Tuesday, June 17, 2008

McCain's military record

By Libby

Johnny McSame trots out his POW creds every chance he gets, but spending years in a Vietcong cage doesn't really make you an expert on war. I mean he didn't actually fight it and he got caught in the first place because his airplane got shot down. Now that could happen to anybody but judging by his aviation history, it could also have been because he's a hotdogger and not a very good pilot.

From Jeff Klein's post debunking NYT's fairy tale that McCain was about to become an admiral when he left the Navy.
Is McCain now getting away with more by hiding his official history and by having his national security adviser inflate McCain's resume with a bogus promotion to admiral humbly declined? If so, McCain may be attempting to hide why the Navy was in fact slow to promote him upwards despite his suffering as a POW and his distinguished naval heritage.

One possible reason: After McCain had returned from Vietnam as a war hero and was physically rehabilitated, he was urged by his medical caretakers and military colleagues never to fly again. But McCain insisted on going up. As Carl Bernstein reported in Vanity Fair, he piloted an ultra-light, single propeller plane -- and crashed another time. His fifth loss of a plane has vanished from public records, but should be a subject of discussion in his Navy file. It wouldn't be surprising if his naval superiors worried that McCain was just too defiant, too reckless and too crash prone.
I agree with Jeff. McCain should release his entire Navy file, just as Kerry did in 04 to prove his war creds.Then maybe we could also find out why McCain is collecting $68,000 a year in disability pension at the same time he's voting down better benefits for the serving troops.

My Newshogger co-blogger Ron also has a good post up on the whole McCain as war hero myth. Go read.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all fairness, that disability number should probably be double checked. It may include back pay for various things while he was a prisoner. In any case, calling just anyone who wore a uniform in war a hero discredits those who actually were. And there are many of those.

Being a pilot is NOT like being a ground troop, in either Vietnam or Iraq. And being an officer is NOT like being an enlisted grunt either.

And while there is a certain amount of admiration due to anyone who can survive 5 years as a prisoner in poor conditions, our POW's survived because the enemy allowed them to.

There are soldiers in every war who give much more than is ever required, who perform above and beyond the call of duty, who may even willingly give their life or limb to protect others. These are the heroes. Some get honored, some don't. In any case, John McCain has shown no evidence that he should be included in that group.

5:46:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Maybe it's worth pointing out and maybe not, but he was bombing Hanoi -- a place that suffered huge civilian casualties and they dragged him out of a pond and beat him because they considered him to be a terrorist.

I do not want to diminish what he went through in any way, but we have developed the tendency to call everyone a hero and as you say, that is not fair to the few who really are.

6:28:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's my feeling too. I don't want to discredit what he did at all, but I doubt he was all that heroic.

9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

He did not dive on a granade to save the lives of others. He did not hold the line moving from one position to another fending off wave after wave of VC & NVA troups. He did not rally his men during an ambush to help save the lives of his squad. He is no hero, he just did his job and got shot down doing it. Then, either he spent years as a POW and they broke his mind or he caved in and they gave him special treatment. Either way we need to know the facts before we go any further.

12:59:00 AM  

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