Conservative Republicans explain why Sen. McCain
obstructs POW/MIA investigations
McCain betrays POW/MIAs
Whenever criticism is lodged against Sen. John McCain's military record or his post-war involvement with the POW/MIA issue, many are quick to dismiss the detractors as liberals, anti-American, anti-military and many more superlatives that would fill this page.
Such arguments are easily dismissed here because the "detractors" featured on this page are mostly respected, conservative Republicans and many are military veterans with stellar service records.
None of these prominent Americans can be off-handedly dismissed by anyone who considers him/herself to be intelligent and judicious individuals.
One characteristic all of these people have in common is their dedication to serving the cause of America's Prisoners-of-War and Missing-in-Action.
Al Santoli, fmr. Republican, Congressional Chief of Staff, Vietnam War veteran, author, Honor Bound: American Prisoners Of War In Southeast Asia, 1961-1973 (Vice Adm. James Stockdale has called the work "a monumental achievement, not only in its depth and breadth of treatment but in its honesty and accuracy.")
"Even POWs we knew who wanted to see their own debriefings were not permitted to because of the McCain regulation. (re: The Truth Bill which would punish politicians and bureaucrats for impeding investigations on POW/MIAs) The bill passed unanimously in the House and in the Senate only one Senator got in the way of opposing the bill. That Senator was John McCain. (through McCain's crafty manipulation, the bill was not passed.)"
Bob Smith, fmr. U.S. Senator (R-NH), Vietnam Veteran, Co-chairman, Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs
"McCain was not addressing the POW/MIA issue with the same intensity that some of us were."
"I've witnessed a lot of his temper and outbursts. For me, some of this stuff is relevant. It raises questions about stability. . . . It's more than just temper. It's this need of his to show you that he's above you -- a sneering, condescending attitude. It's hurt his relationships in Congress. . . . I've seen it up-close."
Tracy Usry, fmr. U.S. Senate (Republican) Minority Staff Chief Investigator, U.S. Army Warrant Officer (ret.)
"In no instance would he ever, ever give in and say there were POWs left behind and my first question is, how would he know or not know. So, that which is reasonable he never exhibited and I don't know why. Maybe it's a guilt complex. Maybe he promised the Vietnamese something...maybe he actually believes that. That would be the saddest of all."
Sgt. Maj. John "Top" Holland (ret.), WWII - U.S. Marines, Infantry; Korean War - U.S. Army Paratrooper; Vietnam War - Special Forces
"Col Ted Guy, USAF, another returned POW, was in the process of drawing-up charges against McCain for giving Order of Battle information to the enemy in exchange for individual medical care that was not available to the other POW's; for freely making radio broadcasts for the enemy, knowing they were being used to affect the morale of American troops, and for violating the 'Code of Conduct for Prisoners of War', by giving unauthorized interviews to foreign nationals.
McCain got off the hook when President Nixon gave a 'blanket pardon' to all who had committed offenses while incarcerated as POW's during the Vietnam War."
Click HERE to read the 1970 McCain interview in the Havana Granma
Dr. Joseph Douglass, Jr., Defense Analyst, Author of Betrayed: The Story of America's Missing POWs and The Soviet Theater Nuclear Offensive
Sen. McCain seemed to be one of the people (on the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs) who was an obstructionist, who was not interested in the truth coming out, who tried to attack people rather than learn what they had to say. He probably did more harm to get the truth out than any single person through his efforts to block the release of classified intelligence.
Col. Earl Hopper (ret.), Army Airborne Officer, Intelligence Officer, Korean War, Vietnam War
"Within five or seven days after being captured McCain made a deal to trade medical care in exchange for highly classified military information including specific details of the package routes for bombing North Vietnam. He also told them the primary bombing targets. We lost 60% more aircraft and men because of the information McCain gave to the North Vietnamese. After about a month things had gotten so bad that we called off bombing North Vietnam."
Click HERE to watch video of Col. Hopper interview.
Garnett "Bill" Bell, fmr. Chief of the U.S. Office for POW/MIA Affairs, 33-year Army veteran, Vietnam Veteran (2 tours) Awarded Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Cross of Gallantry. One of the last American's to leave the fall of Saigon.
McCain had roughly 20 hours in combat. Since McCain got 28 medals that’s equal to about a medal-and-a-half for each hour he spent in combat. There were infantry guys -- grunts on the ground -- who had more than 7,000 hours in combat and I can tell you that there were times and situations where I’m sure a prison cell would have looked pretty good to them by comparison. The question really is how many guys got that number of medals for NOT being shot down.