Attacking McCain’s POW Record: The Slander And The Truth

Obama supporters managed to find a former POW who would come out against John McCain in an attack ad.  Sociologist and Veterans for Peace activist Dr. Phillip Butler says, “He was known as a very volatile guy and he would blow up and go like a Roman candle. John McCain is not someone I would like to see with his finger near the red button.”  But that “he was known as” line – which insinuates a commonly-held view – is a patent and documented lie.  Phillip Butler is the ONLY POW who has come out and said this.

There were 24 former POWs – who went through hell with John McCain in the brutal North Vietnamese prison camps – present at his Republican convention speech in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Most if not all of these men paid their own way for travel and expenses, and received only a special place of honor in the seating arrangement.

The Washington Times points out that:

In his nomination acceptance speech last week in Denver, Mr. Obama indirectly raised the issue of whether Mr. McCain’s years in captivity have made him too emotionally volatile. “If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander in chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have,” Mr. Obama said.

And nasty shots about John McCain’s war record from prominent Obama surrogates have been going on for quite a while.  See my articles:

Clark’s dismissal of McCain’s military service part of coordinated pro-Obama smear campaign

Obama trivializes attacks on McCain’s military career

Obama’s plea to ignore the facts questioning his patriotism

This from the “new politician” who transcends the “politics of old?”  Hardly.  Rather, this is the candidate of whom even Bill Clinton said has “the political instincts of a Chicago thug.”

Here are a few statements from John McCain’s fellow POWs included in The Washington Times article:

– Dave Wheat, who was imprisoned for over seven years, says, “Barack Obama repeatedly scares the hell out of me because of his naivete,” Mr. Swindle said. “He has no qualifications for the job other than that he’s a hell of a nice guy.”

– “Fellow former prisoners of war said Mr. McCain’s experience of torture and captivity stands as an undeniable testament to his character, toughness and patriotism that Mr. Obama cannot touch.”

– “John McCain went through a crucible of adversity, and he was there being tested. He came out of it a stronger person, a more focused person, a person who conducted himself with incredible honor,” said Mr. Swindle, who spent two years as John McCain’s cellmate.

– Rod Knutson, who was shot down on the same day in 1965 as Mr. Wheat and later was confined in a cell next to Mr. McCain’s, said that experience made him “a better person.”

“I have more courage, I have more patriotism, I have better tolerance for things. I think I’m a better father and a better husband, and I think I did a better job in the Navy. And I think all of those attributes can be carried over to John McCain,” said Mr. Knutson, 69, of Thompson Falls, Mo.

“It’s not a negative experience at all. It was a hardship. It was a sacrifice, and it’s something none of us would ever want to do again, but we’re better off having been through it,” he said.

And then there are other testimonies, such as from Col. “Bud” Day – Medal of Honor recipient and the second most decorated veteran in American history.

Day himself – all of his service, all of his heroism, and all of his testimony of John McCain aside – has been villified as someone who supported the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against John Kerry.

So let’s look at the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  Look at the letter that some 250 of John Kerry’s fellow Swift Boat veterans signed against him (to contrast with about a dozen Swift Boat veterans who support him).  Their real outrage wasn’t over Kerry’s supposed “valor,” but rather against what he did when he came home.  John Kerry willingly and publicly said of his own free will things that men like John McCain wouldn’t say even in the face of torture.  And when John Kerry tried to defend his anti-American and anti-American-soldier statements by pointing to his record, the Swift Boat veterans demonstrated that he had misrepresented his record in provable ways beyond his infamous “Christmas in Cambodia” whopper.

Maybe John Kerry deserved all his decorations, and maybe he didn’t, but one thing is for sure: he did lie about several aspects of his record.  And he was forced to publicly retract some of his most vitriolic statements as “the words of an angry young man.”

John Kerry had a paltry few men to testify about how honorable he was, versus a whopping load load of veterans who said he was unfit for command.  Kerry literally resorted to trying to claim that men who were actually against him were for him.

Henry Wickham, writing in the American Thinker, said of the media campaign against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:

To make the definition of swiftboating synonymous with “smears,” “lies,” and “innuendo” is to declare John Kerry’s innocence…. This clever manipulation of the meaning of words and its exoneration of John Kerry has much broader implications. In the 1970s John Kerry led a high profile movement that not only defamed American servicemen as crazed killers, but Kerry and his real “band of brothers” also successfully pushed policies that had truly genocidal consequences in Southeast Asia. To exonerate John Kerry is to exonerate his movement and all who participated in it for their role in the genocide. It is to whitewash all of them from the consequences of their actions.

The same liberal Democrats who were appalled that 250 Swift Boat veterans opposed John Kerry as unfit for command when only a handful supported him have now trotted out a single man to claim that John McCain is unfit for command when dozens have publicly supported him.

As for Phillip Butler’s claim that John McCain has a temper?  I found a retort on biglizards entertaining:

Well, all right. But for me, McCain’s temper is vastly overbalanced by Obama’s fecklessness, grandiosity, narcissism, radicalism, and willingness to cozy up to America’s bitterest enemies, from Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright to Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But then, I’m not a liberal Democrat.

I end where the Washinton Times story begins:

ST. PAUL, Minn. | There are 24 of them here, the men who went through hell with John McCain in Vietnamese prison camps four decades ago.

A few are politicking and organizing, but most are here simply to support the man they say represents a choice for America between honor and image.

“There is a waning sense of honor and duty … and that is troubling. And this election may be all about that very thing,” said Orson Swindle, who was a cellmate with Mr. McCain for two years in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp.

“Do we want to have an ‘American Idol’ election, or do we want to elect a man who is capable of doing great things and solving big problems?” said Mr. Swindle, one of several speakers who will formally nominate Mr. McCain for president Wednesday.

We’ll find out on November 4.

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14 Responses to “Attacking McCain’s POW Record: The Slander And The Truth”

  1. Disgusted in GA Says:

    This displays the character of the Man Obama so well. Perhaps also the depth to which the Democrats will stoop in their hatred for the man they need to defeat to obtain greater control over both Houses to escape scrutiny of their hapless mismanagement of the Country. It is mean, low and despicable in the extreme.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    Obama presented himself as the NEW politician, but that itself was the cynical act of an old-as-politics politician.

    And you are right: I’ve seen negativity and even hate in national politics before, but NOTHING like the hate that has come out of the left for George Bush. If Republicans were just as vicious as Democrats have been, our Republic has not much longer to survive.

  3. Time Rag Fan [sic] Says:

    You will recall my disgust with Michael Kinsley in another column and a previous reference by the Rag to Romney’s religion some time ago. I have now located the old article, from Time September 17th, 2007 edition, and have it in PDF Format [Adobe Reader] on my computer.

    The article is much more damning than I previously mentioned. Kinsley tries to appear to be impartial by referring to ‘’all candidates’’ when he says: [I quote] “religion cannot be their own affair” [end quote] and explains in great detail why it cannot be. He was of course, trying to shoot Romney down at that stage but if they apply the same standards to Obama he [Obama] must come forward. In fact Kinsley also says: [quote] ”we need to know in some detail the doctrines of their faith and the extent to which they accept these doctrines” [end quote]. Talk about double standards?

    How can I get the whole article to you? Or can you use these bits? I am beginning to understand that your site can “link and place” things all over the Net [don’t have a clue how you do it] but it will be nice if it can be done with this Time Rag piece. It can blow Obama right out of the water with his recent statement “But don’t give people some sort of religious litmus test because I don’t want somebody to question my faith and I’m certainly not going to question somebody else’s.” [See FoxNews article Obama Accuses McCain Campaign of ‘Swift Boat Politics’ dated Wednesday, September 10, 2008.] This comes from a Man who mentions his great admiration for Farakhan in his own book, a man who appoints a Muslim Coordinator on his Campaign Staff, a man who has Kenya Rebel Leader, a practicing Muslim for a Cousin and …. I can add another two pages.

    And Time wants to elect Him for Man of the Year as soon as He has been elected President of America? Don’t cry for me America. Cry for your children and cry for you, beloved America!

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    Are you talking about this article?
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1659734,00.html

    I haven’t read it; I just copied and pasted the Kinsley quote into Google.

    I actually don’t link or place things beyond this site and another site I write for called The American Sentinel. But I am always pleased to find that someone has picked up something I’ve written and passed it on.
    http://theamericansentinel.com/

    Btw, Obama himself, reffering to himself, referred to “my Muslim faith” on ABC’s This Week, and George Stephanopoulos had to correct him, “You mean Christian faith.”

  5. You done it! Says:

    You’ve done it! It is the one. I notice the Web article is slightly shorter than the printed [hard copy?] I have but it’s the one [mine has Kinsley’s photo in too]. I have now learned something new. And I am Proud thanks to you I have now located theAmericanSentinal too. Looks like I have a lot to learn but if you ever find it necessary do the same with other stuff go right ahead. Brilliant. Now we must refer Obama to Kinsley and suggest the two have a little ‘’pow-wow’’ between them, what do you say?

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    I’ll have to cogitate on that article. I did glance through it, and I agree there is a “there” there. It’s a matter of coming up with the right angle.

    When an article is shortened, it’s often interesting to compare the two, see what got taken out, and ask WHY it got taken out.

    I’ve come across this phenomena before – and usually the parts that were deleted were unfriendly to Democrats.

    It IS a good idea to apply “the Kinsley standard” to Obama’s religion.

  7. Repeat: You done it! Says:

    I am working on the two documents to compare word for word. Will report back to you in this box.

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    Will be interesting to see “the missing sentences.”

  9. Coenraad Says:

    The two documents are identical in wording so we don’t have to waste time on searching for other distortions. I was initially just confused by the different page layout, font and font size in the two versions, and the hard copy text is wrapped around a photo of Romney with Kinsley’s picture on top the way they do the print version. The text is identical word for word.

    I am going to cogitate on my own action and angle and will let you have it in this Box in due course but I have already decided to hit them straight on the nose. My approach will probably be to “let them see it coming” and I am considering the timing because it is not far from Election Day now. If we want any effect we have to move in a hurry.

    Look out for my letter to Time in this box. And thank you! You may not know it but I have learned an enormous amount since first stumbling into your site just weeks ago. My book is taking shape.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    That’s probably the best thing I’ve ever heard from someone since I started blogging.

    My goal has been to inform and stimulate conservatives.

    I’ll read through that article, so that we can compare notes.

    Good luck with your book. The biggest secret is to keep writing. A little every day adds up quick.

  11. Coenraad Says:

    You got me into something with the way you described you found the Kinsley article on the Web. Well, I tried another one from my old scanned records and got it straight easy as pie the same way and one thing leading to another I am busy tracing all the articles of both Kinsley and his friend Joe Klein, at the Time Rag. It’s real sewage journalism; so blatant when you put it all together.

    I will let you know when I have a more complete picture but I can tell you one thing for sure. These guys have been building Obama up for 2008 Man of the Year and won’t stop at anything. And they have deep pockets! Michael, in Biblical terminology one would say we are fighting the Beast, or if others object to the description, a real big formidable foe at the least.

    I shall be in touch.

  12. Michael Eden Says:

    Coenraad,
    The internet is the most evil – and the most wonderful – tool. Learning how to search opens up the whole world to you. I’m delighted to have helped open that door for you.

    All the time I jot down a single phrase from a particular person, and just input the name of the speaker, the phrase, and bingo. Sometimes I’ll also add the source (e.g. Fox News) or the date.

    I fully agree with you that Time (and Newsweek) are wastes of time, which is why I generally don’t bother with either.

    We are clearly headed for the Beast. And this huge mega-bailout, and this massive “globalized economy,” are going to put us a giant step closer to the one-world government and the mark of the beast.

  13. Amazed in GA Says:

    In the Time Magazine September 17th, 2007 edition Michael Kinsley lets rip into Mitt Romney about his Mormon religion. He tries to appear to be impartial by referring to ‘’all candidates’’ when he says: [I quote] “religion cannot be their own affair” [end quote] and explains in great detail why it cannot be. He was of course, trying to shoot Romney down at that stage but if they apply the same standards to Obama he [Obama] must come forward. In fact Kinsley also says: [quote] ”we need to know in some detail the doctrines of their faith and the extent to which they accept these doctrines” [end quote].

    One year later when Romney is no longer a candidate but Time’s favorite son, selected to be their Man of the Year for 2008 and hence they promote him with pages of praise in every new edition, they ignore all references to Obama’s Muslim ties. When Obama is confronted about what he believes he literally taunts the Nation: “But don’t give people some sort of religious litmus test because I don’t want somebody to question my faith and I’m certainly not going to question somebody else’s.” [See FoxNews article Obama Accuses McCain Campaign of ‘Swift Boat Politics’ dated Wednesday, September 10, 2008.]. Reaction by the famous Rag: None. Mum’s the word. Deafening silence is all you get.

    Time Magazine is rapidly becoming the Gutter Rag of all Time.

  14. Michael Eden Says:

    Becoming may be the wrong tense. It became a gutter rag a while back.

    Too bad. I used to read Time when I was a kid. Loved the photographs.

    The quintessential element of liberalism is hypocrisy. Liberals are hypocrites to their very cores. We’re seeing it now: the liberals who CREATED this financial disaster have gone on a major tour blaming the people who tried but failed to get legislation through over the libs’ blockage.

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