Sunday, September 21, 2008
John McCain Collaborated with the North Vietnamese While a POW
Posted September 21, 2008.
Allegations resurface that McCain made propaganda statements and tried to keep Viet Cong records about him classified.
A 1992 video featuring a Republican senator, Republican congressman and top Capitol Hill staffers who worked on Vietnam prisoner of war and missing in action issues say John McCain collaborated with North Vietnamese while a POW, and then covered up that involvement to the detriment of POW/MIA families seeking access to classified Pentagon records about their own family members.
The video raises probing questions about the 2008 Republican presidential nominee's war record, especially after McCain made his captivity a major part of his qualifications for the presidency at the Republican National Convention. In 2004, the GOP focused on Democratic nominee John Kerry's war record to criticize his candidacy.
To date, the video has been posted on a handful of blogs but has been ignored by the mainstream media. While it features Republican stalwarts on POW/MIA issues, it also suggests that McCain's war records at the Pentagon and in North Vietnam would reveal potentially very controversial details about the GOP's presidential candidate.
The nearly eight-minute video is posted on YouTube under "Vietnam Veterans Against McCain." It begins with the title, "1992 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAs," and features ex-Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH), Rep. Robert Dornan (R-CA), senate staffers Tracy Usry, James Lucier, and military family members Lynn O'Shea, of the National Alliance of Families and retired Army Cpl. Bob Dumas, whose brother was a POW lost in the Korean War, and Joseph Douglass, Jr., author of Betrayed, about America's missing POWs. The video has no author credits.
The footage begins with Douglass, Usry, O'Shea and Smith all saying that McCain worked to kill legislation that would have opened the Pentagon's classified archive of POW/MIA files. "Many, many documents were held back for no reason," former Sen. Smith said. Dorman said legislation that passed the House with no opposing votes was single-handedly blocked in the Senate by McCain. "On the Senate side, we had one person standing in the way," Dornan said, referring to McCain.
Dumas then gave the reason why - the Pentagon's records would reveal McCain had collaborated with the Vietnamese. "He didn't want nobody to check his background because a lot of POWs who were with him in the camp said he was a collaborator with the enemy," Dumas said. "He gave the enemy information they wanted."
Lucier, identified as a former U.S. Senate Chief of Staff, said "we do know that when he was over there, he cooperated with Communist news services in giving interviews that were not flattering to the United States." Usry, identified as U.S. Senate Minority Staff former chief investigator, said "information shows that he made over 32 tapes of propaganda for the Vietnamese government."
Dornan said there were transcripts of other POWs reacting to McCain's false statements, saying, "Oh my God, is that Admiral McCain's son Is that the admiral's son? Is that Johnny, telling us that our principle targets are schools, orphanages, hospitals, temples, churches? That was Jane Fonda's line." Dornan said those transcripts are in war museums in North Vietnam, where McCain, as a senator, pressured the country not to release them or face opposition concerning normalization of relations with the United States.
"McCain could not have wanted those to turn up in the middle of a presidential race," the ex-congressman said. "He knows that. I know that. And a few other people know that. That's why he was against Bob Dole's legislation."
Dornan then offered another interesting explanation why McCain refused an offer by the North Vietnamese to be released. Dornan said those released first were collaborators, which would have ended McCain's military career and hurt the Navy, where his father commanded the Pacific fleet.
"Nobody takes that one step beyond that," Dornan said, speaking of McCain's refusal to be released. "If Admiral John McCain's son had accepted this princely status and come home in 1967, while others sat there for five years, what would the Navy have done with the son of an admiral who opted to get special treatment and come home? No Navy career. No House seat. No Senate seat. It would have been the end of his career."
Vietnam Veterans against John McCain
THE REAL JOHN MCCAIN
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)
"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
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."
McCain starred during the 1991-93 proceedings of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
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 1973.
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 Arizona senator.
McCain lost five U.S. Navy aircraft
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 football game.
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 near Hanoi.
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 John McCain
"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 crown prince."
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.
THE U.S. VETERAN DISPATCH