Sunday, November 2, 2008


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A conundrum, one thinks. 

Dear Gentle Reader(s), perhaps you can help to explain a disconnect for me which occurs often in the political discourse these days.

John McCain's experience as a naval pilot and prisoner of war is often touted as appropriate experience for occupying the Presidential Office.

Just what about McCain's naval piloting is indicative of this trust afforded by his supporters?  He lost 4 planes, arguably 3 to hot-dogging.  What experience does hot-dogging give to a man?  Deliberation?  Caution?  Only if he changes his behavior, and where did that third crash come from?  His first two losses were "gimmes"?  Do we want a Commander-in-Chief who takes "hot-dogging" chances? 

While McCain exemplified some strength of character during portions of his incarceration, he also spent some dark moments "cooperating" with his captors.  Some of his fellow POWs have some guarded things to say about his behavior.  There is an interesting web site, which obviously is anti-McCain, and which pre-dates McCain's 2008 campaign, that has some unkind thoughts about the "heroic" status of post-Vietnam prisoner McCain:

On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service story headlined "PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral," reported one of McCain's radio broadcasts: "Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of the 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.

"The broadcast was beamed to American servicemen in South Vietnam as a part of a propaganda series attempting to counter charges by U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird that American prisoners are being mistreated in North Vietnam."

There we have it, DGR(s).  Here is a widely touted war hero who is running for the Oval Office significantly on the strength of his Naval career and his POW status, but whose record in both those areas is questionable.

So why does everyone tip toe around these issues?

Do we really want an impulsive person in charge?

Trust, but verify.


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