JOHN McCAIN: THE ULTIMATE "RHINESTONE HERO"
August 29, 2004
McCain continuously violates the Code of Conduct
In direct violation of the Code of Conduct, McCain, who was supposedly in solitary confinement, met with and was interviewed by several foreign news reporters and political delegations, including many high-ranking North Vietnamese leaders, such as Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam's Minister of Defense and national hero.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Veteran Dispatch acquired a declassified Department of Defense (DOD) transcript of an interview prominent French television reporter Francois Chalais had with McCain.
Chalais told of his private interview with POW McCain in a series titled "Life in Hanoi", which was aired in Europe. In the series, Chalais said his meeting with McCain was "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 Prisoners. 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.
"This John 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. (passage omitted).
Another declassified DOD document reports an interview between POW McCain and Dr. Fernando Barral, a Spanish psychiatrist who was living in Cuba at the time. The interview was published in the Havana Gramma in January 1970.
According to the DOD report, the meeting between Barral and McCain took place away from the prison at the office of the Committee for Foreign Cultural Relations in Hanoi. During that interview, POW McCain sipped coffee and ate oranges and cakes with his interrogator.
During that interview, McCain again seriously violated the Code of Conduct by failing to "evade answering questions" to the "utmost" of his ability when he, according to the DOD report, helped Barral by answering questions in Spanish, a language McCain had learned in school.
On Dec. 7, 1969, McCain was moved out of isolation and into the "Hanoi Hilton" with other prisoners of war.
McCain is Hanoi's leading advocate
Today, McCain, who claims he was brutally tortured by the Communist Vietnamese, focally emerged as Hanoi's leading advocate for normalized relations with the United States.
McCain's high-profile and unrelenting support for a government that brutally tortured and murdered his fellow POWs is causing POW/MIA Family members and fellow Vietnam veterans to question the senator and his motivations.
They ask what drives McCain, who owes his public life to the tag "former POW," to work so hard for Hanoi and so diligently to discredit any possibility, in fact the probability, that Hanoi held back live U.S. prisoners of war after the 1973 prisoner release.
The POW/MIA families point out that they worked hard during the Vietnam War to secure McCain's freedom when he was being held by the Communists and the families want to know why he is now betraying them in their efforts to get answers about their missing loved ones.
None of the senators who served on the 1991-92 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs were as vicious in their attacks on POW/MIA family members, veterans, and activists than McCain.
During the POW/MIA hearings, Frances Zwenig, the $118,000-a-year staff director of the Senate Select Committee, reported to McCain that she was told by the Vietnamese, during a July 1992 meeting with the Vietnamese, that something had to be done about the POW/MIA activists who were opposing lifting the U.S. imposed trade embargo against Vietnam.
Not long after, McCain started demanding that the Select Committee investigate the activists, prompting one observer to ask, "Are the Vietnamese now directing the affairs of the Senate Select Committee?"
McCain accused the POW/MIA families and activists who openly challenged the U.S. government's POW/MIA policy, of fraud. In his attacks he said, "The people who have done these things are not zealots in a good cause. They are criminals and some of the most craven, most cynical, and most despicable human beings to ever run a scam."
McCain took the lead in the Senate and demanded a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the activists. The Justice Department did investigate and found no reason to charge any of the POW/MIA activists.
When one of McCain's former interrogators, Col Bui Tin, a former Senior Colonel in the North Vietnamese Army, testified before the Senate Select Committee, McCain did not display that same "pit bull" inclination to attack as he did for the POW/MIA families and activists. Col Tin told the committee that because of his high position in the Communist Party during the war, he had the right to "read all the documents and secret telegrams from the Politburo" pertaining to American prisoners of war. He said not only did the Soviets interrogate some American prisoners of war, but they treated them very badly.
During a break in the hearing, McCain warmly embraced Bui Tin as if he were a long lost brother. McCain fought a hard and successful campaign to get the U.S.-imposed trade embargo against Vietnam lifted, despite the opposition of all major veteran's organizations, the two POW/MIA family groups, and the majority of the Vietnamese Americans in this country. The veterans want to know why McCain, the "conservative" politician, takes such strong stand for the Vietnamese communists and against such patriotic groups.
John Sidney McCain, III
John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone on August 29, 1936. His father was Admiral John McCain II, who became commander-in-chief of the Pacific forces in 1968. Admiral McCain later ordered the bombing of Hanoi while his son was being held there as a prisoner of war. His grandfather was Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., the famous commander of aircraft carriers in the Pacific under Admiral William F. Halsey in World War II.
McCain's early years were spent in various places on both the east and west coats. He attended Episcopal High School Alexandria, VA., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1958.
His grades in electrical engineering were "satisfactory", although he had numerous demerits for breaking curfews and infractions and he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class.
Nevertheless, in spire of his low class standing, his request for training as a Navy pilot was granted, no doubt his father's rank of admiral and family history playing part in the decision.
After qualifying as a Navy pilot, McCain was shipped to Vietnam.
On his 23rd mission over North Vietnam on Oct 26, 1967, McCain was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
To relate the event, McCain later recalled that he was flying right over the heart of Hanoi in a dive at about 4,500 feet, when a Russian missile the size of a telephone pole came up -- the sky was full of them -- and blew the right wing off my Skyhawk dive bomber. It went into an inverted, almost straight-down spin.
"I pulled the ejection handle, and was knocked unconscious by the force of the ejection -- the air speed was about 300 knots. I didn't realize it at the moment, but I had broken my right leg around the knee, my right arm in three places and my left arm. I regained consciousness just before I landed by parachute in a lake right in the center of Hanoi, one they called the Western Lake. My helmet and my oxygen mask had been blown off.
"I hit the water and sank to the bottom.....I did not feel any pain at the time, and I was able to rise to the surface. I took a breath of air and started sinking again."
After bobbing up and down, McCain said he was eventually pulled from the water by Vietnamese who swam out to get him.
He said a mob gathered on shore and that he was bayoneted in the foot and his shoulder was smashed with a rifle butt. He said he was put on a truck and taken to Hanoi's main prison.
The "Rhinestone Hero"
In Congress, McCain's peers touts him as a great war hero. On occasion, the press categorizes McCain as one of the most tortured prisoners of the Vietnam War. Neither is true. He was never brutally tortured and, by his own admission, he collaborated with the communists.
When one totals McCain's 23 missions over North Vietnam, times the number of minutes he was actually over enemy territory (approximately 20 to 35 minutes per mission), McCain's total time over Vietnam before being shot down, was about 10 1/2 hours.
For those 10 1/2 hours over Vietnam, McCain, the Admiral's son, was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Legion of Honor and three Purple Hearts averaging over one hero medal per hour.
Compare McCain's 10 1/2 hours of combat and 13 medals to that of a U.S. infantry private who spent 365 days trudging through South Vietnam's jungle and mud, facing death on a daily basis. He was lucky to leave Vietnam with a simple good conduct ribbon.
Compare McCain's record as a prisoner of war to that of Army Special Forces Captain "Rocky" Versace, who was captured by Vietnamese Communists (Viet Cong) on Oct. 29, 1963 in South Vietnam and who resisted his captors to the end. Very few, if any, in Congress know about Capt. Versace.
He spent two years chained in a bamboo cage and endured almost daily torture by the Vietnamese Communists. Capt. Versace continuously frustrated his Viet Cong interrogators by refusing to obey demands that he denounce America and accept the Communist Philosophy of revolution. He told his captors as they were dragging him to an interrogation hut, "I am an officer of the United States Army. You can force me to come here, you can make me sit and listen, but I don't have to believe a damn word you say."
The Viet Cong decided that day to take no more resistance from Rocky Versace. A few days later, one order of Viet Cong leader Vo Van Kiet, today Vietnam's prime minister and McCain's friend, Versace was dragged from his filth-ridden, mosquito-infested bamboo cage for the last time and forced to kneel with his forehead pressed into the jungle mud. Cap. Versace was then shot in the back of the head.
McCain doesn't talk about MIAs Capt. Rocky Versace, from Norfolk, VA., or Sgt. Kenneth Roraback of Fayetteville, N.C., or Army Sgt. Harold Bennett of Perryville, Ark., who were all ordered executed by his friend, "Butcher" Kiet, according to reports.
Compare McCain, the POW hero, to another fellow prisoner of war, Marine Capt. Donald Cook, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Capt. Cook was awarded our nation's highest award for valor because, during his years of captivity, he jeopardized his own health by sharing his meager supply of food and scarce medicines with other U.S. prisoners who were sicker. He became legendary for his refusal to betray the military Code of Conduct. On one occasion, Vo Van Kiet's Viet Cong cadre put a pistol to Capt. Cook's head, demanding that he denounce the United States. Capt. Cook resisted and calmly recited the nomenclature of the parts of the pistol, giving the Communists nothing.
The Viet Cong were so infuriated at Capt. Cook's resistance that they isolated him from other American prisoners. They intentionally denied him much needed food and medicine. Like Capt. Versace, Capt. Cook disappeared and was never heard from again. Today, Hanoi claims Capt. Cook died as a result of malaria and that they do not know where his remains are buried.
McCain discourages any talk about Capt. Versace, Sgt. Roraback, Sgt. Bennett, and Capt. Cook.
To talk about such patriots would require the United States to demand the return of their remains, or, at the very least, records of their deaths. If those MIAs are proven dead and their remains returned, then McCain's friend, Vo Van Kiet, would be forced to explain the holes in the back of their skulls and why he had ordered the POWs murdered.
John McCain is NO Hero. He violated the military Code of Conduct and willfully collaborated with the Vietnamese, Soviets, and Cubans.
It is not yet publicly known just how much he collaborated and what kind of favors he received in return. Those in the U.S. government that do know are not talking.
© 2004 Devvy Kidd - All Rights Reserved
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Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty, which sold close to 2,000,000 copies. Has been a guest more than 1600 times on radio shows, ran for Congress twice and is a highly sought after public speaker. Devvy is a contributing writer for www.NewsWithViews.com Devvy's web site is: www.devvy.com; is sponsored by El Dorado Gold; e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org