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Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Real John McCain...from VietnamVetsAgainstMcCain

The Media Created Mythical John McCain

My candidate is Sen. John McCain. As was Truman, McCain is a member of the majority party with an unassailable military background. Also, like Truman, McCain has sufficient maverick in his pedigree and a reputation for straight talk that gives him instant credibility.
Ken Bode, DePauw University --COLLEGENEWS.ORG, March 2004

"Few politicians can match McCain's record and reputation for candor and integrity . . . " Mike O'Connor, The Daily Texan, 6/8/2004.

When Senators see John McCain on C-SPAN, they know to grit their teeth and say a prayer. Chances are the Republican is calling them panderers and pork barrelers. In a town where politicians are in a daily tug-of-war with their scruples, McCain is the most conscientious of objectors to business as usual. Their consciences pricked, Senators would rather he just shut up. But McCain, 60, doesn't care; faced with congressional ill will, he points to the order of his priorities: "First their respect, then their affection." TIME's 25 most influential people, 1997 edition

Here is the
Real John McCain

"The nice thing about Alzheimer's is you get to hide your own Easter eggs," John McCain said to reporters while sitting in his campaign bus.

McCain Takes Aim At Religious Right

Republican Says Bush Panders To the 'Agents of Intolerance'
By Brian Knowlton International Herald Tribune

- Senator John McCain, in a provocative and politically risky speech, sharply criticized leaders of the religious right on Monday as ''agents of intolerance'' allied to his rival, Governor George W. Bush, and denounced what he said were the tactics of ''division and slander.''
Specifically, Mr. McCain singled out the evangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as ''corrupting influences on religion and politics'' and said parts of the religious right were divisive and even un-American.

McCain comes to Kerry's defense
By Associated Press
Published August 6, 2004

- Republican Sen.. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad [Swift Boat Veterans for Truth] criticizing John Kerry's military service "dishonest and dishonorable" . . . "I deplore this kind of politics," McCain said.
"I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable."

Mythical John McCain

"I like John McCain only because he's probably one of the most honest people in Congress. I don't agree with a lot of his politics, but I admire that he seems to say what he thinks regardless of party line. That's good." June 2004, quote from a liberal blog.

Real John McCain

"About 300 guests turned out Saturday night to celebrate the 90th birthday of Joseph 'Joe Bananas' Bonanno, retired boss of New York's Bonanno crime family. He retired to Tucson in 1968 . . . John McCain, R-Ariz., and Gov. Fife Symington sent their regards by telegram." The Arizona Republic - January 17, 1995

McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion.. His convictions were overturned on technicalities.

McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least nine trips on Keating's airplanes, and three of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."

Mythical John McCain

Washington Post columnist George Will wrote about McCain in 1988, "He was a prisoner for 5-1/2 years. Because he was properly obstinate, he was in solitary confinement most of that time . . . Every day for two years, one of his guards ordered him to bow, and then knocked him down."

Joseph Spear, an awestruck columnist who wanted presidential candidate Bob Dole to pick McCain for vice president wrote, "McCain is a war hero . . . He was tossed into the infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' prison camp, where he was hung by his fractured arms for hours at a time." Many have written columns suggesting that McCain is presidential material and advocate his running for the nation's highest office.

Real John McCain

"Nhan Dan today published answers to questions by one of its correspondents made by a U.S. air pirate detained in North Vietnam. "He is Lt. John Sidney McCain . . ." Hanoi VNA International Service in French - November 9, 1967
"To a question of the correspondent, McCain answered: 'My assignment to the Oriskany, I told myself, was due to serious losses in pilots which were sustained by this aircraft carrier due to its raids over North Vietnam territory and which necessitated replacements. From 10 to 12 pilots were transferred like me from the Forrestal to the Oriskany . . . upon arrival near the target, our formation, with six bombers, would mount the attack according to the following order: I would be number three, and the chief of the formation, number one. Each pilot would have to approach the target from a different direction, the choice of which would be left to him.'" A November 9, 1967 declassified Department of Defense document

"A meeting which will leave its mark on my life: My meeting with John Sidney McCain was certainly one of those meetings which will affect me most profoundly for the rest of my life. I had asked the North Vietnamese authorities to allow me to personally interrogate an American prisoner. They authorized me to do so. When night fell, they took me--without any precautions or mystery--to a hospital near the Gia Lam Airport reserved for the military. (Passage omitted) The officer who receives me begins: I ask you not to ask any questions of political nature. If this man replies in a way unfavorable to us, they will not hesitate to speak of "brainwashing" and conclude that we threatened him. (Passage omitted) "This John Sidney McCain is not an ordinary prisoner. His father is none other than Admiral Edmond John McCain, commander in chief of U.S. Naval forces in Europe." Written by "prominent" French television reporter Francois Chalais - January 1968

"Reds Say PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral . . . Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of United States Commander in the Pacific, Adm. John McCain, purportedly admits to having bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises medical treatment he has received since being taken prisoner."
Saigon-UPI, June 4, 1969

"The English-Language broadcast beamed at South Vietnam was one of a series using American prisoners. It was in response to a plea by Defense Secretary Melvin S. Laird, May 19, that North Vietnam treat prisoners according to the humanitarian standards set forth by the Geneva Convention." The Washington Post - June 5, 1969

After being periodically slapped around for "three or four days" by his captors who wanted military information from him, McCain called for an officer on his fourth day of captivity. He told the officer, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital." -U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

McCain was taken to Gai Lam military hospital. (U.S. government documents)

"Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I [McCain] did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant." Page 193-194, Faith of My Fathers by John McCain

Phoenix New Times, March 25, 1999 -- Two former POWs, Air Force Colonels Ted Guy and Gordon "Swede" Larson, said in a feature article that while they could not guarantee that McCain was not physically harmed, they doubted it. Both Guy and Larson were senior ranking officers (SRO's) in McCain's POW camp at a time he claims he was in solitary confinement and being tortured.
Larson told the New Times, "Between the two of us, it's our belief, and to the best of our knowledge, that no prisoner was beaten or harmed physically in that camp [known as 'The Plantation'].
"My only contention with the McCain deal is that while he was at The Plantation, to the best of my knowledge and Ted's knowledge, he was not physically abused in any way. No one was in that camp. It was the camp that people were released from."

Mythical John McCain

McCain starred during the 1991-93 proceedings of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.

Boston Globe, June 21, 2003--- "In the ensuing weeks and months [1991], McCain and Kerry individually, and then together, concluded that the unresolved divisions of the Vietnam War were causing too much national anguish, and that it was time to put the war to rest.

Four years later, on a summer day in 1995, Kerry and McCain stood beside President Clinton in the East Room at the White House as he announced that the United States would normalize diplomatic relations with Vietnam. For a president who most famously had not served in their war, the two combat veterans served as wingmen.

In his work toward that day, Kerry earned the ‘unbounded respect and admiration’ of McCain, who, like others in the Senate, originally viewed Kerry with suspicion. ‘You get to know people and you make decisions about them,’ says McCain. ‘I found him to be the genuine article.’

". . . At hearings where McCain's anger at his critics flared, Kerry would reach over and place his hand on McCain's arm to calm him down. "I remain grateful to him for doing that," McCain acknowledges.

" . . . Ultimately, he [Kerry] crafted a report stating that while there may have been POWs unaccounted for and possibly left behind, no proof existed that Americans were still being held.

"Together, McCain and Kerry then led the effort to normalize relations with Vietnam. ‘The work John Kerry and John McCain did’ is ‘truly one of the most extraordinary events we have had in the last 50 years,’ says Edward M. Kennedy, who has served in the Senate since 1962."

Real John McCain

During the hearings, he worked hand in hand with his Sen. John Kerry, the panel's co-chairman, to discredit voluminous evidence indicating that Vietnam was still held a sizeable numbers of U.S. servicemen alive after the prisoner return in 1973.
McCain stood out because he "always showed up for the committee hearings where witnesses were going to talk about specific pieces of evidence. He would belittle and berate these witnesses, questioning their patriotism and otherwise scoffing at their credibility. All of this is on record in the National Archives . . . "
When, on Nov. 11, 1992, McCain was advised that Dolores Apodaca Alfond, chairwoman of the National Alliance of POW/MIA Families (her pilot brother, Capt. Victor J. Apodaca, is missing in action in North Vietnam), was offering some testimony that was critical of the Senate Committee, he rushed into the room to confront her.
Award winning journalist Sydney Schanberg described the scene. "His face [McCain] angry and his voice very loud, he accused her of making "allegations ... that are patently and totally false and deceptive." Making a fist, he shook his index finger at her and said she had insulted an emissary to Vietnam sent by President Bush. He said she had insulted other MIA families with her remarks. And then he said, through clenched teeth: "And I am sick and tired of you insulting mine and other people's [patriotism] who happen to have different views than yours."
By this time, tears were running down Alfond's cheeks. She reached into her handbag for a handkerchief. She tried to speak: "The family members have been waiting for years -- years! And now you're shutting down." He kept interrupting her. She tried to say, through tears, that she had issued no insults. He kept talking over her words. He said she was accusing him and others of "some conspiracy without proof, and some cover-up." She said she was merely seeking "some answers. That is what I am asking." He ripped into her for using the word "fiasco." She replied: "The fiasco was the people that stepped out and said we have written the end, the final chapter to Vietnam." "No one said that," he shouted. "No one said what you are saying they said, Ms. Alfond." And then, his face flaming pink, he stalked out of the room, to shouts of disfavor from members of the audience.

McCain took the lead in demanding a U.S. Justice Department investigation of POW/MIA families and activists accusing them of fraud because in some of their fund-raising literature they claimed the U.S. government knowingly left U.S. POWs behind after the Vietnam War and that some remain alive today.

McCain told reporters, "The people who have done these things are not zealots in a good cause. They are the most craven, most cynical and most despicable human beings to ever run a scam." The Justice Department did investigate the POW/MIA families and activists finding NO scams or reasons to charge anyone.

The SPOTLIGHT November 15, 1999
McCain is famous in POW-MIA activist circles for his clashes with those who disagree with his conclusion that no American POW or MIA was left alive in communist hands when he was repatriated by the Hanoi government in 1973.
Perhaps the best example of his crude treatment of the loved ones of still-unaccounted-for POWs and MIAs is illustrated by an incident that occurred in 1996 when the senator's path crossed with a number of POW-MIA family members outside of a hearing room in Washington.
Upon leaving the room, McCain immediately quarreled with family members, who were eager to question him on the issue. Instead of answering their questions, the Arizona senator pushed and shoved them out of his way, nearly toppling the wheelchair of POW-MIA mother Jane Duke Gaylor, whose son, Charles Duke, a civilian worker in Vietnam, is among the same 2,300 American POWs and MIAs still unaccounted for by the communists.
The Duke case file contains sufficient evidence that Duke was a prisoner of the communists, according to Garnet "Bill" Bell, who headed the U.S. government POW-MIA office in Hanoi.
The POW-MIA activists, shocked and horrified by McCain's crude behavior toward Mrs Gaylor, registered their complaints with Senate officials. Mrs Gaylor and her niece, Geannette Jenkins, who was pushing her wheelchair, were advised by Sgt. Dana Sundberg of the Capitol Hill Police to file assault charges against McCain. They declined, fearful of the power of the Arizona senator.


Blogger SteveMDFP said...

There is fresh scholarship documenting McCain's betrayal of Vietnam POWs and their families:

McCain and the POW Cover-up

2:32 AM  

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