From the Desk of John Sidney McCain, R-POW

NBC Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell transcribes reports from the Straight Talk Express:

Advisors say if Obama gets “nastier” on [the ‘how many houses’] issue that opens the door for them. Advisors say the “Rezko deal stinks to the high heavens.” They will be prepared to show McCain’s “home” in Hanoi by using images of his cell. They claim they have not overused the POW element and insist they have “underused it.”

Since O’Donnell is apparently angling for a lucrative new position as McCain campaign stenographer, I’ll happily do her current job for her and challenge the notion that McCain has ever been reluctant to play the POW card:

  • McCain aired a December 2007 television ad in which Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said: “McCain has been tested like no other politician in America. As a prisoner of war, he turned down an offer for early release because he refused preferential treatment.”
  • In a January 1 Washington Post article, reporter Alec MacGillis wrote that “[a]t many of his [McCain’s] events, his campaign sets up a screen and plays for the crowd a three-minute film called ‘Service With Honor,’ telling the story of McCain’s more than five years of captivity in a North Vietnamese prison after his Navy plane was shot down in 1967. ‘He was offered early release, and he told ’em to shove it,’ says one fellow prisoner of war, Paul Galanti.”
  • At a June 26 campaign event in Cincinnati, McCain said: “When I was allowed the opportunity, given the opportunity to return home early from prison camp. I decided against that because I knew the effect that it would have on my fellow prisoners.”
  • In a June 28 speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a July 8 speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens, and a July 14 speech to National Council of La Raza Convention, McCain repeated this statement: “When I was in prison in Vietnam, I like other of my fellow POWs, was offered early release by my captors. Most of us refused because we were bound to our code of conduct, which said those who had been captured the earliest had to be released the soonest.”
  • In a July 8 McCain campaign television ad, an announcer states of McCain: “John McCain: Shot down. Bayoneted. Tortured. Offered early release, he said, ‘No.’ He’d sworn an oath.”
  • At a July 17 campaign event in Kansas City, Missouri, McCain said: “[T]he Vietnamese came to me and said, we’ll allow you to go home early because my father happened to be a high ranking admiral. Our code of conduct said that only those go home early in order of capture. It was a brave young Mexican-American by the name of Everett Alvarez who had been in prison a couple years longer than I had. So I knew I had to refuse.” Similarly, at a July 18 campaign event in Warren, Michigan, McCain said (retrieved from Nexis): “One time when I was in prison in North Vietnam and the North Vietnamese came and said, ‘You can go home early,’ because my father was a high-ranking admiral, I chose not to do that.”

A noun, a verb and POW.  That really is all they’ve got. And–surprise, surprise–instead of calling out the McCain campaign’s rank bullshit, his base is once again eagerly swallowing it without even bothering to ask for ketchup.

One Response to “From the Desk of John Sidney McCain, R-POW”

  1. mayo mc neil says:

    It seems that each time McCain tells his story about refusing an early out, the story becomes embellished and contradictory.

    If he was alone in a cell, how did he know how long others were held in capivity? He said he did not want to leave before anyone else who was there longer. How did he know how long anone else was being held if he was not able to converse and compare notes?

    He is full of B.S. and if milking the fact that he was a POW for all it’s worth.

    For my part, being a POW does not make one fit for the office of President. In fact, one must be careful not to elect one who may have serious mental problems from being held so long.

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