Saturday, October 4, 2008

McCain: The War Hero Has No Clothes

For decades, John McCain actively cultivated the image of a “warrior” and “war hero,” the genuine article, toting that carefully crafted impression around like a Louis Vittuon carry-all. The problem is that the supposedly genuine Vittuon is actually a cheap Bangkok knock-off, a counterfeit that has no more in common with the genuine article than I have with McCain himself.

After years of McCain perpetuating the myth, it’s time someone publicly calls McCain what he is: An exaggerator of his military experience and fabricator of his status as war hero.

To bastardize a distasteful campaign line he unwrapped not long ago, McCain would rather win a campaign than be honest about his wartime experience.

In fact, the record shows that the Man Who Would Be President was a not-very-bright Naval Academy student who preferred parties to studying and graduated fourth from the bottom of his Annapolis class; a mediocre pilot who crashed three jet fighters during training before being shipped out to ‘Nam where he crashed a fourth; an insubordinate junior officer who got shot down over Hanoi because he disobeyed direct orders to abandon his 23rd mission and return the A-4 Skyhawk he flew to the USS Forrestal; and, as a POW, willingly provided so much intelligence – admittedly, bits of it false – and co-operated so extensively with the North Vietnamese in exchange for favorable treatment over a three year period that his fellow prisoners at the Hanoi Hilton gave him the derisive nickname “Songbird.” In propaganda aimed at the US, the North Vietnamese even used his nickname in a news release about McCain, not understanding it was an insult given him by prisoners who were disgusted by his behavior.

Two former POWs, Air Force Colonels Ted Guy and Gordon "Swede" Larson, told the Phoenix New Times in 1999 that they doubted McCain was tortured or harmed while a prisoner. Both Guy and Larson were senior ranking officers in McCain's POW camp at a time he claims he was in solitary confinement and being tortured.

"Between the two of us, it's our belief that no prisoner was beaten or harmed physically in (the Plantation),” Larson stated.

"My only contention with McCain is that he was not physically abused in any way. No one was in that camp.”

Grandpa’s Lap

Put bluntly, the closest John McCain has ever come to a war hero was when he sat on his grandfather’s lap as a child. The first John McCain commanded naval aviation at the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The candidate’s father, also an Admiral named John, commanded American forces in Vietnam for a time.

In other words, John S. McCain III (or “Johnny Three Sticks” as a Republican Senate aid called him when being interviewed for this article) not only changes his positions on substantive issues in the campaign, he totally changes the reality of his “service to my country.” No wonder he seems to have so much trouble staying on message as a candidate; he can’t keep the story of his life straight.

In the process of repeatedly violating the Military Code of Conduct during his time as a POW, he placed other naval airmen in jeopardy.

Declassified North Vietnamese and Pentagon records confirm that he provided Hanoi with detailed information about the number of airplanes on the Forrestal, flight paths into and out of North Viet Nam, how targets were selected, the positioning of rescue ships and the success rate of attacks from fighter-bombers based on his carrier. As far as can be discovered, the only thing he deceived the North Vietnamese about was the names of the pilots with whom he flew, for which he substituted the names of the Green Bay Packer’s offensive linemen. McCain has dined out on the Green Bay Packer story for decades, omitting the other, less noble, portions of his captivity.

Medals Unearned And Undeserved

If the fact that his father and grandfather were Annapolis grads kept him from being booted out of the Navy, then his forefathers also contributed to McCain being awarded 28 medals including a Silver Star, a Legion of Merit for Valor, a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze stars, two commendation medals and a dozen other service medals. But he only flew 23 missions – which amounts to a medal-and-a-half for every hour he flew in combat.

“There were infantry guys, grunts on the ground, who had more than 7,000 hours in combat without winning a medal other than maybe a purple heart,” explains Bill Bell, a veteran of Vietnam and former chief of the U.S. Office for POW/MIA Affairs – the first official US representative in Vietnam since the 1973 fall of Saigon.

“I can tell you that there were times and situations where I’m sure a prison cell would have looked pretty good to them by comparison,” Bell states. “But the question really is how many guys got that number of medals for not being shot down."

Eventually, even the Navy was on to McCain. He left the service after being told twice that he would not be made an Admiral like his father and grandfather.

For years, McCain has been an unchecked master at manipulating an overly friendly and oft-times biased news media. The former POW turned Congressman, turned U.S. Senator, turned Presidential candidate, has managed to gloss over his failures as a pilot and his collaboration with the enemy to become America’s POW-hero presidential candidate.

After Bush and Cheney’s 935 lies to get us into Iraq, isn’t it time for a President who doesn’t lie about everything, including his own life story? Isn't it time for someone to point out McCain The Hero Has No Clothes?

Viet Nam Veterans Against McCain provided some research information for this article.


GI Joe said...

As one of the grunts who spent a year getting shot at almost every day, thank you for running this. It's about time

Andy Gronsmith said...

I never disobeyed an order, no matter how stupid the Captain was, and all I got to show for it was two Purple Hearts. Thans, John ... what a shmuck.

And thanks CJ for uncovering this and telling the truth on behalf of all of the VN vets

Anonymous said...

Thank you. For years we have known about John McCain's treasonous behavior during his capture. Well, during his lifetime!! The info is there, one just has to dig through the mud. He has the worst character imaginable, to be President, or a Senator. So many people, who must know better, have promoted this myth of him being a hero. Again, thanks and lets begin a truth squard of our own. After all it is our country as a viable Democracy that is at risk.

James said...

cj....and the lower case has meaning. McCain stays for years in a NV prison and comes home to be slandered by the likes of you. What a great country this is. There are many men who were in prison with McCain who contradict your story completely, and have for years. Lets see, do I believe McCain and the men in prison with him or do I believe you...hhmmmm.

I would have to be an idiot to believe anything you say....and from the posts it seems a lot of idiots hang out at your blog.

You are a typical liberal in that you feel so morally superior that you are willing to lie like a rug....the end justifies the means I believe is what it is called.

How about some comments on Obama being wedded to the corrupt Chicago Dem Party Machine..?? about something about buying his house with help from that Chicago fixer, Rezko...?? about something on that "reformer" Obama serving 7 years in the Illinois Legislature and not trying to reform that corrupted mess...which of course he could not do representing the Chicago Machine given they breed that mess in Springfield.

What did the Canadians do to deserve you....I have always considered them the NICE Americans..


Charley James - The Progressive Curmudgeon said...

A reply to James' comment above ...

Both the Cook County State's Attorney and the Chicago Tribune - a strong Republican paper since Col. McCormick founded it in the 1800s - delved deeply into Obama's history with Rezko and found nothing there was nothing to the allegations.

As for McCain's Navy service, all of the information in my article came either from official, publicvly available records or attributed sources. I'm sorry that McCain spent years in a prison camp but even sorrier that he basically fabricated a story about his time there. It's not me calling him a liar and a coward; it is his fellow POWs who were there at the same time.

Oh. By the way, Canadians would take great offense at your calling them anything "American."

Georgia in Georgia said...

No wonder there were 14 Generals that stood behind Obama at his DNC acceptance! I have read two other articles about McShame, including one from a POW in the cell next to him and a mother of a MIA. They won’t vote for him either. Unfortunately there is no way the media or Obama can use this information without getting seriously attacked from every side. At least there is a group Vets for Obama that know the truth. I live in Georgia, and am shocked by how many people think because McSame ’served’ he is better qualified. Somehow that makes hiim more of a patriot than the millions that became adults when there was no war to enlist for? Every person I saw at the early voting poll, was an Obama voter. So where are all the Republicans voting? Oh, I forgot. I voted with a Diebold card. Same thing happened with the Gore voting here in Georgia.

Bill L said...

As a member of CAG-57 (Carrier Air Group ), I have a few hrs of flight time I don’t have any medals for doing that at the same period of time as Mc Cane!!!! Now it was scuttle butt about the guy not following orders.. and got his (tosh), not sailor talk,shot down The guy is a hot dog an we don’t need him.I’m also wondering after reading the WA Post this AM mc Shame will ratchet up the mud slinging What does this have to do with our current economy crisis?? This is getting bad in my opinion But it is just like song bird Mc Same,, I tremble win i think of him and hte church lady with ther fingers on the nuk trigger!! Think about it wing nuts just think How will this guy solve our finicial problems????

MsDrJune said...

The salient thing about this article is the fact that there are so many naval officers who condemn Mcshame for his behavior. There is no reason for the senior officers at the Plantation to lie about him. I’ve never believed he was tortured. I had never heard that he was disobeying orders to return to his ship when he was captured, but that is certainly consistent with other behaviors that are public knowledge. When other military speak out against him, it has a ring of validity like not other. Seems to me, and I’ve been known to be wrong , but seems to me most military men are very loyal to others. Why should they lie about him.? It seems urgent at this point to do everything possible to stop this fraud from becoming the next president.

Ken Dobs said...

always challenged people who think McShame is a hero. If a POW that openly corroborates with the enemy to receive special favors is a hero, what do you call the POW's who suffered in silence or died rather than betray their comrades and/or country? Too many of the real HERO's died, or were left over there, for McCain to be recognized as anything other than what he really is, A MILITARY DEPENDENT WHO GOT PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATION BECAUSE OF HIS FAMILY'S MILITARY TRADITION.

Ken Dobs said...

always challenged people who think McShame is a hero. If a POW that openly corroborates with the enemy to receive special favors is a hero, what do you call the POW's who suffered in silence or died rather than betray their comrades and/or country? Too many of the real HERO's died, or were left over there, for McCain to be recognized as anything other than what he really is, A MILITARY DEPENDENT WHO GOT PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATION BECAUSE OF HIS FAMILY'S MILITARY TRADITION.