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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Iraq | California | U.S. | Anti-War
Urge Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein to Attend Winter Soldiers Hearing
On Thursday, May 15th, for the first time since the invasion of Iraq, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the same vets who spoke at Winter Soldier, will testify before Congress about the realities of the occupation. Encourage Speaker Pelosi to attend. I just called her office and the man who answered didn't sound very happy to hear from me. Please call today: (202) 225-4965
Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553
Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
This Thursday, May 15th, for the first time since the Iraq war began, boots-on-the-ground veterans will testify before Congress about the effects of the occupation. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War will present their testimony to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
This testimony comes at a critical time – on the same day as IVAW members will be describing the true costs of the war, Congress is likely to vote on the next appropriations bill to extend funding for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan into 2009.
You can help us connect the dots! Congress has heard from the Generals, and they've heard from the politicians, but before they vote to continue the occupation of Iraq, tell them that they need to hear from the eyewitnesses who have seen the results first hand.
Call your congressional representatives today and tell them to attend Thursday's testimony and hear these veterans before they vote. Information on the hearing is available on the Winter Soldier on the Hill page.
Winter Soldier on the Hill testifier bios
Jason Lemieux: Originally from Tupper Lake, New York, Jason Lemieux served as an Infantryman with the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines. He served three tours in Iraq, serving in Karbala, Husaybah and Ramadi. He was honorably discharged from Active Duty with a Good Conduct Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon on July 9, 2006.
Lemieux will testify on loose rules of engagement, the killing of innocent civilians, and the hiding of these killings through falsified reports and cover-ups.
Scott Ewing: Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Scott Ewing enlisted in the army in 2004 as a cavalry scout. He deployed to Iraq with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in March of 2005.
Ewing will testify on "Operation Restoring Rights" in Tall Afar, civilian deaths, house raids, destruction of civilian property, and misrepresentations of the war in the media.
Geoffrey Millard: Originally from Buffalo, New York, Geoff Millard joined the NY Army National guard in1998 at the age of 17. He served for 9 years including tours of duty at ground zero after 9-11 and for 13 months in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Millard will testify on endemic racism during his tour of Iraq, including among high-ranking Army officers.
Kristofer Goldsmith: Originally from Long Island, New York, Kristofer Goldsmith deployed to Iraq in 2005 as a Forward Observer with the Third Infantry Division. He served in Sadr City and Baghdad, and was stop-lossed after returning from Iraq.
Goldsmith will testify on low morale and the psychological consequences of the "troop surge," as well as the breakdown of Iraqi infrastructure.
Vincent Emanuele: Originally from Chesterton, Indiana, Vincent Emanuele served as a Rifleman with the U.S. Marine Corp. He deployed to Iraq in 2004, and served in Al Qaim and Al Asad.
Emanuele will be testifying on the killing of civilians and livestock, the use of drop weapons, racism, and the destruction of property.
James Gilligan: Originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, James Gilligan served six years with the Marine Corp as an Infantryman and Combat Engineer. He was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, and was awarded two Combat Action Ribbons, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Gilligan will testify on the abuse of civilians, looting, destruction of property, racism, equipment shortages, media misrepresentation, and "search and avoid" missions.
Adam Kokesh: Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Adam Kokesh volunteered in 2003 to go to Iraq with the 3rd Civil Affairs Group out of Camp Pendleton. He was attached to the First Marine Regiment, which was responsible for the Fallujah area.
Kokesh will be testifying about the creation of internally displaced refugees during the siege of Fallujah, changing rules of engagement, taking war trophy photographs, and abuse of detainees.
Sergio Kochergin: Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Sergio Kochergin served two tours in Iraq in a scout/sniper platoon with U.S. Marine Corp.
Kochergin will testify on loose rules of engagement, killing of civilians, dehumanization, and the use of drop weapons.
Luis Montalvan: Originally from Washington D.C., Luis Montalvan was an Army officer who served two tours in Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Montalvan worked extensively with General Petraeus in Southern Baghdad and the Western Nineveh Provinces. He was awarded over 30 decorations, including two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. In January-April of 2007 he worked with the American Enterprise Institute as a member of the Iraq Planning Group.
Luis Montalvan will testify on fraud, waste, and abuse perpetrated by U.S. contractors, negligence and dereliction of duty on the part of commanding officers, and misreporting on the "troop surge."