Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Abandonment of our POWs.

Throughout his Senate career, [John] McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.[1]

I've not delved into the POW/MIA issue but one of the indicators of official allergy to the truth about this issue that I ran across in the 1980s or early '90s was an account in the Washington Times of a POW/MIA office the U.S. maintained in Thailand. Apparently the office was to be closed down. However, the really strange thing was that the officer in charge, a brigadier general, had been personally involved in destroying the paper records of that office. As in "hands on" involved. Somebody absolutely, positively wanted those records gone for a general officer personally to have been involved in their destruction. And what about those records of this ultra sensitive subject required their destruction rather than removal to some archive back home? Heck, was it even legal under any version of the Federal Public Records Act that today is making things oh-so-minutely uncomfortable for Mrs. Clinton?

It's been a long time since I read the story but I'm sure about the nature of the office, the involvement of that officer, and the place that the story was reported.

It's not the first time that U.S. servicemen have disappeared into communist hands and dropped down the memory hole. See also this article about American Korean War POWs who disappeared into the Soviet Union. It cites Laurence Jolidon, author of Last Seen Alive for the proposition "that the government of the United States has not aggressively and completely investigated this issue [U.S. servicemen in Soviet hands] but has allowed it to fade quietly from public view in order to advance other foreign-relations objectives."

Those POW/MIA flags need to be flown to honor the memory of those abandoned men as well as to remind us of the perfidy of our own government in abandoning them.

Whatever the issue – POWs, open borders, amnesty, free trade, globalization, spending, or the destruction of the Constitution – is there any doubt that our national government does NOT care about the American people?

[1] "McCain and the POW Cover-Up. The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam." By Sydney Schanberg, The American Conservative, 7/1/2015.

1 comment:

Reg T said...

I firmly believe that McCain did not suffer at the hands of the North Vietnamese in the same fashion as most of our POWs who were held at the Hanoi Hilton. I believe he cooperated with them, and fears that such information could have been exposed if some of those men left behind had been released and re-patriated. I'm not saying (although I have indeed suggested it in the past, during his run for the Presidency) that McCain is a Manchurian Candidate, but his behavior, his dismissal of American citizens as un-intelligent "rubes" who don't know what is good for them argue in favor of this.

Add to that how McCain and Liebermann tried so hard to get legislation passed removing our rights of habeas corpus, legal representation, etc. until the NDAA was successfully passed and signed into law. As a prisoner (guest, perhaps?) of the North Vietnamese who supposedly suffered mightily at their hands, you would think he would champion the rights of the individual _against_ rendition, indefinite detention, refusal of permitting representation or even the mention of a citizen's incarceration at the hands of government. Instead, he fought to deprive citizens of those rights. And won.

We may never know the truth, but this exposure of his involvement in preventing the release of known or suspected POWs is entirely in character for John McCain. He should more accurately be known simply as "Cain".