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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Confusion Over Torture All Started 41 Years Ago Tomorrow

Hello Saturday Papamoka Bloggers - I know we're used to being lied to by our politicians, but I think the confusion over John McCain's Vietnam captivity needs to be acknowledged on the anniversary of his capture.

It is potentially one of the most disturbing tales in American politics. The possibility that he lied about being tortured to win votes makes me very uneasy. I compiled the following from a very interesting article in today's London Times.

I know many of you Republicans are going to accuse me of not trusting an American hero over a Vietnamese jailer, but that's not true. I'm not saying McCain lied. I just think it's important to point out the discrepancies in the stories. Read the article in the Times and make up your own mind. I don't know who is telling the truth.

The Times interviewed his jailer Tran Trong Duyet. They were friends after the war. Duyet claims that McCain received good medical care and was never tortured in any way.

Amazingly, McCain crash-landed forty-one years ago tomorrow. He was supposedly treated for his injuries and spent the next five and a half years as a prisoner. The story accounts differ most when each side describes McCain’s incarceration, first at the prison known as the Hanoi Hilton and later at The Plantation.

Tran Tron Duyet's Version from the London Times
"[Duyet], the former prison director, met McCain a year after he had been shot down. He recalls a defiant rule-breaker, the patriotic son of an admiral and a fervent believer in the war. What he does not recall, however, is a victim of torture or violence."

“I never tortured or mistreated the PoWs and nor did my staff,” says Mr Duyet in contradiction of Mr McCain’s account and those of other prisoners. “The Americans were dropping bombs on military and civilian targets – so it’s not as if they had important information we needed to extract.” Mr Duyet says that he sympathises with Mr McCain and other PoWs for claiming that they were tortured. “It’s up to the Americans to decide whether or not he counts as a hero. He was very brave, very manly, he dared to argue with me and he was very intelligent. But all the talk of being tortured is for the sake of votes.”

McCain's Version from Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain
“I was hauled into an empty room and kept there for four days. At intervals, the guards returned to administer beatings. One held me while the others pounded away. They cracked several of my ribs and broke a couple of teeth. Weakened by beatings and dysentery, with my right leg again almost useless, I found it impossible to stand."

“On the third night I lay in my blood and waste, so tired and hurt that I could not move. Three guards lifted me to my feet and gave me the worst beating yet. They left me on the floor moaning from the pain in my arm. Despairing of any relief from pain and further torture, I tried to take my life.”

I don't know what to think. I guess I should believe McCain since he's a fellow American. It's weird though. What do you guys think? McCain does look permanently injured from possible torture, but supposedly his injuries from the crash were severe too.

You should also be aware of another creepy McCain fact related to Vietnam. Did you know that McCain has been receiving 100% disability payments from the Defense Department since the early seventies, despite his abilities and personal mobility?

Many in the veteran's community still think it's a travesty of justice. That level of disability is usually reserved for highly crippled vets. There are many examples of wheelchair bound soldiers who receive less than 50% disability. The man has too many red flags if you ask me.

I guess I'll just have to believe that John McCain did his best, and whether he was tortured or not, he says he was. I'll just have to give him the benefit of the doubt. That doesn't mean, however, that I am free of doubt. I still don't like the red flags. There are too many mysteries about the man.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's West Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

*****Paulie's Point of View has linked in with and opposing opinion...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Should The top management of the Public listed company be responsible for the company performance, eg company nearly get wind up?

Are you a Partisan?

Should they give their view......?

12:24 PM  
Blogger Paulie's Point of View said...

yah at the Nuremburg Trials they all said they didn't do it either..hopefully you know what the Nuremburg Trials were?

Just in case:>)

Who knows what the Republican's will say but I know what most responsible folks would say.."if you are going to smear a person, why not at least post your sources that created this doubt other than an article from the London Times"

How many disabled vets do you know Pap that have made this statement....I work out of and have for years a number of VFW's, American Legions and DAV's thats Disabled American Vet Posts and I have heard none of this nonsense you have posted-where is your source of this vet displeasure you have stated:>) Two of the most liberal cities in Massachusetts-Somerville & Cambridge and I can almost for certain tell you that you would not hear the nonsense you have posted at any of the veterans posts in these two cities and I state this cause I have done events out of many of them and for I'll go out on a limb on my you do the same and post your sources:>)

12:40 PM  
Blogger Paulie's Point of View said...

BTW..most if not all USA veterans organizations do not endorse candidates - some have PACS that anything you have heard is from lone wolves or a PAC..please name the lone wolves or vets organization that has made the satement you made?

12:43 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

First off Paulie, I didn't write this peice, Michael Boh did. Second, if you have an opposing point of view then speak your peace. Third, feel free to attack the message but not the messenger and writers here.

4:46 PM  
Blogger B.J. said...

Just a few observations:

John McCain and John Kerry, both Vietnam veterans, were very involved in the normalization of U.S. relations with Vietnam. I hardly think that McCain would have been an effective envoy in bringing about these normalized relations IF he had lied about what his captors did to him.

What I have observed during the campaign are political ads which would have you believe the injuries to McCain’s arms and legs were from torture. He cannot raise his arms to comb his own hair. The ads are not truthful. McCain arms and legs were broken when he ejected from his plane. Yes, it was the North Vietnamese who shot him down, but that was an act of war, not torture.

I am certain McCain’s greatest torture was to his mind and his emotions. The man was held captive for years. Isn’t that torture enough?

The post is a good one, Michael Boh, and you did provide a source despite what the earlier comment alleges. It is certainly worth noting.

At the end of one of the most important books about Vietnam, “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young” by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, the authors met with the Vietnamese general whose troops met them in battle. The book concludes that soldiers on each side were merely obeying the commands of their superior officers and acted in an honorable way. (The book, by the way, is the basis for the Mel Gibson movie, “We Were Soldiers.” The sequel is just out – “We Are Soldiers Still.” Both worth reading!)

Now, about heroes. Funny how the Republicans are so quick to deify McCain as a great American hero, when they let another American hero from that same war be swift-boated in his run for the presidency. Not only that but they dared to run ads in Georgia comparing a true American hero, a quadraplegic, Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden. Cleland was defeated in Georgia by Saxby Chambliss, although right up until Election Day polls heavily favored the incumbent Senator Cleland.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Thank you BJ for your "Fact" based feedback on the issue. I really appreciate it. Max was in my hometown of Worcester with John Kerry today by the way. I had an invite but the wife and the oldest childs schedule conflicted with the time so I was at home with my other children.

As for the questions asked earlier from Paulie about how many veterans I know, it's none of your damn business who I know and what their veteran status is. I am however a proud supporter of all veterans across America, a Patriot Guard member for many years (Google search and check them out and tell me we are wrong for what they and I do for veterans), a defender of veteran benefits, a defender of disabled veterans, a proud friend of more than I can count disabled vets. I'm also the son of a father that served in WWII in the Pacific and then served in Korea that grew up in VA halls.

I think you were looking to question my patriotism even though I as the owner of this site did not write the post in question but I could be wrong. I may be wrong, your comments just read as if they are angry at me personally for something that is political and that is not the way to address the issues. I am a moderate liberal that was a Reagan Democrat, a Bill Weld and Paul Celluci Democrat.

Talk about the issue, make your points, site facts, figures, whatever you want. Just don't attack the writers for bringing up an issue that needs to be discussed.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Michael Boh said...

The only response I have tonight is for Paulie. Paulie, the London Times is one of the world's best sources of credible journalism. It's a GREAT source. Look, I believe McCain, but I still think it's worth talking about. I'm just glad we're thinking about everything involving this very complicated man. Michael

10:21 PM  
Blogger B.J. said...

Have you noticed the dichotomy of thinking. The right-wing deplores the torture of John McCain, but loves the torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and possibly Guantamo? Our current president and vice president approve of torture, even outsource it to countries where there are no laws preventing it. What is wrong with this picture?

10:35 PM  
Blogger Michael Boh said...

I know I said I would hold back, but I have to say it - even via a Blackberry - BJ, you are so right! I agree with you! There is a reasonable debate to be had here - fear should not hold us back. MB

11:02 PM  
Blogger Paulie's Point of View said...

the message and the messanger are the same-unsubstantiated horse dung

I didn't question your patriotism, speak poorly of Senator Kerry or Max Cleland but if you want to throw softballs into the mix feel free to:>)I know it is difficult to stay on topic with all the excitement you have swirling about you right now:>)

I am a Independent votah with a history of voting and supporting both financially and physically in campaigns of Dems & Repubs NOT a Republican votah but this is what happens when folks of your ilk are questioned about your automatically label folks:>) I love labels and can give em back also.

Again, like I posted in your other thread about former Governor Will Weld..I question your knowledge of make comments that are untrue,foolish and copied from others..contributing or not.

There is an ole Thoreau saying "he who speaks of their patriotism, one had bettah count their spoons"

11:04 AM  
Blogger Paulie's Point of View said...

BTW Mike

Please do not hold back...but as for debating a foolish thread any longah, I will leave to you..I have more important real things to do in my decaying city run by Democrats.

11:14 AM  

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