McCain: The War Criminal!
Posted by terres on October 16, 2008
Just How Sick is John McCain?
ROBERT RICHTER is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and was political director for CBS News from 1965 to 1968. He says, “McCain cites his military experience as of prime importance, now is the time to focus closer attention on a facet of the Arizona Senator’s … character.”
The following is about his 23 combat missions for Operation Rolling Thunder – the Pentagon’s name for U.S. bombing of North Vietnam.
“McCain: War Hero or War Criminal?”
“I will never forget how stunned I was when Gen. Telford Taylor, a chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, told me that he strongly supported the idea of trying the U.S. pilots captured in North Vietnam as war criminals — and that he would be proud to lead in their prosecution.
Rolling Thunder: The US bombing of North Vietnam. Source: Vietnam War. Image may be subject to copyright.
“An ardent opponent of the Vietnam conflict, Taylor spoke with me in the fall of 1966 when I was looking into producing a documentary on this controversy for CBS News, where I was their National Political Editor. While he did not mention any pilot’s name, then U.S. Navy Lieut. Commander John McCain, who was captured a year later, would have been among the group Taylor wanted to prosecute. …
John McCain is pulled out of a Hanoi lake by a mix of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietnamese citizens in this October, 1967 file photo. McCain was shot down by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) and had broken both arms and his right knee upon ejection, losing consciousness until he hit the water. Source: Sen. McCain’s office / February 23, 2000. Image may be subject to copyright.
“Taylor’s argument was that their actions were in violation of the Geneva conventions that specifically forbid indiscriminate bombing that could cause incidental loss of civilian life or damage to civilian objects. Adding to the Geneva code, he noted, was the decision at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two: military personnel cannot defend themselves against such a charge with a claim that they were simply following orders. …
“Anti-war critics at the time claimed that despite the Pentagon’s assertion that only military targets were bombed, U.S. pilots also had bombed hospitals and other civilian targets, a charge that turned out to be correct and was confirmed by the New York Times’ chief foreign correspondent, Harrison Salisbury.
“In late 1966 Salisbury described the widespread devastation of civilian neighborhoods around Hanoi by American bombs: ‘Bomb damage … extends over an area of probably a mile or so on both sides of the highway … small villages and hamlets along the route [were] almost obliterated’. …
“In one of his autobiographies McCain wrote that he was going to bomb a power station in ‘a heavily populated part of Hanoi’ when he was shot down. …
“When I passed along Gen. Taylor’s comments to my network superiors the program was scrapped: too hot to handle. Instead Air War Over the North was telecast, about “precision bombing” North Vietnam military targets by U.S. pilots. A few years after that broadcast, a Pentagon public information executive gleefully told Roger Mudd in The Selling of the Pentagon that he, the Pentagon official, not only had persuaded CBS to produce Air War Over the North, he even chose those to be interviewed and coached them about what they should say. This unethical collaboration and intercession by the Pentagon in the news media is sadly all too familiar a tactic repeated in the Bush-Cheney years.” Source: IPA
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