John McCain: War Hero or Criminal? What He Doesn’t Want You To Know

First let me specifically state that I am a 56-year-old, white, college educated, Bible believing Christian female. I feel that this is important for those of you who are judging Barack Obama on the basis of his skin color, the false assumption that he is a terrorist with Middle Eastern ties, or that he is a Muslim. If you have read his biography or studied the politics involved you would know that much of what you are reading is propaganda and not true fact.

Saying that the opposite is also true of what is being said about John McCain. I hope that the following information may clarify some misconceptions regarding not only John McCain’s POW Hero status but also his current policies.

One thing that I have wondered about is why there is no mention of John McCain’s religious preferences since so much was made of both Mitch Romney’s and Barack Obama’s. Well the reason may be that McCain himself does not know which way he wants to lean in order to gain the vote of the Fundamentalist who vote according to church preference. Fact is that he grew up Episcopalian, went to an Episcopalian high school and for at least 15 years he has been listed as an Episcopalian in authoritative directories such as the Almanac of American Politics and Congressional Quarterly’s Politics in America 2008. He even told a reporter form McClatchy News Service in June 2007 that he was an Episcopalian. However, now that he is running for President and needs the Fundamentalist vote he informed a group meeting in South Carolina last September that he is a Baptist. Could this have anything to do with South Carolina being a state heavily populated with Baptists? When pressed, he said he’s attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona for more than 15 years, though he has never been baptized in that church. Now see, that’s exactly the problem. Baptism is kind of a big thing in the Baptist Church. (That’s how they got the name.) No baptism, not Baptist.

Ethical behavior is also a problem for McCain who openly cheated on his first wife despite the fact that she was faithful to him and waited for him the entire time that he was held in a Viet Cong prison camp.

Anyway, details aside, this is one very clear indication of how McCain has changed into just another hungry politician, happy to pander if it helps him win.

Another indication that I see of his inconsistency is his desire to be seen with the current President, George W. Bush, when it fits his campaign fund raising needs but to hide his close association with him from the American people who disagree with Bush’s policies. This was seen just recently when he attended a fund raiser with Bush but made sure that the cameras did not show him with the President until he was sure that the film would not reach the nightly news that evening.

Next, I find it amazing that he is trying to cash in on Obama’s stand that no lobbyists or big corporation dollars will contribute to or be a part of his campaign. This is ridiculous. McCain’s national campaign general co-chair is former Texas Senator Phil Gramm who, according to Keith Olbermann, was found in lobbying disclosure forms, filed by the giant Swiss bank UBS, to be a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as December 31, 2007 and was not deregistered as a professional lobbyist until April 18, 2008.. This was during the same period, according to federal records, that he was advising McCain about his economic policy. To top that off, Gramm continues to serve as a UBS vice chairman and it wasn’t until two weeks ago that McCain banned four other of his advisors who just happen to be lobbyists from advising him on the same subjects covered by their lobbying work.

Despite how this may look to the American people who are tired of Big Business and lobbyists controlling our government McCain openly says that Gramm had input on his March 26 policy speech about the mortgage crisis and often cites Gramm’s influence as a way to establish bona fides with economic conservatives. McCain has also reportedly hinted that Gramm might serve as his Treasury secretary. To understand where we as Americans might stand if Gramm is made Treasury Secretary is to remember that he authored and helped pass a law easing regulation of energy-commodity trading and as a result California experienced a sharp run-up in energy costs. The energy-trading company Enron was blamed and soon collapsed.

Then we have the issue of how McCain would respond to Iran. Remember we are already at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Bush declares McCain should be his successor and that his successor would stick with the Bush policy. I don’t know about you but I want our soldiers to come home in one piece. I am saddened by the number of soldiers being brought home in coffins or so disfigured/damaged that they will never be able to enjoy life in the same manner as before they went to war. It is not just Bush who has stated that McCain will follow his strategy, however, as McCain himself has already voiced his support for the Bush administration’s views on Iran and stressed that the military option is on the table to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weaponry. Maybe most important to his campaign, however, is his insistence that he was a war hero. I do not question that McCain suffered terrible brutalities at the hands of the Viet Cong but it takes intentional action and bravery to be considered a hero and I do not see that in McCain’s case. McCain did not choose to be shot down on October 26, 1967, which resulted in his being captured and tortured. In fact when all is said and done the result of his imprisonment was that he became a traitor to the United States when he broke down and made a video tape describing war crimes committed by the United States military. Others who were tortured just as severely or even worse refused to surrender and in my mind they were the heroes not John McCain. That does not mean that I could have survived what he endured it is just that I don’t think he should keep touting himself as hero when I don’t think he was. However, even if he had withstood the torture that makes him a brave war criminal, not a war hero. In essence not only did McCain turn against the United States it should be noted that he was shot down after 23 bombing missions and while he was assigned to destroy a power plant in the center of Hanoi, in a country that had never committed a crime on American soil or attacked an American citizen until they themselves were attacked. Isn’t this a perfect illustration of what one would expect to see in a terrorist or a war criminal?

It is questionable if his criminal affiliations ended there as in 1995, McCain sent birthday wishes, and regrets for not attending, a birthday party for Joseph “Joe Bannas” Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family. The only other known official to send their regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of seven felonies relating to fraud and extortion.

Lastly, one cannot help to point out his involvement in the 1980s Savings and Loan scandal where he was one of the Keating Five. During that investigation he was investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after Keating donated large sums of money to his campaign. In the end it turned out that Keating was convicted of racketeering that cost taxpayers $3.4 billion dollars after his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed.

While McCain was never convicted of anything he did intervene on Keating’s behalf after Keating gave him at $112,000 in contributions. During the mid-1980s McCain also made at least 9 trips on Keating’s airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating’s luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain’s wife and father-in-law were also involved with Keating becoming the largest contributors to Keating’s shopping center in Phoenix.


“McCain Says He’s Been Baptist For Years”, by Bruce Smith, The Associated Press, September 12, 2007

“Candidates invite questions about their faith”, by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, September 18, 2007

“The Pampered Politician”, by Amy Silverman, The Phoenix New Times, May 15, 1997

“See John Run Off at the Mouth”, Phoenix New Times, October 1, 1998

“Symington Gets Slammer”, Phoenix New Times, February 2, 1998

Election 98: Arizona Governor, Fox News web site, 1998 coverage (no longer on web)

“Famed McCain Temper is Tamed”, By Michael Kranish Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

So, who should vote for McCain? Anyone who believes that he is really a war hero because he bombed a country that never did anything to America and then made a video describing American War crimes. Anyone who isn’t concerned about electing an honest politician to office. Anyone who thinks that we can afford to send more troops to fight in the Mid East. Anyone who doesn’t care if America’s infrastructure and economic crisis is able to find a credible solution.

That obviously means that I am not voting for John McCain. America needs a fresh voice and I believe that Barack Obama is that voice but what ever you do decide please utilize your right to vote or don’t complain about who is elected to office.

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  • the oracle

    While I’m no fan of McCain, I do think you go a bit far with ascribing his bombing of Hanoi as criminal – he was simply doing what his country asked him to, and we were there due to the SEATO pact.

    I agree with all your other points, and only show the above because, as you know, there are those who will find one thing to pick apart, and then state the entire argument isn’t worthy of consideration.

    Always good to read your thoughts.

  • leftystrat

    You did a great job in researching this candidate. Hopefully you’ll do the same job on candidate Obama.

    I regard McCain as precisely what he is: a politician. And I mean that in every sense of the word. I do appreciate his partial honesty, though. He not only agrees on Iraq – he wants to send MORE to die. You know where he stands, at least on this.

    In my opinion, Obama isn’t much of an improvement. He’s just harder to catch because he doesn’t have much experience.

    If you had told me five years ago that I’d be hanging out with conservative Christians and voting for one for president, I’d have suggested that your crystal ball needed polishing, as did your head. Yet here I am, ready to cast my vote for the conservative Christian who was not invited to the republican get-together of conservative Christians: Ron Paul.

    Regardless of the railroading he got from his own party, he’s still in the race. He has garnered tons of votes from people who are REALLY AGITATED, regardless of party. His paper trail is quite visible and most impressive. I cannot, in good conscience, cast my vote for any other candidate.

    I don’t believe religion has any place in the race, as it’s being used strictly for pandering. I am by no means impugning your rights or religion… you speak of religion honestly. Politicians compete to show the religious right who is more holy than whom. I’m more interested in actions.

    Politics make strange bedfellows, eh? :)

    Thanks for what is rapidly becoming my favorite blog.

  • reflections

    Dear Leftystrat

    I want to thank you for your input. I totally agree with you that first religion should not play a part in polkitics but unfortunately some had made it a real issue when it comes to Senator Obama. It is interesting for me to note that Obama was slammed because his pastor who leads a Christian church acted abominally during the primaries. Yet, you cannot go hardly a day without hearing that he is a Muslim who was trained in a terrorist camp.

    Which is true? Is he a Christian, with poor judgement in churches or is he a Muslim? I think the real issue to many is that he is biracial. For me? I could care less what hte color of his skin is. He is a man who believes in what he is trying to accomplish. I believe in those same ideals and in that vein hope he succeeds.

    As for Ron Paul? If I thought he had a chance I too would have backed him for president. I thought he would have been a wonderful choice but as it stands I feel a vote for him would be a throw away. I do not want another 4 years of Bush policies. I do not want the war in Iraq to spread throughout the Middle East. I do not want more of our soldiers to die in a war that I fear will end like Viet Nam where no one won. Therefore I will vote for Obama and support him to the end.

    I will do an article on Obama in the next couple of weeks that will be as open and honest as I can. Hopefully it will show the amount of smear campaign tactics that have been used to discredit him. If it reveals that he is anything but what he seems I will also honestly supply that information.

    Again thank you for your comments and have a wonderful day.

  • reflections

    Hey Mark

    Good to hear from you. I do realize that McCain was acting under orders when he bombed Hanoi. To me the Washington administration was at fault for his actions but he did carry them out. However, to be fair I guess that doesn’t make him a war criminal in that sense, however, there is no excuse for his claiming to be a hero when he cracked under torture and made videos decrying America’s actions in a war that they never should have entered. Others were able to withstand the same or worse and maintained their patriotism. Those men were the heroes not McCain.

    Hope to get a post up regarding Obama in the next couple of weeks. While admittedly an Obama supporter I will make it as honest and open as possible. Let me know what you think.

    Have a great day

  • John Edwards

    Good Lord. Criminal? You sure you’re only 56 years old? You sound like Jane to me.

  • Dick

    This is interesting reading, but I think that politics should not be included in a computer-advice site.

  • David Andrews

    McCain wants the war to go on. America is not at war.
    The US. Military is at war. America is at the Mall.

    Support our troops though, in whatever way you think right.
    But consider not supporting those that lied to send them into harms way or those that want to keep the lies going.

    To support our troops, support our Constitution. Read it lately?

    God gave us brains. Use them. Write-in if you have to, but vote for Ron Paul. And I am not a Libertarian

  • William Brabant

    I personally think a blogsite like this should be above
    discussions of politics and religion. I was aboard the USS Constellation while McCain was a POW and we were just doing our jobs. No one wanted to be over there. We would
    have all preferred to be in Hawaii or California, anyplace
    but out to sea for 9 months. I say Thank McCain for serving
    his country the same as we should have Kerry and leave it at that.

  • Ray

    I think if you really research the facts, it was that most the POW’s signed “confessions” after they were tortured. I think it was agreed to, by the higest ranking POW officers in command. Check if any of the other POWs consider McCain a traitor.

  • ROM

    Robert Timberg, in his book, The Nightingale’s Song, wrote that POW McCain “suffered terribly in North Vietnamese camps.”

    Timberg wrote that in July 1968, McCain was taken to a room in which the North Vietnamese POW camp commander, whom the prisoners had nicknamed “Slopehead,” was waiting with 10 guards and an interrogator nicked named “The Prick.”

    The guards, according to Timberg, charged into McCain, beating and kicking him until he “lay on the floor, bloody, arms and legs throbbing, ribs cracked, several teeth broken off at the gumline.” The Vietnamese wanted McCain to confess to being a war criminal.

    It was then and there that McCain, Timberg noted, was introduced for the first time to the “torture ropes.” He wrote that McCain was tortured for several days before he broke and signed a confession that he was a war criminal. After signing the confession, McCain was so distraught that he attempted suicide but was stopped when a guard burst into the room.

  • Kevin Bailey

    I believe you will throw away your vote when you compromised your values and choice and settled for Obama.

    There is a reason for the write in line. There is a reason other candidates outside the two major political parties have gone to considerable cost and effort to be on the ballet. So that the American people can have a choice and be able to better express what they truly want. Vote your true choice and let everything else be damned! If you want change as Obama panders then make change by voting outside “Party Lines” and go with something that is change.

    You waste your vote and become nothing more than a politicion yourselve when you are willing to compromise your values and make a choice that fits “the main stream” because you feel like at least this way you can have some influence. If you believe you can have some influence by staying to the “major” candidates you sacrifice your full influence believing some is better than all! You fall to the lobbyists of the major parties who have bought your vote by mongering fear in you. You critize McCain for listening and being lead by the lobbyist have you given yourself a good hard look?

    I wonder how many people are “caught in the current” of the political parties taking America down there own path soliciting the idea:
    “There is no way a non-party person could win a Presidential campaign because there are just too many who will hold the party line. If you vote outside the two main parties you just cannot have any influence on who NOT to be in office.”
    The parties try to get your vote even if you DON’T like thier candidate by trying to tell you well at least ours is better than theirs – and only one of us will win. There are other choices pick the one you most believe in wether you think they will win or not – we may all be suprised!!

    Yeah that is the New American Way – compromise, settle, it is convenient, it is easy. We don’t work or fight for what we believe in anymore, we leave that for someone else to do. We are too busy enjoying our TV and curly fries to be bothered. When this country started offices of representation they were never meant to be a carrear – it was a personal sacrifice for the community whether that community was a small town or an entire country.

    I wrote this because I don’t think America was built or will last when good people of higher standard allow themselves to be pushed down and made to settle. Stand up and speak your voice – your constitution protects it and demands it of us all. Don’t fall for reteric, seek facts as you have done at least on one cadidate and stay objective. I expected better of you.

    If after looking at all candidates – not just a comparison of the two “most likely to succeed” and you still feel Obama is best then our country and my standards demand you vote for him. However if he does not measure up to another then you must be true to yourself win or loose and vote for that candidate. Thank god we as high school graduates did not listen to our peers when we voted for the most likely to succeed and just all gave up after that and let them win by default!

    In all honesty this is from a 41 year old, white, male, married (first and only), father of four (all from the same woman – the one I married 21 years ago), grandfather of none (my oldest at 15 is in no hurry to fill that slot for me – thank you dear I can wait), Christian believer in the supremecy of God in all.

  • HarryH

    Good grief, will the rumors ever stop? McCain, Obama are the ones selected by the majority parties to become our President. Do I completely agree with the positions of either of them? No, I shall select the lessor of evils. I don’t want a nanny state, I don’t want universal health care, I don’t want increased taxes to pay for those who simply won’t care for themselves. I don’t want increased government, as Mr Bush as done. I want a Ron Paul type, but I can’t have that.

    I don’t want the government deciding a lot of things that I and my local folk must do. No Child Left Behind and other similar educational ideas created by the Federal government shouldn’t be allowed to continue to ruin eduction. I could go on-and-on. I do so much want change, but Mr. Obama is not the instrument for that change.

    Taxes are what fuels the government. They enable huge organizations and huge legislative bills that no-one even understands. And it is perpetual. Without a Ron Paul type candidate, it will continue.

    So the lessor of evils evolves to mr. McCain.

  • Disgusted

    You are a horrible person. I would like to see you tortured in a camp like he was , you pampered leftist snob. Lets see how your sorry ass would do. Its so easy to condemn from the comfort of your comfy American living room, isn’t it?
    You are beyond cruel. I don’t see how you and your ilk live with themselves.