Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Navy Releases John McCain's Military Record

The Department of the Navy released Senator John McCain's service record today in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press.

And it makes for some interesting reading. It essentially comes down to an unbroken record of achievement, courage and heroism :

McCain was awarded a Silver Star Medal for resisting "extreme mental and physical cruelties" inflicted upon him by his captors from late October to early December of 1967, the early months of his captivity, according to the citation. The North Vietnamese, according to the Navy, ignored international agreements and tortured McCain "in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes."

McCain, now the Republican Party's likely presidential nominee, was taken prisoner in October 1967 after he was shot down while on a mission over Hanoi. He wasn't freed until March 1973, after the United States signed peace agreements with the North Vietnamese. His captors tortured him and held him in solitary confinement. Still, he declined an offer of early release until those who had been at the prison longer than him were let go.

That decision earned McCain a Navy Commendation Medal. Although McCain was "crippled from serious and ill-treated injuries," he steadfastly refused offers of freedom from those holding him prisoner. "His selfless action served as an example to others and his forthright refusal, by giving emphasis to the insidious nature of such releases, may have prevented a possibly chaotic deterioration in prisoner discipline," the citation says.

McCain attended the U.S. Naval Academy from 1954 to 1958, and was commissioned as an ensign in June of that year. He retired in April 1981 with the rank of captain. In that time he received 17 awards and decorations. Besides the Silver Star Medal, McCain also received the Legion of Merit with a combat "V" and one gold star, a Distinguished Flying Cross and a Bronze Star Medal with a combat "V" and two gold stars.

Several citations mention his achievements either as a prisoner or as a lieutenant commander flying bombing runs off the deck of the USS Oriskany. Some are signed by then-Secretary of the Navy John Warner, who would become a colleague of McCain's in the Senate.

The citations refer to his "accurate ordnance delivery" and his "aggressive and skillful airmanship." He earned his Bronze Star the day before he was shot down, for participating in a mission over an airfield in Phuc Yen, 11 miles north of Hanoi.

The citation for his Distinguished Flying Cross sums up McCain's misfortune the following day:

"Although his aircraft was severely damaged, he continued his bomb delivery pass and released his bombs on the target. When the aircraft would not recover from the dive, Commander McCain was forced to eject over the target."

Years later, as his Navy career approached its end, McCain received the Legion of Merit Medal. By then, his missions were in the halls of Congress as a liaison to the Senate from the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs.

He was praised for providing Navy leaders "with sage advice and sound judgment for enacting critical legislation during a period of severe fiscal constraint."

The following year, he ran for Congress from Arizona, and won

Not bad at all, for a potential Commander in Chief. Especially compared to the alternative.

Who would you rather have in charge when things get tough..the hero,or Mr. Hope n' Change?


Lemuel Calhoon said...

If you are going into battle would you rather the leader of the enemy forces be a bungling fool or a man of vast courage and unbreakable will?

Both Obama and McCain want to grant amnesty to the 20 plus illegal Mexicans already in the US and open the borders to tens of millions more.

Both Obama and McCain want to cripple the US economy with greenhouse gas emission controls in order to combat non existent human-caused global warming.

Both Obama and McCain want to close Gitmo and bring the terrorists being held there into the American prison system where they will have the same rights as American citizens and where they will be able to recruit within the US prison population.

Both Obama and McCain would ban the use of aggressive interrogation methods even to prevent nuclear bombs from going off in US cities.

Both Obama and McCain favor further restricting freedom of speech by expanding campaign finance laws, bringing back the "fairness doctrine" which would largely shut down conservative talk radio and placing various restrictive regulations on the blogosphere.

Of the two men which one would be more likely to possess the qualities of character needed to see through his agenda?

Obama who has spent his entire career as an elected official voting "present" on any issue which was even remotely controversial or McCain who has never been afraid to take a stand on an issue even when it set him on the opposite side of his own party.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Lem,
Nice to see you...pull up a chair and grab a cold one.

Ok...I'm fully aware of how you feel about John McCain. He wasn't my first choice for president either.I wanted to see Duncan Hunter get it.

However, I do respectfully disagree with both your characterization of McCain's views on some of the issues you mention and with the idea that Obama, with a tame Democrat congress (if Obama does get in, you can assume a veto proof majority, I think) is going to have any trouble putting his agenda in play if he gets in.

His voting 'present' is a smokescreen to hide his agenda as much as possible, but if you look at the people around him ( I wrote about this last week)the agenda is quite clear. And he won't need to hide it once he gets in.

I understand the view that you, Ann Coulter and other people I respect have of this situation, that its better to be in opposition and let the country get disgusted with Obama and concentrate on 2012 rather than get behind another fake 'conservative'like Dubbya, and I might agree with you except for the following:

1) judges - two or three likely Supreme Court vacancies, Lem, plus a bunch of federal judiciary appointments - whom do you want making those nominations, Obama or McCain?

2)war - with what I think we're likely to be facing in the next four years, we need someone with guts and proven leadership capabilities in that situation.And as I think you know, I'm not just talking about Iraq and Afghanistan.

We need someone who understands the old virtues that made this country what it is, and we need a fighter.Four years of an Obama presidency would damage our military and national security structure in ways that will have to be paid for in blood later.

3)I share your concerns on a number of the things you mention, but I also think that McCain has modified some of these views, and will do so even further. His choice of VP will be very revealing.

4) Given the damage President Bush has done to the conservative brand name and his own party, we may very well have a Democrat controlled congress, ala' Reagan's first term. Someone needs to run the asylum,preferably someone with veto power, and McCain's actual voting record is pretty good.

Anyway, like it or not, those are the choices, and given the times, I don't think we have the luxury to sit this one out.

McCain is, at least, a principled and courageous man, even if I haven't always agreed with him.Plus, he got two endorsements from people I know that carried some major weight with me.

Sorry to be so long winded here - hell,this could almost be a seperate post! Anyway, think about it...and feel free to drop by more often.


Anonymous said...

mccain's military record will horrify babs, michael moore, the robert redford set, yada, yada.
it will give them all the cause they need to vilify him.
george soros will not allow this to stand.