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Could we please revisit McCain's PoW experience?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PressCoverage, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    the more I read about this guy, the more he appears a fraud... blocking PoW rescue ambitions in Washington?... this story is extremely long, and detailed... and disgusting, if true... guy seems adamant that there are/were no PoW's all this time... angrily so... why so animated, John?

    McCain and the POW Cover-Up
    Thursday 18 September 2008
    »
    Nation Institute
    by: Sydney H. Schanberg, The Nation

    John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

    Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain's role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain's military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn't talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

    ... <snip> ...

    McCain's role

    An early and critical McCain secrecy move involved 1990 legislation that started in the House of Representatives. A brief and simple document, it was called "the Truth Bill" and would have compelled complete transparency about prisoners and missing men. Its core sentence reads: "[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict, shall make available to the public all such records held or received by that department or agency."

    Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later, a new measure, known as "the McCain Bill," suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge - only records that revealed no POW secrets - it turned the Truth Bill on its head. (See one example, at left, when the Pentagon cited McCain's bill in rejecting a FOIA request.) The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios and justifications for not releasing any information at all - even about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence.

    McCain was also instrumental in amending the Missing Service Personnel Act, which had been strengthened in 1995 by POW advocates to include criminal penalties, saying: "Any government official who knowingly and willfully withholds from the file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in Title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year or both." A year later, in a closed House-Senate conference on an unrelated military bill, McCain, at the behest of the Pentagon, attached a crippling amendment to the act, stripping out its only enforcement teeth, the criminal penalties, and reducing the obligations of commanders in the field to speedily search for missing men and to report the incidents to the Pentagon.

    ... <snip>...

    McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidence - documents, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs' sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scorned - has been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the "bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists." ​


    It goes on from there, talking about his regret for his confession as a "war criminal" under torture, and how the possibility exists that he's successfully blocked public access to it (the Pentagon holds the tapes) with his work in the Senate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Go ahead, revisit it. I have no idea what happened but revisiting his PoW experience is going to get him votes not lose them; and less than 50 days out that's what matters.
     
  3. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    You just conceded that you have no idea what happened... Yet you're certain a story like this will get him votes? Cool... Well, nice of you to affectively exclude yourself from discussion regarding the veracity of these allegations.

    The point is, the longer a thinking person holds McCain's war record up to the light, the more people realize his entire Vietman PoW, war hero platform doesn't really resemble reality at all. Sorta like Boy King's "legacy" of a fly boy who was "willing" to go to Vietnam.

    Kinda pulls at the heart strings... For a minute... Until you look a little deeper and embrace the reality of the public record. But we all know the kind of person who never looks a little deeper. It's the same crowd that votes for the moron they'd rather have a beer with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  4. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    PC is an amazing individual. Sooner or later he'll find "proof" that everyone not representing his POV are in reality the worst people in the world.
     
  5. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Didn't John Rambo go n and rescue the last remaining POW's? Or, was it Chuck Norriss? Could have been Steven Segal?

    I get confused
     
  6. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He's a Racist to boot-----:singing:
     
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As far as his POW status goes and what happens, really do not care.. much of what has been written is not able to be corraberated.. it is what it is, an extreme situation... kinda like Kerry his service should have not been questioned or turned into a politcal football.. but it was not.. McCain's should not be either.. evokes too many emotions for too many people and really clouds the issues..

     
  8. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    A little Bosstones there GJA? Good stuff, one of my favorite bands from back in the day.

    PC I don't really think there's much here, I mean its not like McCain has acted alone in blocking these inquiries, he has been joined by people on both sides, many of which have nothing to hide and should be supportive of the measures if there was anything to them. The article points out how many people this includes:

    "The Arizona Senator, now the Republican candidate for President, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon's and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief and national security advisor."

    Also, the committee that he was a part of and is blamed in the article for blocking any progress wasn't chaired by him, but was chaired by John Kerry, who also doesn't find anything compelling. I mean, when you see all these administrations agreeing (including Carter and Clinton), when you see McCain and Kerry agreeing, it has to tell you that the evidence just doesn't pass muster, doesn't it? If it were a case of McCain standing alone to block access and everyone around him calling for a change then it would be a different story.

    I'm not sure why you would call him a fraud, I mean it is a fact that he was a POW, that he gave up early release, and that he broke under torture (he even talked about it in his convention speech). What is fraudulent about that? He gives credit to the men he was imprisoned with for saving his life, he doesn't take the credit for himself.
     
  9. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    He's just another one of those uncourageous tools I guess.
     
  10. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Dude, you really need to find another outlet. Your political hate has you tied up in knots. Look at that statement you just made that I bolded.

    I mean that is really going off the map. This is not a personal attack. It's a reality call.

    Close your eyes and visualize yourself in a jet plane and SAM's coming at you. Now visualize yourself having to eject into hostile territory. Now visualize yourself hitting the ground and having your bone snap. And now ther are hostile people beating you and kicking you where you bone has just snapped and dragging you on that bone.

    Now, read your post that I bolded and ask yourself if there is something wrong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  11. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Something isn't wrong bud, somethings missing. Like maybe 5 beers from a six-pack maybe. I watched Rescue Dawn just last week (Christian Bale - Nam pilot - POW), and it reminded me of McCain's situation. Anyone who dares call into question the suffering of a POW, really has some issues.
     
  12. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I don't know how someone can think that going after McCain's war experience in that way will help their political cause.

    I will say this again. I was upset with the Swift Boat people for going after Kerry's service in Vietnam. He put himself in harms way and served honorably. My problem with Kerry, as a Vietnam vet, is what he did when he came back.
     
  13. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    Well, no... That would be you.

    Anyhow, did anyone actually read the story, front to back?
     
  14. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    Looks like no one read it... I thought that might be the case... Anyhow, on to addressing the "reality call."

    And so what we have here is more from the right whereby they declare something is so (in this case, that the McCain bill is essentially innocuous, and he has no agenda), but never really go into detail why they think it's so. We see it time and time again. Insistant on calling another poster "hateful" or "unhinged," but unwilling to tackle the veracity, nor offer perspective, regarding the story presented.

    It's ironic that you'd use the term "reality call." It really is. Just admit it: You didn't read the story at all, did you? Offended that anyone would dare question the experience of John McCain in Southeast Asia, you completely gloss over the curious fact that the man has fought tooth and nail to block inquiries into additional PoWs.

    And, yes, your condescension above IS a personal attack, as far as I'm concerned.

    What on God's green Earth does this have to do with anything? Now close your eyes and picture this same man voting against a bill banning waterboarding, then applauded Boy King for vetoing that bill.

    You're not gonna shame anyone away from asking relevant questions about his motives in Washington since. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. The man suffered, we get it. But there have been countless reports of additional sightings and testimony of PoWs there in the 35 years since his release, and no bit of hissy fits by John McCain, John Kerry, or anyone in Washington changes that.

    Col. Millard A. Peck explained all this in his telling resignation letter of February 12, 1991, eight months after he had taken the job. He said he viewed it as "sort of a holy crusade" to restore the integrity of the office but was defeated by the Pentagon machine. The four-page, single-spaced letter was scathing, describing the putative search for missing men as "a cover-up."

    Peck charged that, at its top echelons, the Pentagon had embraced a "mind-set to debunk" all evidence of prisoners left behind. "That national leaders continue to address the prisoner of war and missing in action issue as the 'highest national priority,' is a travesty," he wrote. "The entire charade does not appear to be an honest effort, and may never have been....Practically all analysis is directed to finding fault with the source. Rarely has there been any effective, active follow through on any of the sightings, nor is there a responsive 'action arm' to routinely and aggressively pursue leads."

    "I became painfully aware," his letter continued, "that I was not really in charge of my own office, but was merely a figurehead or whipping boy for a larger and totally Machiavellian group of players outside of DIA...I feel strongly that this issue is being manipulated and controlled at a higher level, not with the goal of resolving it, but more to obfuscate the question of live prisoners and give the illusion of progress through hyperactivity." He named no names but said these players are "unscrupulous people in the Government or associated with the Government" who "have maintained their distance and remained hidden in the shadows, while using the [POW] Office as a 'toxic waste dump' to bury the whole 'mess' out of sight." Peck added that "military officers...who in some manner have 'rocked the boat' [have] quickly come to grief."

    Peck concluded: "From what I have witnessed, it appears that any soldier left in Vietnam, even inadvertently, was, in fact, abandoned years ago, and that the farce that is being played is no more than political legerdemain done with 'smoke and mirrors' to stall the issue until it dies a natural death."

    The disillusioned Colonel not only resigned but asked to be retired immediately from active military service. The press never followed up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  15. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    I read it, I just didn't think I needed to actually reply in the affirmative! There just doesn't seem to be more than scattered evidence that there were troops left behind. I also keep coming back to the fact that no action has been taken despite having had so many Vietnam vets in government, especially one like John Kerry who was not afraid to be openly critical of the US after he came back. Also for this theory to hold water you'd have to have compliance from every administration since Nixon, which, considering the varying politics among those administrations doesn't make sense to me. I also disagree with the idea that McCain has been a leader of some movement to keep the truth covered up, I mean he wasn't serving in the executive for any of that time, and wasn't even chair of the committee that investigated it, Kerry was!

    I also don't think it was fair for the others to dismiss your idea here as they did. I will say though that you (like all of us I suppose) are much more apt to believe a theory that supports your views even if there are major holes in it. I try not to do that but I'm sure I sometimes do anyway.
     
  16. PF1996

    PF1996 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I wouldn't care but since McCain constantly brings it up as some sort of "credential" (I don't think being unlucky enough to be a POW and being tortured is a "qualification" to be President), then it's legitimate to scrutinize the history.

    It's a fact huh? Please explain this fact to me because it doesn't really make any sense. As far as I'm aware, hostage takers, not hostages, determine when a hostage is released. So, please explain, why the Vietcong could not simply have released McCain if they really wanted/intended to release him. :rolleyes:

    Actually I read the story before you posted it and I can only hope it's not true because that would be a horrible thing to be abandoned by your own country. It's amusing to see Stokes take the view that "well, the evidence is sparse/McCain wasn't the only one involved in the coverup", while ignoring the question - then what is being covered up if no one was left behind. :rolleyes:

    The article isn't a basis for a firm opinion but I find it scary that even after all the revelations of the dishonest and evil things that governments, democratic and nondemocratic, have inflicted on their citizens, that people are still so willing to uncritically accept anything the government tells them.
     
  17. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    That is a valid point, though the explanation is that they generally preconditioned the release on signing anti-US propaganda statements. Here's a little explainer from Slate:

    Did McCain's captors really need his permission to release him from the Hanoi Hilton? - By Noreen Malone - Slate Magazine

    I wasn't accepting the idea that there WAS a coverup, I was saying that the premise that McCain on his own would be able to mastermind a coverup if one existed is faulty IMO. Doesn't wash with all the other players that would have to be involved. On the other side I did find that at least 2 members of congress that also lay the blame at McCain's feet, more evidence on PCs side. They were ex-Sen Bob Smith (R-NH) and Rep Robert Dorman (R-CA). I should also revise my statement and say the evidence is more than sparse, I don't think that adequately described the amount of circumstantial evidence out there. Sorry!

    One other thing, when he talks about Haney's book and the planned rescue missions, I read that book (though it was a few years back now), and I don't recall those training missions being for Nam, but I may be "misremembering" that part.

    edit: Yes, I kind of misremembered, turns out he talks about both an aborted mission in Iran (which I was thinking of) AND the mission in Laos.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008

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