1971 April 25

Rep. Ron Dellums Holds Hearings on U. S. War Crimes in Vietnam


U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums, an African-American member of the House of Representatives from Oakland, California, was one of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War. The hearings, which began on this day, were the first official inquiry into allegations of U.S. war crimes in the Vietnam War.

See also the case of Dr. Howard Levy who, on December 29, 1966, refused to train Army Special Forces because he believed the U.S. was committing war crimes in Vietnam.

In addition to the issue of war crimes, the Vietnam War created a number of civil liberties crises. They include (1) the lack of a Congressional Declaration of War as required by the Constitution (June 3, 1970); (2) threats to freedom of the press in the Pentagon Papers case (June 30, 1971); (3) spying on the anti-war movement by the CIA (August 15, 1967); (4) threats to freedom of expression, for example high school student protests (February 24, 1969); censorship of television programs (February 25, 1968); and directly and indirectly some of the events that led to the Watergate Scandal (May 9, 1969; January 27, 1972).

Watch an interview with Ron Dellums: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x46l39WRLkE

Read his Memoirs: Ronald V. Dellums and H. Lee Halterman, Lying Down with the Lions: From the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power (2000)

Learn more: Deborah Nelson, The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth About U.S. War Crimes (2008)

Learn more about Ron Dellums: http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people/Dellums/Dellums.html

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