The Vietnam Veterans Memorial website was vandalized by a hacker promoting Turkish nationalism, who posted a video and message against the United States and Israel, The Washington Post reports. Users of the site who searched for U.S. casualties by date were sent to an all-red Web page adorned with a symbol from the Turkish flag, a short video, and messages in Turkish and English. The English messages attacked Kurds, the United States, Israel and Armenia. The message read: "Is there any equal or likeness to our martyrs at Gallipoli?" -- a reference to the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. According to Wikipedia, 250,000 Ottoman fighters died in the battle, while 141,000 Allied soldiers died. The battle is captured in the film Gallipoli and the song And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.
A "Turk Defacer" took credit for the hack, which users reported yesterday to the FBI, the National Park Service and the 4/9 Infantry Manchu (Vietnam) Association, which maintains the site. The message was removed and the search function restored by last night.
The physical memorial was attacked just a few days before; it was defaced with an oily substance.
"These kinds of groups are opportunistic and are going to do whatever they think they have to do to get their message out," said Cheryl Criteser, the 4/9 Infantry Association's secretary-treasurer. "I've gotten death threats, I've gotten all kinds of negative stuff from other countries. I just figure they're wackos."