating on Dave Rabbit’s
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on its own frequency at 69 MHz on your
FM dial. The purpose of this program
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is to bring vital news, information,
and hard acid rock music
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to the first termers and non-re-enlistees
in the Republic of Vietnam.
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Radio First Termer operates under no
Air Force regulations or manuals.
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In the event of a vice squad raid this
program will automatically self-destruct.
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I misunderstand it. I liked
being in the Marine Corps.
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I thought it was good. When I did go into
the military, I went in there gung-ho.
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In basic training you have these 500 points
that you score. I scored like 501 or something.
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You know, I was really, you now, ready.
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I was certain that every male member of my family
had their war, and that there’d be a war from me.
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And I would go off and be a hero, and fight a
good fight for this country. I’ve tried to spend
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my whole life having
people live a better life,
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and basically feel better. That’s what nurses do, right? You
know, it took us almost three weeks to cross the Pacific
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and there wasn’t too much to do on a
troopship. So we’d sit up on the deck at night
00:02:05.000 --> 00:02:09.999
and have raps. A lot of times we’d get to,
whether we’re, what we were going to,
00:02:10.000 --> 00:02:14.999
whether it was right or wrong. And we’d
go back and forth, back and forth,
00:02:15.000 --> 00:02:20.000
and we’d always end up concluding, \"Well, let’s hope we’re
doing the right thing \"because that’s where we’re going.\"
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In the early 1960s, the United States
Government began sending combat troops
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to South Vietnam. I was really proud of
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what I thought I was doing. The
problem I had was realising that
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what I was doing was not good.
I was doing it right,
00:02:45.000 --> 00:02:49.999
but I wasn’t doing right. I was
asked to train Green Beret people,
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Special Forces men. Why were they training these
guys in dermatology? Well, they were training them
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to do dermatology in Vietnam because they
knew that if they were able to offer
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a few simple remedies, and help cure a few
children of some simple bacterial infections,
00:03:05.000 --> 00:03:09.999
that, that would ingratiate themselves
to the Vietnamese community.
00:03:10.000 --> 00:03:14.999
And, you know, you remember the phrase, \"winning
the hearts and the minds of the people\".
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So this was, this was how you were going to win the hearts
and minds of the people. And while they were offering
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the band aids and helping to cure a few cases of impetigo,
uh… they were bombing the hell out of the villages.
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I was out on a patrol uh… near Hipwa,
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and uh… we took a couple of prisoners,
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whether they were combatants or not, who
knows. The patrol was led by Americans
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but there were Vietnamese, ARVN there,
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and they were turned over to ARVN and ARVN used
the old-fashioned methods of interrogation:
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force, torture, that was
pretty common practice.
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I tell you as bad as that, as
bad as that treatment was,
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the cynicism that attached to it, was the
part that was really sickening, I thought,
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anathema to everything I’d been taught, everything I’d
learned, everything I grew up with, this is just not the way
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you treat human beings.
And it was all done for
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the good of the cause, I guess. I
got out of the military in 1966.
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I got out because of the things
I saw, the things I was doing,
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and the reasons that we were given for
doing them. It was a personal protest.
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It was just me getting out of the service
and there was no movement to join.
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I found the war in Vietnam uh… more and more repulsive.
And I felt that I just couldn’t be a part of it.
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Eventually I said, \"Look, I’m not
training you, guys, anymore.
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I don’t agree with what you’re doing. I think
it’s immoral. I think it’s medically unethical.\"
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And I just stopped. Threw them out of the clinic. Uh…
It took a few weeks for the army to catch up with that,
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uh… and when they did the invited me into
the Commanding Officer’s office and said,
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\"Look, what are you doing, here?\" And I told him exactly what
I was doing. I said, \"I’m not training them.\" And they said,
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\"Well, you know, you should know the consequences of that.\"
And I said, \"I’m perfectly aware of the consequences.
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So I’m not training them.\" At that point it was
obvious that I was going to be court-martialled,
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and a few days later I got the
court-martial notice. Howard Levy spent
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three years in prison. Along
with him, three Gis at Fort Hood
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who refused orders to Vietnam and received five
years hard labor and a dishonorable discharge.
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Army Lieutenant Henry Howe, who carried
a sign at a demonstration reading,
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\"End Johnson’s fascist aggression in
Vietnam\" was sentenced to two years.
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And two marines, William
Harvey and George Daniel,
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received 6 to 10 years sentences for organizing a meeting
about whether black people should fight in Vietnam.
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And on March 3rd, 1966,
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former Green Beret, Donald Duncan was the featured speaker
at an anti-war meeting at the town hall in Manhattan.
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I just wanted to tell what I knew about it,
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and let, let people then
judge for themselves.
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I think the most startling
thing to me occurred
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however, as the court-martial began.
What would happened was, we would walk
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from the parking lot to the uh… building
where the court-martial was being held,
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and it was the most remarkable thing
when hundreds, hundreds of Gis,
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would hang out of windows out of the
barracks and give me the V sign,
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or give me the clenched fist.
This was mind-boggling to me.
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This was a revelation. And at that point,
it really became crystal clear to me
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that something had changed here and that
something very, very important was happening.
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How many people in the Army
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would you think feel the same perhaps
as you do, are against the war?
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I wouldn’t mention. I really don’t know
how many, but I know how many I met,
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and that was a majority of the men
that I met in the service were opposed
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but really didn’t know how
to voice their opinion.
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1968 was the turning point, by then America had
over half a million troops in South Vietnam.
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But during the Lunar New Year
Holiday called Têt, the enemy,
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the North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front Armies,
launched an offensive that overran the entire country
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before being pushed back. The Têt
offensive revealed that the enemy had
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widespread support from the Vietnamese people and
America was mired in a war that couldn’t win.
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And with soldiers beginning
to question the war
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in the wake of the Têt offensive, thousands
began going AWOL, or Absent without leave.
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Many found their way to San Francisco
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where a series of events brought the emerging
GI antiwar movement onto the national stage.
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Have you given much thought to the
penalty of being an AWOL? Yes.
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Can we see your chains, please?
We joined together
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in July, 1968. We took
sanctuary in a church
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and chained ourselves to ministers.
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We essentially called the press and said
to them, \"We’re not going to Vietnam.
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We’re refusing our orders. And in fact we’re
resigning from the military. Come and get us.\"
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The fact that it took
them three days to decide
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how to deal with this
tactically, that was great.
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We had nothing to lose. And we had no idea
what was gonna come. And that’s a free place.
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It’s a really free place, you know.
You don’t know what’s gonna happen,
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you don’t know where you’re going,
but you know what you’re doing.
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And that was my introduction to the
San Francisco Presidio stockade.
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The population fluctuated usually upwards.
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It was built, I think, could hold
like maybe 60, and there was some,
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sometimes double that in there.
Overcrowded, toilets backed up,
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food was short, guards were mean.
It wasn’t any fun.
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With the \"Nine For Peace\" held in military prisons,
soldiers throughout the Bay Area began planning
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for the first anti-war demonstration in the
country organized by Gis and veterans.
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I was a member of the Medical Committee for
Human Rights. We got together a number of times
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and talked about how we were going to organize
active duty Gis to go to the peace demonstration.
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And then I remember also
hearing about the B-52 bombers
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that were dropping leaflets in Vietnam
urging the Vietnamese to defect.
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And I thought, \"Well, if
they can do it overseas,
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and then we can hire a small private
plane, load it up with leaflets,
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and drop the leaflets on military
bases in the San Francisco Bay area.\"
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Thousands and thousands of leaflets.
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At one point I know we were a little concerned
about getting shot down, but nothing happened.
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Evidently they landed pretty
accurately, that’s what they testified
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at the court-martial.
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And on my way driving into the
demonstration, I decided I was going to
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wear my naval uniform.
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My opinion was fairly straightforward. It
was, if Westmoreland could wear his uniform
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being for the war and talking in front of
Congress, then as an active duty person,
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I certainly had the same rights that
he did. And I could wear my uniform
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protesting the United States
involvement in Vietnam.
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Susan Schnall was court-martialled for making
a political statement while in uniform.
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And following the GI and veterans
march for peace, four AWOL Gls
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turned themselves in to the Presidio Army Stockade,
which was about to reach a breaking point.
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The moment of my epiphany, or the, you know, the
thing that came to me was, working in a hospital,
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in the military hospital up at
Fort Lewis, in a neurology floor
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and it was all head and neck injuries. Guys who were so
paralyzed that they couldn’t turn the page of a book,
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and they couldn’t even take a poop by
themselves, and they couldn’t kill themselves.
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And every day we’d come in as the medics to take care
of them and they would beg us every day to kill them,
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because they couldn’t kill themselves.
And it was such a horror,
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it caused me to think to myself, ‘cause I
was, I was grew up in a military family.
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My grandfather was a career officer and my father
was a career officer, and I had no reason at all
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going into the military, to think there was anything wrong with
the Vietnam War or anything wrong with America, the beautiful.
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And then there I was, faced with this situation
where guys every day were asking me to kill them.
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And it was so horrible I
had to… At a certain point
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I just made a vow to myself that, that, that I
would never put somebody else into the hospital
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on those circumstances. That I wouldn’t be the guy
that squeeze the trigger that caused some human being
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to be in that dreadful situation. The
other thing that bothered me was
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that those guys who could talk, the ones that would beg you to kill them,
the ones that couldn’t turn the page of the book, they couldn’t wiggle
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anything from their chin down,
and none of them felt like
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they had made the sacrifice for a good
reason. They all told stories of,
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you know, of brutalizing the
Vietnamese people, of being the thugs.
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And not a single one of them felt like his
sacrifice was, was, was for a good cause.
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For 19-year-old, Private Michael Bunch, life in the Army
had been a little more than a series of AWOL violations.
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His last stop was here, the Presidio
Stockade, where he was fatally shot
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last Friday while trying to escape from a
work detail. So I’d been assigned kind of
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by the movement, people to go into the Stockade
and find out what was going on, ‘cause they’d,
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they’d shot this prisoner and killed him.
The guards shot and killed him,
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you know, point blank.
And his only crime was
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not wanting to be there, and going AWOL.
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And he cut, he was cut down at a really
young age and for no good reason.
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Not unlike a lot of his brothers
in Vietnam, you know. Uh… So
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umm… So we reacted
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uh… viscerally and with anger
and disgust and outrage.
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And we tore that jail apart. We
ripped the wires out of the walls,
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ripped the squawk box off the wall.
And then things started to calm down,
00:14:10.000 --> 00:14:14.999
because we started to plan. We came to a
decision that the best thing we could do
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was to have some kind of a demonstration. And it
was at the roll call formation, we had a signal.
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That when we were supposed to break ranks, and we did and
then we walked over here and sat down. At a certain point,
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Commandant came out and read us the Mutiny Act, and we just kept singing
louder and, you know, kind of linked arms and singing, singing.
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We were scared, man. I tell you.
We were really scared.
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We had them right where we wanted them, they were finally
listening to us, man. That’s the first time I can ever remember
00:14:40.000 --> 00:14:44.999
anybody listening to us while
I was in the military.
00:14:45.000 --> 00:14:49.999
The Commanding General of the Sixth
Army, which was the jurisdiction,
00:14:50.000 --> 00:14:54.999
he said that they thought that the revolution was about
to start. And they really had to set an example.
00:14:55.000 --> 00:14:59.999
You know, come down hard, and we were the
guys that they decided to do that with.
00:15:00.000 --> 00:15:04.999
And they did. I mean, we were on trial for our
life. You know, I got to came in as an AWOL and,
00:15:05.000 --> 00:15:09.999
you know, within two days of, we’re hitting the
Stockade I was, you know, I was facing a death sentence
00:15:10.000 --> 00:15:14.999
for singing \"We Shall Overcome.\"
00:15:15.000 --> 00:15:19.999
Initially sentenced to 16 years for mutiny, the
Presidio 27 spent up to two years in federal prison.
00:15:20.000 --> 00:15:24.999
And facing decades in jail for
both the \"Nine For Peace\"
00:15:25.000 --> 00:15:29.999
and \"Presidio Sitdown.\" Keith Mather
escaped from the Presidio Stockade
00:15:30.000 --> 00:15:34.999
and made his way to Canada, where he
spent the next 18 years living in exile.
00:15:35.000 --> 00:15:39.999
But in the Summer of 68, as thousands of supporters
protested the jailing of the Presidio 27,
00:15:40.000 --> 00:15:44.999
the GI Movement had arrived.
00:15:45.000 --> 00:15:49.999
00:15:50.000 --> 00:15:54.999
My background is Puerto Rican. I was born
in New York City. When I was 17 years old,
00:15:55.000 --> 00:15:59.999
I entered the US Military Academy at
West Point. I graduated with honors
00:16:00.000 --> 00:16:04.999
and the Army sent me to graduate
school at Harvard University,
00:16:05.000 --> 00:16:09.999
to the Kennedy School of Government.
I was there for year and half,
00:16:10.000 --> 00:16:14.999
at which point I wrote to the Army and said that
I would refuse to serve in the Vietnam War.
00:16:15.000 --> 00:16:19.999
I came to believe it was a war of aggression
by the United States against the Vietnamese.
00:16:20.000 --> 00:16:24.999
It was really a troubling decision.
Because I knew that
00:16:25.000 --> 00:16:29.999
my career would be over, and I didn’t
know what the future would bring.
00:16:30.000 --> 00:16:34.999
At the time, the press said that I was the first
West Point graduate to refuse to serve in a war
00:16:35.000 --> 00:16:39.999
in the history of West Point. I remember
calling my parents and they were in tears,
00:16:40.000 --> 00:16:44.999
I mean, just totally in tears, uh…
thinking that I would end up in prison
00:16:45.000 --> 00:16:49.999
uh… instead of getting a master’s degree from Harvard.
But I told them, I remember in that conversation,
00:16:50.000 --> 00:16:54.999
I said, \"You always taught me to do
what is just, to do what is right.\"
00:16:55.000 --> 00:16:59.999
And I really felt that
00:17:00.000 --> 00:17:04.999
I was doing the right thing. And
I believe that to this day.
00:17:05.000 --> 00:17:09.999
Thirty four years later, I
know I did the right thing.
00:17:10.000 --> 00:17:14.999
00:17:15.000 --> 00:17:19.999
I was wounded three times while I was out in
the bush. The third time I was wounded was on
00:17:20.000 --> 00:17:24.999
December 20th, 1967, and we got overrun by
00:17:25.000 --> 00:17:29.999
North-Vietnamese irregulars. They started like a
human wave attack. And a guy came up behind our hole
00:17:30.000 --> 00:17:34.999
and stuck his rifle in the hole. And
I saw the front side of an AK-47
00:17:35.000 --> 00:17:39.999
and a muzzle flash. I
had my M-16 pointed up,
00:17:40.000 --> 00:17:44.999
and I started to pull, pulled my trigger when I saw
the AK site. And the bullet hit me in the knee
00:17:45.000 --> 00:17:49.999
and I blacked out. I came to a few
minutes later and my gun was jammed
00:17:50.000 --> 00:17:54.999
and my knee was shattered.
After the fighting ended
00:17:55.000 --> 00:17:59.999
and the sun came up, and they carried me over to this guy who
had shot me. And he was sitting up against a tree stump,
00:18:00.000 --> 00:18:04.999
and he was dead. He had three bullets
holes up his chest and he had his AK
00:18:05.000 --> 00:18:09.999
lying across his lap. And the Sergeant said,
\"Here’s this gook you killed. You did a good job.\"
00:18:10.000 --> 00:18:14.999
And I seen this guy and
he was about my age,
00:18:15.000 --> 00:18:19.999
and I said, thinking, you know, \"Why is he dead and
I’m alive?\" It was just a matter of pure luck.
00:18:20.000 --> 00:18:24.999
Then I started thinking, I
wonder if he had a girlfriend
00:18:25.000 --> 00:18:29.999
and how his mother is going to find out and things
like that. This is, when you just went through
00:18:30.000 --> 00:18:34.999
an experience of that nature, and you find out
that it’s all lies and that they’re just lying to
00:18:35.000 --> 00:18:39.999
the American people, and your silence means
that you’re part of keeping that lie going,
00:18:40.000 --> 00:18:44.999
I couldn’t stop, I mean, I couldn’t be silent.
You know, I felt that I had a responsibility
00:18:45.000 --> 00:18:49.999
to my friends, and to the country
in general, and to the Vietnamese.
00:18:50.000 --> 00:18:54.999
The last guy who I shot, and I don’t
consider he was the first guy I shot,
00:18:55.000 --> 00:18:59.999
but he was the first guy I shot where I was shooting it up barrel
to barrel with him, and looked him in the face afterwards,
00:19:00.000 --> 00:19:04.999
and I felt a certain amount of responsibility
to him. To make that his life…
00:19:05.000 --> 00:19:09.999
If his, his death not be in vain, meant
that I had to try and advocate for
00:19:10.000 --> 00:19:14.999
all the justness that he was fighting for because
I believed that he was fighting for his country.
00:19:15.000 --> 00:19:19.999
So I became involved in the
movement, as whatever it may be.
00:19:20.000 --> 00:19:24.999
00:19:25.000 --> 00:19:29.999
With more and more soldiers turning against
the war, a handful of peace activists opened
00:19:30.000 --> 00:19:34.999
the first of what would become a network
of dozens of anti-war GI coffeehouses
00:19:35.000 --> 00:19:39.999
located in the towns that
hovered near military bases.
00:19:40.000 --> 00:19:44.999
The dusty Texas town of Killeen, just outside
Fort Hood, which housed over 30,000 troops,
00:19:45.000 --> 00:19:49.999
became the home of the GI coffee
house known as The Oleo Strut.
00:19:50.000 --> 00:19:54.999
Being in the Army, I can get over here
and I can sit down and write poetry
00:19:55.000 --> 00:19:59.999
and I can sit here and listen, and I can forget
I’m in the army for about 15 minutes to an hour
00:20:00.000 --> 00:20:04.999
or something like this. We have
three very simple rules here,
00:20:05.000 --> 00:20:09.999
three very simple rules and that’s all. One: We
got no holding in the place. If you’re holding,
00:20:10.000 --> 00:20:14.999
this is a bad place to be. The sign
over there says the man is welcome.
00:20:15.000 --> 00:20:19.999
So always remember the man is welcomed here. Not so
much that he is welcome, it’s that he’s just here.
00:20:20.000 --> 00:20:24.999
The name \"Oleo Strut\" came from
00:20:25.000 --> 00:20:29.999
a shock absorber on a helicopter. So that’s what
the Oleo Strut was, and it was a place where
00:20:30.000 --> 00:20:34.999
you go there and they sold sodas
and they had a record player,
00:20:35.000 --> 00:20:39.999
and all the latest rock records, and
underground papers and dishing out rats.
00:20:40.000 --> 00:20:44.999
Fort Hood was both a combination
of guys going to Vietnam
00:20:45.000 --> 00:20:49.999
and guys who’d been to Vietnam and came back. And
as time went on, the guys who’d been to Vietnam
00:20:50.000 --> 00:20:55.000
played a subversive role to
the guys who were going.
00:21:30.000 --> 00:21:34.999
I remember, probably one of our campaigns
00:21:35.000 --> 00:21:39.999
that was a pretty good effort
was the Tyrrell’s boycott.
00:21:40.000 --> 00:21:44.999
00:21:45.000 --> 00:21:49.999
Tyrrell’s was a jewelry store that had a number
of bases throughout the country. And they used to
00:21:50.000 --> 00:21:54.999
have these guys standing out on the sidewalk soliciting
you. Gis would come into town and they’d say,
00:21:55.000 --> 00:21:59.999
\"Hey, why don’t you buy your mother a ring?
Why don’t you buy your girlfriend a ring?\"
00:22:00.000 --> 00:22:04.999
And particularly they were trying to get the guys who were
going to go to Vietnam. \"Better buy something for your mother.
00:22:05.000 --> 00:22:09.999
You might not get to see her again. Something to remember you.\" They’d…
They’d be out there hustling and they knew all the different raps
00:22:10.000 --> 00:22:14.999
to pull on a lonely GI’s heart strings. And
then they used to have this deal where
00:22:15.000 --> 00:22:19.999
if you bought the ring and
you were killed in Vietnam,
00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:24.999
any payments were suspended. The ring was paid off
at that point. And they put your name in the window
00:22:25.000 --> 00:22:29.999
on Tyrrell’s Roll Call of Honor. Which
was outrageous because it was like,
00:22:30.000 --> 00:22:34.999
\"Oh, you owe us money, and you got killed, so we’re going to
put your name in the window to get some other guy to do it.\"
00:22:35.000 --> 00:22:39.999
So we decided to do a boycott
at the store in Killeem.
00:22:40.000 --> 00:22:44.999
And we began picket lines in front of the Tyrrell’s
place. They arrested picketers at several times.
00:22:45.000 --> 00:22:49.999
We try and maintain the picket lines.
But what happened was
00:22:50.000 --> 00:22:54.999
the Tyrrell boycott started spreading to other bases around
the country, because word of our protest started spreading.
00:22:55.000 --> 00:23:00.000
There were GI activist groups all
over the country by this point.
00:23:15.000 --> 00:23:19.999
But along with the growth of
the movement came the attacks.
00:23:20.000 --> 00:23:24.999
The Shelter Half Coffeehouse near Ft.
Louis in Washington
00:23:25.000 --> 00:23:29.999
was declared off limits by the military.
And in Columbia, South Carolina,
00:23:30.000 --> 00:23:34.999
the staff of the UFO Coffeehouse was arrested
and charged with maintaining a public nuisance.
00:23:35.000 --> 00:23:39.999
Night Riders shot into
a movement center near
00:23:40.000 --> 00:23:44.999
Camp Pendleton Marine Base in California, seriously
wounding one marine. And in Mountain Home, Idaho,
00:23:45.000 --> 00:23:49.999
the Covered Wagon Coffeehouse was
firebombed and burned to the ground.
00:23:50.000 --> 00:23:54.999
In the little town of Muldraugh,
Kentucky, home of Fort Knox,
00:23:55.000 --> 00:23:59.999
a scene worthy of Franz Kafka emerged.
Soldiers were mostly the driving force,
00:24:00.000 --> 00:24:04.999
and we were the supporters. And they did
things like put up pictures of Che Guevara.
00:24:05.000 --> 00:24:09.999
They put up one whole wall was an
American flag painted upside-down.
00:24:10.000 --> 00:24:14.999
The stars part of it was a toilet seat.
And if you lifted the toilet seat up,
00:24:15.000 --> 00:24:19.999
uh… there was Lyndon Johnson’s picture.
And when the police officer who came to
00:24:20.000 --> 00:24:24.999
examine the place saw that, he just hit the
roof. I got sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky,
00:24:25.000 --> 00:24:29.999
to protect the nation’s gold supply. I got
to Knox at a time when their coffeehouse was
00:24:30.000 --> 00:24:34.999
experiencing a lot of repression. I
spent 13 days in this little jail
00:24:35.000 --> 00:24:39.999
that still had a trap door from when they did lynching’s
before the Civil War. There was a hook up on the wall.
00:24:40.000 --> 00:24:44.999
What they were trying to do was drive us
out of town. But we weren’t going away.
00:24:45.000 --> 00:24:49.999
They indicted six people for two offenses.
00:24:50.000 --> 00:24:54.999
One was maintaining a place visited
by idle and evil disposed people.
00:24:55.000 --> 00:24:59.999
We always thought, \"Idle and evil-disposed
people.\" You mean, like soldiers?
00:25:00.000 --> 00:25:04.999
The whole emphasis of the coffeehouse
in giving us an off-base center
00:25:05.000 --> 00:25:09.999
to, to congregate and meet was a good thing.
But in defending those centers to exist,
00:25:10.000 --> 00:25:14.999
it pulled us off the base, which was
where we were effective and powerful.
00:25:15.000 --> 00:25:19.999
Put us in a coffeehouse, we were just like a
bunch of other young people in a coffeehouse.
00:25:20.000 --> 00:25:24.999
Put us in a barracks with a stack of
papers and half a dozen guys around us,
00:25:25.000 --> 00:25:29.999
and we were fucking Atlas. A new phenomenon has
cropped up at several army bases these days:
00:25:30.000 --> 00:25:34.999
a so-called Underground GI Press, which
consists largely of anti-war newspapers.
00:25:35.000 --> 00:25:39.999
Military authorities are clamping
down hard on the papers.
00:25:40.000 --> 00:25:44.999
There was an underground newspaper laying on
the bed, and it was called the LAST HARASS.
00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:49.999
They freaked out, man. They were freaking
out. This is unauthorized material,
00:25:50.000 --> 00:25:54.999
and this is subversive material. You’re not allowed
to have any copies of this inside the barracks.
00:25:55.000 --> 00:25:59.999
Go and turn this in immediately. That night,
then, the paper went around in the barracks.
00:26:00.000 --> 00:26:04.999
Everybody is reading it, two or three guys at a time, sitting
around on a bed, around guys’ beds and stuff like that,
00:26:05.000 --> 00:26:09.999
checking out this paper. What I liked about it was
the fact that the officers hated it. To me, it was…
00:26:10.000 --> 00:26:14.999
It had to be good. It had to be good. There
had to be something about this that was good.
00:26:15.000 --> 00:26:19.999
Typed, mimeographed, printed, the G.I.
Underground Press exploded.
00:26:20.000 --> 00:26:24.999
Fort Knox, Kentucky. Fun, Travel, Adventure.
Fort Gordon, Georgia. The last Harrass.
00:26:25.000 --> 00:26:29.999
Fort Lewis, Washington. Fed up! For Benning, Georgia. Rap! Chanute
Air Force Base. Four Year Bummer. Fort Dix, New Jersey. Shakedown.
00:26:30.000 --> 00:26:34.999
Fort Worth, Texas. Fatigue Press is published by a
group of radical soldiers stationed at this army base.
00:26:35.000 --> 00:26:39.999
And we used to distribute
it clandestinely on base.
00:26:40.000 --> 00:26:44.999
We’d go around and leave bunches of them in barrackses. We’d
go through a barracks at night and leave them in footlockers.
00:26:45.000 --> 00:26:49.999
If you were caught distributing literature
on base, it was a court-martial offense.
00:26:50.000 --> 00:26:54.999
Shortly after the first issue was published,
the GI who founded the Fatigue Press,
00:26:55.000 --> 00:26:59.999
Gypsy Peterson, was pulled
over by Fort Hood police.
00:27:00.000 --> 00:27:04.999
And they vacuumed out his car, and claimed to
find remnants of marijuana. And arrested him
00:27:05.000 --> 00:27:09.999
for possession of marijuana in an
attempt to suppress his movement.
00:27:10.000 --> 00:27:14.999
Following a two-day trial in a Texas
court, Gypsy Peterson was sentenced to
00:27:15.000 --> 00:27:19.999
eight years in prison. Despite
the military’s best efforts,
00:27:20.000 --> 00:27:24.999
the Underground Press became the lifeblood of the
GI Movement. As the Army’s own recruiting slogan,
00:27:25.000 --> 00:27:29.999
\"Fun, Travel and Adventure,\" turned
into the popular GI expression:
00:27:30.000 --> 00:27:34.999
\"FUCK THE ARMY.\" There were close
to 300 anti-war newspapers,
00:27:35.000 --> 00:27:39.999
written, produced and published on
bases all throughout the world.
00:27:40.000 --> 00:27:44.999
It was, wherever there were
Gis, American Gis in the world.
00:27:45.000 --> 00:27:49.999
Linking soldiers around the world, the GI Press
also inspired many outside the military.
00:27:50.000 --> 00:27:54.999
I grew up believing that if our flag was flying over a
battlefield, that we were on the side of the angels.
00:27:55.000 --> 00:27:59.999
My father fought in the Second World War.
He won awards and medals and,
00:28:00.000 --> 00:28:04.999
you know, I grew up during the \"good\" wars.
Here’s this woman
00:28:05.000 --> 00:28:09.999
who steps out onto the world stage as a famous actress,
comes from one of the ruling class families in Hollywood,
00:28:10.000 --> 00:28:14.999
and makes a political
decision to change sides.
00:28:15.000 --> 00:28:19.999
She steps on to the side of the people,
particularly the Vietnamese people.
00:28:20.000 --> 00:28:24.999
She stands with the Gis. And she stands
with the GI Movement. And she says,
00:28:25.000 --> 00:28:29.999
\"I’m gonna stand with this. I’m gonna give vent. I’m gonna help support
it and build it.\" And, you know, etcetera, like that. And the FTA Show…
00:28:30.000 --> 00:28:34.999
Mr. President, there’s a terrible demonstration going
on outside. Oh, there’s always a demonstration
00:28:35.000 --> 00:28:39.999
going on outside, Pat. But, Richard, this one is completely
out of control. What are they asking for this time?
00:28:40.000 --> 00:28:44.999
Free Angela Davis and all political prisoners, out
of Vietnam now, and draft all government officials.
00:28:45.000 --> 00:28:49.999
Well, we have people to take care of that. They’ll
do their job, you do your job, and I’ll do my job.
00:28:50.000 --> 00:28:54.999
But, Richard, you don’t understand, they’re storming the White
House. Oh, in that case I better call out the Third Marines.
00:28:55.000 --> 00:28:59.999
You can’t, Richard. Why not?
It is the Third Marines!
00:29:00.000 --> 00:29:04.999
For years, pro-war comedian Bob Hope had
toured Vietnam entertaining American troops.
00:29:05.000 --> 00:29:09.999
But soon the cheers turned to jeers, and
a new kind of entertainment emerged.
00:29:10.000 --> 00:29:14.999
Howard Levy, himself a celebrity
00:29:15.000 --> 00:29:19.999
within the GI Movement, he met with
Donald Sutherland and me and he said,
00:29:20.000 --> 00:29:24.999
\"What if we put together an anti-war show,
00:29:25.000 --> 00:29:29.999
that’s, you know, the opposite side of the
coin from the, from the Bob Hope Show?\"
00:29:30.000 --> 00:29:34.999
I went down to that base, they
took one look at my face,
00:29:35.000 --> 00:29:39.999
and read out an order to Barbie.
I said Foxtrot,
00:29:40.000 --> 00:29:44.999
Tango, Alpha, FREE THE ARMY!
00:29:45.000 --> 00:29:49.999
\"F\" the Army. We always
said, \"Free the Army,\"
00:29:50.000 --> 00:29:54.999
or \"Fun, Travel and Adventure.\" But it
really meant, \"the Army.\" So we said
00:29:55.000 --> 00:29:59.999
\"Foxtrot, Tango, Alpha.\" FUCK THE ARMY
00:30:00.000 --> 00:30:04.999
AND THE NAVY AND THE MARINES!\" Here
was a way that I could combine
00:30:05.000 --> 00:30:09.999
my profession, my acting, with
my desire to end the war.
00:30:10.000 --> 00:30:14.999
It just seemed like a perfect fit.
The show, the show that we bring
00:30:15.000 --> 00:30:19.999
to these bases, is not trying to tell the people
on the bases anything that they don’t know.
00:30:20.000 --> 00:30:24.999
We are coming in response to what is probably the
most powerful movement going on in this country,
00:30:25.000 --> 00:30:29.999
the movement of the men inside the military and women who
are beginning to understand how they are being used,
00:30:30.000 --> 00:30:34.999
and what the nature of American foreign policy is.
And we come there because they have asked us to.
00:30:35.000 --> 00:30:39.999
We come there because for the last year we
have read in the newspapers from Vietnam,
00:30:40.000 --> 00:30:44.999
from West Germany, from Okinawa, from the Philippines,
from Japan, what we want is entertainment.
00:30:45.000 --> 00:30:49.999
We want people who speak to how we feel. And the
majority of us don’t know why we’re going over there.
00:30:50.000 --> 00:30:54.999
We don’t know why we’re being shot at. We don’t know why our buddies
are being killed. We don’t know why we’re killing those people.
00:30:55.000 --> 00:30:59.999
If it had been another time
and place, and another war,
00:31:00.000 --> 00:31:04.999
I might have actually been a very good soldier, because
there is part of the military life that I really liked.
00:31:05.000 --> 00:31:09.999
This replaced my dog tags.
00:31:10.000 --> 00:31:14.999
This little tear-drop peace sign
became my official dog tag for myself.
00:31:15.000 --> 00:31:19.999
I went through my whole tour in
Vietnam without a set of dog tags.
00:31:20.000 --> 00:31:24.999
Anything but thinking about where you were.
00:31:25.000 --> 00:31:29.999
When you started thinking about where you were,
that’s when you started getting in trouble.
00:31:30.000 --> 00:31:34.999
And that’s when I started getting in
trouble. It was when I started, you know,
00:31:35.000 --> 00:31:39.999
I started really seeing,
00:31:40.000 --> 00:31:48.000
00:31:50.000 --> 00:31:54.999
I started seeing stuff
like I’m seeing right now.
00:31:55.000 --> 00:31:59.999
Umm… You know, it’s, it’s
00:32:00.000 --> 00:32:04.999
umm… the way we judged our success
00:32:05.000 --> 00:32:09.999
was through body count.
00:32:10.000 --> 00:32:14.999
And most of the time, even
though I was part of the
00:32:15.000 --> 00:32:19.999
umm… command structure,
being first a squad leader
00:32:20.000 --> 00:32:24.999
and then a platoon sergeant,
00:32:25.000 --> 00:32:29.999
umm… most of the time it’s supposed
to be my responsibility to
00:32:30.000 --> 00:32:34.999
umm… you know, do things
like check the bodies and…
00:32:35.000 --> 00:32:39.999
But I never wanted to do that.
00:32:40.000 --> 00:32:44.999
That’s… That’s not what I want to do,
00:32:45.000 --> 00:32:49.999
or understand I was doing.
I was brought into
00:32:50.000 --> 00:32:54.999
the Company office and
I was told by a major
00:32:55.000 --> 00:32:59.999
that I would be brought up on charges of
00:33:00.000 --> 00:33:04.999
leading and conspiring to mutiny against the United
States government, because there were three of us
00:33:05.000 --> 00:33:09.999
who were refusing to go on combat
operations. And that I would be facing
00:33:10.000 --> 00:33:14.999
a 20-to-life sentence. And so I just… I
walked out of there in shock thinking,
00:33:15.000 --> 00:33:19.999
well, I’m going to jail for a long time.
00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:24.999
I didn’t know there was a GI Movement.
I just had this strong moral sense of
00:33:25.000 --> 00:33:29.999
something not being right.
Then they sent me to
00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:34.999
see the quote \"Company Shrink.\" He said,
\"Well, what are you really concerned about?\"
00:33:35.000 --> 00:33:39.999
And I said, you know, \"I don’t care
about prison time, I just want to have
00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:44.999
some connection with my home.\"
00:33:45.000 --> 00:33:49.999
I didn’t want to be ostracized
from American culture and society.
00:33:50.000 --> 00:33:54.999
And he said, \"Well, let me show you
something.\" And he reached into the,
00:33:55.000 --> 00:33:59.999
into some drawer that he had, and he
pulled out this New York Times newspaper
00:34:00.000 --> 00:34:04.999
and there was a full page ad that had all
these signatures of all these people
00:34:05.000 --> 00:34:09.999
who, who opposed to the war. It
was a full page advertisement
00:34:10.000 --> 00:34:14.999
signed by 1,400 active duty
soldiers, denouncing the war
00:34:15.000 --> 00:34:19.999
and supporting the November 15th demonstration,
the November 15th moratorium demonstration.
00:34:20.000 --> 00:34:24.999
The discussion started going, saying,
\"Man, why don’t we do something?
00:34:25.000 --> 00:34:29.999
\"On this day, November 15th, we’re all
going to wear these black armbands
00:34:30.000 --> 00:34:34.999
as a, as a form of symbolic solidarity with the
protesting in the United States. We were up
00:34:35.000 --> 00:34:39.999
all night long just talking about this, and I was, so,
I couldn’t sleep. There was no way. I was so excited
00:34:40.000 --> 00:34:44.999
by this point. So we go out in the morning
formation, all our guys had black shoestrings on.
00:34:45.000 --> 00:34:49.999
We get over to the combat engineers, now,
though, there was a different story.
00:34:50.000 --> 00:34:54.999
The company commander had grabbed, had some guy by the, by
the, by the collar, and had his .45 pistol up to his head.
00:34:55.000 --> 00:34:59.999
You could vaguely hear
him threatening this guy
00:35:00.000 --> 00:35:04.999
to summarily execute him on the spot,
because he’s inciting a mutiny.
00:35:05.000 --> 00:35:09.999
I’ve seen Charlie, Luke the Gook,
whatever you want to call him, NVA,
00:35:10.000 --> 00:35:14.999
right there laying down as I walked by. I looked at
him, he looks at me. I keep going about my business.
00:35:15.000 --> 00:35:19.999
This man isn’t doing me nothing. He ain’t hurting me in no type of
way. He ain’t hurtin’ none of my black people, none of my families.
00:35:20.000 --> 00:35:24.999
So why should I shoot him? I feel all black men
should be exempt from military duty anyway,
00:35:25.000 --> 00:35:29.999
because the only place a
black man should fight is
00:35:30.000 --> 00:35:34.999
where he is being oppressed. I’m
not being oppressed in Japan.
00:35:35.000 --> 00:35:39.999
I’m not being oppressed in Vietnam. And I’m not being oppressed
in Pakistan. Guys were coming from all over the country,
00:35:40.000 --> 00:35:44.999
so you getting people coming in with different
information about black power struggle at that time,
00:35:45.000 --> 00:35:49.999
and, you know, black unity, and, you
know, feeling real good about yourself.
00:35:50.000 --> 00:35:54.999
You had to really question what
you were doing in Vietnam.
00:35:55.000 --> 00:35:59.999
00:36:00.000 --> 00:36:04.999
I remember one day this 1st
Sergeant was talking about gooks.
00:36:05.000 --> 00:36:09.999
To show you how naive I was, I didn’t know that gook was a
racial slur. I didn’t really understand that. You know,
00:36:10.000 --> 00:36:14.999
one day he was talking about gooks and I remember, a light went off
in my head, and I said, \"Wow! A gook is the same thing as a nigger.\"
00:36:15.000 --> 00:36:19.999
00:36:20.000 --> 00:36:24.999
During my whole tour in Vietnam, when you met a black
soldier, you know, you had a special handshake.
00:36:25.000 --> 00:36:29.999
You could even… You got to the point where
you could even tell what part of the country
00:36:30.000 --> 00:36:34.999
he was from, because everybody had
their distinctive dap, or handshake.
00:36:35.000 --> 00:36:39.999
And you definitely could tell if he wasn’t in your
company, because everybody had their little nuance.
00:36:40.000 --> 00:36:44.999
This is the greeting. This is the greeting of my brother. I’m
glad to see him. I don’t… I don’t have to know his name.
00:36:45.000 --> 00:36:49.999
Just the fact that he is
black is good enough for me.
00:36:50.000 --> 00:36:54.999
You know, we got a common ground.
We got a common thing.
00:36:55.000 --> 00:36:59.999
They slap this way, this way,
then fist, fist, then high,
00:37:00.000 --> 00:37:04.999
and then down this way like this. Oh,
let’s do this one again. I like it.
00:37:05.000 --> 00:37:09.999
You come down, you grab…
00:37:10.000 --> 00:37:14.999
There you go! That’s it! Like in the Marine
Corp., the bloods, especially on the bases,
00:37:15.000 --> 00:37:19.999
they, they, they, they been going to jail for
doing the dap, the power, the handshake.
00:37:20.000 --> 00:37:24.999
This is the way we greet each other. This way we greet each other.
They, they been going to jail for doing it. Just for doing it.
00:37:25.000 --> 00:37:29.999
Long Binh Jail
00:37:30.000 --> 00:37:34.999
was the stockade in Long Binh, Vietnam. It
was pretty much just like jails in America:
00:37:35.000 --> 00:37:39.999
99.9 % black. There was a lot
of violence in this prison.
00:37:40.000 --> 00:37:44.999
A lot of stuff going on. People were angry.
It was a pretty dire situation.
00:37:45.000 --> 00:37:49.999
A group of inmates got
together and we decided that
00:37:50.000 --> 00:37:54.999
we were going to escape from this place.
And what happened was that as a result,
00:37:55.000 --> 00:37:59.999
there was a Long Binh
rebellion, where a lot of
00:38:00.000 --> 00:38:04.999
Gis accosted guards. And
they burnt down the jail.
00:38:05.000 --> 00:38:09.999
And there was just mayhem.
00:38:10.000 --> 00:38:14.999
I’m a survivor, so uh… I was
going to survive no matter what.
00:38:15.000 --> 00:38:20.000
00:38:25.000 --> 00:38:29.999
The President shook my hand,
00:38:30.000 --> 00:38:34.999
and pinned a medal on me.
You can say that, that was
00:38:35.000 --> 00:38:39.999
one of the most proudest moments of my life.
How did you come to the decision to desert?
00:38:40.000 --> 00:38:44.999
You know, when you land on
your back, and you can’t move
00:38:45.000 --> 00:38:49.999
for day in and day out, you
have a lot of time to think.
00:38:50.000 --> 00:38:54.999
So you think about what you did,
you know, what you’ve done,
00:38:55.000 --> 00:38:59.999
the thing that you’ve gone through,
people that you’ve killed,
00:39:00.000 --> 00:39:04.999
the people that have died. I mean, there’s
always something that reminds you of
00:39:05.000 --> 00:39:09.999
uh… the thing that you’ve done in Vietnam,
00:39:10.000 --> 00:39:14.999
the things that you’ve seen.
Then you actually see
00:39:15.000 --> 00:39:19.999
what I saw, what was
going on in the States.
00:39:20.000 --> 00:39:24.999
Dudes are running down the streets and
wearing the same kind of uniform that I got.
00:39:25.000 --> 00:39:29.999
They’re in Memphis.
00:39:30.000 --> 00:39:34.999
They were beating up on people.
Wait a minute!
00:39:35.000 --> 00:39:39.999
We’re, we’re over here beating
up on people over here,
00:39:40.000 --> 00:39:44.999
and then you’re beating up on black
people, dogs are running everywhere,
00:39:45.000 --> 00:39:49.999
tanks are on the streets…
In the summer of 1968,
00:39:50.000 --> 00:39:54.999
Army and National Guard troops were sent into
American cities as thousands of black people rioted
00:39:55.000 --> 00:39:59.999
following the assassination
of Martin Luther King.
00:40:00.000 --> 00:40:04.999
That Spring, troops were used against
anti-war demonstrators at the Pentagon.
00:40:05.000 --> 00:40:09.999
Then in August, soldiers at Fort Hood
were told they would be sent to Chicago
00:40:10.000 --> 00:40:14.999
where anti-war demonstrations were planned for
the Democratic Party’s national convention.
00:40:15.000 --> 00:40:19.999
We had just come back from fighting the Vietnamese.
Now they want us to fight the Americans.
00:40:20.000 --> 00:40:24.999
The night before the troops
were supposed to leave,
00:40:25.000 --> 00:40:29.999
there was a meeting of black G.I.’s that gathered up in
a parking lot in the First Armored Division section.
00:40:30.000 --> 00:40:34.999
And they were out there all night in
the parking lot talking, you know,
00:40:35.000 --> 00:40:39.999
they were having like a rap session or rally,
why they were opposed to going to Chicago.
00:40:40.000 --> 00:40:44.999
We were making it clear that it was a genocidal thing that
was going to go on. And how can I go and commit genocide
00:40:45.000 --> 00:40:49.999
on my people, shoot my people? There were
hundreds of black Gis out in that field.
00:40:50.000 --> 00:40:54.999
Brothers came up and really
started pouring it on then
00:40:55.000 --> 00:40:59.999
about discrimination and unfair treatment,
not getting the rank they needed,
00:41:00.000 --> 00:41:04.999
and about what was happening with the war.
As the meeting stretched
00:41:05.000 --> 00:41:09.999
into the night, Fort Hood’s commanding
general showed up to talk to the Gls.
00:41:10.000 --> 00:41:14.999
\"You see, I’m just a two-star general. Let me go talk to
my boss, and I’ll have an answer for you in the morning.\"
00:41:15.000 --> 00:41:19.999
So, you know, we just relaxed,
you know, went to sleep.
00:41:20.000 --> 00:41:24.999
All of a sudden, crack up side the head.
They cracked me upside the head, you know.
00:41:25.000 --> 00:41:29.999
You know, what the hell is going on? MPs all
around us, man. They came at us with bayonets.
00:41:30.000 --> 00:41:34.999
I got cut. You know, I got hit
right here with a bayonet.
00:41:35.000 --> 00:41:39.999
And then every, every now and then
they opened this formation up,
00:41:40.000 --> 00:41:44.999
and a group of MPs come in and grab a brother and take
him back in the back, and beat the shit out of him.
00:41:45.000 --> 00:41:49.999
He was screaming in the back. Damn!
00:41:50.000 --> 00:41:54.999
And they were court-martialed,
00:41:55.000 --> 00:41:59.999
brought up on various court-martial charges.
But it scared the hell out of the military.
00:42:00.000 --> 00:42:04.999
Then they went around, and went
through the roster of all the units
00:42:05.000 --> 00:42:09.999
who were supposed to go, and took off
who they considered to be \"subversive.\"
00:42:10.000 --> 00:42:14.999
So a number of people, myself
included, were not sent to Chicago.
00:42:15.000 --> 00:42:19.999
In one of the most infamous
events of the 1960s,
00:42:20.000 --> 00:42:24.999
Chicago police brutally attacked the demonstrators
in front of the Democratic Convention.
00:42:25.000 --> 00:42:29.999
Although the Army had sent
00:42:30.000 --> 00:42:34.999
a contingent of riot control troops to Chicago
from Ft. Hood, they kept them off the streets.
00:42:35.000 --> 00:42:39.999
It was no longer certain
which side the Gis were on.
00:42:40.000 --> 00:42:44.999
The military had a problem on its hands
and it was about to go from bad to worse.
00:42:45.000 --> 00:42:49.999
We were in the breakfast line, I believe.
It was a long line.
00:42:50.000 --> 00:42:54.999
All of a sudden, we see this commotion kind of start at the
beginning of the line, and then start to come up towards us.
00:42:55.000 --> 00:42:59.999
And we could see people, like one guy
would turn to the guy behind him
00:43:00.000 --> 00:43:04.999
and there would be this excited conversation, and
then that guy would turn to the guy behind him.
00:43:05.000 --> 00:43:09.999
And finally the guy in front of me
got the news, and he turns around
00:43:10.000 --> 00:43:14.999
and he says to me, \"They are killing women
and children in Vietnam.\" And I said,
00:43:15.000 --> 00:43:19.999
\"Who’s killing women and children? The
Vietcong?\" And he said, \"No, we are.\"
00:43:20.000 --> 00:43:24.999
March 16, 1968, the soldiers of
Charlie Company, 11th Brigade,
00:43:25.000 --> 00:43:29.999
Americal Division, entered
the village of My Lai.
00:43:30.000 --> 00:43:34.999
24 hours later over, 500 villagers,
men, women and children,
00:43:35.000 --> 00:43:39.999
lay dead, brutally and wantonly
murdered in cold blood.
00:43:40.000 --> 00:43:44.999
Around the world, the My Lai massacre would
become the touchstone event of the Vietnam War.
00:43:45.000 --> 00:43:49.999
For over a year, the American military
covered up the My Lai massacre,
00:43:50.000 --> 00:43:54.999
claiming only enemy soldiers were killed. And when the
truth was finally brought to light by journalists,
00:43:55.000 --> 00:44:00.000
the highest ranking officer tried and
convicted was William Calley, a lieutenant.
00:44:05.000 --> 00:44:09.999
In a cramped, Detroit hotel, a new organization,
\"Vietnam Veterans Against the War,\"
00:44:10.000 --> 00:44:14.999
held an unprecedented investigation
that exposed a much deeper truth.
00:44:15.000 --> 00:44:19.999
I think the Winter Soldier Investigation was to try
to point out, it wasn’t really in defense of Calley
00:44:20.000 --> 00:44:24.999
but it was going after the
notion that the policies of
00:44:25.000 --> 00:44:29.999
the U.S. Military created things like
My Lai. Okay? That it was a policy.
00:44:30.000 --> 00:44:34.999
It was both a written and an unwritten
policy. And the truth has to be told.
00:44:35.000 --> 00:44:39.999
You can’t duck away from the truth. You can’t lie and put up a
smokescreen and say, \"Oh, this is a… The words they used back then,
00:44:40.000 --> 00:44:44.999
\"an isolated instance of aberrant behavior.\"
You weren’t just coming home saying,
00:44:45.000 --> 00:44:49.999
\"I’m against the war.\" You’re saying, \"This
is what we did. This is how we did it.
00:44:50.000 --> 00:44:54.999
This was a crime. This was wrong.\" It
helped people to really cross the bridge,
00:44:55.000 --> 00:44:59.999
and to see us in a way that I think the
anti-war movement had not seen Gis before.
00:45:00.000 --> 00:45:04.999
America went through, went through a
choke, okay, because they didn’t want to
00:45:05.000 --> 00:45:09.999
believe that these things occurred
in the name of the American people
00:45:10.000 --> 00:45:14.999
supposedly supporting freedom and liberation
and democracy throughout the world.
00:45:15.000 --> 00:45:19.999
And there was this terrible slaughter.
This terrible, inane slaughter.
00:45:20.000 --> 00:45:24.999
So I think the question was, \"Why are they going
after Calley, where Calley was doing precisely
00:45:25.000 --> 00:45:29.999
what we were all told to do when we were in Vietnam,
essentially, okay, which is, kill them all,
00:45:30.000 --> 00:45:34.999
and sort it out later.\" In Quang Tri City,
00:45:35.000 --> 00:45:39.999
I had a friend who was a, who was an adviser with an ARVN group,
and one time he asked me if I would like to accompany him
00:45:40.000 --> 00:45:44.999
into a village that I was familiar with
to see how they act. So I went with him,
00:45:45.000 --> 00:45:49.999
and they didn’t find any enemy, but
they found a woman with bandages.
00:45:50.000 --> 00:45:54.999
So she was questioned with about… She was questioned
by six ARVNs. And the way they questioned her,
00:45:55.000 --> 00:45:59.999
since she had bandages, they, they
shot her. She was hit about 20 times.
00:46:00.000 --> 00:46:04.999
After she was questioned, uh… and of course
dead, uh… this guy came over, who was,
00:46:05.000 --> 00:46:09.999
you know him, he was a former major,
who was in the service for 20 years,
00:46:10.000 --> 00:46:14.999
and he got hungry again and came back over working
with USAID, Aid International Development.
00:46:15.000 --> 00:46:19.999
And he went over there and
ripped her clothes off
00:46:20.000 --> 00:46:24.999
and took a knife and cut, from
her vagina all the way up,
00:46:25.000 --> 00:46:29.999
just about up to her breasts, and pulled her
organs out, completely out of her cavity,
00:46:30.000 --> 00:46:34.999
and threw them out. Then he stopped
and knelt over and commenced to
00:46:35.000 --> 00:46:39.999
peel every bit of skin off her body, and left
her there as, as a sign for something or other.
00:46:40.000 --> 00:46:44.999
And so I gave other testimony, the one about the rabbit lesson,
which I thought was very important, and I still think it is.
00:46:45.000 --> 00:46:49.999
And that was at the end of staging
battalion at the Camp Pendleton base
00:46:50.000 --> 00:46:54.999
in California for the marines before you went to Vietnam.
Where the staff NCO comes out and he has a rabbit.
00:46:55.000 --> 00:46:59.999
And he’s talking to you about escape and evasion and
survival in the jungle, and he has this rabbit.
00:47:00.000 --> 00:47:04.999
And in a couple of seconds, he, where every one just about
falls in love with it, not falls in love with it, but,
00:47:05.000 --> 00:47:09.999
you know, they’re humane there.
He cracks in the neck, skins it,
00:47:10.000 --> 00:47:14.999
disembowels it, just like I testified
that this happened to the woman.
00:47:15.000 --> 00:47:19.999
He does this to a rabbit, and they throw the guts out into the
audience. And takes the skin of the rabbit and turns it inside out
00:47:20.000 --> 00:47:24.999
and makes, makes a little bootie for his foot,
and says, \"You might have to do this in case
00:47:25.000 --> 00:47:29.999
your helicopter crashes in Vietnam, or you’re
separated from your unit.\" And I thought,
00:47:30.000 --> 00:47:34.999
the subtext of that little lesson was
to, to completely brutalize people.
00:47:35.000 --> 00:47:39.999
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.
00:47:40.000 --> 00:47:44.999
And I went and listened to the three days of
testimony, and absolutely came away from it
00:47:45.000 --> 00:47:49.999
emotionally drained and floored by it.
I never grasped,
00:47:50.000 --> 00:47:54.999
even up to that point, how powerful was
00:47:55.000 --> 00:47:59.999
the genocidal plans and strategy of the
U.S. towards the Vietnamese people.
00:48:00.000 --> 00:48:04.999
On every level, umm… you know, whether
it was Agent Orange, and Dow Chemical,
00:48:05.000 --> 00:48:09.999
we configure it. The Napalm, because
the Napalm wasn’t sticking to
00:48:10.000 --> 00:48:14.999
the Vietnamese skin enough. I mean,
that was, you know, all of this
00:48:15.000 --> 00:48:19.999
just added to the overwhelming sense of
the criminality of the United States.
00:48:20.000 --> 00:48:24.999
Claiming to have a secret
plan to end the war,
00:48:25.000 --> 00:48:29.999
Richard Nixon had been elected
President in 1968. But in 1970,
00:48:30.000 --> 00:48:34.999
he expanded the war, ordering an invasion
of Cambodia, Vietnam’s neighbor.
00:48:35.000 --> 00:48:39.999
That Spring I drove across country
00:48:40.000 --> 00:48:44.999
for two months, and during that
time Nixon invaded Cambodia,
00:48:45.000 --> 00:48:49.999
four students were killed at Kent State,
two were killed at Jackson State.
00:48:50.000 --> 00:48:54.999
I mean, it was something. As anger over
the invasion and killings exploded,
00:48:55.000 --> 00:48:59.999
the GI Movement entered a new era.
This was Armed Forces Day,
00:49:00.000 --> 00:49:04.999
and in many cities across the country there
were the usual parades, displays and bands.
00:49:05.000 --> 00:49:09.999
But the recent surge of protest over the war in
Indo-china, cast a shadow over today’s activities.
00:49:10.000 --> 00:49:14.999
This was even true at some military bases,
where the presence of anti-war demonstrators
00:49:15.000 --> 00:49:19.999
led to the cancellation of planned observances.
A thousand Gis marched the first year
00:49:20.000 --> 00:49:24.999
right outside the base. And they told people
it was off limits. And they told people
00:49:25.000 --> 00:49:29.999
if you went there, you were going to get arrested. The
store owners downtown were putting up plywood coverings
00:49:30.000 --> 00:49:34.999
on their windows, because the cops told
them it was going to turn into a riot.
00:49:35.000 --> 00:49:39.999
But then people decided to change it
to Armed Farces Day because, you know,
00:49:40.000 --> 00:49:44.999
we thought making fun of your enemy was as
valuable as yelling at them. And in Killeen
00:49:45.000 --> 00:49:49.999
we had three demands. We had
some pretty extremist slogans:
00:49:50.000 --> 00:49:54.999
\"Avenge the Kent State and Jackson
State Killings, End The War.\"
00:49:55.000 --> 00:49:59.999
The third slogan, I think, had to do with the
political prisoners going, because at that time,
00:50:00.000 --> 00:50:04.999
the Black Panther Party was
starting to gain some strength,
00:50:05.000 --> 00:50:09.999
and there was repression against them.
The second year, 1971,
00:50:10.000 --> 00:50:14.999
there had to be 3,000-4,000 on the streets.
00:50:15.000 --> 00:50:23.000
00:50:35.000 --> 00:50:39.999
I had quite a few letters recently
00:50:40.000 --> 00:50:44.999
uh… concerning some of the different
items that Radio First Termer
00:50:45.000 --> 00:50:49.999
has to offer its followers. And
one of the biggest things is
00:50:50.000 --> 00:50:54.999
the Official Dave Rabbit Sweatshirt.
00:50:55.000 --> 00:50:59.999
For those of you who are unaware of what a
Dave Rabbit Sweatshirt is, I’ll tell you.
00:51:00.000 --> 00:51:04.999
It’s a white sweatshirt.
00:51:05.000 --> 00:51:09.999
On the front of it, it has
a large white rabbit,
00:51:10.000 --> 00:51:14.999
and the rabbit’s dick is completely hard.
00:51:15.000 --> 00:51:19.999
The rabbit is carrying a sign.
On the sign it reads,
00:51:20.000 --> 00:51:24.999
\"Fuck it before it fucks you.\"
00:51:25.000 --> 00:51:29.999
By every conceivable indicator, our
army that now remains in Vietnam
00:51:30.000 --> 00:51:34.999
is in a state approaching collapse
with individual units avoiding
00:51:35.000 --> 00:51:39.999
or having refused combat, murdering their
officers and non-commissioned officers,
00:51:40.000 --> 00:51:44.999
drug-ridden and dispirited
where not near mutinous.
00:51:45.000 --> 00:51:49.999
In the face of a determined enemy,
00:51:50.000 --> 00:51:54.999
an unprecedented anti-war movement, and a military
near collapse, the Nixon administration announced
00:51:55.000 --> 00:51:59.999
the policy of Vietnamisation, an
effort to shift the burden of combat
00:52:00.000 --> 00:52:04.999
to the South Vietnamese Army,
while American jets bombarded
00:52:05.000 --> 00:52:09.999
North Vietnam from the skies. Nixon
promised that American ground troops
00:52:10.000 --> 00:52:14.999
would no longer be involved
in offensive combat.
00:52:15.000 --> 00:52:19.999
This is Richard Boyle, Fire Base Pace, about
two kilometers from the Cambodian border.
00:52:20.000 --> 00:52:24.999
I’m sitting in a bunker with about a
dozen grunts of the 1st Cav. Division…
00:52:25.000 --> 00:52:29.999
A lot of people were kind of wondering if anybody
back in the world knows that we’re out here.
00:52:30.000 --> 00:52:34.999
You know, like they say that only two batteries
of artillery are supposed to be here,
00:52:35.000 --> 00:52:39.999
and no grunts are here. We don’t
even exist. We’re just meat.
00:52:40.000 --> 00:52:44.999
American troops were not supposed to be in
combat. That’s why the American Army denied
00:52:45.000 --> 00:52:49.999
that they were there. You know, as far as the
briefers in Saigon, there were no American troops
00:52:50.000 --> 00:52:54.999
along the border. Does anybody know
what we’re fighting for? Do you believe
00:52:55.000 --> 00:52:59.999
we’re fighting for democracy here? Actually, I’ll tell
you, the only thing you’re fighting for is your own life.
00:53:00.000 --> 00:53:04.999
You’re fighting to go back home. The North Vietnamese,
were had, they had two regiments, two crack regiments,
00:53:05.000 --> 00:53:09.999
totally surrounding the fire base. And it’s plain
suicide going out there in the middle of the night.
00:53:10.000 --> 00:53:14.999
You know, there’s a thing about giving an order,
and there’s a thing about using your head, too.
00:53:15.000 --> 00:53:19.999
It’s always the higher-highers, man. They don’t have to go out there.
Hey can send us out there. s soon as we start going out there,
00:53:20.000 --> 00:53:24.999
we’ll be sitting ducks. The
captain ordered six men
00:53:25.000 --> 00:53:29.999
to go out on a night ambush, which
is basically a suicide mission.
00:53:30.000 --> 00:53:34.999
I mean, if you send six guys out against two
regiments. And, and they said, \"We ain’t gonna do it.
00:53:35.000 --> 00:53:39.999
We ain’t going to go.\" And the only option was, was to get
word out to the outside world. And they wrote a petition.
00:53:40.000 --> 00:53:44.999
At this writing we are under
siege in Fire Base Pace.
00:53:45.000 --> 00:53:49.999
We are faced daily with a decision
of whether to take a court-martial
00:53:50.000 --> 00:53:54.999
or participate in offensive realm. In the
event of mass prosecution of our unit,
00:53:55.000 --> 00:53:59.999
our only hope would be public
opinion and your voice.
00:54:00.000 --> 00:54:04.999
00:54:05.000 --> 00:54:09.999
Nixon was so afraid, that he ordered that company
pulled out. They sent in another company.
00:54:10.000 --> 00:54:14.999
They had heard about the refusal of Alpha
Company. The other company also refused to fight.
00:54:15.000 --> 00:54:19.999
And after that, no company, no troops
in Vietnam were willing to fight.
00:54:20.000 --> 00:54:24.999
They said, \"Look, we’re not going to fight anymore.\"
There are more problems to winding down the Vietnam War
00:54:25.000 --> 00:54:29.999
than just holding the enemy at bay, and
moving South Vietnamese troops into the line.
00:54:30.000 --> 00:54:34.999
One unforeseen problem is trying
to keep up the morale of Gis,
00:54:35.000 --> 00:54:39.999
who know they’re going home, but not soon enough. It has
produced flagrant insubordination, shooting of officers
00:54:40.000 --> 00:54:44.999
by their own men, and a deadly
practice called \"fragging.\"
00:54:45.000 --> 00:54:49.999
The purpose in my mind was either
to get me or intimidate myself
00:54:50.000 --> 00:54:54.999
and all others in authority in
the company and the battalion.
00:54:55.000 --> 00:54:59.999
Sergeant Gene Tingly is saying that some of his own men tried
to maim or kill him. But it’s not an isolated incident.
00:55:00.000 --> 00:55:04.999
Since then, one officer has been killed,
and another wounded at this base.
00:55:05.000 --> 00:55:09.999
And there have been dozens of similar incidents all across
South Vietnam. I’ve seen more than one big group meeting
00:55:10.000 --> 00:55:14.999
where actually all they
talk about is fragging,
00:55:15.000 --> 00:55:19.999
as we call them, \"pigs.\" By \"pigs,\" you’re talking
about your senior enlisted men and your officers?
00:55:20.000 --> 00:55:24.999
That’s correct. That’s one
of our most common terms.
00:55:25.000 --> 00:55:29.999
Because the fragmentation grenade is often the
weapon used, the violent attacks on authority
00:55:30.000 --> 00:55:34.999
have come to be known as \"fragging.\" And many Gis talk
openly about fragging and the military counter-measures.
00:55:35.000 --> 00:55:40.000
00:55:45.000 --> 00:55:49.999
A fragmentation grenade was thrown into the
quarters of some officers… Two killed.
00:55:50.000 --> 00:55:54.999
Two killed? Well, that it, okay.
Billy was almost immediately
00:55:55.000 --> 00:55:59.999
placed under arrest. Things
just developed from there.
00:56:00.000 --> 00:56:04.999
I was chosen for the trial because I
was an outspoken critic of the war.
00:56:05.000 --> 00:56:09.999
He would speak his peace, you know, if I don’t like someone
I’ll tell you about it. This war wasn’t meant for me.
00:56:10.000 --> 00:56:14.999
It wasn’t meant for us. I mean, black
men, because we’re not your slave.
00:56:15.000 --> 00:56:19.999
And he would let them know that I
don’t care to do everything you say.
00:56:20.000 --> 00:56:24.999
And they had some vendetta against him for speaking his
mind. The irony of why he got selected for prosecution,
00:56:25.000 --> 00:56:29.999
you could almost say a comedy of
errors, his commanding officer
00:56:30.000 --> 00:56:34.999
decided that he must have been the target
because he was planning to send Billy home.
00:56:35.000 --> 00:56:39.999
Now, to us, I mean, that
was absolutely absurd.
00:56:40.000 --> 00:56:44.999
If Billy thought he was being sent home, he would
have swam home. None of the original evidence
00:56:45.000 --> 00:56:49.999
pointed to Billy at all. Eyewitness
descriptions did not match Billy.
00:56:50.000 --> 00:56:54.999
And as it turned out later, he
was off some place getting high.
00:56:55.000 --> 00:56:59.999
The case was really a milestone
in many ways because
00:57:00.000 --> 00:57:04.999
it’s the case that surfaced
the issue of fragging.
00:57:05.000 --> 00:57:09.999
The message did get out, you
know, among the soldiers
00:57:10.000 --> 00:57:14.999
what was going on, and how we needed
their support. And in our wildest dreams
00:57:15.000 --> 00:57:19.999
we would have never realized people cared that
much about the Movement and what was going on.
00:57:20.000 --> 00:57:24.999
A lot of Vietnam veterans came to the
trial and were there to show support.
00:57:25.000 --> 00:57:29.999
It crystallized a lot of
issues, and racism not least.
00:57:30.000 --> 00:57:34.999
May I say that our system
of military justice
00:57:35.000 --> 00:57:39.999
is still riddled with injustice. \"Prosecution
witness confesses Army made him lie.\"
00:57:40.000 --> 00:57:44.999
I mean, that would happen all through the trial. The
whole thing was just bizarre from start to finish.
00:57:45.000 --> 00:57:49.999
And of course, before it was over, the
Army would try to manufacture evidence
00:57:50.000 --> 00:57:54.999
with these grenade pins that they said that
they could match. And it turned out that
00:57:55.000 --> 00:57:59.999
it was impossible. There was no such science
at all. No matter how hard they tried,
00:58:00.000 --> 00:58:04.999
the case just wouldn’t hold together.
It is clear that the Army had
00:58:05.000 --> 00:58:09.999
no evidence of my guilt. Front Page! Private
Smith Acquitted of Fragging Charges.
00:58:10.000 --> 00:58:14.999
Smiling Billy Dean Smith Was Acquitted
Today. When the verdict was read,
00:58:15.000 --> 00:58:19.999
I mean it was like pandemonium. Everybody, the
cameras, everything, we piled out the door.
00:58:20.000 --> 00:58:24.999
It was, it was one of the
best days of my life.
00:58:25.000 --> 00:58:29.999
I was simply singled out as a scapegoat
for the fraggings which had occurred
00:58:30.000 --> 00:58:34.999
in the last four years in Vietnam, and
which reflects a low state of morale
00:58:35.000 --> 00:58:39.999
among enlisted men.
00:58:40.000 --> 00:58:44.999
Billy was, in my impression of him
anyway, he was a gentle person.
00:58:45.000 --> 00:58:49.999
He was drafted, and in a matter of
months was in the killing fields.
00:58:50.000 --> 00:58:54.999
That in itself was a trauma. Then once he was
arrested for this crime he didn’t commit,
00:58:55.000 --> 00:58:59.999
they put him in isolation. Twenty two months,
and he was only out one hour a day out of 24.
00:59:00.000 --> 00:59:04.999
Solitary. You sitting up there that long,
00:59:05.000 --> 00:59:09.999
you’re going to automatically go crazy looking at yourself,
and your hands, and fingers, and toes, and that’s it.
00:59:10.000 --> 00:59:14.999
And he got back to the United States, but his health
has been destroyed. His mind has been destroyed.
00:59:15.000 --> 00:59:19.999
Periodically he gets medicated.
Periodically he’s been hospitalized.
00:59:20.000 --> 00:59:24.999
But without pretty constant supervision,
he stops taking the medication,
00:59:25.000 --> 00:59:30.000
and then uh… reverts to the terrors.
00:59:40.000 --> 00:59:44.999
While Billy Dean Smith was
in solitary confinement,
00:59:45.000 --> 00:59:49.999
the House Internal Security Committee of the
United States Congress held a series of hearings
00:59:50.000 --> 00:59:54.999
on the GI Movement. The Congressmen
declared there was no Movement,
00:59:55.000 --> 00:59:59.999
only a handful of what they called
militant extremists of the far left.
01:00:00.000 --> 01:00:04.999
But the hearings, spanning nine months,
produced thousands of pages of testimony
01:00:05.000 --> 01:00:09.999
illustrating how broadly and
deeply the GI Movement had spread.
01:00:10.000 --> 01:00:14.999
Many of us were very convinced Nixon had to go to an
air war because he couldn’t trust us on the ground.
01:00:15.000 --> 01:00:19.999
And for good reason, we were shooting his officers
and refusing direct orders to go into combat
01:00:20.000 --> 01:00:24.999
where we could. And he had to go to an
air war where there is no relationship,
01:00:25.000 --> 01:00:29.999
it’s totally impersonal, you know. The pilots fly from
Guam, you know, 1,000 miles away. They drop, you know,
01:00:30.000 --> 01:00:34.999
several tons, how many tons of bombs, and they
fly back again. They don’t see the damage.
01:00:35.000 --> 01:00:39.999
There is no relationship to what they do, their
job, to people’s lives. I still wanted to fly.
01:00:40.000 --> 01:00:44.999
I was getting the impression that the war
was wrong. I was going to be part of it,
01:00:45.000 --> 01:00:49.999
I wasn’t going to be carrying a gun, I wasn’t
going to be physically shooting these people,
01:00:50.000 --> 01:00:54.999
it was rationalization on my part. But I still wanted
to fly. I still wanted to have that, that experience.
01:00:55.000 --> 01:00:59.999
During basic training, I
got the opportunity of
01:01:00.000 --> 01:01:04.999
half a day off of training if I took the language test.
So I took the language test, and little did I know
01:01:05.000 --> 01:01:09.999
that was the end of that story.
I was taught Vietnamese,
01:01:10.000 --> 01:01:14.999
taught radio intercept, and went
immediately to Southeast Asia.
01:01:15.000 --> 01:01:19.999
Bomb Damage Assessments:
01:01:20.000 --> 01:01:24.999
We would be given advance notification of
where air strikes were going to take place.
01:01:25.000 --> 01:01:29.999
Part of our job was to monitor
01:01:30.000 --> 01:01:34.999
the actual North Vietnamese assessment
of the damage of that air strike.
01:01:35.000 --> 01:01:39.999
Primarily what we had there was really
sophisticated electronic eavesdropping devices,
01:01:40.000 --> 01:01:44.999
so we could eavesdrop on communications
01:01:45.000 --> 01:01:49.999
that were taking place between
Vietnamese units and their commands.
01:01:50.000 --> 01:01:54.999
We would receive information
which was then analyzed,
01:01:55.000 --> 01:01:59.999
and that became intelligence,
01:02:00.000 --> 01:02:04.999
and then that was picked through and became
product for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President.
01:02:05.000 --> 01:02:09.999
One of the main things about me that
changed my mind was that I knew
01:02:10.000 --> 01:02:14.999
what was happening in-country was not what was
being told to the people of the United States.
01:02:15.000 --> 01:02:23.000
01:02:30.000 --> 01:02:34.999
The bombing of populated
areas, civilian areas,
01:02:35.000 --> 01:02:39.999
the bombing of hospitals,
things that the U.S. denied
01:02:40.000 --> 01:02:44.999
over and over and over again that we
were engaged in, those are things
01:02:45.000 --> 01:02:49.999
that we were engaged in. And we
had access to that information.
01:02:50.000 --> 01:02:54.999
And the lies were so stark, you know, it challenged
your own dignity. It challenged your own loyalty.
01:02:55.000 --> 01:02:59.999
It challenged your own humanity.
01:03:00.000 --> 01:03:04.999
Given the very job that we did,
01:03:05.000 --> 01:03:09.999
which was listen to the Vietnamese, is
that we were allowed to enter their minds.
01:03:10.000 --> 01:03:14.999
And we were allowed to enter
their hearts, their feelings.
01:03:15.000 --> 01:03:19.999
People began to develop relationships, mental relationships,
with the people that they were listening to every day.
01:03:20.000 --> 01:03:24.999
That was a real conscientious
01:03:25.000 --> 01:03:29.999
Also, a dichotomy. That if we did our job
right, we would save the lives of Americans.
01:03:30.000 --> 01:03:34.999
If we did our job right, we would cost
01:03:35.000 --> 01:03:39.999
the lives of tens of
thousands of Vietnamese.
01:03:40.000 --> 01:03:44.999
So it put us in that position where we had
to, uh… there was no way we could win.
01:03:45.000 --> 01:03:49.999
I had to do something. You know, and that’s the point of
what that is, we did something. We had to do something.
01:03:50.000 --> 01:03:54.999
We went to VVAW, we went to
01:03:55.000 --> 01:03:59.999
as many groups as we could find, and told them what we were
going to do. We were basically going to go back to NKP
01:04:00.000 --> 01:04:04.999
and do what we could to stop the war.
And I think that we made the decision
01:04:05.000 --> 01:04:09.999
on that leave that we were going to do the paper.
You know, we were going to do as much as we could
01:04:10.000 --> 01:04:14.999
during this last year of our service to stop
what was going on. Yeah, we did everything
01:04:15.000 --> 01:04:19.999
that we could legally to uh… to get
their goat. And that’s kind of
01:04:20.000 --> 01:04:24.999
how the Worms got started and we began to have parties. And then
we started talking about what was the lowest thing on the earth,
01:04:25.000 --> 01:04:29.999
and somebody said \"Worms,\" and there was
the acronym \"Worms,\" which stands for
01:04:30.000 --> 01:04:34.999
\"We Openly Resist Military Stupidity.\" We
don’t write Worms Eye View to convince,
01:04:35.000 --> 01:04:39.999
we write Worms Eye View to communicate. We don’t need money,
we need each other. We Openly Resist Military Stupidity.
01:04:40.000 --> 01:04:44.999
We openly love each other. We
had a big party one night.
01:04:45.000 --> 01:04:49.999
I remember, we had taken an
effigy of our commanding officer,
01:04:50.000 --> 01:04:54.999
and after we burned our commanding
officer in effigy, I looked around
01:04:55.000 --> 01:04:59.999
and there was a large group of people
on the perimeter that had circled us.
01:05:00.000 --> 01:05:04.999
And it was the security police. And
they were starting to close in on us.
01:05:05.000 --> 01:05:09.999
They had dogs. And they had dogs. Right. They had
dogs. And once they got close enough to figure out
01:05:10.000 --> 01:05:14.999
what we were doing, they joined us.
01:05:15.000 --> 01:05:19.999
With the air assault coming mainly from
aircraft carriers, sailors and airmen became
01:05:20.000 --> 01:05:24.999
the center of the GI Movement. On the
U.S.S. Coral Sea, 1,200 signed a petition
01:05:25.000 --> 01:05:29.999
demanding their ship stay home.
And San Diego, California,
01:05:30.000 --> 01:05:34.999
home of the carriers Constellation and Kitty Hawk,
spawned a group led by navy officers and enlisted men.
01:05:35.000 --> 01:05:39.999
We truly believed what would stop that war
01:05:40.000 --> 01:05:44.999
was when the soldiers stopped fighting it.
I was still an active officer,
01:05:45.000 --> 01:05:49.999
as were all these other guys, and sailors and
enlisted people, as we sat around and brainstormed
01:05:50.000 --> 01:05:54.999
about what kind of a non-violent
action can we take that can
01:05:55.000 --> 01:05:59.999
actually touch sailors. So we looked
around and we saw the aircraft carrier,
01:06:00.000 --> 01:06:04.999
which was the biggest ship in San Diego Harbor,
it’s the most impressive symbol of American power.
01:06:05.000 --> 01:06:09.999
It’s hard for people to realize
this but that ship is not
01:06:10.000 --> 01:06:14.999
a naval ship anymore, it’s really part of
airpower that we use to attack peasants.
01:06:15.000 --> 01:06:19.999
It’s the weapon of a bully.
It’s the weapon of aggression.
01:06:20.000 --> 01:06:24.999
The original concept came,
01:06:25.000 --> 01:06:29.999
well, let’s do something where we
allow the people on board that ship
01:06:30.000 --> 01:06:34.999
to cast a ballot, as to whether or not
they think they should go back to Vietnam.
01:06:35.000 --> 01:06:39.999
Let’s just hear their voice. Then we said, \"No, this election
should be held in every shopping center in San Diego County.
01:06:40.000 --> 01:06:44.999
And every Safeway store ought to have a little
polling booth outside, and we ought to see
01:06:45.000 --> 01:06:50.000
how many ballots we can collect. And
we’re going to point toward a day.\"
01:06:55.000 --> 01:07:03.000
01:07:05.000 --> 01:07:09.999
Heck, I was a carrier qualified aviator, and that gave me
a lot of credibility with people, earned or not earned.
01:07:10.000 --> 01:07:14.999
And even though I hadn’t been in
combat, uh… people would give you
01:07:15.000 --> 01:07:19.999
a certain amount of credence, of course, because I
knew a whole lot about how the military functioned.
01:07:20.000 --> 01:07:24.999
I used to be a lieutenant in the
Navy, U.S.N. And I’ve flown…
01:07:25.000 --> 01:07:29.999
You’re kidding me. I’m not kidding. I can prove it to
you. I’m a retired Master Sergeant from the Air Force.
01:07:30.000 --> 01:07:34.999
My only question is, \"Why do you
people have to look so weird?
01:07:35.000 --> 01:07:39.999
\"Like this one here. Can’t you just look normal
like everybody else?\" Don’t I look normal?
01:07:40.000 --> 01:07:44.999
There was nobody from the
Captain of that ship
01:07:45.000 --> 01:07:49.999
to the mayor of the city who did not hold a press conference
about this project. Everybody was commenting on it.
01:07:50.000 --> 01:07:54.999
U.S. senators were commenting on it.
You know, even if the City votes
01:07:55.000 --> 01:07:59.999
for that ship to stay, we’re still going!
Well, I guess so.
01:08:00.000 --> 01:08:04.999
The Captain of the ship says, \"Well I know there are
a lot of people on the ship who don’t want to go,
01:08:05.000 --> 01:08:10.000
but the military is full
of malcontents, he says.\"
01:08:15.000 --> 01:08:19.999
We believe that peace is at hand.
01:08:20.000 --> 01:08:24.999
You know, the peace that was at hand quickly
disappeared after the, the re-election. And of course,
01:08:25.000 --> 01:08:29.999
given the vantage point of everybody
working in a NSA unit, you know,
01:08:30.000 --> 01:08:34.999
we knew what was coming up.
01:08:35.000 --> 01:08:39.999
A decision by the President of
the US and by Henry Kissinger
01:08:40.000 --> 01:08:44.999
to bomb North Vietnam back into the
Stone Age as their last message
01:08:45.000 --> 01:08:49.999
to the Vietnamese before
we withdrew entirely.
01:08:50.000 --> 01:08:54.999
I think everybody that was involved in our
operations uh… was faced with the stark reality of
01:08:55.000 --> 01:08:59.999
participating in something which
bordered on what we considered to be
01:09:00.000 --> 01:09:04.999
criminal, genocidal, and unprecedented.
So we felt very much
01:09:05.000 --> 01:09:09.999
in solidarity with other Gis who
were refusing to participate,
01:09:10.000 --> 01:09:14.999
particularly people refusing
to fly B-52s over the North.
01:09:15.000 --> 01:09:19.999
People stopped producing
the intelligence product
01:09:20.000 --> 01:09:24.999
that we were supposed to
be producing by monitoring
01:09:25.000 --> 01:09:29.999
North Vietnamese communications. When you’re
not interpreting what you’re hearing,
01:09:30.000 --> 01:09:34.999
and you’re not passing along the
intelligence that you’re receiving,
01:09:35.000 --> 01:09:39.999
the people who are supposed to be getting
the information don’t get any information.
01:09:40.000 --> 01:09:44.999
The Air Force was no longer
a reliable instrument,
01:09:45.000 --> 01:09:49.999
okay, for carrying out the war.
01:09:50.000 --> 01:09:54.999
The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975.
As North Vietnamese
01:09:55.000 --> 01:09:59.999
and National Liberation Front
troops entered Saigon,
01:10:00.000 --> 01:10:04.999
and even as the last remaining
Americans were returning home,
01:10:05.000 --> 01:10:09.999
the memory and reality of the GI
anti-war movement was being rewritten.
01:10:10.000 --> 01:10:14.999
They love everybody back there.
01:10:15.000 --> 01:10:19.999
Cats, dogs, niggers, spics. They’re
real fond of the gook back home,
01:10:20.000 --> 01:10:24.999
if you all can believe that.
They love everybody but you.
01:10:25.000 --> 01:10:29.999
The typical story of
01:10:30.000 --> 01:10:34.999
a spat-upon vet is, is arriving
at the San Francisco Airport,
01:10:35.000 --> 01:10:39.999
and, where he is met by
demonstrators, and he says,
01:10:40.000 --> 01:10:44.999
\"The first thing that happened when i
got off the plane in San Francisco,
01:10:45.000 --> 01:10:49.999
a girl in love-beads and a headband spat
in my face and called me a baby-killer.\"
01:10:50.000 --> 01:10:54.999
That version of the story has been told over
and over and over again. Being a Vietnam vet,
01:10:55.000 --> 01:10:59.999
and having come home and worked
with the anti-war movement,
01:11:00.000 --> 01:11:04.999
these just didn’t resonate as true to me.
So I began to get interested in then
01:11:05.000 --> 01:11:09.999
where did these stories come from?
And how long had they been around?
01:11:10.000 --> 01:11:14.999
Who had begun telling them? I went back to the
point in time in the late 60’s, early 1970’s
01:11:15.000 --> 01:11:19.999
to see whether there’s any reports in newspaper
stories that activists were spitting on,
01:11:20.000 --> 01:11:24.999
on Vietnam vets. No. I didn’t
find anything. I looked at
01:11:25.000 --> 01:11:29.999
some National Lawyer’s Guild observation
projects of demonstrations to see
01:11:30.000 --> 01:11:34.999
whether there was anything in their archives about this.
No. Nothing there. Were any Vietnam vets claiming that
01:11:35.000 --> 01:11:39.999
they were being spat on, or were any pro-war people
then claiming that Vietnam vets were being spat on?
01:11:40.000 --> 01:11:44.999
No. So I thought well, now this is getting,
01:11:45.000 --> 01:11:49.999
this is getting really interesting. I was telling a friend of mine
who’s, who’s a psychologist, she also teaches in women’s studies,
01:11:50.000 --> 01:11:54.999
and I was telling her that I was working on a
book about Vietnam vets having been spat on,
01:11:55.000 --> 01:11:59.999
and she said, \"That’s really interesting.\" She said, \"Who
supposedly did the spitting?\" And I said, \"What do you mean?\"
01:12:00.000 --> 01:12:04.999
She said, \"Well, the demographics of the
spitters.\" And I said, \"Wow, you know,
01:12:05.000 --> 01:12:09.999
young, young women protesters,
you know, hippies.\"
01:12:10.000 --> 01:12:14.999
And she broke out in this big smile
and says, \"Got to be a myth, huh?\"
01:12:15.000 --> 01:12:19.999
And, and I knew what was coming next, I knew
what she was going to say next which is
01:12:20.000 --> 01:12:24.999
\"Girls don’t spit.\" Now,
whether girls spit or not,
01:12:25.000 --> 01:12:29.999
uh… I’ve had some other conversations about that, but it seems
pretty unlikely that these spitting incidents occurred.
01:12:30.000 --> 01:12:34.999
A lot of these stories again begin with, \"Well,
we arrived at the San Francisco airport.\"
01:12:35.000 --> 01:12:39.999
No, you didn’t arrive at
the San Francisco airport.
01:12:40.000 --> 01:12:44.999
Nobody did. You maybe arrived at
Travis Airbase near San Francisco
01:12:45.000 --> 01:12:49.999
and then you were, you, you were discharged
or you were processed out, and then you,
01:12:50.000 --> 01:12:54.999
and you went to the San Francisco airport, you know, that’s
possible, but, but that’s not the way the stories are told.
01:12:55.000 --> 01:12:59.999
They’re… You know, we were met on the
Tarmac at, at San Francisco Airport.
01:13:00.000 --> 01:13:04.999
Too many guys got off at the San Francisco airport.
Somebody’s making something, something up here.
01:13:05.000 --> 01:13:09.999
And, and certainly if it was
at uh… if it was at military,
01:13:10.000 --> 01:13:14.999
you know, Air Force bases, there couldn’t have
been, couldn’t have been protesters on the base,
01:13:15.000 --> 01:13:19.999
much, much less on the Tarmac or,
or at, you know, at, at gate side
01:13:20.000 --> 01:13:24.999
uh… to meet people. There are stories,
uh… many stories of wounded Vietnam vets
01:13:25.000 --> 01:13:29.999
being, being unloaded, people
on stretchers being carried
01:13:30.000 --> 01:13:34.999
from the plane, and, and they are spat
on by protesters who are you know,
01:13:35.000 --> 01:13:39.999
who are lining the walkways. Some of those
stories just really defy common sense,
01:13:40.000 --> 01:13:44.999
uh… but, but these stories are
picked up, they are picked up
01:13:45.000 --> 01:13:49.999
and they are, and they are used, they are
used, they are used very authoritatively.
01:13:50.000 --> 01:13:54.999
And I come back to the world, and I see all those
maggots at the airport protesting me, spitting,
01:13:55.000 --> 01:13:59.999
calling me a baby killer and all kinds of
vile crap! Who are they to protest me, huh?
01:14:00.000 --> 01:14:04.999
If you went back and looked at the front
pages of newspapers in 1969, 1970,
01:14:05.000 --> 01:14:09.999
you know, what you were gonna see on the front
pages of newspapers was about Vietnam vets.
01:14:10.000 --> 01:14:14.999
They were in the streets. They were political
activists. You know, they’re on the Capitol Mall,
01:14:15.000 --> 01:14:19.999
and giving the Nixon Administration fits.
This is stuff that, that was in living rooms
01:14:20.000 --> 01:14:24.999
all over America. So people knew this, and
this is an important piece for talking about,
01:14:25.000 --> 01:14:29.999
how memory about the war
01:14:30.000 --> 01:14:34.999
has been rewritten, has been reconstructed.
This is gone.
01:14:35.000 --> 01:14:39.999
This has been erased.
This has been displaced.
01:14:40.000 --> 01:14:44.999
You mention the war in Vietnam to a
lot of people, and, and they’ll say,
01:14:45.000 --> 01:14:49.999
\"Yeah, and what happened to those guys
when they came home was sure a shame.\"
01:14:50.000 --> 01:14:54.999
Umm… you ask them about any of the
major events of the war, and it’s like
01:14:55.000 --> 01:14:59.999
people have no, people have no clue.
01:15:00.000 --> 01:15:04.999
I don’t want nobody over me.
01:15:05.000 --> 01:15:09.999
And I don’t want nobody under me.
01:15:10.000 --> 01:15:14.999
01:15:15.000 --> 01:15:19.999
In the Spring of 1971, the
FTA Show toured Asia.
01:15:20.000 --> 01:15:24.999
Despite being banned from military bases
worldwide, the show performed in Japan,
01:15:25.000 --> 01:15:29.999
Okinawa and the Philippines
for over 60,000 soldiers.
01:15:30.000 --> 01:15:34.999
And at every stop, Gis took the stage with
them. We can no longer remain silent about
01:15:35.000 --> 01:15:39.999
the atrocities and injustice being
perpetrated by the United States Military
01:15:40.000 --> 01:15:44.999
on peoples of other nations. Nor of the
petty harassment that service men and women
01:15:45.000 --> 01:15:49.999
are made to endure day after day. We demand an end to all
discriminating policies against persons because of their race.
01:15:50.000 --> 01:15:54.999
We demand an end to all
discrimination against persons
01:15:55.000 --> 01:15:59.999
such as anti-war Gis because they
do not agree with U.S. policies.
01:16:00.000 --> 01:16:04.999
We demand an immediate, immediate
and total withdrawal of all air
01:16:05.000 --> 01:16:09.999
and ground troops and CIA from Vietnam, as
well as from Korea, Guam, Okinawa, Japan,
01:16:10.000 --> 01:16:14.999
the Philippines, Israel, Cambodia,
Thailand, Germany, England,
01:16:15.000 --> 01:16:19.999
Panama, Guantanamo Bay …
01:16:20.000 --> 01:16:24.999
I mean, it seems unthinkable now that we could have
done this. And that you could have a hall full of guys
01:16:25.000 --> 01:16:29.999
with their fists in the air
01:16:30.000 --> 01:16:34.999
so happy that we had come
01:16:35.000 --> 01:16:39.999
to acknowledge their reality. I read that
01:16:40.000 --> 01:16:44.999
you took a stand and refused
to kill in Vietnam.
01:16:45.000 --> 01:16:49.999
You said no man was your enemy,
01:16:50.000 --> 01:16:54.999
what he’s fighting for is to be free.
01:16:55.000 --> 01:16:59.999
I used to love to watch the faces
of the Gis when she sang that.
01:17:00.000 --> 01:17:04.999
It was like this shell of tension would
drop away and you would see the youth
01:17:05.000 --> 01:17:09.999
and the innocence and the
01:17:10.000 --> 01:17:14.999
But soldier we love you.
Yeah, soldier we love you.
01:17:15.000 --> 01:17:19.999
01:17:20.000 --> 01:17:24.999
Standing strong ‘cause it’s hard to do
01:17:25.000 --> 01:17:29.999
what you know you must do ‘cause
it’s true, yes it’s true.
01:17:30.000 --> 01:17:34.999
They locked you up in the stockades,
01:17:35.000 --> 01:17:39.999
yeah they locked you up
‘cause they’re afraid,
01:17:40.000 --> 01:17:44.999
then you would rap and spread the word,
01:17:45.000 --> 01:17:49.999
but you can’t jail truth, it will be heard.
01:17:50.000 --> 01:17:54.999
Oh, ain’t it hard to smile sometimes?
01:17:55.000 --> 01:17:59.999
In April of 1971, just five years after
01:18:00.000 --> 01:18:04.999
Howard Levy and Donald Duncan’s lone acts
of protest, thousands of Vietnam veterans
01:18:05.000 --> 01:18:09.999
against the war converged on Washington, D.C.
and threw their medals onto the Capitol steps.
01:18:10.000 --> 01:18:14.999
We don’t want to fight anymore,
but if we have to fight again,
01:18:15.000 --> 01:18:19.999
it will be to take these steps. You know, it’s,
it’s, it’s kind of a unique opportunity.
01:18:20.000 --> 01:18:24.999
It’s very… It’s very rare,
I think, in anybody’s life
01:18:25.000 --> 01:18:29.999
that you have an opportunity to really think that you
are changing history, that you’re a part of history.
01:18:30.000 --> 01:18:34.999
I mean, you know, the reality is, at first they
couldn’t believe that Gis were protesting the war.
01:18:35.000 --> 01:18:39.999
That, that, that blew their minds.
When we had 1,000 Gis in 1970,
01:18:40.000 --> 01:18:44.999
they thought, they, they didn’t know how
to react to that because they thought,
01:18:45.000 --> 01:18:49.999
\"Yeah, a bunch of them go down there and they’re all
just probably talking, but how many of them are there?\"
01:18:50.000 --> 01:18:54.999
They tried to turn me into a killer. They tried to
turn me into somebody who would take another life.
01:18:55.000 --> 01:18:59.999
If there is one thing in my life
that I feel I have accomplished,
01:19:00.000 --> 01:19:04.999
is that I, I didn’t allow that to happen. I really learned
so much, you know, just spending day after day after day,
01:19:05.000 --> 01:19:09.999
you know, people just talking about,
you know, what it’s all about,
01:19:10.000 --> 01:19:14.999
and how are we going to deal with this stuff, and how are we really going to
move it forward and change the world. That’s what everybody wanted to do,
01:19:15.000 --> 01:19:19.999
of course, we wanted to change the world. We were pretty sure that this sucked,
you know, and we were pretty sure that none of us deserved to be here,
01:19:20.000 --> 01:19:24.999
and so that didn’t leave much room but to change the
world. You know, people say, \"Well, you keep going back.
01:19:25.000 --> 01:19:29.999
\"Why are you going back to Vietnam?\" You have to keep going back
to Vietnam, because I’ll tell you what, the other side does.
01:19:30.000 --> 01:19:34.999
They’re always going back. And
they have to go back, the hawks,
01:19:35.000 --> 01:19:39.999
you know, the patriarchs. They have to go back
because, and they have to revise the going back,
01:19:40.000 --> 01:19:44.999
because they can’t allow us to know
01:19:45.000 --> 01:19:49.999
what the, what the back there really was.
And then you think about this shit, man,
01:19:50.000 --> 01:19:54.999
then you say, \"God damn,
01:19:55.000 --> 01:19:59.999
did I do that? Did I
actually live in that shit?
01:20:00.000 --> 01:20:04.999
Did this government push
me into this shit?\"
01:20:05.000 --> 01:20:09.999
What’s the… What’s the pride
in saying you’re a veteran
01:20:10.000 --> 01:20:14.999
if what you’re a veteran
of is something wrong?
01:20:15.000 --> 01:20:19.999
It’s like uh… being a
veteran of the massacre
01:20:20.000 --> 01:20:24.999
at some place or another, you know.
01:20:25.000 --> 01:20:29.999
There’s no pride to that.
And so don’t talk about it.
01:20:30.000 --> 01:20:34.999
Go away. Don’t talk about it.
So it’s amazing to me
01:20:35.000 --> 01:20:39.999
that as many, as many Gis that were
actually in Vietnam, actually there,
01:20:40.000 --> 01:20:44.999
uh… then spoke out against it
and demonstrated against it
01:20:45.000 --> 01:20:49.999
after they got back, I just
thought that was amazing.
01:20:50.000 --> 01:20:54.999
If there had… That… If there had
been 100 I would have been amazed,
01:20:55.000 --> 01:20:59.999
that there were thousands is
01:21:00.000 --> 01:21:05.000
just incredible, incredible, brave people.