Saturday, September 06, 2008

Enormous Crime' Details POWs Left Behind

We got an interesting E-mail from Lynn O'Shea of National Alliance Of Families yesterday.

Enormous Crime' Details POWs Left Behind
Friday, September 5, 2008 9:30 AM

By: John LeBoutillier

John McCain has every right to play the POW card. Five and a half years in various North Vietnamese POW camps is a major part of John's life, and if he chooses now to bring it up on the campaign trail, and to highlight it in his convention speech, who can deny him the right?

Lately, the media has been getting on him over this. Back in the 2000 campaign he would discuss his Vietnam years. Now, since Steve Schmidt, a former Karl Rove deputy, has taken over, suddenly both the campaign and McCain himself invoke his POW past in virtually every setting - from fielding questions from Jay Leno to answering questions about how many houses he owns.

Clearly, Schmidt knows that McCain's distinguished military record is an invaluable asset, especially in a campaign during wartime against someone who never wore the uniform.

The GOP's use of McCain's fellow former POWs in St. Paul was masterfully done. They were a part of each speech and added much to flesh out the inspirational story of McCain's imprisonment.

But McCain has opened the door to something he may not want to brag about: the U.S. Senate dealing with the issue of living U.S. POWs left behind at the end of the Vietnam War.

On this issue McCain and his campaign spokesmen remain silent.

And for good reason. As detailed in "An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia," by former U.S. Rep Bill Hendon and Elizabeth Stewart (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martins Press), a 2007 New York Times best seller, many U.S. government officials, Republican and Democrat, have ignored this emotional issue.

To keep it simple: McCain and others on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on POWs in 1991-1992 failed to acknowledge evidence brought to them from the DIA, the CIA, and other USG intelligence agencies. This evidence showed that U.S. POWs in 1992, 19 years after McCain and his group of POWs came home, were still laying down their names and "escape and evasion" codes in rice paddies and trails and fields adjacent to their prisons.

These authenticator codes, unique to each U.S. airman shot down (similar to a bank PIN code featured a combination of letters and numbers.

McCain was shown aerial and satellite images of these signals, which basically mean, "I am alive! Please come and get me!"

In his convention speech last night Sen. McCain was repeatedly interrupted with shouts of "USA! USA! USA!" Well, one of the most startling escape and evasion codes captured by an American satellite in 1988 was a gigantic USA, with a letter K (known as a "walking K") underneath it, placed by a downed American pilot in Laos 15 years after the end of the Vietnam War. This photograph is on the cover of "An Enormous Crime."

McCain was also shown transcripts of intercepted Laotian military radio transmissions in which communist Pathet Lao soldiers discuss the movement of "American prisoners."

And he was shown over 900 first-hand, live-sighting reports of U.S. POWs held against their will in both Laos and Vietnam.

Did McCain, a decorated and heroic former POW, jump up and use his clout and status to demand that everything possible be done to rescue these men?


Instead he played politics to help an embattled President George H.W. Bush try to defeat Ross Perot, a strong POW advocate, and Bill Clinton.

In effect, McCain the so-called "man of integrity, honor and character" who says he always puts country first, abandoned these men to a cruel fate. Their cries for help went unanswered.

This is not the first time that we've seen an article that tells of McCain's and other elected officials disgusting inaction on the POW/MIA issue. This is how ever the first time McCain has got his party's nomination. I feel that if he is going to tell of the time he served as a POW during this campaign he should also explain his stand on the BRING THEM HOME issue. I feel that he owes that to all of the POW/MIA families that have been waiting for one thing for decades. The Truth.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thanks go to:
The National Alliance Of Families


Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

The problem with McCain isn't that he was a prisoner and tortured , but the fact that he heard or knew of other POW camps and never seeked out, anyone can break, it happens, but to leave others behind and later ridiculie the families that wanted their family home, is way out of line. Sorry Hero no Zero

5:07 AM  

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