Tuesday, August 19, 2008

His Lyin' Eyes

In an Op Ed piece in Military.com, Philip Butler relates the story of his experiences as a POW in Vietnam at the same time and in the same POW camp as John McCain. If you would like to read the piece in its entirety, here is the address:


Dr. Butler explains that while he respects John McCain, he won't vote for him. He writes that he arrived at the camp two years before McCain did, and he had to endure four years of torture, but McCain only had to go through two years because of the regime change that brough a softening of the treatment. Butler says that virtually everyone was offered early release, and all of them refused, because release was conditioned on the POWs' cooperation in making propaganda tapes, etc. Nevertheless, John McCain made no fewer than 24 propaganda tapes, one of them was made two days after his capture.

His problem with John McCain is that he seems to depict himself as the only one who ever refused early release, and that he has used and embellished his story constantly to further his political career. Dr. Butler says that time in a POW camp over 30 years ago does not make McCain experienced enough to be President.


There was a little story being bandied about that John McCain made up his touching little story about the enemy soldier that loosened his chains and drew a cross in the dirt, on Christmas Eve. Lots of people think that McCain got this story from "Gulag Archepelago", by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, but this apparently is false. McCain is a big fan of Solzhenitsyn, and the story could conceivably have been told in one of his books, but not in "Gulag".

The story has been around for a long time and quoted as an Urban Legend in Christian circles. It originated with Charles Colson. Remember him? Why is it that all those Nixon henchmen keep popping back up in today's Republican Party? Back in 2000, McCain reshaped the story and it was used to "sweet-talk" evangelicals.

McCain has lied, to suit his purpose, as usual.


Cone of Silence, indeed. That's a good one. John McCain answered the Reverend's questions much too quickly, without pausing to think about them. It's the first time I've ever seen him do that.


By the way, did anyone know that Cindy McCain has an older step-sister? Her father had been married twice, and Cindy was his second daughter. You can look it up. You certainly won't hear it from Cindy or John McCain. Why not?


What else are we going to be asked to swallow about this old charlatan? When is the media going to start taking a closer look at him?


Anonymous said...

Obviously he does not like McCain so the point is.....

Charlatan? What the hell do you think Obama is? Nothing more than a snakeoil salesmen with ignorance pouring out of his mouth every time he opens it.

Karen said...

I always find your political discussions equally interesting and frustrating. In the end, your political passion is inspiring.

While I don't agree with Anonymous's tone, I do believe that a person could find articles and information to support whatever he or she wishes to support.

Sister--Three said...

I think Patsy's friend is visiting your blog...Zipper.

I think McCain is a very mean man and 5 years of capture has made his what he is. I fear him.

Obama is young and has many great ideas...most will fail or fall by the wayside. If only a health care idea would slip through and I could retire...is my wish.

Minnesotablue said...

I just finished reading the article about McCains pow experience, also about Cindy McCain. He is ahead in the polls now and I am fearful. This is a man who was involved in the Ketting scandal, left his first wife who had faithfully raised his chidren and because she was in a disfiguring auto accident didn't want her any more. He is not a man who can be trusted. Wake up America.

Sister--Helen said...

Oh but to search and find a trusted politician. What a feat that would be. Give 'um H*!! old dog....

Sister--Helen said...

Oh wait it is the truth it just seems like hell.....wonder where we heard that from....

Anonymous said...

Those who spew ignorance and hatred in the blog comments of others seem to suggest they know what's what, but they also hide behind the Anonymous moniker because they're cowards. They can dish the vitriol, but they can't stand any kind of reaction that might offer a different view.

Say what you want about Obama, Anonymous, but one thing is for sure in this race: The Double Standard is alive and well. I watched FOX NEWS stumble all over itself trying to sell the "snake oil" (as you put it) that would suggest that John Edwards' screwing around on his wife made him untrustworthy, but that John McCain's didn't. Why? Because he served his country. It only makes sense if your sense of reasoning is already so convoluted that Up appears to be Down. The Republicans live by the code of "Do As I Say...Not As I DO" and McCain is just an older and version of GWBush. (Except he actually did serve his country) Which brings up another issue of the Double Standard. Republicans enjoy vilifying anyone who isn't a war hero...but Democratic war heros don't count. This is why so many idiots voted for Bush (a simple-minded con-man) and why Kerry was swiftboated as he was. Why don't you come out and have this discussion in the light of day instead of hiding behind your mama's skirts?

Richard said...

Betty, I see you've had an anonymous commenter. Congratulations. It's wonderful to get their goat a little, isn't it?

I respect McCain for his service, regardless of how he handled himself in prison camp. My beef with him is his current politics. We cannot afford any more republicans in the white house for some time. There just isn't enough money, resources or geopolitical capital to spare after two Bush terms.

I viewed the Rick Warren interviews very sparingly. I read Warren's book and was impressed. I commend him for attempting to facilitate civil discourse. I don't believe it worked out that well. The event connected politics and religion too closely and became just another political event for both sides to spin.

Were any opinions changed? I doubt it.


Mari Meehan said...

You are so right. When IS the media going to zero in? Or is it to be left to the bloggers? Maybe we should co-ordinate a mass effort with all our like minded readers!

Betty said...

anonymous: Bit me.

karen: You're so right. You can always find information supporting any viewpoint. Whether they are all fact is another matter. I'm just an old Yellow Dog Democrat. It's almost a knee-jerk reaction with me now.

sister three: You may be right about anonymous. But, that's ok. All opinions are welcome here, but that doesn't mean I won't jab back at them. lol

minnesota blue: I have a lot of respect for his Vietnam experience, too, but at some point one has to stop living in the past and he has ridden that old horse to death. There's more to governing than having a powerful army at your fingertips.

Betty said...

the 4th sister: Amen to that. I intend to keep up the good fight.

apathy lounge: It is kind of interesting to watch the Republicans operate. They do something horrendous and then, before anyone can call them on it, they're out there claiming the Democrats are doing it. It still amazes me that so many of the voters haven't caught on to them.

It makes me a bit uncomfortable to think that our two candidates for the Presidency would allow themselves to be questioned on their faith by a group of evangelicals. Obviously, they were not about to accept Obama's answers, unless he was in lock step with them and used the correct buzz-words, as McCain did. This comes too close to merging church and state for my taste.

richard: Why thank you. I consider it a badge of honor if I can rattle a few cages now and then.

That whole fiasco with Rick Warren was ill-advised, as far as I'm concerned. Neither one of the candidates should have agreed to it.

dogwalkmusings: Bloggers seem to be gaining in popularity, but after while, it's kind of like preaching to the choir. I would like to see some civil two-sided debates every now and then.

Mrs. G. said...

I'm voting for Obama because I am a bleeding heart for sure. But, dear Lord, John McCain is so uninspiring. He doesn't even look like he wants to win.

Betty said...

mrs. g.: I think he looks like he's about to slip into a coma most of the time. And, all that gnashing of teeth. He must think that's macho.

Kell said...

Woo hoo! You got a snippy comment from an anonymous commenter! I'd say that's a good day's work.

A politician as a snakeoil salesman? Heavens! Say it isn't so! Where would we be if we couldn't believe everything that comes out of a politician's mouth? At war in in Iraq, obviously.

Darlene said...

I quote John Adams often. He was a lawyer before becoming our second president and he often said, "Facts are stubborn things". John McCain has been proven to be frightfully uninformed with transcripts and videos of his speeches. His glaring mistakes are legend and his lies are undisputed. If something can be documented it is believable, but smears, lies and spin should be ignored.

Betty said...

kell: I figure if I can get a few more anonymous comments, my work here will be done. lol

darlene: I agree that everything should be documented. But smears, lies and spin seem to work, so Obama had better declare "no more nice guy"!

Darlene said...

Betty, I couldn't find your e-mail address because my task bar got messed up so I will leave my information here. I just wanted to thank you for your comment on the Supreme Court and I added a post script to my last entry so I could include that very vital piece of information. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...


I usually don't have much time for the Mega Church Evangelical Pastors, but I thought Rick Warren
was different than the run of the mill preachers.

But, of course, I was wrong about him. He's the same charletan they all are.

He KNEW McCain was not in the building while he was questioning Barack Obama. When McCain finally appeared and was ready to answer Warren's questions, Warren should have taken 2 minutes and explained to the audience that McCain had not been "Sheltered" from the questions and could very well have heard them all.He should have had a second set of questions prepared just for this contingency. But, he did not do any of those things and
he let the audience continue to be under the impression that McCain had not heard or seen (He does have a Blackberry)any of the questions.

What a disgrace! I wonder how many of those holy evangelicals in the audience questioned the Reverend Warren about that the next day when the news broke?

Margie's Musings said...

I am so tired of the entire thing. never again should a political campaign be allowed to go on for 18 months. After awhile one just gets numb to all of it.

Betty said...

nancy: I really don't think it matters. The evangelicals weren't going to accept anything Obama said, anyway. I'm appalled that they had the arrogance to question either candidate, and equally appalled that the candidates stood still for it.

margie's musings: I am suffering from election fatigue, too, but I expect I'll get my second wind after the conventions.