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McCain - Contrived Hero 
How much of the myth is true?

Objective analysis points to a simple fact: John McCain is not a hero. A close examination of his history indicates a parallel to George W. Bush Jr. and not in a flattering manner. Both had fathers who continually bailed them out from trouble and the sons took advantage not only of that, but their parental reputation to intimidate and achieve unearned status.

    * McCain earned an extraordinary amount of demerits at the Naval Academy, but was allowed to graduate 5th from the bottom of his class.

    * He crashed an aircraft in Naval flight training which mandated expulsion, but McCain was allowed to graduate.

    * McCain ran into power lines on the Iberian Peninsula while deployed to the Mediterranean causing a second crash without repercussion.

    * Oddly enough, he was made an Instructor Pilot upon return to Pensacola, Florida, and proceeded to lose another aircraft while flying to the Army-Navy football game. The Navy rewarded him by assigning to the carrier, USS Forrestal.

    * McCain lost his fourth jet on July 29, 1967, when a rocket slammed into his fully loaded jet killing 134 sailors. He escaped injury and was transferred to the USS Oriskany.

    * He lost his fifth jet after being shot down over North Vietnam and captured on October 26, 1967.

    * According to an written by him for the U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973, ..."After being periodically slapped around for "three or four days" by his captors who wanted military information from him, McCain called for an officer on his fourth day of captivity. He told the officer, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital." Not only was this a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Code of Conduct, but can be viewed as collaboration with the enemy.

    * A surgeon was flown in from Moscow and McCain accepted preferential medical treatment at a hospital near Gia Lam airport reserved for Vietnamese officers. No other POW received the same treatment which again violated the UCMJ and Code of Conduct.

    * According to sources, McCain divulged specific military information such as the carrier he flew from, number of pilots lost, specific flight information and rescue units currently available.  Apparently, he did this to gain medical attention.

    * Retired Army Colonel Earl Hopper states McCain told his captors "highly classified information, the most important of which was the package routes, which were routes used to bomb North Vietnam.  He gave in detail the altitude they were flying, the direction, if they made a turn...he gave them what primary targets the United States was interested in." Hopper further contends this information allowed the North Vietnamese to adjust their air defenses and subsequently the US lost sixty percent more aircraft resulting in the curtailment of North Vietnam bombing.  All this was due, Hopper states, because of the information McCain divulged.

    * McCain participated in propaganda films and radio broadcasts aimed at American troops. According to the Saigon UPI, June 4, 1969: "Reds say POW Songbird is Pilot Son of Admiral...Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of United States Commander in the Pacific Adm. John McCain purportedly admits to having bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises medical treatment he has received since being taken prisoner." He had earned the nickname "Songbird" from his captors.

    * He talks often of torture, but did not transfer to the Hanoi Hilton until December, 1969. According to the Phoenix New Times, March 25, 1999, Two former POWs, Air Force Colonels Ted Guy and George "Swede" Larson, said in a feature article they could not guarantee that McCain was not physically harmed, (but) they doubted it. Both Guy and Larson were senior ranking officers (SROs) in McCain's POW camp at a time he claims he was in solitary confinement and being tortured.

    * Larson told the New Times, "Between the two of us, it's our belief, and to the best of our knowledge, that no prisoner was beaten or harmed physically in that camp (known as 'The Plantation'). My only contention the the McCain deal is that while he was at the Plantation, to the best of my knowledge and Ted's knowledge, he was not physically abused in any way. No one was in that camp. It was the camp that people were released from."

McCain bases his hero myth on the contention he refused to be released unless everyone was. Sources state this was not a big deal since McCain was ordered by Senior Officers to state this. Secondly, former Rep. Bob Dornan (CA) states transcripts exist from former POWs reacting to McCain's collaboration negatively. According to Dornan, McCain has always been afraid these transcripts would turn up particularly during a presidential campaign. Dornan offered another reason why McCain refused release by the North Vietnamese. He said those released first were collaborators, which McCain was one, and this would have ended not only his military career and hurt the Navy, but would impact his father also.

    * McCain has actively opposed the efforts of MIA/POW activists and according to witnesses, physically attacked at least one. He has rudely interrupted hearings to berate MIA/POW family members and has worked religiously to curtail any POW information being released either from the government or from any POWs or their family members. It seems rather odd he would take these positions, but he has been no friend of Veterans as well. McCain has consistently voted against Veterans bills indicated by his record. He simply does not consider Veterans a priority much less MIA/POWs, but brags of his support.

    * He returns from captivity to his wife, Carol, who is now in a wheel chair from a car accident. He desired a coveted Admiral slot and the Navy assisted by reinstating him to flight duty in lieu of his disabilities. He assumes position of Executive Officer, Replacement Air Group 174, which trained pilots and crews from deployment. While Executive Officer and later Commander, McCain authorized flights allowing him to mingle with subordinates and engage in extra-marital affairs again violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice regarding adultery and fraternizing with subordinates. The Navy, however, continues the tradition of excusing McCain from penalties and he got away with it.

    * Robert Timbert, author of The Nightingale's Song, wrote: "Off duty, usually on routine cross-country flights to Yuma and El Centro, John (McCain) started carousing and running around with women. To make matters worse, some of the women with whom he was linked by rumor were subordinates...At the time the rumors were so widespread that, true or not, they became part of McCain's persona, impossible not to take note of." The Navy overlooked his behavior and excused him from any discipline.

    * McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, daughter of James W. Hensley, rich Anheuser-Busch distributor in Phoenix, Arizona and 17 years his junior. He later files for and obtains a divorce from wife, Carol, on April 2, 1980, and marries Cindy on May 17, 1980.

    * Released from the Navy and promptly goes to work for his father-in-law and begins meeting powerful friends. These included later disgraced Duke Tully, editor-in-chief of the Arizona Republic who was caught continually boasting of a fictitious military record and banker Charles Keating.

    * McCain ran for and was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1982 primarily on the POW basis. He was elected to the Senate in 1987 citing the same argument.

    * McCain becomes involved in the Keating 5 scandal regarded as the worst financial and political scandals in U.S. history not including the current debacles which are unfolding. The savings and loan failure cost taxpayers $3.4 billion and resulted from Charles Keating railing against the proposed direct investment rule in 1984. He recruited John McCain based upon the Arizona Representative's history of opposing financial regulation. Keating attempted to have Federal Home Loan Bank chairman, Edwin Gray, fired, but this backfired forcing him to use McCain primarily to convince the Reagan Administration to appoint two cronies to the Bank Board thus giving Keating majority control of the agency.

    * Keating ran into difficulties with the appointments due to his own reputation of "buying politicians." President Reagan, however, going against his White House personnel director, Robert Tuttle, and with awareness Keating had signed a consent degree to settle SEC allegations of defrauding a financial institution, tried to appoint the Keating choices. The Senate, however, refused to abide by this and rejected his choices.

    * McCain was the only Republican among the Keating Five and had the closest, longest relationship with Keating. This relationship was both social with the McCain Family joining Keating on expensive junkets to the Bahamas three times and 6 other trips on Keating airplanes; and financial since McCain was given over $112,000 in campaign contributions and his wife and father-in-law invested $350,000 in a 1986 Keating shopping mall deal. It was only after the scandal broke that McCain paid for the vacations, only a small fraction of the holidays cost, as he was required to do by law. He was, however, the only Congressmember that benefited from the scandal personally with family holidays on Keating's tab, but he then failed to report the vacations on Senate disclosure forms. McCain's reaction to all this: continuous rage towards the media and accusations of irresponsible journalism.

    * Cindy McCain was investigated for stealing and using narcotic drugs by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency while head of a non-profit organization, the American Voluntary Medical Team, which aided third world countries. She apparently not only took the drugs Vicodin and Percocet from AVMT stocks, but also used doctor credentials and employee names to obtain outside prescriptions over a three year period. According to the Arizona Republic, August 24, 1994, she was ingesting 15 to 20 pills daily while the normal dosage for seriously ill patients is 6-10 for a short period.

    * The same article cites her as admitting she stole pills from the Team and employees allege she also abused her husband's office by using diplomatic privileges to transport illegal substances overseas. John McCain disavowed any knowledge of his spouse's addiction, but took quick public relations steps when the entire episode became public knowledge.

    * Cindy McCain overdosed on October 5, 1992, and was rushed to an Oak Creek, Arizona, hospital. John McCain went to her side, but had her dismissed from the hospital and taken to their cabin. Regardless, he was aware of her problem and later intervened with authorities to lessen her penalty.

    * Percocet and Vicodin are schedule 2 drug in the same category as opium. Each pill theft carries apenalty of one year in prison and a monetary fine, but Cindy McCain did not face prosecution nor was is their evidence she ever completed rehabilitation or pretrial diversion. She escaped with no blemish whatsoever on her record and neither did John McCain due to senatorial intervention with both the DEA and Maricopa County  Attorney's Office.  However, evidence seems to indicate Senator McCain was aware of her criminal acts, but did nothing to stop them.

It seems apparent John McCain is not a hero and should be viewed as lacking sufficient character to hold the office of the Presidency or the Senate. His POW records need to be scrutinized for collaboration as well as his Navy service jacket  for reasons why he wasn't held accountable. The truth needs to be ascertained prior to this man ascending to any higher office for to do otherwise would be looking the other way. This is exactly what caused the current problems with John McCain

Chuck Hovey
Arizona Resident

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