MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state your full name for the record?
THE WITNESS: Cora Weiss.
MR. KUNSTLER: Mrs. Weiss, what is Your occupation?
THE WITNESS: I am a housewife.
MR. KUNSTLER: Do you have any relationship with the Mobilization Committee?
THE WITNESS: I am a national cochairman of the New Mobilization Committee.
MR. KUNSTLER: I call your attention, Mrs. Weiss, to the evening of July 25, 1968, and I ask you if you know where you were.
THE WITNESS: I spoke at the Hotel Diplomat in New York City under the auspices of the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade.
MR. KUNSTLER: Did anybody else speak?
THE WITNESS: Tom Hayden spoke.
MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state what Tom Hayden said?
THE WITNESS: I remember distinctly that he talked about the only alternative
to genocide was the total withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and I remember
he quoted General Westmoreland and the man who said that we have to destroy
a town in order to save it, to demonstrate what he meant by genocide.
And because these were the only alternatives, he said that we had to raise the issue of the total withdrawal of troops from Vietnam as the only viable solution to the war.
MR. KUNSTLER: Did he say anything else that you can now recall in that speech?
THE WITNESS: I believe that he said that we should go beyond the perimeter of dissent which is limited by waiting for elections, that we should continue our protest, and I believe he used a phrase, "the rules of the game," meaning the electoral process, the elections.
MR. KUNSTLER: Now, Mrs. Weiss, I show you D-302 for identification and ask you if you can identify that.
THE WITNESS: These are the children who survived the massacre of Pinkville whom I saw in North Vietnam two weeks ago.
MR. SCHULTZ: Object. Objection. That has no relevancy. If Mr. Kunstier is going to pursue this, we have to argue this, we should excuse the jury.
THE COURT: I will excuse you for a few minutes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with my usual orders.
MR. SCHULTZ: There is no question but what Mr. Kunstier is trving to
do is get before the jury the recent development of what is called the
massacre of My Lai in Vietnam.
Now, that has no probative value in this case. It's only being injected here in an attempt to turn the jury, to get to the jury's sympathies, wholly unrelated to the merits of the charges and the evidence in this case.
MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, this massacre at Song My occurred in March 1968 before the Democratic Convention. There is an example of genocide which was testified to by the witness as being a portion of Mr. Hayden's speech in July of 1968. It seems to me it's perfectly proper to indicate that this was one of the motivations why people went to the Democratic National Convention. I was going to next show her a letter written by a survivor of the Song My massacre to the women of the United States and the women of the world.
THE COURT: If vou want to have some other exhibits identified, I will let you protect your record by having them identified.
MR. KUNSTLER: I will show the witness Defendants' 304 for identification and ask her to state for the record what that document is.
THE WITNESS: This is a letter written in the hand of Vo Thi Lien, who is a twelve-yearold child, who is orphaned, and came from the village of Song My, in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam, whom I met and spent a dav with several weeks ago.
MR. KUNSTLER: Now, your Honor, while the jury is out, I would like to ask the witness to read into the record the English translation of the letter from-
THE COURT: I will let you-even though I already conclude from the identification that the exhibit has no place in the trial of this case.
MR. DAVIS: Before she reads that, we have been admonished many times at this table for laughing in the courtroom. I wonder now if you would admonish Mr. Foran for laughing during this entire episode when we have been talking about the massacre of women and children in Vietnam.
MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I wonder how loud the screams from the defense table would be if the Government put in evidence of what the Weathermen, led by that young man, Hayden,-if we had put in evidence that they came charging out of Lincoln Park two-anda-half months ago and rampaged all over the North Side of Chicago. That's why I'm laughing, because it's absolutely idiotic that they should be offering this kind of evidence in this case, and they know it, your Honor.
MR. WEINGLASS: In light of what the U.S. Attorney has said I would like this Court in light of the fact that there are persons here from the press and the public, to admonish, openly and in public, the United States Attornev for this reckless, premeditated charge against men who sit here as innocent persons, who are part of the citizenry of this country which Mr. Foran supposedly serves, and to make that charge of a crime without convincing a grand jury or having any testimony-
MR. FORAN: What about the soldiers, your Honor, who have not been found guilty of the charge at Pinkville?
THE COURT: We will strike the remarks of Mr. Foran from the record.
MR. FORAN: Your Honor, Mr. Foran will concede that he lost his temper in the face of the offer made by these gentlemen and is sorry he made the remark.
MR. WEINGLASS: Would your Honor invite Mr. Foran to the lectern where he could make a public confession of a misstatement of the truth of a fact?
THE COURT: He has done everything that is necessary, in my judgment.
MR. WEINGLASS: He's done virtually nothing except say he lost his temper.
THE COURT: That will be all, Mr. Weinglass.
MR. KUNSTLER: I might add, your Honor, that many of the American soldiers involved have confessed publicly that they participated in the murders at Song My.
THE COURT: Will you read the Defendants' Exhibit 304 for identification into the record, Mrs. Weiss?
THE WITNESS: "I am Vo Thi Lien, twelve years old, a native of
My Hoi Block, Song My Village, Quang Ngai province. I have survived
the murder by GI's of 502 inhabitants of my village early last year.
My Hoi alone lost 87 people, including eighteen of my dearest relatives.
Now I wish to tell you in detail how the massacre was committed.
"The weather was fine at dawn on March 16, 1968. As usual, people were going about their work, heading for their fields with spades on their shoulders, or sailing off on their boats, or pounding coconut bark to make coir. Suddenly, from Mount Ram and other places, enemy artillery heavily pounded my village. Everybody hurried into safety.
"When the shelling ended, people got out of their shelters. But at that very moment eleven choppers rushed in from the Chu Lai airfield and landed troops. Realizing that the enemv had come for a sweep, they scurried back to cover.
"The enemy now made for My Hoi. My paternal grandfather and grandmother and myself were in an underground. Grandmother set out to see whether, as usual, they had withdrawn after plundering houses and setting fire to them. Unexpectedly, a volley hit her right at the entrance. Without even a moan, she collapsed by my side. Then there was a flash and an explosion and I lost consciousness.
"When I came to, I was frightened and trembling so much that I could hardly stand on my feet. I felt slimy bits of flesh of grandmother thrown by grenades on my body. In tears, I crawled out of the trench to see who had died and who had survived.
"Aunties, you can never imagine what a horrible scene of carnage I then saw. All the fifteen members of Le's family were a heap of bodies maimed beyond recognition, eight piled on the brink of the underground and seven with severed heads or limbs. Small pieces of flesh were all over the place. Other families were exterminated to the last man. Mrs. Mot with her child, Mrs. Trinh with her five daughters and sons. Mrs. Hoa and Mrs. Mui each with their four little ones. Corpses were sprawling in clusters on the ground, chests pierced by bayonets, broken skulls with brains spilling, and bodies with pieces of flesh carved oft
by grenade splinters.
"Survivors told me what had happened while I were lying senseless in the shelter. American soldiers after raping Mrs. Ngo, who was near her time, killed her with rifle shots. The fetus was ejected from her womb. And as her three panic-stricken children burst out crying, they shot them dead immediately.
"My own beloved ones died not less horribly. Soldiers dragged auntie Vo Thi Phu out of her shelter and tried to assault her, but as she desperately resisted, they gunned her down as her one-year-old baby was crawling toward her body for a stick. They threw straw on mother and child and set fire to them both. My uncle's wife Le Thi Hong was also killed by gunshots.
"It was terrible. In one day my populous village had become a deserted, devastated place with just a few survivors.
"Aunties, American troops have massacred not only mv fellow villagers. I have met many friends of mine from different parts Of South Vietnam, not a few of them orphaned by American bombs and bullets. I hope that you will do your best so that not one more GI will be sent to South Vietnam, that You will call for the immediate repatriation of all American troops so that my country sliffers no more destruction and no more mass killing like the one in my native village, and so that other friends of mine will not experience horrors and suffering like mine.
"I wish you good health, respectfully yours.
Vo Thi Lien."
MR. SCHULTZ: Objection.
THE COURT: I sustain the objection. Not only do I sustain the objection, I order counsel for the defendants to make no reference to the exhibits before the jury.
MR. SCHULTZ: And would you also instruct the witness, your Honor, who apparently is losing her composure, not to make any reference to her recent trip and to these materials that we have been discussing, because they are not relevant to our prosecution?
THE COURT: Yes, I will instruct the jury.
MR. SCHULTZ: May we inquire of the witness who apparently was crying a moment ago whether or not a brief recess would be--
THE WITNESS: No, it won't be necessary but I am a mother and I have three children and I am sorry that I lost my composure.
THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen of the jurv, while you were out the defendants through their counsel offered Defendants' Exhibits 302, 303 and 304, respectively, for identification. The Court sustained the objection of the Government to those exhibits and I order counsel to make no further reference to them.
MR. KUNSTLER: In view of your Honor's ruling on that, we have no further questions of this witness.
THE COURT: All right. Is there any cross-examination of this witness?
MR. SCHULTZ: The defendant Hayden, when he gave that speech. made reference to the Democratic National Convention coming up in August, didn't he?
THE WITNESS: Yes, he spoke of Chicago.
MR. SCHULTZ: And he said that there were going to be the largest mass arrests in America's history during the upcoming elections and nominations, didn't he?
THE WITNESS: Not that I recall.
MR. SCHULTZ: He said, didn't he, that the peace demonstrators should have contempt for the rules because the United States has broken the rules and the peace demonstrators now have a right to break the rules?
THE WITNESS: The rules of the game for the electoral process. We shouldn't just wait to vote to change the man in office or the policy in office, that we have to keep on raising dissents and to keep on demonstrating.
MR. SCHULTZ: He said that the United States had violated the law and that the peace demonstrators should have contempt for the rules, didn't he?
THE WITNESS: He said the United States had violated the laws of mankind.
MR. SCHULTZ: As a matter of fact, he said that the demonstrators should be prepared to shed their blood?
THE WITNESS: I don't recall if that is the exact phrase, but he spoke of it would not be the first time that blood might have to be shed, our blood as demonstrators, for a cause.
MR. SCHULTZ: That is all.
THE COURT: Call your next witness.
CHICAGO 7 TRIAL