My outrage over the right wing hypocrisy concerning the release of Bowe Bergdahl continued over the weekend, and boiled over after John McCain made his zillionth Sunday show appearance yesterday, with Candy Crowley at CNN where he proclaimed
the five Taliban members traded for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was being held prison of war, were “hardcore military jihadists who are responsible for 9/11” and should have been detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay or some other U.S. prison.
“First of all, I wouldn’t release these men,” McCain told CNN host Candy Crowley.
“Ever?” Crowley wondered.
“Not these men,” McCain insisted. “They were judged time after time during their confinement in Guantanamo, they were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release. That was the judgement made.”
The Arizona Republican argued that Bergdahl knew when he joined the military that he was taking “certain risks, and among those risks are wounding, death, imprisonment. That’s why we cherish and love all of those men and women who serve so much.”
Crowley pointed out McCain had supported a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to save Bergdahl earlier this year.
McCain, however, insisted that the president had chosen the wrong prisoners, but refused to say exactly which detainees he would have selected.
“First of all, we’re not sending everybody home,” he chuckled. “We are going to send them — even if we close Guantanamo — we are going to send them to facilities inside the United States of America, that’s been the plan all along.”
“Second of all, I believe we should keep these people because they are hardcore jihadists who are responsible for 9/11,” McCain continued. “Of course, nobody wants to release people who are responsible for 9/11, and these people that are released that were Taliban governing worked hand-in-glove with al Qaeda.”
As to McCain’s contention that these five prisoners were responsible for 9/11, BULLSHIT!
Col Morris Davis, chief Guantanamo prosecutor from 2005-2007 was on this program on Thursday of last week, and explained that he had never heard those names before.
As for John McCain, who has proudly (and erroneously) worn the “war hero” badge after being held a POW in Vietnam and now dares to question the prisoner exchange that freed Bergdahl, shame on him. But everything about McCain’s time in the military is shameful.
In October of 2008, Rolling Stone‘s Tim Dickinson published a piece about John McCain’s “heroic” service which was actually anything but, entitled “Make Believe Maverick“. When I went to look for it last week, it was behind a paywall. Thankfully, that article has now also been freed.
I encourage you to read the whole thing as it’s quite enlightening. The key point is that McCain was a horrible pilot who crashed a number of planes, cost American lives and treasure before ever going to Vietnam, but was promoted and got away with murder because he was a member of the lucky sperm club whose father and grandfather were decorated soldiers.
When he finally got to Vietnam and few his own plane, it was a disaster just waiting to happen. He had already wrecked two American planes while training, mishaps that would have grounded any other pilot who didn’t have McCain’s parental pedigree.
Soon after McCain hit the ground in Hanoi, the code went out the window. “I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital,” he later admitted pleading with his captors. McCain now insists the offer was a bluff, designed to fool the enemy into giving him medical treatment. In fact, his wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. “I had to tell them,” he insisted to Dramesi, “or I would have died in bed.”
Dramesi says he has no desire to dishonor McCain’s service, but he believes that celebrating the downed pilot’s behavior as heroic — “he wasn’t exceptional one way or the other” — has a corrosive effect on military discipline. “This business of my country before my life?” Dramesi says. “Well, he had that opportunity and failed miserably. If it really were country first, John McCain would probably be walking around without one or two arms or legs — or he’d be dead.”
So much for John McCain, war hero.
Yesterday, I received notice of a new Credo Mobilize petition, this one calling on Fox to stop bashing Bowe Bergdahl, submitted by Col. Ann Wright. Ann is a retired US Army Colonel and State Dept official who left that post in 2003, objecting to the US invasion of Iraq. Col Wright joined me on the show today to discuss the situation around Bergdahl and the right’s smearing of him.
In the first hour, it was another edition of The Steve Israel Hour, sponsored by Little Debbie with Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny and the Blue America PAC. Today we talked about Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ apparent loyalty to the for-profit prison population over her own constituents who favor legalization of medical marijuana by a huge margin! Plus, two unfortunate losses by true progressives endorsed by Blue America in last week’s primaries laid right at the feet of Steve Israel.