McCain and the POW Cover-up

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.  

Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit the story that American POWs were left behind is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general’s briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war’s end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington, which never came.

Imagine.  1,205 POWs left to rot in the caves and prison camps of Viet Nam while Haliburton bills US tax payers for monogrammed towels.  


The quote below is merely the introduction to the article.  It hardly makes a dent in the facts, analysis, evidence and downloadable documents used to support this story.    I encourage you to read the entire article for yourself.  McCain and his war hero claim to fame ought to be ashamed of his role in leaving our soldiers behind.

Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a February 2, 1973, formal letter to Hanoi’s premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in “postwar reconstruction” aid “without any political conditions.” But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party “in accordance with its own constitutional provisions.” That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored – and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners-just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.

In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi’s desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining men-those who had not died from illness or hard labor or torture-were eventually executed.

My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a few-if any-are alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted “off the record,” but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)

For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans’ groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain’s role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.

The Arizona Senator, now the Republican candidate for President, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon’s and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief and national security advisor, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H. W. Bush’s defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

Source:  This is an expanded version, with primary documents attached, of a story that appears in the October 6, 2008 issue of The Nation. Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.

Here is video of tough guy McCain slamming Delores Alfond, a POW family member, spokesperson, and Chair of the National Alliance of Families during a hearing by the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affiars.  Making women cry is right up his alley.

Here’s another link to the same video with more background information on how McCain treated the famlies of the MIAs.

Cross posted at dk


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    • dkmich on September 20, 2008 at 14:35
    • pfiore8 on September 20, 2008 at 19:31

    is there a break? is there any good news about any one in Washington? anybody?

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