Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another voice on McCain's military service

The following quotes are from the Sept. 12, 2008 edition of KCRW's To The Point. Listen to the entire program, including a host of pro-McCain guests, by clicking here.

These quotes are from Dr. Philip Butler, who was introduced as a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran who was a POW for eight years, the last five of which he spent with John McCain. He also spent about a year with McCain at the Naval Academy.

Butler responded to a question about offers of early release that were given to Vietnam POWs: "I was offered early release way back in May of 1965 as were a number of other POWs that I knew of in that time period and later on. Being released early was an absolute no-no for a POW for lots of reasons, reasons of Geneva Conventions, reasons of military regulations and policy, and reasons of all of our senior officers stating that all of us would return with honor at the end of the war and nobody would accept early release."

Butler said that the Vietnamese only granted a release if the prisoner agreed to admit that he was a criminal, that his country was criminal, that he had bombed schoolyards and hospitals and that he had received humane treatment as a prisoner. "It was a no-brainer," said Butler. "You had no choice."

Butler also offered this general observation, "John didn't learn the lessons of Vietnam from his experience as a POW. ... It was clear that we got into that war through lies and subterfuge. The Tonkin Gulf incident engineered by President Lyndon Johnson got us into war when there was really no incident at all. There was nothing happening there, but it was used as a ruse to get us into the Vietnam War.

"John McCain becomes a senator and he goes right back again and supports the same lies and subterfuge of president Bush with weapons of mass destruction and so forth and now here we are again in Iraq."

Butler, who is an activist with Veterans for Peace, discussed many other topics, including his personal respect for McCain and McCain's legacy status in the Navy. Many of his remarks were lambasted by other guests, including McCain biographer Robert Timberg and McCain spokesperson Nancy Photenhauer. Once again, you can listen to the entire program by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

thank you for this, i'm going to link this as well.

Nin Andrews said...

thanks --I have heard this from a friend who is a Vietnam Veteran as well, but it's nice to see it on paper.

Erin O'Brien said...

Warren Olney's "To The Point" is hands-down the best feature news podcast out there. He gets a balanced group of guests on every issue. The guests are always reputable and knowledgeable. And it's an hour long, so they get very in depth on complex issues. Olney is completely neutral and tough and smart.

Plus, it runs five days a week. Never fluff, always topical.

Who knew a silly chick like me listened that this shit? Tee-hee!

Hal Hussein Perry said...

I'm rapidly of the opinion that McCain's hand was forced on the Palin selection. It seems he really wanted either Joe Lierberman or Tim Pawlenty. The problem was that both are pro-choice and the evangelical right, with whom McCain has always had a tenuous relationship, would not let this choice stand, and may have stayed home on election day. So he caved in to them and picked Palin

His campaign slogan is "Country First." From this choice onward, it's more like "Winning First," and at all costs, including the truth.

I had a lot of respect for McCain before any of this, because he seemed to be one of the few genuinely authentic Republicans, and depending on the circumstances, I could have actually voted for him but for his always consistent anti-abortion position. That has all changed with this campaign. McCain has sold his soul, and every time I see him on TV - especially when he talks about Palin, I see pain in his eyes.

And it's sad, really. I thought he was made of more than this.

Geoff Schutt said...

Erin, this has nothing to do with the election (or maybe in a strange, futuristic way it does; hell, I don't know) .... But I just have to interrupt the important political news with important arts and letters news. Reports are coming out of California as I'm typing this that David Foster Wallace is dead. I consider him one of the great writers of our time, and he took his own life. He was just 46 years old. As writers, we look for connections. David Foster Wallace was a connection to many things. Perhaps we are all tormented souls in our own ways ... perhaps. I just need to say something -- somewhere other than my own site. Please pardon the intrusion.
-- Geoff (and Eleanor)

Anonymous said...

Someone should tell McCain that heroes dont remind you continually that they are heroes

Chato said...

Good stuff Erin. I have put up a new post on my blog as well, I hope you're willing to share:

It is the most recent post titled, "Taxes make a difference in lives."

Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

sadly, he hanged himself on friday.