Reprise of Winter Soldier anti-war conference held near D.C. - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Reprise of Winter Soldier anti-war conference held near D.C.

Silver Springs_Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan met last weekend at an anti-war conference modeled after a well-known 1971 gathering at which Vietnam veterans spoke out against that conflict.

The four-day event called "Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan - Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations," was expected to draw more than 200 veterans of the two conflicts through Sunday. It was timed for the eve of the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war this week.

On Friday, former soldiers and Marines addressed an audience of several hundred in Silver Spring. They spoke of having to make snap decisions about whether to fire on civilians, of soldiers firing indiscriminately on Iraqi vehicles, and of an apartment building filled with Iraqi families attacked by an American gunship.

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

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

The event drew dozens of counter-protesters who demonstrated outside.

"We want absolute specifics," said Harry Riley, a retired Army colonel who leads Eagles Up. "This is too important to our nation. The credibility of our nation and the credibility of our soldiers are involved."

The 1971 Winter Soldier in Detroit was similarly controversial.

John Kerry, then a young veteran, was a participant, and criticism for what he said at the time resurfaced during the Massachusetts senator's 2004 presidential bid.

"Kerry lied while good men died, and you guys are betraying good men," yelled a protester Saturday who managed to slip into the conference, which was limited to participants and the media.

The protester was roughly hustled from the room by members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, who are providing security for the event.

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

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

___

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Multiple deaths in Amtrak train derailment in Washington

    Multiple deaths in Amtrak train derailment in Washington

    Monday, December 18 2017 11:23 AM EST2017-12-18 16:23:19 GMT
    Monday, December 18 2017 1:39 PM EST2017-12-18 18:39:02 GMT

    TV station KIRO reported it is being treated as a mass casualty incident, but there is no word on injuries at this time.

    TV station KIRO reported it is being treated as a mass casualty incident, but there is no word on injuries at this time.

  • Trump to unveil 'America First' national security strategy

    Trump to unveil 'America First' national security strategy

    Monday, December 18 2017 5:10 AM EST2017-12-18 10:10:02 GMT
    Monday, December 18 2017 1:34 PM EST2017-12-18 18:34:46 GMT

    The Republican president will detail his plans Monday, which could sharply alter the United States' relationships with the rest of the world.

    The Republican president will detail his plans Monday, which could sharply alter the United States' relationships with the rest of the world.

  • AP Explains: What is net neutrality and why does it matter?

    AP Explains: What is net neutrality and why does it matter?

    Thursday, December 14 2017 12:24 AM EST2017-12-14 05:24:37 GMT
    Monday, December 18 2017 1:33 PM EST2017-12-18 18:33:15 GMT

    "Net neutrality" regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block.

    "Net neutrality" regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block.

Powered by Frankly