Read the following.
Try to separate the real John McCain from the mythical John McCain.
|The Media Created Mythical
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
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
|The Real John McCain
Citizens for Life, a New
Hampshire group, complained in ads that McCain once referred to the Leisure
World senior citizens home as
McCain, reveling in adoration
at a June 1998 Republican fund-raiser and sure his joke would go no further,
said: "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is
"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
Republican Says Bush Panders To the 'Agents of Intolerance'
By Brian Knowlton International
WASHINGTON - 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
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
By Associated Press
Published August 6, 2004
WASHINGTON - 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."
|"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.
||"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."
|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.
|"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)
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
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."
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 , 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
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
". . . 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
" . . . 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
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
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
|Pictured right: "Dr. Fernando Barral, a Spanish
psychiatrist residing in Cuba, returned from the Democratic Republic of
Vietnam . . . he brought back some journalistic news: an interview with a
North American pilot captured in the DRV after bombing Hanoi on 26 October
1967. The meeting between him and the pilot took place in an office of the
Committee for Foreign Cultural Relations in Hanoi. The pilot interviewed is
Lt Cmdr John Sidney McCain, son and grandson of American Navy Admirals.
"In the course of the interview, on various occasions he showed that
knowledge of the language, saying some words, dates, and so forth in
Spanish, or [using it] when he thought the interpreter was seeking the
corresponding French word.
"Naturally, from the beginning this established a more direct communication
between us, and more than one question or my response was made directly in
Spanish." Havana Granma January 24, 1970
|Col. Bui Tin, a former Senior Colonel in the North
Vietnamese Army (he had actually interrogated McCain and other U.S.
prisoners) testified before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs
At least 55 American POWs were murdered by their interrogators and guards
while in North Vietnamese prisoner of war camps.
Pictured right: During a break in the hearing,
Sen. McCain moved to where Col. Bui Tin was seated and warmly embraced
him as if he were a long lost brother.
|Sen. John McCain warmly greeted
Vietnam Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet during a 1992 visit to Hanoi. Kiet
was a ranking communist party member of the secret Central Committee of the
former National Liberation Front (Viet Cong), and was part of the elite
clique responsible for setting policies and directing the communist war
waged against the pro-democracy Vietnamese as well as U.S. forces in South
As a senior Central Committee member, Kiet
ordered American POWs to be punished by execution and helped formulate the
Vietnamese communist policy which resulted in the murder of thousands of
pro-U.S. South Vietnamese in Hue during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Communist
Party henchmen executed over 5,000 men, women, and children, burying many of
them alive in mass graves during the brief time North Vietnamese troops held
that historic ancient Vietnamese city.
|Pictured right: Senator McCain 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 bayonet.
|July 11, 1995, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., (right), and
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., (center), gave President Bill Clinton, (left), the
valuable political cover he needed to remove the U.S. imposed trade embargo
against communist Vietnam.
All major U.S. veterans organizations, the two POW/MIA family groups, and
the majority of Vietnamese Americans in this country opposed Clinton's
lifting of the embargo.
McCain lost five U.S. Navy
Navy pilot John Sidney McCain III
should have never been allowed to graduate from the U.S.
Navy flight school. He was a below average student and a lousy pilot.
Had his father and grandfather not been famous four star U.S.
Navy admirals, McCain III would have never been allowed in the
cockpit of a military aircraft.
His father John S. "Junior" McCain was commander
of U.S. forces in Europe later becoming commander of American forces in Vietnam
while McCain III was being held prisoner of war. McCain III's grandfather John
S. McCain, Sr. commanded naval aviation at the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
During his relative short stunt on flight status,
McCain III lost five U.S. Navy aircraft, four in accidents and one in combat.
Robert Timberg, author of The Nightingale's Song,
a book about Annapolis graduates and their tours in Vietnam, wrote that McCain
"learned to fly at Pensacola, though his performance was below par, at best good
enough to get by. He liked flying, but didn't love it."
McCain III lost jet number one in 1958 when he
plunged into Corpus Christi Bay while practicing landings. He was knocked
unconscious by the impact coming to as the plane settled to the bottom.
McCain's second crash occurred while he was
deployed in the Mediterranean. "Flying too low over the Iberian Peninsula,"
Timberg wrote, "he took out some power lines [reminiscent of the 1998 incident
in which a Marine Corps jet sliced through the cables of a gondola at an Italian
ski resort, killing 20] which led to a spate of newspaper stories in which he
was predictably identified as the son of an admiral."
McCain's third crash three occurred when he was
returning from flying a Navy trainer solo to Philadelphia for an Army-Navy
Timberg reported that McCain radioed, "I've got a
flameout" and went through standard relight procedures three times before
ejecting at one thousand feet. McCain landed on a deserted beach moments before
the plane slammed into a clump of trees.
McCain's fourth aircraft loss occurred July 29,
1967, soon after he was assigned to the USS Forrestal as an A-4 Skyhawk pilot.
While seated in the cockpit of his aircraft waiting his turn for takeoff, an
accidently fired rocket slammed into McCain's plane. He escaped from the burning
aircraft, but the explosions that followed killed 134 sailors, destroyed at
least 20 aircraft, and threatened to sink the ship.
McCain's fifth loss happened during his 23rd
mission over North Vietnam on Oct. 26, 1967, when McCain's A-4 Skyhawk was shot
down by a surface-to-air missile. McCain ejected from the plane breaking both
arms and a leg in the process and subsequently parachuted into Truc Bach Lake
After being drug from the lake, a mob gathered
around McCain, spit on him, kicked him and stripped him of his clothing. He was
bayoneted in his left foot and his shoulder crushed by a rifle butt. He was then
transported to the Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton.
After being periodically slapped around for
"three or four days" by his captors who wanted military information, 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
"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.
When the communist learned that McCain's father
was Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., the soon-to-be commander of all U.S. Forces in
the Pacific, he was rushed to Gai Lam military hospital (U.S. government
documents), a medical facility normally unavailable for U.S. POWs.
The communist Vietnamese figured, because POW
McCain's father was of such high military rank, that he was of royalty or the
governing circle. Thereafter the communist bragged that they had captured "the
For 23 combat missions (an estimated 20 hours
over enemy territory), the U.S. Navy awarded McCain a Silver Star, a Legion of
Merit for Valor, a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars, two
Commendation medals plus two Purple Hearts and a dozen service medals.
"McCain had roughly 20 hours in combat," explains
Bill Bell, a veteran of Vietnam and former chief of the U.S. Office for POW/MIA
Affairs -- the first official U.S. representative in Vietnam since the 1973 fall
of Saigon. "Since McCain got 28 medals," Bell continues, "that equals out to
about a medal-and-a-half for each hour he spent in combat. There were infantry
guys -- grunts on the ground -- who had more than 7,000 hours in combat and 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. The question really is how
many guys got that number of medals for not being shot down."
For years, McCain has been an unchecked master at
manipulating an overly friendly and biased news media. The former POW turned
Congressman, turned U.S. Senator, has managed to gloss over his failures as a
pilot and collaborations with the enemy by exaggerating his military service and
lying about his feats of heroism.
McCain has sprouted a halo and wings to become
America's POW-hero presidential candidate.