The John McCain Dossier
What about John McCain's claim of
having been tortured in Hanoi?
Hilton' jailer says he'd vote for McCain.
John McCain has an unusual endorsement — from the
Vietnamese jailer who says he held him captive for about
five years as a
POW and now considers him a friend. "If I were an
American voter, I would vote for
Mr. John McCain," Tran Trong Duyet
said Friday, sitting in his living room in the
northern city of
Haiphong. At the same time,
he denies prisoners of war were tortured.
Despite detailed POW accounts and physical wounds, Duyet
claims the presumed
Republican presidential nominee made up beatings
solitary confinement in an attempt to win votes.
His statements seem to echo the communist leadership's
overall line on America: It insists the torture claims
are fabricated. McCain spent 5 1/2 years behind bars in
Hanoi. McCain still bears the evidence of his wounds and
has described being repeatedly bound and beaten by his
captors. After his plane was hit by a surface-to-air
missile during a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967,
McCain ejected and suffered a broken leg, two broken
arms, and was briefly knocked unconscious. The
Vietnamese mob who found him smashed his shoulder and he
"Of course the Americans started the war in
Vietnam and killed so many people - but now
we want to leave the past behind", said Tran
Trong Duyet, the head of the Hanoi Hilton.
Rockefeller (chair of the Intelligence
committee) believes McCain has become
insensitive to many human issues. "McCain was a
fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from
35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. "What
happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He
doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of
McCain never gets
into those issues."
(Charleston Gazette, April 8, 2008).
blogs there was this response by
Tom Cleaver: Yeah,
McCain wasn’t flying along at 35,000
feet zzoming and booming - he was poking around at 2,000
feet, at around 300 mph, when he got the chop. Like his
“firebug” moment on the Forrestal, he was doing exactly
what he’d been taught not to do, because doing it would
put his ass in danger.
And Steve had this to say: John S.
McCain (S standing for
stupider-than-a-freshly-napalmed-rice-paddy) has go to
be the piss-poorest excuse for a combat veteran that
ever lived. Any other Naval aviator who had smashed up
as many aircraft as John S.
McCain (again, the S stands for
stupider-than-a-freshly-napalmed-rice-paddy) would never
have had the opportunity to be shot down while
hot-dogging above known antiaircraft emplacements, below
minimum allowed speed and altitude as per the articles
of Naval combat engagement. The only reason that he
wasn’t hauled before court and stuffed into a
meatgrinder was because of his “daddy” and his “grand-daddy.”
Katy Hill said:
The WARMONGER is trying to make
Vietnam some kind of honorable American
mission. Like Iraq we were somewhere we didn’t beloing &
we killed thousands & thousands of innocents.
McCain should be ashamed for his part in it
not holding himself up as a hero.
Critics have accused
McCain of war crimes for bombing targets
in Hanoi in the 1960s. Sunday, a widely read liberal
McCain of "disloyalty" during his captivity in
Vietnam for his coerced participation in propaganda
films and interviews after he’d been tortured. "A lot of
people don't know… that
McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while
he was in captivity," wrote Americablog's John
Aravosis. "Putting that bit of disloyalty aside,
what exactly is McCain's military experience that
prepares him for being commander in chief?" "Getting
shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the
enemy is not command experience," Aravosis wrote in the
blog post, entitled "Honestly, besides being tortured,
McCain do to excel in the military?" The newsletter
CounterPunch published this April an article by
Doug Valentine headed "Meet the Real
Vietnam's Go-To Collaborator." Valentine
McCain contemplated suicide—something the candidate
has written about, and attributed in part to his guilt
at not withstanding torture—because he was a "war
criminal" whose bombs fell on civilians. In a
Huffington Post blog, a former editor of
Mother Jones magazine, Jeffrey
Klein, called—in tones reminiscent of
right-wing attacks on Kerry in 2004—on
McCain to release elements of his Navy record that
the candidate has not made available to the public or
the press. "Some of the unreleased pages in McCain's
Navy file may not reflect well upon his qualifications
for the presidency," he wrote. As to why, Klein
speculated that "From day one in the Navy,
McCain screwed-up again and again, only to be
forgiven because his father and grandfather were
four-star admirals." David Fenton, a
prominent progressive public relations executive who
MoveOn and other groups, also inquired about
details of McCain's Navy sorties. "I wouldn't
characterize anybody who fought in
Vietnam as a war hero," said Medea Benjamin,
a co-founder of the theatrical anti-war group
Code Pink. "In 23 bombing sorties, there must
have been civilians that were killed and there's no
heroism to that."
Noam Chomsky, the linguist and
activist, said in an email that he thought Americans
should question the relevance of McCain's torture in an
unjust war to his campaign. "The questions could
scarcely even be understood within the reigning
intellectual and moral culture—though I don't doubt that
much of the population would understand," Chomsky said.
"I know and like
McCain," Tom Hayden, a former
California State Senator and prominent anti-war activist,
told Politico in an email. "From my own perspective and
that of many anti-war activists of that era, the fact
that he bombed
Vietnam some 25 times, probably killing
civilians, gets blurred with the facts that he suffered
through that long prison ordeal, then also went on to
promote diplomatic relations between the two countries."
"It's like asking a guy that served his jail term
here—you'd say he's done his time so that's behind him,"
A search of Obama’s community website,
my.BarackObama.com, finds two posts calling
McCain a “war criminal.”
Here they are and more:
Tiowa Reynolds's Blog: A vote for John McCain is
a vote for a
who dropped bombs on innocent people from
high altitudes in an illegal war and spent five years in
a POW camp. And todays #1 reason not to vote for John
McCain is "Because another 100 years of war is NOT just
what this country needs."
Miss Bunny "Hussein" - May 26th, 2008 at
4:12 am EDT:
War Criminal, not a Hero
Zeitgeist - May 19th, 2008 at 2:33 am EDT:
McCain is a Vietnam era war criminal, not a war hero.
Watch the following brief commentary.
The Vietnamese had good reason to hate McCain. On
his previous 22 missions, he had dropped God knows how
many bombs killing God knows how many innocent civilians.
“I am a
war criminal,” he confessed on “60
Minutes” in 1997. “I bombed innocent women and children.”
!Bitter-Sweetie ★kjoftherock★NO Telecom Immunity!
- May 1st, 2008 at 2:58 pm EDT citing Left Unity
for A Left-CenterCandidate. . By Keith
Joseph. Rutgers SDS Member: In
November, we must make sure Obama defeats the
war criminal John McCain.
War. If you’re a Glory Boy like John Sidney McCain III, you
really have no idea what it is. You drop bombs on
cities, on civilians, maybe on enemy forces, maybe on your own troops.
Glory Boys like John McCain rarely get a taste of the horror they
inflict on others. Their suffering rarely extends beyond the high
anxiety that they might get shot down and that some bombarded mob on the
ground might take its revenge. In
the fall of 1967, Navy pilot John McCain was routinely bombing Hanoi
from an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. On October 26, he was
trying to level a power plant in a heavily populated area when a
surface-to-air missile knocked a wing off his jet. Banged-up John
McCain and what was left of plane splashed into Truc Bach Lake. A
compassionate Vietnamese civilian left his air raid shelter and swam out
to McCain. McCain’s arm and leg were fractured and he was tangled
up in his parachute underwater. He was drowning. The
Vietnamese man saved McCain’s sorry ass, and yet McCain has nothing but
hatred for “the gooks” who allegedly tortured him. As he told reporters
on his campaign bus (The Straight Talk Express) in 2000, “I will hate
them as long as I live.” The
man who rescued McCain tried to ward off an angry mob, which stomped on
McCain for a while until the local cops turned him over to the military.
McCain was in pain, but suffering no mortal wounds. He was, however, in
enough pain to break down and start collaborating with the Vietnamese
after three days in a hospital receiving treatment from qualified
doctors – something no other POW ever enjoyed. War is one thing,
collaborating with the enemy is another; it is a legitimate campaign
issue that strikes at the heart of McCain’s character…or lack thereof.
McCain, in his carefully prepared
statements, claims he was tortured while in solitary confinement, and
that is why he signed a confession saying, “I am a black
criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate. I almost died
and the Vietnamese people saved my life, thanks to the doctors.”
McCain had a unique POW experience. Initially, he was taken to the
infamous Hanoi Hilton prison camp, where he was interrogated. By
McCain’s own account, after three or four days, he cracked. He promised
his Vietnamese captors, "I'll give you military information if you will
take me to the hospital."One can only wonder when the concierge at the
Hanoi Hilton started taking calls from Admiral McCain. Rather quickly,
one surmises, for the Vietnamese soon took John Boy McCain to a hospital
reserved for Vietnamese officers. Unlike his fellow POWs, he received
care from a Soviet doctor. For his part, McCain acknowledges that the
Vietnamese rushed him to a hospital, but denies he was given any
"special medical treatment." However….two weeks into his stay at the
Vietnamese hospital, the Hanoi press began quoting him. It was not
“name rank and serial number, or kill me,” as specified by the military
code of conduct. McCain divulged specific military information: he
gave the name of the aircraft carrier on which he was based, the number
of US pilots that had been lost, the number of aircraft in his flight
formation, as well as information about the location of rescue ships.
Collaborating during the first two weeks might have been pragmatic, but
he soon became North Vietnam’s go-to collaborator for the next three
years. Not content with divulging military information, McCain provided
his voice in radio broadcasts used by the North Vietnamese to demoralize
American soldiers.Vietnamese radio propagandists made good use out of
McCain. On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service headlined a story entitled
"PW Songbird Is
Pilot Son of Admiral.” The story reported that
in psywar offensives aimed at American servicemen.(CounterPunch).
I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a
qualification to be president."
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."
Another document against McCain's lies:
is pictured embracing Mai Van On in Hanoi, November 13, 1996. On
identified himself as one of the Vietnamese who pulled McCain from
Hanoi's Truc Bach Lake, where McCain parachuted in 1967 after his bomber
was shot down. McCain has said, many times, that, after pulling him from
the lake, the Vietnamese brutally beat him and stabbed him with a
Newsweek's Evan Thomas writes: He wanted
combat in Vietnam and got it. On his 23rd mission over North Vietnam, on
Oct. 26, 1967, he was flying through heavy flak over Hanoi, dodging SAM
missiles that looked "like flying telephone poles," when he heard a "beep"
signaling that a SAM had locked on to his plane. McCain was just about
to drop his bomb on target. He writes that he should have jinked to
evade the missile, but out of stubbornness, or a mad kind of bravery, he
flew straight on and toggled the bomb switch—just as the missile blew
off the right wing of his plane. The force of the ejection from the
spinning plane broke his right leg and both arms.
The magazine prints a photo showing McCain lying in a Vietnamese
hospital with his arms in cast, thus indirectly contradicting his claims
that his captivators broke his arms during interogations or as Thomas
continues to write: After he parachuted into a lake in the
middle of Hanoi, a North Vietnamese guard shattered his shoulder with a
rifle butt and plunged a bayonet into his ankle and groin..
A few sentences later: With regular beatings, the guards
tried to break him and make him confess his sins as an "air pirate."He
couldn't stand captivity and tried to kill himself: He
climbed on his waste bucket and tried to hang himself by tying his shirt
to a window shutter and wrapping it around his neck. Before he could
kick the bucket, the guards stopped him. (He tried a second time, in a
more halfhearted way; "I doubt I really intended to kill myself," he
writes.) McCain did make a
meaningless confession of his "air piracy," and it haunted him to think
his father would find out. Released after the 1973 Peace
Accords, McCain returned to the United States a hero.
Another photo (only online) shows
his life by pulling him out of a lake. Evan
Thomas does not question the legality of the 23 air raids McCain had
flown over North Vietnam and how many innocent Vietnamese he had killed
during these missions. Feb 11, 2008 Issue.
When President G. W. Bush visited Hanoi he said
one of the most poignant moments of the trip was passing the lake that
Senator John McCain, as a Navy pilot, was pulled from
after his plane was hit while on a bombing run. "He suffered a lot as a
result of his imprisonment," Bush said, "and yet we
passed the place where he was, literally, saved, in one way, by the
people pulling him out." In fact,
McCain was met onshore by a large, hostile crowd,
which hit, kicked and even bayoneted him. (Time, Nov.27, 2006).
McCain's Secret, Questionable Record.
Despite graduating in the bottom 1 percent of his Annapolis
class, McCain was offered the most sought-after Navy assignment
-- to become an aircraft carrier pilot. McCain's file should
also include records and analytic reviews of McCain's subsequent
sub-par performances. Instead of the sleek and newer Phantoms
and Crusaders, McCain flew the dependable Douglas A-4 Skyhawk in
an attack, not a fighter squadron. He was thus on the lower end
of the flying totem pole. .One Saturday morning, as McCain was
practicing landings, his engine quit and his plane plunged into
Corpus Christi. Flying too low over the Iberian Peninsula, he
took out some power lines, which led to a spate of newspaper
stories in which he was predictably identified as the son of an
admiral.... [In 1965] he flew a trainer solo to Philadelphia for
the Army-Navy game. Flying by way of Norfolk, he had just begun
his descent over unpopulated tidal terrain when the engine died.
'I've got a flameout,' he radioed. He went through the standard
relight procedures three times. At one thousand feet he ejected,
landing on the deserted beach moments before the plane slammed
into a clump of trees. As Carl Bernstein
reported in Vanity Fair, he piloted an ultra-light, single
propeller plane -- and crashed another time.
His fifth loss of a plane
has vanished from public records, but should be a subject of
discussion in his Navy file. It wouldn't be surprising if his
naval superiors worried that McCain was just too defiant, too
reckless and too crash prone.
I find it fascinating that John
McCain, who is refusing to vote for the GI Bill for our troops
too generous," is himself getting
$58,000 a year, tax-free, from the US government for his
military service. Had McCain been getting that amount every year since
Vietnam, that would total $2,000,000 for the man who isn't into
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) waded into the debate over John McCain's
military service Monday to say that the Republican should avoid using
military service in politics. "I think what we really need to work on
over the next four, five months, and it goes back to the speech that
Sen. Obama gave [Monday] and this little fight that I've been watching
and that is, we need to make sure that we take politics out of service,"
Webb said. "People don't serve their country for political issues."He
continued: "And John McCain's my long-time friend, if that is one area
that I would ask him to calm down on, it`s that, don't
be standing up and uttering your political views and implying that all
the people in the military support them because they don't, any more
than when the Democrats have political issues during the Vietnam War.
Let's get the politics out of the military, take care of
our military people, or have our political arguments in other areas."