Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Official Statement and Apology: Updated

The previous actions were in fact a temporary measure until our internal process of handling disciplinary actions could complete. That process has resolved, and the final decision is as follows:

Jonathan De Wald's membership has been terminated, and he is no longer a member of IVAW.

Evan Knappenberger's membership has been indefinitely suspended.

We are currently working on getting these people the peer support and assistance that they need to preclude future incidents from occuring. Peer support and assistance will also be available at Winter Soldier, for any members or veterans who may be suffering from PTSD or anger-related issues which are surfacing or worsening through this intense process.


While this blog is not primarily an official blog, and often veers into the personal, I would like to put my official hat on and make the following statement on behalf of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The sentiments and official position are IVAW's, the wording is mine. I am currently travelling with little internet access, and will be unable to respond to posted comments. If you would like a personal response or have questions or concerns about this post, please email armysergeant (at) ivaw (dot) org, and I will be able to email you a response promptly.

Iraq Veterans Against the War does not condone threats of violence or violence against idealogical opponents, for Winter Soldier or for any other event.

Iraq Veterans Against the War and I personally have invited a number of military and veteran bloggers to attend Winter Soldier, because it is an event for military and veterans. Some of those bloggers support the war in Iraq. Some do not. All of these bloggers will be safe and welcomed at Winter Soldier as fellow servicemembers and veterans. They will be blogging from an enclosed space with controlled access, and security personnel will be there for their safety and to help alleviate any concerns. I will also give my personal word of honor as a non-commissioned officer as a guarantor for the safety of any bloggers under my charge.

It is unfortunate that certain individual members of IVAW have chosen to make threatening statements on the internet. These statements were made by individuals and are not representative of IVAW. While many were in fact likely spurred by anger at an assortment of threats made by Gathering of Eagles members, among other pro-war individuals (though I do not currently have time to list them, I am aware of the request made by a pro-war blogger and will in fact update this post with specifics by COB tomorrow), that only explains but does not excuse the conduct. We still hold all of our members to a high standard, and all attendees for Winter Soldier must read and follow the Code of Conduct.

Two members have been identified as making personal threats recently. One has been requested not to attend Winter Soldier, and the other situation is currently being handled internally.

Those of you who have served in the military know that you accept responsibility for all under your command, even actions specifically against your wishes or orders. As such, though the situations are far less exact than I would like, I would like to apologize both personally and professionally to Michelle Malkin, Robin, Nicki, Thus Spake Ortner, and Jonn Lilyea and others for the actions of these members, and assure the public that steps are being taken to ensure this does not occur again.


Thus Spake Ortner said...

Your blog ate my praise. Does it have a fail safe that when conservatives say nice things it assumes a plot?

Anyway, kudos to you and thanks for dealing fairly with us. I will never agree on the war, but certainly have to respect your ability to disagree without being rude. It is much appreciated by all of us at The Sniper.

Nicki said...

Ditto what TSO said, and I gave you a cyber hug on our blog. ;-)


Robin said...

Thank you Army Sergeant. It is nice to be able to talk about disagreements without the rancor. I wish I could be at WSII to thank you in person.

Anonymous said...

Evan Knappenberger has, as of yesterday, upped the ante and posted comments referencing murdering/assasinating an American civilian.

Kudos from someone who may not agree with you, but respects your response to this.

Unknown said...

Standing up for civilized discourse - way to go, guys.

Earl said...

I do hope for and support the continued exchange of ideas about America and the world, and the role of our military and political leadership. I am still wondering about Vietnam, I hope this new generation is smart enough to figure the War on Terror and such out and focus on the good stuff. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

They post somewhat civilized comments now. In a day or two, they will say IVAW's apology and removal of bad apples was only for show (some blogs already have), and add these names to their "Jesse Macbeth" arguments that they are still making to this day as a way to discredit IVAW. Yeah, I have their blogs and feeds in check. I'm not blind. And yes, I do assume a "plot", as pro-Iraq-war bloggers had nothing but negative preemptive assumptions about what would be said at Winter Soldier, comparing us to John Kerry and Vietnam vets in any negative way they can think of or make up, and so on. Some are claiming for non-biased coverage to check so-and-so's blogs. Why not just watch the real broadcast, as is? Guess they got their definition of "non-biased" from Fox News. And to mock the people and their stories in today's broadcast, ... I thought you supported the troops? Oh, only the ones with your political and religious beliefs? Ok... Too big to fit on those ribbon magnets and bumper stickers I guess.

I will not forgive someone who calls me a traitor, or holds a sign that tells me to go to hell. All week leading to Winter Soldier I've read nothing but crude comments made by the pro-Iraq-war crowd. They even tried to connect us with that recruiter office bombing in NYC. Questioning our loyalty, calling us liars (before we even talk!), phony soldiers (I've deployed twice, have you?), assuming my political party, calling me a leftist, traitor, communist, moonbat, etc. They have been saying we don't support the troops, and that because they think we don't stand behind them, we should go stand in front of them (to catch the bullets apparently). How can they say we don't support troops when we are and were troops?

Just look at the freakin' pictures, articles, and comments on GOE's front page right now, glorifying the same conduct they don't condone in others. How about an official apology from them? That behavior seems to be standard practice for their organization, which I've seen in person, and the whole country saw on C-Span.

Sigh... I just don't know anymore. How wanting the troops home "alive" so they can protect our "own" country is connected to treasonous thought and disrespect towards troops... I just don't get it.

P.S. Sorry for hijacking your comment thread. Have been quiet for too long.

Thus Spake Ortner said...

As far as I know, not one person posting here is affiliated with GoE.

If damn us you must, how about doing it on something WE said, not a group we aren't members of.

Anonymous said...

we're on to you, mole

Anonymous said...

What originally happened? I got on this blog late. A couple of IVAW-ers get into a beef w/the right-wingers?

Army Sergeant said...

In the process of speaking online, two IVAW members engaged in threatening behavior against pro-war bloggers. One member allowed this to get as far as death and bomb threats, the other member expressed violent threats of assault on sight. These statements were counter to the code of conduct, and the Board made a decision regarding their membership as a result of their statements and other factors.

Anonymous said...

TSO, Robin, et al,

You're all still a bunch of fish-boiled cunts.

- Clif