WATERTOWN, NY – “I was messed up in the head. It was okay for me. I laughed afterwards. We all did. It’s just the way things go.”
Iraq war veteran Jon Turner said it was almost expected of him to pull the trigger on people who didn’t need to die. So he did.
“It was my decision,” Turner said. “I made it. Now I have to live with the fact I see someone’s eyes screaming at me after I shot them.”
But Turner says it wasn’t his choice to be encouraged to do it from higher ranking officers. He and three other veterans speaking out Saturday at the Different Drummer Cafe in Watertown said committing war crimes is not only the way things go, but it’s unofficial policy.
“The killing of innocent civilians is policy,” veteran Mike Blake said. “It’s unit policy and it’s Army policy. It’s not official policy, but it’s what’s happens on the ground everyday. It’s what unit commanders individually encourage.”
The group, part of the national organization called Iraq Veterans Against War are planning an event to be held in Washington, D.C. this coming March called “Winter Soldier” that will have veterans all speaking about war crimes they committed or witnessed during their tours of duty.
“These decisions are coming from the top down,” veteran Matt Howard said. “The tactics that we use. The policies that the military engages will create situations, create dynamics, create, ultimately, atrocity.”
IVAW hopes to have 100 veterans speak at the event. Once it ends, they’ll document the testimony and package it for Congress.
IVAW says it expects a number of veterans from Fort Drum to be at the event and it is hoping to get more veterans to attend and speak at the event and will help pay for any active duty soldier who wants to go and listen.
via//News 10 Now