In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mendacious, Manipulating . . . Maverick? Hardly. Today’s real McCain

Rear Admiral John S. McCain II must be spinning in his grave, not out of pride that his son is the GOP nominee, but that his son sold his soul, his honor, and his integrity in the process. Senator, I hope you have written your apology to your father in advance. You owe him, and America, a huge one.

Rear Admiral John S. McCain II must be spinning in his grave, not out of pride that his son is the GOP nominee, but that his son sold his soul, his honor, and his integrity in the process.

Senator, I hope you have written your apology to your father in advance. You owe him, and America, a huge one.

On September 15th, John McCain used the same words that were abused by Herbert Hoover in 1931, “The foundations of our economy are strong.” On September 29, John McCain claimed all credit for the passage of the tax-payer funded Wall Street Bailout of 2008. (Let’s call it what it is, a Millionaire’s Gravy Train)

On both cases, reality intruded upon and exposed as ridiculous, the spin carefully crafted by Mr. McCain and his team of Rovian media goons.

John has a problem with truth, honesty and integrity. Watch how he reacts when his problem is exposed:

What you should find disturbing is that McCain’s character flaws have existed throughout his life. Even as a POW, he behaved in a reprehensible manner, capitalizing on his status as the son of that era’s Pacific Theater Commander, Rear Admiral McCain. The more his entire life is reviewed, the uglier the picture becomes.

To put it simply, McCain is a mendacious opportunist, who constantly proclaims his innocence of wrong-doing, while vehemently, even violently, attacking others he perceives to be in his path. Methinks he protests too much. His maverick image was a carefully crafted effort at shameless self-promotion. His claimed independence from George W. Bush? A lie. He voted with Bush 90% of the time, and repeatedly and emotionally claimed that he fully supported Bush and all policies. Now that Bush is reaching levels of distrust and dislike never reached by any sitting president, McCain agains pretends to be a “Maverick” and claims to have differences with the president. He is nothing but a fraud.

In this week’s Nation, Sydney Schanberg writes about McCain’s Senate efforts to cover up a horrible crime committed by the US. To put politely, McCain is no friend of the military.

An early and critical attempt by McCain to conceal evidence involved 1990 legislation called the Truth bill, which started in the House. A brief and simple document, the bill would have compelled complete transparency about prisoners and missing men. Its core sentence said that the “head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict, shall make available to the public all such records held or received by that department or agency.”

Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus by McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later a new measure, the McCain bill, suddenly appeared. It created a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge–only the records that revealed no POW secrets. The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today.

McCain was also instrumental in amending the Missing Service Personnel Act, which was strengthened in 1995 by POW advocates to include criminal penalties against “any government official who knowingly and willfully withholds from the file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person.” A year later, in a closed House-Senate conference on an unrelated military bill, McCain, at the behest of the Pentagon, attached a crippling amendment to the act, stripping out its only enforcement teeth, the criminal penalties, and reducing the obligations of commanders in the field to speedily search for missing men and report the incidents to the Pentagon.

It is our shame that US POWs in Viet Nam have been ignored, forgotten, even forsaken. What is unforgivable is how McCain proudly and cravenly used his POW status as a both shield and a sword. Except for self promotion, he has not lifted a finger to help his fellow soldiers, vets or POWs. To the contrary, he he has done everything possible to cover up his own shameful actions.

Perhaps he has daddy envy and hates the fact that his dad and granddad were superb officers, while he learned to crash planes. With careful research, the perception that he hates the military continues to this day. Which candidate has provided almost no support to the VA and Veteran’s benefits?

McCain has built his political career on his Navy service, including 5 1/2 years as a POW in Vietnam, and he remains immensely popular with many veterans groups. But the Arizona Republican’s appearance here suggested limits to that appeal.

The 1.4-million-member group said that in 2006, he voted for only one of the five spending bills the group considered most important — 20%.

“It’s a pretty low score,” said David Autry, spokesman for the congressionally chartered nonprofit group. The group rated Obama (D-Ill.) at 80%.,0,6583664.story?track=rss

But what about safeguarding our military in Iraq? And funding armor and other protection for our troops? After claiming that Iraq would be simple, an easy task for our military, in 2004, he said, “”I don’t think that this war has truly come home to the Congress of the United States. This is the first time in history that we’ve cut taxes during a war. So I think that a lot of members of Congress feel that this is just sort of a business-as-usual situation.”

Move to 2008 and you find him supporting that very same tax cut. He even wants to make it permanent. By the way, until April, 2005, McCain had voted against every request for funding for additional armor. The famous 60 Minutes story had already run, and America was up in arms about the lack of protection for our troops. Of course, by April of 2005, McCain’s campaign for the GOP nomination was already in full gear and fully armored.

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It is not the first time that America has acted reprehensibly about its citizens or soldiers behind enemy lines. The Forsaken is the story of Americans, both the economic refuges from 1931-35, and American POWs caught up in Stalinist USSR. Thousands of Americans and US soldiers (WWII and Korea) were caught in the USSR, and the vast majority perished. Not until the 1990s was there any serious scholarship and effort to find out more about the thousands gone missing. The Forsaken is the latest book by Tim Tzouliadis, and a necessary addition to anyone who studied the USSR or recent American history. The disowning of US citizens in the 30s and 40s by Roosevelt and others in his Administration was a stain on our history that will not be removed.

With our USSR POWs and missing citizens, there were many culprits. With our missing POWs in Viet Nam, one person stands head and shoulders above all other wrongdoers – John McCain. He personally sabotaged any effort to put the POW-MIA story to rest.

The more one digs into McCain’s history, the dirtier it becomes. The idea that this man is so close to the presidency should give any rational thinking person the shakes. If America is lucky, it will understand just how flawed an individual he is, how amoral, dishonest, and manipulative his entire life has been. And if you need one more reminder of how bad his judgment is, just look to his nominee for Vice President. Sarah Palin. That says it all.

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