Recently I wrote about Sydney Schanberg’s article in THE NATION suggesting that John McCain sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about POWs left behind in Vietnam buried as classified documents. Last night, during the debate, John McCain made this comment:
“I know the veterans, I know them well, and I know that they know that I’ll take care of them, and I have been proud of their support and their recognition of my service to the veterans, and I love them, and I’ll take care of them, and they know that I’ll take care of them.”
Here’s a video put together by a group who call themselves “Vietnam Veteran’s Against McCain“. They discuss, in great detail, the circumstances behind the federal classification of these documents:
Add to this the organization “Veterans For Peace“, a large national organization made up of veterans of every war, from Korea to Vietnam and Iraq, who led a protest in the streets of St. Paul against the Republican National Convention.
Then there’s the organization known as “Iraq Veterans Against the War” who claim that:
A formation of 60 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marched in uniform to Xcel Energy Center… to deliver a briefing on veterans’ issues to Senator McCain on the opening day of the Republican National Convention.
IVAW member Wes Davey led the march and attempted to deliver the briefing to Senator McCain’s staff. Despite numerous mailed, faxed, and in-person invitations to meet, McCain’s office refused to send anyone to receive the briefing. When Davey, a retired Army First Sergeant and former St. Paul police officer, attempted to deliver the briefing, he was escorted off the premises.
On the other hand:
Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) marched to the Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday, August 27 where they were met by Phil Carter, Senator Obama’s Senior Veterans’ Liaison. Carter is negotiating the terms of a meeting with IVAW representatives. IVAW has requested a meeting with Senator Obama himself and his Senior Foreign Policy Advisor.
“Iraq Veterans Against the War” also stated the following about McCain on its Website:
Senator McCain has consistently voted against veterans interests. In a recent report, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McCain a “D” rating to Senator Obama’s “B+.” Disabled American Veterans reports that Senator McCain only voted for legislation that benefited veterans 20% of the time while Senator Obama supported veterans’ needs 80% of the time.
USMC veteran Adam Kokesh, also a member of IVAW, held up a two-sided sign at the RNC that read: “You Can’t Win An Occupation” and “McCain Votes Against Vets.” He ended up getting tossed out of the convention. Here’s the video:
Here’s yet another video, a joint project of Brave New Films, VoteVets.org, and General Wesley Clark’s WesPAC, urging Senator McCain to support modernizing the GI Bill. For the record, Mr. McCain refuses to support a bipartisan effort to modernize the GI Bill and has voted against nearly every effort to increase funding for health care and disability benefits for wounded soldiers. This video was put out earlier this year:
And once again, Senator Barack Obama has openly supported the bipartisan effort to improve the G.I. Bill.
And finally, here is footage of John McCain belittling Delores Alfond, head of the National Alliance of POW/MIA whose brother went missing in action in Vietnam. His denigrating attitude here is eerily similar to his tone toward Senator Obama in moments from last Friday night’s debate:
I can’t say for sure if all the accusations against Mr. McCain are valid or not, but what I can say with some certainty, is that there are a large number of veterans out there who would disagree with Mr. McCain’s comment that “I know the veterans, I know them well, and I know that they know that I’ll take care of them.”