Senator McCain and The POWs
kewcomm1 at IX.NETCOM.COM
kewcomm1 at IX.NETCOM.COM
Tue Dec 21 12:56:54 MST 1999
From: The New Australian
McCain's ties with Vietnam
Special US report by Ted Sampley
"McCain's high-profile and unrelenting support for a
government that brutally tortured and murdered his
fellow POWs is causing POW/MIA family members and
fellow Vietnam veterans to question the senator and his
They ask what drives McCain, who owes his public life
to the tag "former POW," to work so hard for Hanoi and
so diligently to discredit any possibility, in fact the
probability, that Hanoi held back live U.S. prisoners
of war after the 1973 prisoner release.
During the POW/MIA hearings, Frances Zwenig, the staff
director of the Senate Select Committee, reported to McCain
that she was told by the Vietnamese, during a July 1992 meeting
with the Vietnamese, that something had to be done
about the POW/MIA activists who were opposing lifting
the U.S. imposed trade embargo against Vietnam.
Not long after, McCain started demanding that the
Select Committee investigate the activists, McCain
accused the POW/MIA families and activists who openly
challenged the U.S. government's POW/MIA policy of
fraud. In his attacks he said: "The people who have
done these things are not zealots in a good cause. They
are criminals and some of the most craven, most cynical
and most despicable human beings to ever run a scam."
McCain took the lead in the Senate and demanded a
Justice Department investigation of the activists. The
Justice Department investigated and found no reason to
charge any of the POW/MIA activists. When Col. Bui Tin,
one of McCain's former interrogators, testified before
the Senate Select Committee, McCain did not display
that same "pit bull" inclination to attack.
During a break in the hearing, McCain warmly embraced
Tin as if he were a long lost brother. McCain fought a
hard and successful campaign to get the U.S.-imposed
trade embargo against Vietnam lifted, despite the
opposition of all major veterans organizations, the two
POW/MIA family groups and the majority of the
Vietnamese Americans in this country. The veterans want
to know why McCain, the "conservative" politician,
takes such a strong stand for the Vietnamese Communists
and against such patriotic groups...."
As commendable as the Senator's conduct as a POW in Vietnam
was, his "conduct" as detailed above, is not. Yes, there were
some folks who tried to profit by conning families with bogus
attempts to contact possible living POWs. But there were many
trying to find the truth, and "throwing" them in with the "conns"
was not the "finest hour" of Senator McCain. And, it will be
interesting to see what effect this conduct has on his campaign
in South Carolina to corral the support of its many veterans.
Kenneth E. Wyman
THE COMMITTEE OF ONE
"One must fight, if only to have fought according to one's conscience"
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