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The Winter Soldier “investigation” : War Crimes of America in Vietnam

An Anti War agency in Vietnam tried to highlight the war crimes committed by the United States armed forces in the name of peace



When we read or hear the word winter soldier, the first thing that pops up in our mind is “Captain America: the winter soldier. Some may even relate to “Hydra or world war” and “Avengers” too. But the unknown fact is The Winter Soldier is a real-life investigation incident that relates to the Vietnam War.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) sponsored a media event the “WINTER SOLDER INVESTIGATION” between January 31, 1971, to February 2, 1971, shedding light on the deeper aspects of the war. The purpose was to publicize the war crimes and atrocities of the United State of America and its arm forces with its allies in the Vietnam war.

VVAW is an American non-profit organization and corporation founded in 1967 to oppose the United States policy and participation in the Vietnam War. VVAW identifies itself as anti-war, although not in the pacifistic sense. Membership has varied greatly, from almost 25,000 veterans during the height of the war to fewer than 2,000 since the late 20th century. The VVAW is widely considered to be among the most influential anti-war organizations of the American Vietnam War era.


It is no concealed fact that the USA is guilty of Human Right violation either it may be in Afghanistan or Iran or Syria or Vietnam. It is contradictory with its official stance of being a peace bearer and champion of democracy.


victims of the vietnam war

The CCI member Jeremy Rifkin, Tod Ensign, Michael Uhl, and Bob Johnson laid the foundation for the winter soldier investigation. They then set out to collect the information for the same contacted the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and raised support from the VVAW founder, Jan Crumb. There eventually was some difference in the opinion and direction regarding the events, the group separated into two different entities.

One of the participants Donald Doughlas said “….. The US had established the principle of culpability with the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis….” Mark Lane was the one who proposed the name “the winter soldier Investigation”.

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Organizers also investigated the legal implications of veterans publicly admitting to criminal acts which they had witnessed or participated in. The organizers were assured that the armed forces could not charge or try veterans for crimes committed while they were on active duty with legal advice from the Center for Constitutional Rights.

United States war crimes are violations of the law and customs of war United States Armed Forces with its allies was allegedly guilty of.


$50,000-$75,000 was the total estimated cost of Winter Soldier Investigation. Several activists helped in raising funds for the VVAW. The whole of the media stream ignored the war crimes but not the VVAW. Due to the same, the event did not get much popularity.

A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama said we must look forward, not backward. This implies that there is neither publicity nor accountability for the war crimes like rapes, torture under the Bush-Cheney regime.  The Nuremberg Trials say otherwise.   The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa say otherwise. The Winter Soldier Investigation says otherwise.


Also read:

Bhima Koregaon and the absurd arrests of 16 Political captives

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