Home » News » Randi Rhodes says McCain was “well treated” as POW

Randi Rhodes says McCain was “well treated” as POW

Another far-left commentator has lost it. It’s one thing to criticize policy, but this is way over the top. But will Team Obama denounce this personal attack? Where is the criticism of old-style attack politics? Isn’t this the sort of thing we’re supposed to “move beyond”?

Normally, we wouldn’t care much about some minor unhinged commentator most people have never heard of. It’s not so much Ms Rhodes bizarre unsubstantiated rant, but isn’t this what Team Obama says we need to get beyond? Where is Team Obama’s denouncement? Don’t hold your breath — this is standard old-school politics, of which Team Obama is a part — allowing someone else to do the smear job.

Of course he (McCain) became very friendly with the Vietnamese. They called him the Prince. He was well treated actually. And he was well treated because he traded these propaganda interviews for good treatment.

Compare an article May 14, 1973 in US News and World Report. Let the reader decide if Ms. Rhodes attack has any validity at all.

Of the many personal accounts coming to light about the almost unbelievably cruel treatment accorded American prisoners of war in Vietnam, none is more dramatic than that of Lieut. Commander John S. McCain III — Navy flier, son of the admiral who commanded the war in the Pacific, and a prisoner who came in “for special attention” during 5 1/2 years of captivity in North Vietnam.

I hit the water and sank to the bottom. I think the lake is about 15 feet deep, maybe 20. I kicked off the bottom. I did not feel any pain at the time, and was able to rise to the surface. I took a breath of air and started sinking again. Of course, I was wearing 50 pounds, at least, of equipment and gear. I went down and managed to kick up to the surface once more. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t use my right leg or my arm. I was in a dazed condition. I went up to the top again and sank back down. This time I couldn’t get back to the surface. I was wearing an inflatable life-preserver-type thing that looked like water wings. I reached down with my mouth and got the toggle between my teeth and inflated the preserver and finally floated to the top.

Some North Vietnamese swam out and pulled me to the side of the lake and immediately started stripping me, which is their standard procedure. Of course, this being in the center of town, a huge crowd of people gathered, and they were all hollering and screaming and cursing and spitting and kicking at me.

When they had most of my clothes off, I felt a twinge in my right knee. I sat up and looked at it, and my right foot was resting next to my left knee, just in a 90-degree position. I said, “My God–my leg!” That seemed to enrage them — I don’t know why. One of them slammed a rifle butt down on my shoulder, and smashed it pretty badly. Another stuck a bayonet in my foot. The mob was really getting up-tight.

[…]

For the next three or four days, I lapsed from conscious to unconsciousness. During this time, I was taken out to interrogation — which we called a “quiz” — several times. That’s when I was hit with all sorts of war-criminal charges. This started on the first day. I refused to give them anything except my name, rank, serial number and date of birth. They beat me around a little bit. I was in such bad shape that when they hit me it would knock me unconscious. They kept saying, “You will not receive any medical treatment until you talk.”

[…]

After about two weeks, I was given an operation on my leg which was filmed. They never did anything for my broken left arm. It healed by itself. They said I needed two operations on my leg, but because I had a “bad attitude” they wouldn’t give me another one. What kind of job they did on my leg, I do not know. Now that I’m back, an orthopedic surgeon is going to cut in and see. He has already told me that they made the incision wrong and cut all the ligaments on one side.

[…]

… They just told me I’d never go home and I was going to be tried as a war criminal. That was their constant theme for many months.

Suddenly “The Cat” said to me, “Do you want to go home?”

I was astonished, and I tell you frankly that I said that I would have to think about it. I went back to my room, and I thought about it for a long time. At this time I did not have communication with the camp senior ranking officer, so I could get no advice. I was worried whether I could stay alive or not, because I was in rather bad condition. I had been hit with a severe case of dysentery, which kept on for about a year and a half. I was losing weight again.

But I knew that the Code of Conduct says, “You will not accept parole or amnesty,” and that “you will not accept special favors.” For somebody to go home earlier is a special favor. There’s no other way you can cut it.

I went back to him three nights later. He asked again, “Do you want to go home?” I told him “No.” He wanted to know why, and I told him the reason. I said that Alvarez [first American captured] should go first, then enlisted men and that kind of stuff.

[…]

To get back to the story: They took me out of my room to “Slopehead,” who said, “You have violated all the camp regulations. You’re a black criminal. You must confess your crimes.” I said that I wouldn’t do that, and he asked, “Why are you so disrespectful of guards?” I answered, “Because the guards treat me like an animal.”

When I said that, the guards, who were all in the room — about 10 of them — really laid into me. They bounced me from pillar to post, kicking and laughing and scratching. After a few hours of that, ropes were put on me and I sat that night bound with ropes. Then I was taken to a small room. For punishment they would almost always take you to another room where you didn’t have a mosquito net or a bed or any clothes. For the next four days, I was beaten every two to three hours by different guards. My left arm was broken again and my ribs were cracked.

Read the entire article. It’s well-worth the read.

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