"Hero" John McCain as Phony
and Collaborator: What Really Happened When He Was a POW?
Monday, April 21, 2008
John McCain’s been getting kid-glove treatment from the press
for years, ever since he wriggled free of the Keating scandal and
his profitable association – another collaboration, you might
say -- with the nation’s top bank swindler in the 1980s. But
nothing equals the astounding tact with which his claque on the press
bus avoids the topic of McCain’s collaborating with his Vietnamese
captors after he’d been shot down.
How McCain behaved when he was a prisoner is key. McCain is probably
the most unstable man ever to have got this close to the White House.
He’s one election away from it. Republican senator Thad Cochrane
has openly said he trembles at the thought of an unstable McCain in
the Oval Office with his finger on the nuclear trigger.
What if a private memory of years of collaboration in his prison
camp gnaws at McCain, and bursts out in his paroxysms of uncontrollable
fury, his rantings about “gooks” and his terrifying commitment
to a hundred years of war in Iraq. What if “the hero”
knows he’s a phony?
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Doug Valentine has written the definitive history of the Phoenix
Program in Vietnam. He knows about the POW experience. His dad, an
Army man, was captured by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp in the
Philippines for forced labor. Many of his mates died. Doug wrote a
marvelous book about it, The Hotel Tacloban.
Now Valentine has picked up the unexploded bomb lying on McCain’s
campaign trail this year. As he points out, he’s not the first.
Rumors and charges have long swirled around McCain’s conduct
as a prisoner. Fellow prisoners have given the lie to McCain’s
claims. But Valentine has assembled the dossier. It’s devastating.
Some excerpts from Valentine’s indictment.
“War is one thing, collaborating with the enemy is another;
it is a legitimate campaign issue that strikes at the heart of McCain’s
character. . .or lack thereof. In occupied countries like Iraq,
or France in World War II, collaboration to that extent spells an
automatic death sentence.. . .The question is: What kind of collaborator
was John McCain, the admitted war criminal who will hate the Vietnamese
for the rest of his life?
“Put it another way: how psychologically twisted is McCain?
And what actually happened to him in his POW camp that twisted him?
Was it abuse, as he claims, or was it the fact that he collaborated
and has to cover up? Covering-up can take a lot of energy. The truth
is lurking there in his subconscious, waiting to explode. ”
“McCain had a unique POW experience. Initially, he was taken
to the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison camp, where he was interrogated.
By McCain’s own account, after three or four days he cracked.
He promised his Vietnamese captors, “I’ll give you military
information if you will take me to the hospital ...
“His Vietnamese captors soon realized their POW, John Sidney
McCain III, came from a well-bred line in the American military
elite. . .The Vietnamese realized, this poor stooge has propaganda
value. The admiral’s boy was used to special treatment, and
his captors knew that. They were working him.”
“. . .two weeks into his stay at the Vietnamese hospital,
the Hanoi press began quoting him. It was not ‘name rank and
serial number, or kill me’. as specified by the military code
of conduct. McCain divulged specific military information: he gave
the name of the aircraft carrier on which he was based, the number
of U.S. pilots that had been lost, the number of aircraft in his
flight formation, as well as information about the location of rescue
“…McCain was held for five and half years. The first
two weeks’ behavior might have been pragmatism, but McCain
soon became North Vietnam’s go-to collaborator…..McCain
cooperated with the North Vietnamese for a period of three years.
His situation isn’t as innocuous as that of the French barber
who cuts the hair of the German occupier. McCain was repaying his
captors for their kindness and mercy.
“This is the lesson of McCain’s experience
as a POW: a true politician, a hollow man, his only allegiance is
to power. The Vietnamese, like McCain’s campaign contributors
today, protected and promoted him, and, in return, he danced to their
tune. . .”