Posts Tagged ‘POW’

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

September 21, 2008

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.

Highlights From Fred Thompson’s Great RNC Speech

September 3, 2008

I’ve always like Fred Thompson.  His combination of folksy wit, good old boy charm, and a brilliant mind make him a brilliant speaker.

Tonight, he took the podium at the Republican National Convention, and knocked Republicans dead – even as he knocked Democrats’ heads together like Moe with the stooges.

I’d like to present some highlights of the speech (entire transcript available HERE):

[Sarah Palin] and John McCain are not going to care how much the alligators get irritated when they get to Washington, they’re going to drain that swamp.

But tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the remarkable story of John McCain.

It’s a story about character.

John McCain’s character has been tested like no other presidential candidate in the history of this nation.
——

John McCain was preparing to take off from the USS Forrestal for his sixth mission over Vietnam, when a missile from another plane accidentally fired and hit his plane.

The flight deck burst into a fireball of jet fuel.

John’s flight suit caught fire.

He was hit by shrapnel.

It was a scene of horrible human devastation.

Men sacrificed their lives to save others that day. One kid, who John couldn’t identify because he was burned beyond recognition, called out to John to ask if a certain pilot was OK.

John replied that, yes, he was.

The young sailor said, “Thank God”… and then he died.

These are the kind of men John McCain served with. (more…)