POW/MIA Families Speak Out Against Sen. John McCain










Sen. John McCain told the American people Wednesday night, Jan.30, 2008 at the conclusion of the final Republican Presidential Debate broadcast live on CNN from the Ronald Reagan Library, that if elected president, 


"I will bring our troops home with honor." 


This declaration was no doubt said with (forked) tongue in cheek by McCain. In reality this closing statement of McCain is hard to believe when in 1993 as a ranking member of the Senate Select Investigating Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, McCain declared, the final chapter in the POW/MIA Investigation had been written and then issued the Final Report of his Committee in which he concluded:


"We found no compelling evidence to prove that Americans are alive in captivity today (1993). We have not hidden anything from the public. There is some evidence–though no proof to suggest only the possibility that a few Americans may have been kept behind after the end of America’s military involvement in Vietnam. The Committee found absolutely no credible evidence that the U.S. Government conspired to prevent the American people from knowing that Americans remained captive in Southeast Asia. (Report p. 468)


POW/MIA Family members ask how can John McCain be trusted to keep his promise as President of the U.S. to bring our troops home with honor from Iraq when he left his fellow Americans in chains and wrote them off for dead (against the weight of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary)? The answer they insist is that John McCain can not be trusted to do the honorable thing if elected because he has already dishonored his fellow servicemen some of whom still languish behind in captivity and despair. The proof will be seen below by anyone with an inquiring mind.


POW/MIA family members and advocate organizations contend that McCain in his capacity as a Senate investigator, covered-up the truth about Live American POWs being left behind after the Vietnam War. Family members like Albro Lundy II, son of Air Force pilot Major Albro Lundy Jr., shot down in Laos in December 1967 and Mrs. Carol Hrdlicka, wife of POW Colonel David Hrdlicka captured alive in Laos on May 18, 1965 charge that John McCain ignored and rejected evidence that unequivocally proved that American POWs were alive in captivity after the war and had been abandoned by their Government. President Richard Nixon proclaimed "Peace with Honor" when only 591 American POWs were returned to American soil in 1973, but not one POW ever returned from Laos and hundreds were known to have been captured alive by the Vietnamese and Pathet Lao.



Post Capture photo of Capt. David Hrdlicka                        Major Albro Lundy, Jr.     



While three former Secretaries of Defense under the Nixon Administration, James Schlessinger, Melvin Laird and Elliot Richardson all testified before Sen. McCain's Committee that they believed Americans were alive in captivity after the war and had been abandoned, their testimony was rejected by McCain. Likewise ignored was the firm belief professed by Col. Millard A. Peck, Chief of the POW/MIA Office who stated publicly in 1991when he submitted his resignation that Americans had been abandoned after the war and that there was a government cover-up ongoing! William Casey, CIA Director had also made the same admission in 1981and President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor, Richard Allen testified before McCain’s Committee that he knew positively that the Vietnamese were holding 57 American POWs hostage for ransom. They even discussed a rescue attempt that was rejected as an option because of government intelligence agency internal bickering, differences in policy and infighting he said. The Vietnamese wanted war reparations that had been promised to them by President Nixon, but Congress refused to authorize payment. McCain was well aware of thousands of live-sighting reports of POWs, aerial photographs and satellite imagery of pilot distress signals from the ground in Laos and Vietnam and heard testimony from witnesses telling of POWs in captivity but McCain chose to disbelieve it all. The benefit of the doubt went not to his fellow American POWs. Either McCain was deaf, dumb and blind, or he turned a blind eye to the truth POW/Family members conclude (See some family members’ position statements on John McCain reproduced below). 

The plain truth Family members say is that Sen. John McCain did not in good faith pursue all leads in the search for the missing and unaccounted for POWs after the Vietnam War when he had an opportunity to do so. Moreover, POW/MIA family members point out that McCain used every tactic and ploy he could to bury the issue and close the book on POW/MIAs forever. He acted as judge, jury and executioner. POW/MIA Family members also contend McCain mistreated, abused, and intimidated them, even pushed aside a little old lady in a wheel chair (Jane Gaylord, mother of one POW) shoving her out of his way when she got in his path in the corridors of the Capitol building. He caused others to be brought to tears in his anger, displaying arrogance and insensitivity to their circumstance (Dolores Alfond for one). See Video Clip of McCain losing his cool and angrily accusing Mrs. Alfond, the Chair of the National Alliance of Families, of being a liar. Her brother was an MIA that never returned and she was reading her statement before Senator McCain at the final Committee hearing on the issue.  At the time, Dolores was pleading on behalf of the families that the Committee should continue its investigation rather than prematurely concluding its business and closing the book on our POWs and MIAs.

See Video Clip of McCain losing his cool

See You tube short video clip

Entire 25 minute excerpt from 1992 Senate Committee hearing

can be accessed here at:

John McCain advertises himself in his paid advertisements as,

"A man of integrity"..."One man didn't play politics with the truth."

But you can see the truth for yourself...don't be fooled by self serving rhetoric.

Mean spirited McCain is known for throwing temper tantrums, flying off the handle, blowing his top,

seething with anger, accusing others of lying, and of mistreating POW/MIA family members.

So how will he treat U.S.?  POW/MIA families report...You decide.


See article ~The Measure of The Man~ Link here:

Anyone who has had an adversarial relationship with John McCain will tell you that there are few with less self-control than the senator from Arizona. Many have questioned his ability to maintain a clear head in a time of crisis. For those of us who have seen these sparks of insanity from McCain we know all too well that what lies beneath is something dark, ominous and certainly not presidential. Read of his Cruel Encounters with McCain by POW/MIA Family Members
The POW/MIA Families of those less fortunate than McCain, those who still have yet to be returned to the soil they gave their lives for.

Since his return from Hanoi, McCain has …
~Ignored pleas of POW/MIA Family Members for his political influence in the overall POW/MIA Issue as well as with their individual cases
~Verbally abused POW/MIA Family Members in public and private
~Attempted to negatively influence those who testified before the 1992 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs
~Diminished legislation that gave oversight and protection to the families
~Dismantled protection to any future servicemen that go missing.

Hundreds of American servicemen were proven to have been alive in prisons after the war but never returned. John McCain, POW/MIA families tell U.S. did not make a bonafide effort to bring them home with honor.



Here’s what POW/MIA Family members say about John McCain.

Let the truth be known.

Swift Vote Vets are Miffed Vote Vets against McCain

There’s no time to waste—the lives of American POW/MIAs depend on U.S.


Comment by Carol Hrdlicka wife of POW Col. David L. Hrdlicka

I testified before the 1992 Senate Select Committee Hearings on POW/MIAs.  Senator John Kerry Chairman of the Committee and Senator John McCain did everything to keep the truth from coming out and ignored the evidence. They did not even address the issue of Laos where over 500 servicemen were lost. Three former Secretaries of Defense testified that American servicemen had been left behind in S.E. Asia after the war but Kerry and McCain chose to turn the blind eye to that testimony and much more credible evidence of men surviving in captivity. 

The families worked for over six months to update the Missing Persons Act which had not been updated since 1942.  The legislation was passed but Senator McCain decided it was unfair to the Admirals and Generals so he managed to skirt the normal procedure and gut the important provisions. Normally provisions are modified in committee or members offer amendments in the Senate to make changes.  It is unusual for a member of Congress to wait till committee and then insist on substantive changes to passed legislation, however, that is what happened in this case.  So why doesn't Senator McCain want to protect the servicemen on the front lines and instead protect the higher ups that never see battle or are ever captured by the enemy?  This legislation was to protect future generations from going through the problems that past and present POW/MIA families have endured.

The families approached Senator McCain in the hall of the Senate building to ask the Senator's help with this legislation. Senator McCain became enraged and shoved aside Jane Duke Gaylor, mother of a MIA (who was in a wheel chair) knocking her niece who was standing behind the wheel chair into the wall.  All the families wanted was the Senator's help with this legislation.  Why does he treat the families like the enemy?  Senator McCain was willing to take the input from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff into account but would not listen to the concerns of the POW/MIA families, why?


Comment by Mary Ann Reitano


Yes, John McCain was a POW for 5 1 /2 years - but we want the nation to focus on what he has done SINCE returning from Vietnam.  There are the personal confrontations with Carol Hrdlicka, wife of POW Col. David Hrdlicka, the Duke Family, the video of bringing Dolores Alfond, Chair of the National Alliance of Families to tears during the Senate Select Committee hearings in 1991. His words are right there in black and white in the Committee record as far as how he verbally abused witnesses and then there is the legislative record from 1995, 1996 and 2000 when he gutted the Missing Service Personnel Act and the Truth Bill which led to that sham called The McCain Bill.  
If John McCain can't stand up for the POW/MIA Families - the same families who fought to bring him home - what does that say about John McCain? 

 Mary Ann Reitano


Reply from Albro Lundy:


RE: Sen. John McCain's Investigation of POW/MIAs a WHITEWASH-New Evidence of Cover-up


1/28/2008 7:18:39 PM Eastern Standard Time








Keep the faith, Brother. I called John McCain “Traitor in Chief” when I testified before his Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAs in Washington in1992. He abandoned my father and all the other POWs and MIAs. His actions on the Committee contributed to abandonment of POW/MIAs who still remain in S. E. Asia.   Great article.

Albro Lundy, Esq.

Voting for McCain because he was a POW a quarter-century ago is like buying a new car because you like the color. - Ann Coulter
Just because John McCain was a POW doesn't mean he gets a get out of jail free card for life-Anonymous

Sister of MIA from the Vietnam Conflict appalled John McCain could become President 
As the sister of a missing man from the Vietnam Conflict, I am appalled at the possibility that John McCain could become the next President of the United States.

In 1982, when McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, I was elated--believing that the former POW would understand the dilemmas confronted by the POW-MIA families and would offer his full support--WRONG!

In 1986, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate.  He organized two veterans affairs committees, in Phoenix and Tucson.  We were quickly introduced to McCain's violent temper and the fact that no one was to have an independent thought--it was his way or not at all.  The Tucson committee existed possibly one year.

I recall a telephone conversation with Mark Salter, aide to McCain, wherein I was told that, "veterans' issues are the least of the Senator's concerns and the Senator has no intention to ever offer his support to the families of the missing-in-action."  I immediately contacted the POW-MIA network.  Several days later, I received a scathing reprimand from McCain.  During this long distance telephone confrontation, I remember telling McCain of a Tucson lawyer who was reviewing my brother's case.  He asked for the lawyer's name, I gave it to him--a regrettable decision on my part.  I informed the lawyer of McCain's call--that was the last conversation I had with him.  Within a few weeks, there was a concerted effort to close my brother's case.  I telephoned the lawyer several times leaving messages; he never returned my calls.  Did McCain threaten to destroy this lawyer's career?  Did McCain coerce the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) and The Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI) to devise a method or methods to close my brother's case?

During the November 1992 Hearings of the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs, my sister, Dolores Alfond, Chairperson for the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen and Women was testifying.  In the course of her testimony, Senator McCain burst into the hearings, interrupted Dolores' testimony--vehemently chastising her, and just as quickly he left the proceedings--leaving my sister in tears!  WHY WOULD JOHN MC CAIN TREAT AN MIA FAMILY MEMBER IN THIS MANNER?

During June 1996 at the National Alliance of Families Annual Conference in Washington, DC, a group of approximately two-dozen people went to the Senate Building hoping to meet with McCain about the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1996.  He refused to meet or to even schedule a meeting while the family conference was in session.  As we were contemplating our next move, the Senator and a young, attractive female aide came from his office in our direction.  Our spokesperson, John Parsels, a former POW of Vietnam, stepped toward McCain, asking if he would talk with us.  McCain denied any knowledge of the Act and brushed past Parsels.  As he approached the niece of Charles Duke, Jr. (missing civilian, 05-30-70, South Vietnam), she stepped forward to speak and McCain backhanded her, causing her to hit the wall.
As McCain and the aide continued walking, I then saw Jane Duke Gaylor, mother of Charles Duke Jr., who was in her mid-80's and wheelchair bound, stretch her arms toward McCain saying, "Please talk with us." "Please talk with us."  McCain raised his left arm ready to strike her, controlled himself, and pushed the wheelchair away from him.  McCain and the aide continued down the hall and I saw Carol Hrdlicka (wife of Capt David L. Hrdlicka, USAF, POW, 05-18-65, Laos), John Parsels, and others follow McCain.  The remainder of us looked at each other in total shock as to what we witnessed in those few minutes.  It was later learned that Jane Duke Gaylor and her niece had gone to the Senate Police to file a complaint--the police refused to help them.  John McCain is personally and single handily responsible for gutting the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1996.  WHY? WHY DOES MC CAIN TREAT THE POW-MIA FAMILIES IN THIS MANNER?

Have the American people forgotten that John McCain is one of the "KEATING 5?"  During 1990-1991, McCain and four other senators were brought before the Senate Ethics Committee for their involvement with Charles H. Keating of the savings and loan scandal that began in the 1980's.

Have you forgotten that in 1994, McCain's second and current wife, Cindy Lou Hensley of Hensley and Company, the Phoenix-based second largest national liquor distributor for Anheuser Busch, was found guilty but never prosecuted for the theft of Percocet and Vicodin (narcotic analgesics).  This happened while Cindy Hensley McCain was head of a nonprofit organization that sent medical supplies into third world countries.
Did Cindy Hensley McCain receive favoritism from the court because of her family status in Phoenix, as well as being a senator's wife?  Until the Senator's recent surge in the polls, Cindy McCain was noticeably absent from the campaign.


To view the November 1992 Senate Hearings video, please go to
To view articles on "Keating 5" or "Charles H. Keating," please go to
To view articles on "Cindy Lou Hensley McCain," please go to




See conclusive evidence American POWs were abandoned after the war and that some have survived in captivity: Click on Link below to download free book demonstrating the facts John McCain does not want you to see.


Sen. John McCain's Investigation oF POW/MIAs a WHITEWASH!








"LET MY PEOPLE GO" By: Arnold L. Beizer

Free Download >

Arnold L. Beizer's book entitled "LET MY PEOPLE GO " will shock and amaze you. There are still American servicemen alive in Vietnam and Laos long after the Vietnam War was declared over. These prisoners have been abandoned and forgotten by their government and by WE THE PEOPLE. The proof, hidden in the pages of the Bible for ages has been miraculously concealed until now when it has been decoded by Attorney Arnold L. Beizer, President of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. The plain Truth is there for all to see. The facts can now be revealed.

The Bible Code establishes supernaturally and unequivocally that Major Albro Lundy and Colonel David Hrdlicka , American pilots who served in the Vietnam War, and who were both shot down in the undeclared war over Laos were captured and held prisoner in prison caves of Laos in Southeast Asia. They were hidden and may still be alive waiting with other servicemen for their fellow Americans to release them from their imprisonment. They were abandoned by their government and left for dead. I am hopeful they will soon be among those set free from the bondage they have long endured. Their cry for freedom, "Forget-Me-Not", has been recorded for all times in the pages of the Bible. I believe that the Lord has confirmed their plight at this time and in this way, so that no American President, Senator or Congressman will ever again say, there is "NO CONFIRMATION" that there are any POWs/MIAs still alive or being held captive in Southeast Asia. The Bird (Avian) Flu is an epidemic that will beset the enemies of God and of God's People until such time as the captors heed His command to:


All of the above highlighted and underlined search terms can be found encoded with Bible Code Equidistant Letter Spacing (ELS) skip codes in the Book of Exodus particularly in chapters 14, 15 and 16 that was written by Moses and inspired by the true Author of the Bible, non other than the God in whom We Trust. The Book of Exodus has as its central theme freedom from bondage and the setting of the captives free. The most astonishing revelation of all to be found in the pages of Arnold L. Beizer's bible code research book is that the BIRD FLU is actually a Divine form of punishment brought upon the people of S.E. Asia (where the Avian Flu outbreak began) for refusing to "LET MY PEOPLE GO."

Don't accept my word for it. Prove it to yourself by making a donation today for your copy of LET MY PEOPLE GO.

Let My People Go by: Arnold L. Beizer
Free Download >


An Open Letter to Sen. John McCain
Arnold L. Beizer

January 16, 2008 - Author's Note: I authored this piece with the knowledge and consent of Mrs. Carol Hrdlicka as her attorney on POW/MIA affairs since 1992. It expresses the sentiments that Col. David Hrdlicka (POW in Laos) would wish to convey to the American people and to Senator John McCain (if David could freely speak) and represents the position of his wife, Carol Hrdlicka. Mrs. Hrdlicka is an active leader in the POW/MIA effort to find and bring home all of America's unaccounted for POWs and MIAs. As President of Let Freedom Ring, Inc., a non profit 501c3 organization, I took Carol Hrdlicka to Vietnam along with Muhammad Ali, former 3-time World Heavyweight Champion, to help find information about America's 324 last known alive POWs which included David Hrdlicka as well as the 2,500 other MIAs. According to Mrs. Hrdlicka, and documentary evidence in the hands of our government, David Hrdlicka is ALIVE.

Senator John McCain
Former Member of the Senate Select Committee
On POW/MIA Affairs U.S. Senate
Candidate for President Of The United States

Dear Senator McCain:

My name is Col. David L. Hrdlicka formerly of McConnell Air Force Base. I have a question for you. I am a POW from the Vietnam War, captured in Laos on May 18, 1965, a couple of years before you were shot down over Hanoi.  You were released from captivity in 1973. I have been here in Laos ever since serving my country for forty-two (42) years, eight (8) months at the time of the writing of this letter. I was captured alive and left behind for dead in Laos. There were many broadcasts, reports and pictures of my capture that were released in 1966 and intercepted by our American forces. One such picture showed me very much alive being marched along in the jungle with an armed guard behind me holding my parachute.

Senator McCain, when you were a ranking member of the Senate Select Committee investigating my whereabouts and the plight of some 324 POWs known to have been captured alive but who were never returned by the North Vietnamese in Operation Homecoming in April, 1973, my beloved wife, Carol Hrdlicka showed you a photograph of me taken at the time by my enemy captors documenting that I was alive and had been from the moment I hit the ground in enemy territory. My faithful wife, Carol asked just before she testified before your Committee if she could ask a question and the rude response from your Committee was, “I ask the questions. You supply the answers.” Carol has never given up hope that I am still alive.

Senator McCain, over the ocean the weak and the strong wait for the nation to come bring us home. We are being held against our will, locked away from yesterday many thousands of miles from home. Senator McCain, Don’t you know I’m alive? How long do we have to suffer? Don’t they know we’re alive? No one knows degradation. No one feels the pain that I’ve known. So I’ll just wait for the nation to get here and bring me home. I’ve waited so long. The weight of the nation…how much more do I have to give? Is there a soul in the nation who could agree just to see if I live? Doesn’t anyone feel the sorrow? Doesn’t anyone feel the pain?…Lest we forget the brothers and sisters who fought for this great nation.

Senator McCain you conducted the Investigation and declared I was dead! But you rejected the evidence from Ivan Shchedrov a Russian reporter from Pravda who met with me in prison and from Ivan Loboda a Russian war correspondent who saw me alive in a cave in Laos at a press conference held by my captors in 1969. Vietnamese and Russian newspapers gave accounts of my capture. Carol my wife provided your Committee with confidential government live sighting reports in 1989 and 1992 confirming that I was still alive. Attorney Arnold L. Beizer, President of Let Freedom Ring Inc., at the request of my wife met with Ivan Loboda who emigrated to Tel Aviv, Israel after the War and Mr. Loboda once again confirmed that he saw me alive being paraded as a War Trophy of our enemy. Defense intelligence agency (DIA) documents obtained by my wife reported, “General Chang was holding D. Hrdlicka and friends.” 1988 Satellite spy images clearly revealed a pilot distress signal “USA” stamped by captured American pilots in dry rice paddy field in Laos. You ignored all this and ridiculed other evidence. Why? No confirmation to hear what they said? No confirmation if we’re living or dead? I’m still alive! Why don’t you bring me home?

On page 2 of The Report of the Senate Select Committee published January 13, 1993, Senator McCain, you wrote, “ The most basic principle of personal honor in America’s armed forces is never willingly to leave a fellow serviceman behind.” You added that, “The black granite wall on the Mall in Washington is filled with the names of those who died in the effort to save their comrades in arms.” Your Report also states, “Amidst the uncertainties of war, every soldier is entitled to one certainty—that he will not be forgotten.” Senator McCain, you profess to be a patriotic American who served his country, but you left us behind and left us for dead. Why? I was prepared to fight, to be wounded, to be captured, to be tortured by my captors, and even prepared to die, but I was not prepared to be abandoned by you and my fellow Americans.

Senator McCain, Your Senate Investigating Committee was created you said because of the need to reestablish trust between our government and our people on this most painful and emotional of issues. You promised to investigate and tell publicly the complete story of what the government has known and has been doing on behalf of POWs. There were over 2300 Americans listed as “unaccounted for” from the Vietnam War. I am one of them. But you have forgotten your obligation and your promise and you have forgotten me.

Since you would not answer my wife Carol’s question, I have a question for you Senator McCain. You are running for President of The United States and have proclaimed yourself as a hero of the Vietnam War, an honorable former POW and a trustworthy leader of our country. Why should Any American believe you or follow you as a leader when the leader misleads the American people on an issue of trust as important as the POW issue? You have failed and neglected to live up to the responsibility of personal honor owed to your fellow Americans by willingly leaving us behind. You have broken your promise to me and to your comrades and written us off as expendable while you have moved on to bigger and better things for yourself. This is not the definition of a selfless leader but of a selfish and untrustworthy serviceman and public servant. Senator McCain, I’m still alive. If you do nothing else, please send me an absentee ballot.


COL. David L. Hrdlicka                                      
34th Fighter Squadron
U.S. Air Force

 (from a Laos cave where there are no voting booths)          


Some Commentary posted on web site about John McCain and the POW issue with both pros and cons


*The comments in blue type are Liberal anti war and anti POW/MIA for the most part or apologists for John McCain.

*The comments in red type are those of POW/MIA advocates who believe from the evidence and history that John McCain did a disservice to and dishonored American POW/MIAs.

*The truth will be known when POWs amazingly return from exile in 2008-9 time-frame.


bob atkinson wrote on January 16, 2008 2:55 PM:

As a Viet Nam army aviation vet involved in inserting and extracting special ops people into Laos and Cambodia I can say that what truly amazes me is that bomber pilots like McCain were kept alive at all. It shows an amazing discipline amongst the Viet Namese people that they wouldn't have outright ripped captured fliers limb from limb for the aerial atrocities we were committing day after day after day. The whole POW/MIA flag issue is designed to keep us hating the Viet Namese for some sinister hiding of the captives decades after there would no even be a propaganda purpose. Disgusting to see these flags still flying from federal and state office buildings.

Anonymous wrote on January 16, 2008 2:56 PM:

Because he was kept isolated from other U.S. prisoners during these years of captivity, no one, except McCain and his captors, know exactly to what he was subjected or how he responded. Most information in the public record detailing McCain's experience with the North Vietnamese during this time frame came from McCain and McCain only.

"In May of 1968, I [McCain] was interviewed by two North Vietnamese generals at separate times." U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

McCain claimed (page 133 of The Nightingale's Song, by Robert Timberg) that he was first offered early release (parole) in late June, 1968. He said that after months of interrogation he was "summoned" to a room that had soft chairs and a glass table on which were "cookies, a pot of tea, and cigarettes."

He said "Major Bai, known to the prisoners as the Cat," was waiting for him. He said "a second Vietnamese known as the Rabbit, stood by to serve as translator."

McCain said that as he "helped himself" to the cookies, tea and cigarettes, the Cat began speaking through the translator. He said they talked about "his father, other members of his family, the war." McCain said that after about two of talk, the Cat asked him if he wanted to be released. The Cat, according to McCain, told him to go back to his cell and think about it.--The Nightingale's Song.

McCain said that three nights later the Cat sent for him and again asked him if he wanted to go home. McCain said he answered No. --The Nightingale's Song

A week later, according to McCain, he was taken to a room in which the camp commander, who the prisoners had nicknamed Slopehead, was waiting. McCain said ten guards and an interrogator nicked named The Prick was also in the room. --The Nightingale's Song

McCain said the guards charged into him 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, according to McCain, wanted him to confess to being a "black criminal." --The Nightingale's Song

McCain said he was next introduced for the first time to the "torture ropes." He said the torture went on for several days before he broke and agreed to write and sign a confession that he was a "black criminal." McCain said that he was moved to another building away from the other POWs. --The Nightingale's Song

McCain said (page 136) that he was so distraught because he had signed the statement that he attempted suicide but was stopped when a guard burst into the room. --The Nightingale's Song

In August 1968, other POWs learned for the first time that John McCain had been taken prisoner (page 137) after Charlie Plumb and Kay Russell figured out that the "mystery" prisoner in a neighboring cell is McCain. --The Nightingale's Song

A September 13, 1968, cable from Averell Harriman, U.S. ambassador-at-large, to the State Department confirmed that McCain's captors had offered him early release, but that he had refused. The cable reported that, according to the Vietnamese, "Commander McCain feared that if he was released before the war is over, President [Lyndon] Johnson might 'cause difficulties' for his father because people will wonder if McCain had been brainwashed." Harriman speculated that instead, McCain was abiding by the Code of Conduct.-- The Phoenix New Times March 25, 1999

June 1969 - "Reds Say PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral. . . Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of United States Commander in the Pacific, Adm. John McCain, purportedly admits to having bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises medical treatment he has received since being taken prisoner." New York Daily News, June 5, 1969

"The English-Language broadcast beamed at South Vietnam was one of a series using American prisoners. It was in response to a plea by Defense Secretary Melvin S. Laird, May 19, that North Vietnam treat prisoners according to the humanitarian standards set forth by the Geneva Convention." The Washington Post

In December, McCain was moved out of "The Plantation" and into a "one man cell" in the "Hanoi Hilton.". On Christmas Eve, McCain chatted with the Cat. They talked about McCain refusing early release. --The Nightingale's Song

"There was pressure to see American antiwar delegations, which seemed to increase as the time went on. But, there wasn't any torture.

In January 1970, I [McCain] was taken to a quiz with 'The Cat.' He told me that he wanted me to see a foreign guest." U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

A declassified DOD document reports an interview between POW McCain and Dr. Fernando Barral, a Spanish psychiatrist who was living in Cuba at the time. The interview was published in the Havana Granma in January 1970.

According to the DOD report, the meeting between Barral and McCain (which was photographed by the Vietnamese) took place away from the prison at the office of the Committee for Foreign Cultural Relations in Hanoi. During the meeting, POW McCain sipped coffee and ate oranges and cakes with his interrogator.

While talking with Barral, McCain seriously violated the military Code of Conduct by failing to evade answering questions "to the utmost" of his ability when he, according to the DOD report, helped Barral by answering questions in Spanish, a language McCain had learned in school.

1973 - McCain was released from the Hilton on March 15, 1973.

Two Former POWs Say They Doubt McCain Was Physically Abused

1999 - March 25, 1999, The Phoenix New Times: Ted Guy and Gordon "Swede" Larson, two former POWs, who were McCain's senior ranking officers (SRO's), at the time McCain says he was tortured in solitary confinement, told the New Times that while they could not guarantee that McCain was not physically harmed, they doubted it.

"Between the two of us, it's our belief, and to the best of our knowledge, that no prisoner was beaten or harmed physically in that camp [known as "The Plantation"]," Larson says. ". . . My only contention with the McCain deal is that while he was at The Plantation, to the best of my knowledge and Ted's knowledge, he was not physically abused in any way. No one was in that camp. It was the camp that people were released from."

In 1993, during one of his many trips back to Hanoi, McCain asked the Vietnamese not to make public the records they hold pertaining to returned U.S. POWs.


William Bennett wrote on January 16, 2008 11:05 PM:

Let me set some of the record straight. Ted Sampley, Jerry Kiley and Earl Hopper are all friends of mine. I used to be a live POW activist but finally gave up.
Sampley was a Green Beret, served a first tour as a mere paratrooper with 173d Airborne Brigade in Vietnam and a second tour as a Green Beret in Cambodia. Earl Hopper is a retired Air Force colonel, with service in Vietnam, the father of a Vietnam MIA and former chairman of the National League of Families (he was ousted in 1984 when the still incumbent faction decided to focus on the recovery of remains). Jerry Kiley served in Vietnam in the Signal Corps; he has been nicknamed the "stealth activist" for his ability to penetrate places where you would expect tight security (even confronting then vice president Bush at the 1988 Al Smith dinner held during the election). Kiley was prosecuted on misdemeanor charges over his run-in with the Vietnamese premier but acquitted by a United States magistrate judge in a non-jury trial.
What motivates them: first, they all believe that Vietnam held back live prisoners of war at the end of the war. (two quick examples - and there's lots more - 17 men who had appeared in published photos while in captive status were not returned in 1973; between 150 and 200 men that U.S. intelligence, before the end of the war, believed the Vietnamese could absolutely account for, dead or alive, were not returned in 1973). John Kerry and John McCain were the leading lights on a 1991-93 Senate Select Committee, whose final report essentially rejected the concept that there were still live POWs; thus, they are, in the eyes of Sampley et al., public enemies no. 2 and 1. Second, Kerry's activism in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and his (I suspect, overblown) accounts of war atrocities committed by U.S. troops have not been forgiven. Third, Sampley and especially Kiley have close ties to Vietnamese emigre activists, who aren't much different than Miami Cubans.
Ergo, when Kerry ran in 2004, Sampley and Kiley started an anti-Kerry web site but stood it down when they saw that the Swift Boat vets were going to be far more effective. This year, it's McCain's turn.
One final point (I think I've covered all the issues): the POW-MIA flag flies from government buildings because it's been lobbied into law everywhere. And not necessarily by live POW activists - there are other factions interested in the flag display for other reasons.

Matthew Cowan wrote on January 16, 2008 11:18 PM:

Sampley was involved in the hoax that North Vietnam continued to hold American prisoners after the war ended and the US was covering up the fate of the service people. John McCain and John Kerry held hearings that exposed the hoax for what it was. Sampley hates McCain for that, and other reasons.


tom wrote on January 17, 2008 12:09 AM:

Thank bob atkinson and those others to address the persistance of MIA-POW flags in the culture and what it means and why.

But as bob atkinson mentions, what does it mean that all these government buildings fly it? It seems to me to retrograde and bizzare, given the issues the country has to deal with, to be flying that flag.

i was also very moved and saddened by the Denver Vet who attests to how a lot of Vietnam Vets cling to their identity s Vietnam Vets because it is all they have. And they seem to feel the Republican Party is on their side, somehow. It reminds me of Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas."

And, beyond that, the corrosive effect of that war... it all reminds me of RObert Stone's short story, "Helping."

Emmie wrote on January 16, 2008 3:30 PM:

I can understand wanting closure, but the Vietnam POW/MIA thing seems wholly 'Merican in that we dropped tens of thousands of soldiers into the jungle of a backwards country, bombed the crap out of them, toxified the place and now are all uppity and whiny about them not turning over every last bone of every last soldier who died there. Oh, please, get a grip. Don't invade distant places if you don't want to leave soldiers behind. How f***in' complicated is that??

Traveling in Britain we came across a WWI monument to their MIAs. The total was well over a million. We're arguing with Vietnam over a few thousand.





Comment by Arnold Beizer to above statement by Emmie (the Commie):


It is rather obvious that the anti War activists don't give a rat's ass about American POW/MIAs. They are surely left wing liberals who hate the thought of war and our military, won't fight and certainly would abandon their fellow Americans on the battlefield in a heartbeat if they ever were faced with a situation where they had to fight for their country. If they had a choice they would either run away (dessert) or "Redeploy" as Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama refer to surrendering to the enemy. These individuals are blinded to the truth and cannot conceive of the fact that POWs were abandoned and that some are still alive in S.E. Asia today. With their unpatriotic and cowardly attitude, it is no wonder they can see no good reason to leave POW/MIA flags flying over government buildings in honor and remembrance of our POWs/MIAs. As Emmie the "Commie" (traitor) wrote up above, "Why argue with the Vietnamese over a few thousand (POWs)."




richard montgomery wrote on January 17, 2008 11:35 AM:

Those who wonder why the Vietnam war is still such an important issue fail to realize that Vietnam veterans have a LONG memory. That is the reason why McCain is being hammered. John McCain's behavior while a member of the Senate Committee on POW/MIA's was a disgrace. And thousands of veterans will NEVER forgive him..and I'm one of those vets.
Despite ALL effors by the government, John Kerry and John McCain, the issue of POW's and MIA's is on of the most sorrid and dispicable episodes in our nation's history. Bill Henod's book, AN ENOROUS CRIME puts McCain's actions under a spot light. Vote for McCain? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
And, in response to the nonsense Mathew Cowan posted, there is not a shred of evidence supporting the statement that THE ISSUE OF LIVE pow'S BEING HELD IN SEA IS A "HOAX." For those who have suddied the issue, the evidence, while circumstantial, is overwhelming. If the subject were adjudicated in a court of law, there can be little doubt that POW advocates would win.

richard montgomery wrote on January 18, 2008 5:26 PM:

The respose by NATIONAL is typical of those who have little if any knowledge of POW/MIA history. And while I may very well be true that I am NOT in my "right" mind, As someone who spent two tours in combat with the 5th Marines in Vietnam, I have certainly earned the right to express my opinions. I wonder what Mr. NATIONAL ever did to EARN HIS right to express an opinion. (other than having been born American).
The suggestion that America would never abondon it's servicemen is laughable.
The issue of McCain's behavior while in captivity CANNOT be evaluated by public, press or, anyone else. ALL POW debriefing documents were classified at the insistence of Senator McCain. So, those who rush to support McCain are doing so out of a sense of loyalty rather than a position of knowledge. I include those former POW's who support McCain, in my evaluation. After all, it is NOT possible for any of those men to KNOW what McCain did or did not say when he was interrogated. In addition, information contained on the Vietnam Veterans against McCain web site contain a good deal more than simple accusations by Mr. Kiley and Mr. Sampley and deserves a thorough review.
Despite the media's long held position, that McCain is the military's guy, the fact remains that Senator McCain is despised by thousands of veterans who witnessed his despicable behavior while a member of the POW/MIA Committee. Readers of this post are encouraged to read Bill Hendon's AN ENORMOUS CRIME
before they rush to defend McCain.

The issue of POW/MIA's has been so twisted because of political fear, it is impossible to get an honest answer from either the government or the military. Unfortunately for those, like McCain and Kerry, there is
undeniable, historical evidence which pretty much establishes the willingness to "sacrifice the few" for the benefit of the country.
Towards the end of WWll, the Soviets overran hundreds of German POW/concentration camps, seizing HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of allied POW's. These men were shipped to the gulag system...NEVER TO BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
This is not a matter of conjecture. The US military and US intelligence services were well aware of what was happening and did nothing to stop it. I don't deny that the situation was very dangerous as the Soviets were willing to keep fighting. We (the US) were not.
In 1992, in open session of the Senate POW/MIA hearings, Col. Philip Corso admitted under oath that he was the man who advised Eisenhower to adopt the policy of declaring all the lost POW's dead (and we are talking about TENS OF THOUSANDS of AMERICAN SERVICEMEN). Col. Corso stated that the "country was 'war weary' and would not support a war against the Soviet Union in order to recover our men."
Col.Corso also testified on POW's lost and never returned by the North Koreans as well.
Many who believe the notion that ALL living POW's were returned during Operation Homecoming point to the fact that, after ALL THESE YEARS not a single POW has ever been released (or escaped) despite reward offers in the millions of dollars. Foolish people think that it would be impossible to hide POW's after Vietnam "opened up." A belief born of ignorance. If the Soviets could hide hundreds of thousands of POW's, preventing even a single escape, surely the vast jungles of South East Asia could hide a few hundred POW's
The FACT is, the United States has a long tradition of abandoning POW's. For the most part, the country couldn't care less. The population makes all the sympathetic noises, and greedily accepts the most unlikely and outrageously absurd explanations put forth by our leaders.
Reagan called it the "highest national priority" and did NOTHING. We've ALL DONE NOTHING and it makes me ant to puke.
If McCain is really such a genuine "Hero" let him release ALL his military records, including his debriefing
documents. In fact, all POW debriefing documents should be released, just as ALL government documents relating to the POW/MIA's. There's a reason why that's never going to happen and it has NOTHING to do with privacy. It has to do with deception, lies and dishonor.

richard montgomery wrote on January 18, 2008 6:40 PM:

Again for NATIONAL; The government holds
tens of thousands of documents relating to POW/MIA's. Thousands of those documents relate to eye witness, live sightings. Can NATIONAL offer a SINGLE piece of EVIDENCE supporting his statement that there are/were no live POW/MIA's left behind? A SINGLE piece?
No? I didn't think so. Just more loose
talk about a subject he knows nothing of.

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