28 July 2015

Abandonment of our POWs.

Throughout his Senate career, [John] McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.[1]

I've not delved into the POW/MIA issue but one of the indicators of official allergy to the truth about this issue that I ran across in the 1980s or early '90s was an account in the Washington Times of a POW/MIA office the U.S. maintained in Thailand. Apparently the office was to be closed down. However, the really strange thing was that the officer in charge, a brigadier general, had been personally involved in destroying the paper records of that office. As in "hands on" involved. Somebody absolutely, positively wanted those records gone for a general officer personally to have been involved in their destruction. And what about those records of this ultra sensitive subject required their destruction rather than removal to some archive back home? Heck, was it even legal under any version of the Federal Public Records Act that today is making things oh-so-minutely uncomfortable for Mrs. Clinton?

It's been a long time since I read the story but I'm sure about the nature of the office, the involvement of that officer, and the place that the story was reported.

It's not the first time that U.S. servicemen have disappeared into communist hands and dropped down the memory hole. See also this article about American Korean War POWs who disappeared into the Soviet Union. It cites Laurence Jolidon, author of Last Seen Alive for the proposition "that the government of the United States has not aggressively and completely investigated this issue [U.S. servicemen in Soviet hands] but has allowed it to fade quietly from public view in order to advance other foreign-relations objectives."

Those POW/MIA flags need to be flown to honor the memory of those abandoned men as well as to remind us of the perfidy of our own government in abandoning them.

Whatever the issue – POWs, open borders, amnesty, free trade, globalization, spending, or the destruction of the Constitution – is there any doubt that our national government does NOT care about the American people?

[1] "McCain and the POW Cover-Up. The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam." By Sydney Schanberg, The American Conservative, 7/1/2015.


Dymphna said...

This is disturbing. Always has been. Some say Patton was killed to keep him out of Berlin so the US POWs could be sent to gulags before Americans arrived and this was known at highest levels.

Is there a POW/MIA flag ppl can display?


Col. B. Bunny said...

Operation Keelhaul and the sordid treatment by Eisenhower of German POWs recounted in James Bacque's Other Losses, plus the abandonment of Americans in Soviet hands, the near starvation inflicted on the German population, and the death and privation of the forced relocation of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe, were disgraceful episodes in our history. Too, FDR has much to answer for in his addled surrender of Eastern Europe to Stalin.

I've not read much about the death of Patton. The "lorry out of nowhere" version seems weak. It certainly was hugely convenient to get rid of someone who was very, very competent, smart, independent, famous, and likely to be a burr under the saddle of people with political ambitions (not to mention the Soviets).

The idea of the Good War is developing quite a stench. These really are times where we must turn over the heirloom china cabinet and take a good long look at what has gone before. If nothing else, the idea that we have and have had political leaders and officials who are committed to the Constitution and the interest of the people of the U.S. can now be seen for the absurdity that it is. As we've discussed, Diana West and Fred Siegel have put their fingers on some rather sensitive nerves.

I see that the American Legion offers various POW/MIA flags for sale.