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Jan Klimkowski
09-27-2008, 01:44 AM
Douglas Valentine, the historian of the Phoenix Program, has written an important and largely ignored article investigating Presidential candidate John McCain's experiences as a POW during the Vietnam War.

Read the full article here: http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine06132008.html


From Glory Boy to PW Songbird

McNasty

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE



If you have no idea what war is about, thank your gods. It is not what you see in Mel Gibson movies, nor is it hidden within the Big Lie Big Brother tells you about Pat Tillman’s heroic “Army of One” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When my father was in New Guinea with the 32nd Division in 1942, his fellow American soldiers would point their long Springfield rifles skywards and shoot at American pilots flying overhead.

“Glory Boys,” the long-suffering ground troops called them.

The pilots had comfortable quarters beside the airstrip in Port Moresby. When orders for a mission came down, they’d climb in their planes, rattle down the runway, and soar over the Owen Stanley Mountains with the clouds in spotless uniforms, breathing fresh clean air. The Glory Boys weren’t trapped in the broiling jungle, in the mud and pouring rain, their skin rotting away, chewed by ghastly insects, bitten by poisonous snakes, stricken with cerebral malaria, yellow fever, dysentery, and a host of unknown diseases delivered by unknown parasites.

If the Fly Boys perished, it was in a blaze of glory, not from a landmine, or a misdirected American mortar, or a Japanese bayonet in the brain.

One day my father and his last remaining friend, Charlie Ferguson, were walking through the jungle up to the front line. One the way they passed a group of bare-chested Aussies in khaki shorts sitting round a grindstone sharpening their knives. Every once in a while one of the Aussies would hoist his rife and casually put a bullet into a Japanese sniper who had tied himself into the top of a nearby tree. Not in any place that would outright kill him, but some place painful enough to make the point.

A little further toward the front line, my father and Charlie came upon Master Sergeant Harry Blackman, an adult man in his forties, regular army, a grizzled combat veteran. A few days earlier in a fight with the Japanese, a young lieutenant, a “90-Day Wonder,” had curled up in a fetal position when he should have been directing mortar fire. As a result, US mortar rounds landed on several US soldiers. Blackman, in front of everyone, took the lieutenant behind a tree and blew his brains out.

As my father and Charlie waked through the jungle they saw Harry Blackman perched on the lower limb of a huge tropical tree, babbling incoherently among the butterflies and flowering vines, driven stark raving mad by sorrow and jungle war with the Japanese.

Several days later my father was sent on a patrol into Japanese held territory. He was the last man in a formation moving single file through the jungle. Plagued by malaria and exhaustion, he kept falling behind. Around noon, a group of Japanese soldiers sitting high up in trees dropped concussion grenades on the patrol. As he lay on the ground, unable to move, my father watched the Japanese slide down the trees. Starting with the point man on patrol, they pulled down the pants and castrated each man, before clubbing him to death with their rifle butts or running a bayonet into his gut.

War. If you’re a Glory Boy like John Sidney McCain III, you really have no idea what it is. You drop bombs on cities, on civilians, maybe on enemy forces, maybe on your own troops. Glory Boys like John McCain rarely get a taste of the horror they inflict on others. Their suffering rarely extends beyond the high anxiety that they might get shot down and that some bombarded mob on the ground might take its revenge.

Magically, my father was spared that day when his patrol was slaughtered. Against regulations, he had stolen a cross-swords patch and sewn it on his shirt sleeve. At the age of 16, he thought it looked cool. On the morning of the patrol, when the new “90-Day Wonder” told him to take it off, my father said “Sure.” He and the lieutenant stared at each other for a while and then the lieutenant moved away. Insubordination was the least of anyone’s worries. No one expected to survive the patrol, anyway.

When the Japanese who had ambushed the patrol got to my father, they stood poised to mutilate and kill him. Then they saw the cross-swords patch. They apparently felt that dear old dad was an important person with inside information about American forces. Instead of killing him, they took him prisoner. When they realized he was just a stupid kid, the Japanese sent him to a POW camp in the Philippines.

Being a POW is what my father and John McCain have in common; although their experience as POWs was as different as their class and their character.

Class indeed has privileges, and while the government refused to provide my combat-veteran father with medical benefits for his malaria, McCain, who spent ten hours of his life in mortal danger, was decorated with the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

And thus the “war hero” myth was born.

McNasty

In the fall of 1967, Navy pilot John McCain was routinely bombing Hanoi from an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. On October 26, he was trying to level a power plant in a heavily populated area when a surface-to-air missile knocked a wing off his jet. Banged-up John McCain and what was left of plane splashed into Truc Bach Lake.

A compassionate Vietnamese civilian left his air raid shelter and swam out to McCain. McCain’s arm and leg were fractured and he was tangled up in his parachute underwater. He was drowning. The Vietnamese man saved McCain’s sorry ass, and yet McCain has nothing but hatred for “the gooks” who allegedly tortured him. As he told reporters on his campaign bus (The Straight Talk Express) in 2000, “I will hate them as long as I live.” (1)

Americans have to hate people, and dehumanize them as “gooks” or “rag-heads” in order to drop bombs on them. Stirring up such hatred is the forte of the US government, as witnessed by its Israeli-driven PR campaign against Arabs and Moslems. That’s why Bush and his media minions tied “brutal dictator” Saddam Hussein to 9/11 – so Americans would hate Iraqis enough to kill and abuse them in a thousand ways, everyday, for five years. Or, according to McCain, for 100 years if necessary.

The flip side to the equation is that people generally hate those who drop bombs on them. When the Germans dropped bombs on London, the Allies called it Terror Bombing. The French resistance especially hated the Germans, especially after the Gestapo set up shop in occupied France in 1940.

Likewise, Iraqi and Afghani resistance fighters hate the Americans (who more and more resemble the Germans of 1940) for occupying their countries. They especially hate our Gestapo – the CIA – and its torturers. But that’s War for you, and John McCain is lucky the locals didn’t eat him alive – like Uzbek nationalists trapped in a horrid prison camp in Afghanistan nibbled on CIA officer John “Mike” Spann shortly after Spann summarily executed a prisoner. Spann was killed in the ensuing riot, shortly before the CIA and its Afghan collaborators massacred the remaining Uzbek prisoners on 28 November 2001.
The Vietnamese had good reason to hate McCain. On his previous 22 missions, he had dropped God knows how many bombs killing God knows how many innocent civilians. “I am a war criminal,” he confessed on “60 Minutes” in 1997. “I bombed innocent women and children.” (2)

If he is sincere when he says that, why isn’t he being tried for war crimes by the U.S .Government?

In any event, the man who rescued McCain tried to ward off an angry mob, which stomped on McCain for a while until the local cops turned him over to the military. McCain was in pain, but suffering no mortal wounds. He was, however, in enough pain to break down and start collaborating with the Vietnamese after three days in a hospital receiving treatment from qualified doctors – something no other POW ever enjoyed.

War is one thing, collaborating with the enemy is another; it is a legitimate campaign issue that strikes at the heart of McCain’s character…or lack thereof.

There are certainly degrees of collaboration. As a famous novelist once asked, “If you’re a barber and you cut a German’s hair, does that make you a collaborator?”

Being an informant for the Gestapo, or its stepson the CIA in Iraq, and informing on the resistance and sending them to their death, is different than being a barber. In occupied countries like Iraq, or France in World War Two, collaboration to that extent is an automatic death sentence.
The question is: “What kind of collaborator was John McCain, the admitted war criminal who will hate his alleged torturers for the rest of his life?”

Put another way, how psychologically twisted is McCain? And what actually happened to him in his POW camp that twisted him? Was it abuse, as he claims, or was it the fact that he collaborated and has to cover up?

Covering-up can take a lot of energy. The truth is lurking in his subconscious, waiting to explode. A number of US officials, including Andrew Card, have commented on McCain’s inexplicable angry outbursts.

In a July 5 2006 NewsMax.com article, former Senator Bob Smith (R-NH), was quoted as having said about McCain: “I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues…. He would disagree about something and then explode.” Smith called it “irrational behavior. We’ve all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I’ve never seen anyone act like that."

So, you say, McCain has a short fuse behind the plastered TV smile. So he calls his colleagues assholes and shit-heads. In high school they called him “McNasty.” That’s just how he is. Always was, always will be.

Well, maybe. And maybe it’s not a quality we want in a president. And maybe that repressed anger actually has its roots in a Vietnamese POW camp, where John McCain betrayed his forefathers and his country.

The Admiral’s Bad Boy

In the forced-labor camp where my father was tortured by the Japanese, the POWs killed anyone who collaborated. Indeed, the ranking POW in my father’s camp, an English Major, made a deal with the Japanese guaranteeing that no one would attempt to escape. When four prisoners escaped, the Major reported it. The Japanese sent out a search party, which found the POWs and brought them back to camp, where they were beheaded on Christmas morning 1943.

The POWs held a war council that night. They drew straws, and the three who got short were given a mission. A few hours later, under cover of darkness, they crept to the major’s hut. My father had gotten one of the short straws and kept watch while the other two POWs strangled the Major in his sleep.

That’s how it happens in real life.

McCain, in his carefully prepared statements, claims he was tortured while in solitary confinement, and that is why he signed a confession saying, “I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate. I almost died and the Vietnamese people saved my life, thanks to the doctors.” (3)

However, on March 25, 1999, two of his fellow POWs, Ted Guy and Gordon "Swede" Larson told the Phoenix New Times that, while they could not guarantee that McCain was not physically harmed, they doubted it.

As Larson said, "My only contention with the McCain deal is that while he was at The Plantation, to the best of my knowledge and Ted’s knowledge, he was not physically abused in any way. No one was in that camp. It was the camp that people were released from."

Guy and Larson’s claims are given credence by McCain’s vehement opposition to releasing the government’s debriefings of Vietnam War POWs. McCain gave Michael Isikoff a peek at his debriefs, and Isikoff declared there was “nothing incriminating” in them, apart from the redactions. (4)

McCain had a unique POW experience. Initially, he was taken to the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison camp, where he was interrogated. By McCain’s own account, after three or four days, he cracked. He promised his Vietnamese captors, "I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital."

His Vietnamese capturers soon realized their POW, John Sidney McCain III, came from a well-bred line of American military elites. McCain’s father, John Jr., and grandfather, John Sr., were both full Admirals. A destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, is named after both of them.

While his son was held captive in Hanoi, John McCain Jr., from 1968 to 1972, was the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Pacific Command; Admiral McCain was in charge of all US forces in the Pacific including those fighting in Vietnam.

One can only wonder when the concierge at the Hanoi Hilton started taking calls from Admiral McCain. Rather quickly, one surmises, for the Vietnamese soon took John Boy McCain to a hospital reserved for Vietnamese officers. Unlike his fellow POWs, he received care from a Soviet doctor.

“This poor stooge has propaganda value,” the Vietnamese realized. The Admiral’s bad boy was used to special treatment and his captors knew that. They were working him.

For his part, McCain acknowledges that the Vietnamese rushed him to a hospital, but denies he was given any "special medical treatment."

However….two weeks into his stay at the Vietnamese hospital, the Hanoi press began quoting him. It was not “name rank and serial number, or kill me,” as specified by the military code of conduct. McCain divulged specific military information: he gave the name of the aircraft carrier on which he was based, the number of US pilots that had been lost, the number of aircraft in his flight formation, as well as information about the location of rescue ships. (5)

So McCain leveraged some details to get some medical attention. That’s not anything too contemptible. And who among us civilians is to judge someone in the position?

On the other hand, according to one source, McCain’s collaboration may have had very real consequences. Retired Army Colonel Earl Hopper, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, contends that the information that McCain divulged classified information North Vietnam used to hone their air defense system.

Hopper’s son, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Earl Pearson Hopper was, like McCain, shot down over North Vietnam. Hopper the younger, however, was declared “Missing in Action.” Stemming from the loss of his son, the elder Hopper co-founded the National League of Families, an organization devoted to the return of Vietnam War POWs.

According to the elder Hopper, McCain told his North Vietnamese captors, “highly classified information, the most important of which was the package routes, which were routes used to bomb North Vietnam. He gave in detail the altitude they were flying, the direction, if they made a turn… he gave them what primary targets the United States was interested in.” Hopper contends that the information McCain provided allowed the North Vietnamese to adjust their air-defenses. As result, Hopper claims, the US lost sixty percent more aircraft and in 1968, “called off the bombing of North Vietnam, because of the information McCain had given to them.” 6

The Psywar Stooge

McCain was held for five and half years. Collaborating during the first two weeks might have been pragmatic, but he soon became North Vietnam’s go-to collaborator for the next three years. Given the quality of the military information he allegedly shared, his situation isn’t as innocuous as the pragmatic French barber who cuts the hair of the German occupier. McCain was repaying his captors for their kindness and mercy.

This is the lesson of McCain’s experience as a POW: a true politician, a hollow man, his only allegiance is to power. The Vietnamese, like McCain’s campaign contributors today, protected and promoted him and in return, he danced to their tune.

Not content with divulging military information, McCain provided his voice in radio broadcasts used by the North Vietnamese to demoralize American soldiers.

Vietnamese radio propagandists made good use out of McCain. On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service headlined a story entitled "PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral.” (7)

The story reported that McCain collaborated in psywar offensives aimed at American servicemen. "The broadcast was beamed to American servicemen in South Vietnam as a part of a propaganda series attempting to counter charges by U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird that American prisoners are being mistreated in North Vietnam."
On one occasion, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the top Vietnamese commander and a nationalist celebrity of the time, personally interviewed McCain. His compliance during this command performance was a moment of affirmation for the Vietnamese. His Vietnamese handlers thereafter used him regularly as prop at meetings with foreign delegations.

In the custody of enemy psywar specialists, McCain became what he is today: a professional psywar stooge.

It is impossible to prove exactly what happened to McCain short of traveling to Vietnam and tracking down his captors, and picking up thee trail where it begins. According to The Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, McCain says he only collaborated when he brutally tortured by his Vietnamese captors and a wicked Cuban he referred to as Fidel. (8)

He says his confession led him to a suicide attempt.

“In the anguished days right after my confession,” McCain said in his autobiography Faith of My Fathers, “I had dreaded just such a discovery by my father.”

But as McCain discovered, dear old dad did know.

“I only recently learned that the tape I dreamed I heard playing over the loudspeaker in my cell had been real; it had been broadcast outside the prison and had come to the attention of my father,” McCain said. “If I had known at the time my father had heard about my confession, I would have been distressed beyond imagination, and might not have recovered from the experience as quickly as I did.”

But wait! McCain did not commit suicide. In fact, he’s alive, running for President on the “war hero” ticket, and promoting more war everywhere. The new McCain feels no distress at having been a collaborator or a war criminal – if he ever did.

According to Fernando Barral, a Cuban psychologist who questioned McCain in January 1970, “McCain was "boastful" during their interview and "without remorse" for any civilian deaths that occurred "when he bombed Hanoi." McCain has a similar recollection, writing in his [autobiography] that he responded, "No, I do not" when Barral asked if he felt remorse.” (9)

McCain told [Barral] that he had not been subjected to “physical or moral violence,” and “lamented in the interview that ‘if I hadn’t been shot down, I would have become an admiral at a younger age than my father.’”

“Barral said McCain boasted that he was the best pilot in the Navy and that he wanted to be an astronaut.” The Cuban psychologist concluded that McCain was [a] ‘psychopath.’” (10)

"He felt superior to the Vietnamese up there in his plane, with all his training," Barral recalled.

Psychopath McCain emerges, now, as a contemptible elitist, stewing in the crucible of his class conscience, the ultimate right wing psywar stooge.

McJekyll and McHyde

There are no public records from other POWs to confirm McCain’s self-aggrandizing claims, but his detractors, like fellow POWs Ted Guy and Gordon "Swede" Larson, and Colonel Hopper, have yet to be discredited or silenced by McCain’s PR team.

Hopper, Guy and Larson are part of a larger movement concerned with the fate of the 2,000 American veterans still missing in Vietnam. They’ve been pressing McCain to own up to his POW experience, drop the “war hero” posturing, and do more to provide a full accounting of the POWs and MIAs who were not as fortunate, privileged, or willing to collaborate as the would-be president.

McCain’s supporters are trying to quiet detractors by ignoring them. "Nobody believes these idiots. They’re a bunch of jerks. Forget them," said Mark Salter, McCain’s chief mythologist. Salter is credited by casting McCain as a modern Teddy Roosevelt, “the war hero turned domestic reformer.” (11)

By in large the Salter strategy has worked. The American media accepts McCain’s “war hero” myth as gospel and, in so doing, bolsters the “straight talk” image so essential to his success in politics. In a recent TV interview with John Kerry, victim of the Swift Boat Heroes for Truth Movement in the last election, another “fortunate son,” Chris Wallace, actually took umbrage when Kerry criticized McCain. Son of media admiral Mike Wallace, Chris made Kerry admit that McCain was a hero.
When it comes to psywar, the Vietnamese have nothing on the good old USA.

McCain learned his lesson well from the Vietnamese propagandists who used him for their psywar projects. But it’s not the collaboration that makes John McCain unfit for office; it’s the fact that he has managed to rewrite his collaboration into political capital. “He’s a war hero, respect him, or die.”

As a pedigree, the McCain family’s stature rests on the status and prestige of its achievements in the military: rank, medals, and most importantly to John McCain’s presidential campaign, the image of warrior masculinity: the straight talking maverick of the Republican Party, the 21st century rendering of Teddy Roosevelt.

Not exactly. In his current presidential campaign, he’s cozying up to the hate-mongering Christian right he once criticized. He’s reversed positions on so many issues that his Democratic rivals have assembled his contrasting statements into “The Great McCain Versus McCain Debates. (12)

Underlying the Jekyll-Hyde reversals is McCain’s hidden past of collaboration. Somewhere in the unplumbed human part of John Sidney McCain III, he knows his POW experience contradicts the war hero image he projects. This essential dishonesty, this lie of the soul, is a sign of a larger lack of character – like the major in my father’s POW camp, but without the come-uppance.

McCain is not some principled leader, not a maverick cowboy fighting the powerful. He’s a sycophant. He believes in nothing but power and will do anything to attain it. He explodes in anger when challenged because, when a criticism hits to close to home, it goes to straight his deep-seeded shame.

McCain’s handlers have turned his unspeakable reality into a myth worthy of Teddy Roosevelt. No wonder the Glory Boy has stuck around Washington so long.

Doug Valentine is the author of The Hotel Tacloban, the story of his father’s experiences in a Japanese POW camp in World War Two. The Hotel Tacloban is available at Mr Valentine’s websites http://www.DouglasValentine.com and http://valentine.sb2.authorsguild.net
Brendan McQuade assisted Mr Valentine by providing timely research for this article.

Mr McQuade can be reached for interviews about this article at: 860-334-3661

Notes

1. C W Nevius, Marc Sandalow, John Wildemuth, “McCain Criticized for Slur,” San Francisco Chronicle, 18 February 2000

2. Ted Rall, CommonDreams.org. February 6, 2008.
3.Ted Rall, CommonDreams.org. February 6, 2008

4. Sydney Schanberg, APBNews.com, 25 April 2000, citing Isikoff, Newsweek, 1 January 2000.

5. Ted Sampley, “Luck Of The Admiral’s Son Not For "Grunts" U.S. Veteran Dispatch, October 1999.

6. Sampley page.

7. See attached PDF version of Eugene Cannon 2 June 69 press release.

8. http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/index.htm

9. Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, March 11, 2008; C01

10. Ibid.

11. Sasha Issenberg, Boston Globe.

12. http://www.democrats.org/page/content/mccaindebates

Magda Hassan
09-27-2008, 01:46 AM
This is such a very interesting article Jan. It may also explain his great reluctance to open up the MIA and POW files to the families. He has blocked any and every attempt to open them.

Another thing, I have no idea why no one is calling McCain on is the fact that he was born in Panama not the US. I thought that according to the US constitution all presidential candidates had to be US born?

Jan Klimkowski
09-27-2008, 01:49 AM
Magda - this is indeed a fascinating article.

The track record of MSM in revealing the Truth about the war records of Presidential candidates is shockingly poor, and major network journalists - eg Dan Rather - have been destroyed for daring to probe even a little way into the murky darkness. So, I take it as a given that the Truth about McCain's time as a POW will not be revealed any time this decade.

In truth, I'm more interested in exploring the psychological & deep black implications of McCain having collaborated during his captivity.

Any POW returned to America after such experiences in North Vietnamese captivity would have been extensively debriefed by intelligence agency psychiatrists. If the official history of mind control techniques, established by the likes of CIA asset Edward Hunter to explain American POW claims of the use of CBW in Korea, is believed, then the American military would have assumed that McCain had been "brainwashed". His brainwashing would have had to be "treated" and "reversed" by military doctors and deep black psychiatrists. And that's if the official story is correct...

The history of "collaborators" who broadcast propaganda for the enemy in wartime suggests that they are usually executed, or - if they're well connected like British royalty and the aristocracy - incarcerated out of the public eye. McCain came from an old military family, so he was well connected. He also was not publicly disgraced. Indeed, he's gone on to a glittering political career, one which may even take him to the White House. This is unprecedented.

If it is true that McCain broadcast propaganda for the enemy, then this would have made him eminently blackmailable by both intelligence agencies and other powerful organizations who had "the dirt". The fact that such a wartime history has been largely suppressed until now, (again, assuming Valentine's claims are true), suggests that McCain may very well be the puppet of offstage actors.

However, there are even darker possibilities. Even allowing for the outstanding work of Douglas Valentine, there is still much about the Phoenix Program that is unknown. I have spoken with several special forces veterans who claim that extensive deep black field testing of "mind control" & psychological techniques took place in the "terra incognita" around Laos & Cambodia. Indeed, there is evidence that some of the extreme theorizing of MK-ULTRA's black doctors found an all too real, all too human, playground in the Phoenix Program. A playground that made Manson's Helter Skelter look like a kindergarten.

In his book "The Phoenix Program", Douglas Valentine identifies Colston Westbrook as a CIA psychological warfare officer. Researchers Harry V. Martin and David Caul have gone further and stated that Westbrook helped established Phoenix Program interrogation/torture centres in every province of South Vietnam specializing in behaviour modification programmes - partly designed to extract information from prisoners. I know of testimony that there were also attempts to create "double agents" using MK-ULTRA-type techniques.

Whether this is true or not, Colston Westbrook returned to America and started experimenting with prisoners at Vacaville. His star pupil was Donald DeFreeze of Symbionese Liberation Army & Patty Hearst fame.

Meanwhile, in 1973, POW John McCain also returned to America where he underwent at least a year of "gruelling rehabilitation" - partly for his physical injuries. I contend that his experience as a North Vietnamese POW, including claims that he broadcast propaganda for the enemy, must have made him a person of interest to the black doctors.

A year is a long time.....

Magda Hassan
09-27-2008, 03:36 AM
McCain and the POW Cover-up
The "war hero" candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam

Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. This is an expanded version, with primary documents attached, of a story that appears in the October 6, 2008 issue of The Nation.
http://www.nationinstitute.org/p/schanberg09182008pt1

By Sydney H. Schanberg
September 18, 2008

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home. Throughout his Senate career, 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 Washingtonand even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that "men were left behind." This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large numberthe documents indicate probably hundredsof the US 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.

Mass of Evidence

The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What's more, the Pentagon's POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of "debunking" POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.

The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.

One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon's performance was an insider, Air Force Lieut. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon's position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.

Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general's briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war's end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.

Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a February 2, 1973, formal letter to Hanoi's premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in "postwar reconstruction" aid "without any political conditions." But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party "in accordance with its own constitutional provisions." That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored - and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisonersjust as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.

In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi's desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining menthose who had not died from illness or hard labor or torturewere eventually executed.

My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a fewif anyare alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the agency's Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted "off the record," but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)

For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans' groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain's role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.

The Arizona Senator, now the Republican candidate for President, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon's and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief and national security advisor, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H. W. Bush's defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

McCain's Role


The Truth Bill
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd5hr3603.pdf
(click link to download)
An early and critical McCain secrecy move involved 1990 legislation that started in the House of Representatives. A brief and simple document, it was called "the Truth Bill" and would have compelled complete transparency about prisoners and missing men. Its core sentence reads: "[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict, shall make available to the public all such records held or received by that department or agency."


The McCain Bill
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd6mccainbill.pdf
(click link to download)

DOD cites the McCain Bill in denying a FOIA request
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd3foia.pdf]http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd6mccainbill.pdf
(click link to download)

DOD cites the McCain Bill in denying a FOIA request
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd3foia.pdf
(click link to download)
Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later, a new measure, known as "the McCain Bill," suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emergeonly records that revealed no POW secretsit turned the Truth Bill on its head. (See one example, at left, when the Pentagon cited McCain's bill in rejecting a FOIA request.) The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios and justifications for not releasing any information at alleven about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence.

McCain was also instrumental in amending the Missing Service Personnel Act, which had been strengthened in 1995 by POW advocates to include criminal penalties, saying: "Any government official who knowingly and willfully withholds from the file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in Title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year or both." A year later, in a closed House-Senate conference on an unrelated military bill, McCain, at the behest of the Pentagon, attached a crippling amendment to the act, stripping out its only enforcement teeth, the criminal penalties, and reducing the obligations of commanders in the field to speedily search for missing men and to report the incidents to the Pentagon.

About the relaxation of POW/MIA obligations on commanders in the field, a public McCain memo said: "This transfers the bureaucracy involved out of the [battle] field to Washington." He wrote that the original legislation, if left intact, "would accomplish nothing but create new jobs for lawyers and turn military commanders into clerks."

McCain argued that keeping the criminal penalties would have made it impossible for the Pentagon to find staffers willing to work on POW/MIA matters. That's an odd argument to make. Were staffers only "willing to work" if they were allowed to conceal POW records? By eviscerating the law, McCain gave his stamp of approval to the government policy of debunking the existence of live POWs.

McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidencedocuments, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs' sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scornedhas been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the "bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists." He has regularly vilified those who keep trying to pry out classified documents as "hoaxers," charlatans," "conspiracy theorists" and "dime-store Rambos."

Some of McCain's fellow captives at Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi didn't share his views about prisoners left behind. Before he died of leukemia in 1999, retired Col. Ted Guy, a highly admired POW and one of the most dogged resisters in the camps, wrote an angry open letter to the senator in an MIA newslettera response to McCain's stream of insults hurled at MIA activists. Guy wrote: "John, does this [the insults] include Senator Bob Smith [a New Hampshire Republican and activist on POW issues] and other concerned elected officials? Does this include the families of the missing where there is overwhelming evidence that their loved ones were 'last known alive'? Does this include some of your fellow POWs?"


DOD denies access to McCain's 1973 debriefing
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd2denial.pdf
(click link to download)
It's not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his post-war behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Loto try to break down other prisonersand was broadcast over Hanoi's state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain. (See the Pentagon's rejection of my attempt to obtain records of this debriefing, at left.)

All humans have breaking points. Many men undergoing torture give confessions, often telling huge lies so their fakery will be understood by their comrades and their country. Few will fault them. But it was McCain who apparently felt he had disgraced himself and his military family. His father, John S. McCain II, was a highly regarded rear admiral then serving as commander of all US forces in the Pacific. His grandfather was also a rear admiral.

In his bestselling 1999 autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, McCain says he felt bad throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs, owing to his high-ranking father and thus his propaganda value. Other prisoners at Hoa Lo say his captors considered him a prize catch and called him the "Crown Prince," something McCain acknowledges in the book.

Also in this memoir, McCain expresses guilt at having broken under torture and given the confession. "I felt faithless and couldn't control my despair," he writes, revealing that he made two "feeble" attempts at suicide. (In later years, he said he tried to hang himself with his shirt and guards intervened.) Tellingly, he says he lived in "dread" that his father would find out about the confession. "I still wince," he writes, "when I recall wondering if my father had heard of my disgrace."

He says that when he returned home, he told his father about the confession, but "never discussed it at length"and the Admiral, who died in 1981, didn't indicate he had heard anything about it before. But he had. In the 1999 memoir, the senator writes: "I only recently learned that the tape...had been broadcast outside the prison and had come to the attention of my father."

Is McCain haunted by these memories? Does he suppress POW information because its surfacing would rekindle his feelings of shame? On this subject, all I have are questions.

Many stories have been written about McCain's explosive temper, so volcanic that colleagues are loathe to speak openly about it. One veteran congressman who has observed him over the years asked for confidentiality and made this brief comment: "This is a man not at peace with himself."

He was certainly far from calm on the Senate POW committee. He browbeat expert witnesses who came with information about unreturned POWs. Family members who have personally faced McCain and pressed him to end the secrecy also have been treated to his legendary temper. He has screamed at them, insulted them, brought women to tears. Mostly his responses to them have been versions of: How dare you question my patriotism? In 1996, he roughly pushed aside a group of POW family members who had waited outside a hearing room to appeal to him, including a mother in a wheelchair.

But even without answers to what may be hidden in the recesses of McCain's mind, one thing about the POW story is clear: If American prisoners were dishonored by being written off and left to die, that's something the American public ought to know about.

10 Key Pieces of Evidence That Men Were Left Behind


New York Times, Feb. 2, 1973
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd1laos.pdf
(click link to download)
1. In Paris, where the Vietnam peace treaty was negotiated, the United States asked Hanoi for the list of American prisoners to be returned, fearing that Hanoi would hold some prisoners back. The North Vietnamese refused, saying they would produce the list only after the treaty was signed. Nixon agreed with Kissinger that they had no leverage left, and Kissinger signed the accord on January 27, 1973, without the prisoner list. When Hanoi produced its list of 591 prisoners the next day, US intelligence agencies expressed shock at the low number. Their number was hundreds higher. The New York Times published a long, page-one story on February 2, 1973, about the discrepancy, especially raising questions about the number of prisoners held in Laos, only nine of whom were being returned. The headline read, in part: "Laos POW List Shows 9 from US Document Disappointing to Washington as 311 Were Believed Missing." And the story, by John Finney, said that other Washington officials "believe the number of prisoners [in Laos] is probably substantially higher." The paper never followed up with any serious investigative reportingnor did any other mainstream news organization.

2. Two defense secretaries who served during the Vietnam War testified to the Senate POW committee in September 1992 that prisoners were not returned. James Schlesinger and Melvin Laird, both speaking at a public session and under oath, said they based their conclusions on strong intelligence dataletters, eyewitness reports, even direct radio contacts. Under questioning, Schlesinger chose his words carefully, understanding clearly the volatility of the issue: "I think that as of now that I can come to no other conclusion...some were left behind." This ran counter to what President Nixon told the public in a nationally televised speech on March 29, 1973, when the repatriation of the 591 was in motion: "Tonight," Nixon said, "the day we have all worked and prayed for has finally come. For the first time in twelve years, no American military forces are in Vietnam. All our American POWs are on their way home." Documents unearthed since then show that aides had already briefed Nixon about the contrary evidence.

Schlesinger was asked by the Senate committee for his explanation of why President Nixon would have made such a statement when he knew Hanoi was still holding prisoners. He replied: "One must assume that we had concluded that the bargaining position of the United States...was quite weak. We were anxious to get our troops out and we were not going to roil the waters..." This testimony struck me as a bombshell. The New York Times appropriately reported it on page one but again there was no sustained follow-up by the Times or any other major paper or national news outlet.

3. Over the years, the DIA received more than 1,600 first-hand sightings of live American prisoners and nearly 14,000 second-hand reports. Many witnesses interrogated by CIA or Pentagon intelligence agents were deemed "credible" in the agents' reports. Some of the witnesses were given lie-detector tests and passed. Sources provided me with copies of these witness reports, which are impressive in their detail. A lot of the sightings described a secondary tier of prison camps many miles from Hanoi. Yet the DIA, after reviewing all these reports, concluded that they "do not constitute evidence" that men were alive.

4. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, listening stations picked up messages in which Laotian military personnel spoke about moving American prisoners from one labor camp to another. These listening posts were manned by Thai communications officers trained by the National Security Agency (NSA), which monitors signals worldwide. The NSA teams had moved out after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and passed the job to the Thai allies. But when the Thais turned these messages over to Washington, the intelligence community ruled that since the intercepts were made by a "third party"namely Thailandthey could not be regarded as authentic. That's some Catch-22: The US trained a third party to take over its role in monitoring signals about POWs, but because that third party did the monitoring, the messages weren't valid.

Here, from CIA files, is an example that clearly exposes the farce. On December 27, 1980, a Thai military signal team picked up a message saying that prisoners were being moved out of Attopeu (in southern Laos) by aircraft "at 1230 hours." Three days later a message was sent from the CIA station in Bangkok to the CIA director's office in Langley. It read, in part: "The prisoners...are now in the valley in permanent location (a prison camp at Nhommarath in Central Laos). They were transferred from Attopeu to work in various places...POWs were formerly kept in caves and are very thin, dark and starving." Apparently the prisoners were real. But the transmission was declared "invalid" by Washington because the information came from a "third party" and thus could not be deemed credible.

5. A series of what appeared to be distress signals from Vietnam and Laos were captured by the government's satellite system in the late 1980s and early '90s. (Before that period, no search for such signals had been put in place.) Not a single one of these markings was ever deemed credible. To the layman's eye, the satellite photos, some of which I've seen, show markings on the ground that are identical to the signals that American pilots had been specifically trained to use in their survival coursessuch as certain letters, like X or K, drawn in a special way. Other markings were the secret four-digit authenticator numbers given to individual pilots. But time and again, the Pentagon, backed by the CIA, insisted that humans had not made these markings. What were they, then? "Shadows and vegetation," the government said, insisting that the markings were merely normal topographical contours like saw-grass or rice-paddy divider walls. It was the automatic responseshadows and vegetation. On one occasion, a Pentagon photo expert refused to go along. It was a missing man's name gouged into a field, he said, not trampled grass or paddy berms. His bosses responded by bringing in an outside contractor who found instead, yes, shadows and vegetation. This refrain led Bob Taylor, a highly regarded investigator on the Senate committee staff who had examined the photographic evidence, to comment to me: "If grass can spell out people's names and a secret digit codes, then I have a newfound respect for grass."

6. On November 11, 1992, Dolores Alfond, the sister of missing airman Capt. Victor Apodaca and chair of the National Alliance of Families, an organization of relatives of POW/MIAs, testified at one of the Senate committee's public hearings. She asked for information about data the government had gathered from electronic devices used in a classified program known as PAVE SPIKE.

The devices were motion sensors, dropped by air, designed to pick up enemy troop movements. Shaped on one end like a spike with an electronic pod and antenna on top, they were designed to stick in the ground as they fell. Air Force planes would drop them along the Ho Chi Minh trail and other supply routes. The devices, though primarily sensors, also had rescue capabilities. Someone on the grounda downed airman or a prisoner on a labor gang could manually enter data into the sensor. All data were regularly collected electronically by US planes flying overhead. Alfond stated, without any challenge or contradiction by the committee, that in 1974, a year after the supposedly complete return of prisoners, the gathered data showed that a person or people had manually entered into the sensorsas US pilots had been trained to do"no less than 20 authenticator numbers that corresponded exactly to the classified authenticator numbers of 20 US POWs who were lost in Laos." Alfond added, according to the transcript: "This PAVE SPIKE intelligence is seamless, but the committee has not discussed it or released what it knows about PAVE SPIKE."

McCain attended that committee hearing specifically to confront Alfond because of her criticism of the panel's work. He bellowed and berated her for quite a while. His face turning anger-pink, he accused her of "denigrating" his "patriotism." The bullying had its effectshe began to cry.

After a pause Alfond recovered and tried to respond to his scorching tirade, but McCain simply turned away and stormed out of the room. The PAVE SPIKE file has never been declassified. We still don't know anything about those twenty POWs.

7. As previously mentioned, in April 1993, in a Moscow archive, a researcher from Harvard, Stephen Morris, unearthed and made public the transcript of a briefing that General Tran Van Quang gave to the Hanoi politburo four months before the signing of the Paris peace accords in 1973.

In the transcript, General Quang told the Hanoi politburo that 1,205 US prisoners were being held. Quang said that many of the prisoners would be held back from Washington after the accords as bargaining chips for war reparations. General Quang's report added: "This is a big number. Officially, until now, we published a list of only 368 prisoners of war. The rest we have not revealed. The government of the USA knows this well, but it does not know the exact number...and can only make guesses based on its losses. That is why we are keeping the number of prisoners of war secret, in accordance with the politburo's instructions." The report then went on to explain in clear and specific language that a large number would be kept back to ensure reparations.

The reaction to the document was immediate. After two decades of denying it had kept any prisoners, Hanoi responded to the revelation by calling the transcript a fabrication.

Similarly, Washingtonwhich had over the same two decades refused to recant Nixon's declaration that all the prisoners had been returnedalso shifted into denial mode. The Pentagon issued a statement saying the document "is replete with errors, omissions and propaganda that seriously damage its credibility," and that the numbers were "inconsistent with our own accounting."

Neither American nor Vietnamese officials offered any rationale for who would plant a forged document in the Soviet archives and why they would do so. Certainly neither Washington nor Moscowclosely allied with Hanoiwould have any motive, since the contents were embarrassing to all parties, and since both the United States and Vietnam had consistently denied the existence of unreturned prisoners. The Russian archivists simply said the document was "authentic."

8. In his 2002 book, Inside Delta Force, Retired Command Sgt. Major Eric Haney described how in 1981 his special forces unit, after rigorous training for a POW rescue mission, had the mission suddenly aborted, revived a year later and again abruptly aborted. Haney writes that this abandonment of captured soldiers ate at him for years and left him disillusioned about his government's vows to leave no men behind.

"Years later, I spoke at length with a former highly placed member of the North Vietnamese diplomatic corps, and this person asked me point-blank: 'Why did the Americans never attempt to recover their remaining POWs after the conclusion of the war?'" Haney writes. He continued, saying that he came to believe senior government officials had called off those missions in 1981 and 1982. (His account is on pages 314 to 321 of my paperback copy of the book.)

9. There is also evidence that in the first months of Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1981, the White House received a ransom proposal for a number of POWs being held by Hanoi in Indochina. The offer, which was passed to Washington from an official of a third country, was apparently discussed at a meeting in the Roosevelt Room attended by Reagan, Vice-President Bush, CIA director William Casey and National Security Advisor Richard Allen. Allen confirmed the offer in sworn testimony to the Senate POW committee on June 23, 1992.

Allen was allowed to testify behind closed doors and no information was released. But a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter, Robert Caldwell, obtained the portion relating to the ransom offer and reported on it. The ransom request was for $4 billion, Allen testified. He said he told Reagan that "it would be worth the president's going along and let's have the negotiation." When his testimony appeared in the Union Tribune, Allen quickly wrote a letter to the panel, this time not under oath, recanting the ransom story and claiming his memory had played tricks on him. His new version was that some POW activists had asked him about such an offer in a meeting that took place in 1986, when he was no longer in government. "It appears," he said in the letter, "that there never was a 1981 meeting about the return of POW/MIAs for $4 billion."

But the episode didn't end there. A Treasury agent on Secret Service duty in the White House, John Syphrit, came forward to say he had overheard part of the ransom conversation in the Roosevelt Room in 1981, when the offer was discussed by Reagan, Bush, Casey, Allen and other cabinet officials.

Syphrit, a veteran of the Vietnam War, told the committee he was willing to testify but they would have to subpoena him. Treasury opposed his appearance, arguing that voluntary testimony would violate the trust between the Secret Service and those it protects. It was clear that coming in on his own could cost Syphrit his career. The committee voted 7 to 4 not to subpoena him.

In the committee's final report, dated January 13, 1993 (on page 284), the panel not only chastised Syphrit for his failure to testify without a subpoena ("The committee regrets that the Secret Service agent was unwilling..."), but noted that since Allen had recanted his testimony about the Roosevelt Room briefing, Syphrit's testimony would have been "at best, uncorroborated by the testimony of any other witness." The committee omitted any mention that it had made a decision not to ask the other two surviving witnesses, Bush and Reagan, to give testimony under oath. (Casey had died.)

10. In 1990, Colonel Millard Peck, a decorated infantry veteran of Vietnam then working at the DIA as chief of the Asia Division for Current Intelligence, asked for the job of chief of the DIA's Special Office for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action. His reason for seeking the transfer, which was not a promotion, was that he had heard from officials throughout the Pentagon that the POW/MIA office had been turned into a waste-disposal unit for getting rid of unwanted evidence about live prisonersa "black hole," these officials called it.


Millard A. Peck's Feb. 12, 1991, letter of resignation
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd4peck.pdf
(click link to download)
Peck explained all this in his telling resignation letter of February 12, 1991, eight months after he had taken the job. He said he viewed it as "sort of a holy crusade" to restore the integrity of the office but was defeated by the Pentagon machine. The four-page, single-spaced letter was scathing, describing the putative search for missing men as "a cover-up."

Peck charged that, at its top echelons, the Pentagon had embraced a "mind-set to debunk" all evidence of prisoners left behind. "That national leaders continue to address the prisoner of war and missing in action issue as the 'highest national priority,' is a travesty," he wrote. "The entire charade does not appear to be an honest effort, and may never have been....Practically all analysis is directed to finding fault with the source. Rarely has there been any effective, active follow through on any of the sightings, nor is there a responsive 'action arm' to routinely and aggressively pursue leads."

"I became painfully aware," his letter continued, "that I was not really in charge of my own office, but was merely a figurehead or whipping boy for a larger and totally Machiavellian group of players outside of DIA...I feel strongly that this issue is being manipulated and controlled at a higher level, not with the goal of resolving it, but more to obfuscate the question of live prisoners and give the illusion of progress through hyperactivity." He named no names but said these players are "unscrupulous people in the Government or associated with the Government" who "have maintained their distance and remained hidden in the shadows, while using the [POW] Office as a 'toxic waste dump' to bury the whole 'mess' out of sight." Peck added that "military officers...who in some manner have 'rocked the boat' [have] quickly come to grief."

Peck concluded: "From what I have witnessed, it appears that any soldier left in Vietnam, even inadvertently, was, in fact, abandoned years ago, and that the farce that is being played is no more than political legerdemain done with 'smoke and mirrors' to stall the issue until it dies a natural death."

The disillusioned Colonel not only resigned but asked to be retired immediately from active military service. The press never followed up.

My Pursuit of the Story

I covered the war in Cambodia and Vietnam, but came to the POW information only slowly afterward, when military officers I knew from that conflict began coming to me with maps and POW sightings and depositions by Vietnamese witnesses.

I was then city editor of the New York Times, no longer involved in foreign or national stories, so I took the data to the appropriate desks and suggested it was material worth pursuing. There were no takers. Some years later, in 1991, when I was an op-ed columnist at Newsday, the aforementioned special Senate committee was formed to probe the POW issue. I saw this as an opening and immersed myself in the reporting.

At Newsday, I wrote thirty-five columns over a two-year period, as well as a four-part series on a trip I took to North Vietnam to report on what happened to one missing pilot who was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh trail and captured when he parachuted down. After Newsday, I wrote thousands more words on the subject for other outlets. Some of the pieces were about McCain's key role.

Though I wrote on many subjects for Life, Vanity Fair and Washington Monthly, my POW articles appeared in Penthouse, the Village Voice and APBnews.com. Mainstream publications just weren't interested. Their disinterest was part of what motivated me, and I became one of a very short list of journalists who considered the story important.

Serving in the army in Germany during the Cold War and witnessing combat first-hand as a reporter in India and Indochina led me to have great respect for those who fight for their country. To my mind, we dishonored US troops when our government failed to bring them home from Vietnam after the 591 others were releasedand then claimed they didn't exist. And politicians dishonor themselves when they pay lip service to the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers only to leave untold numbers behind, rationalizing to themselves that it's merely one of the unfortunate costs of war.

John McCainnow campaigning for the White House as a war hero, maverick and straight shooterowes the voters some explanations. The press were long ago wooed and won by McCain's seeming openness, Lone Ranger pose and self-deprecating humor, which may partly explain their ignoring his record on POWs. In the numerous, lengthy McCain profiles that have appeared of late in papers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, I may have missed a clause or a sentence along the way, but I have not found a single mention of his role in burying information about POWs. Television and radio news programs have been similarly silent.

Reporters simply never ask him about it. They didn't when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 2000. They haven't now, despite the fact that we're in the midst of another wara war he supports and one that has echoes of Vietnam.

The only explanation McCain has ever offered for his leadership on legislation that seals POW files is that he believes the release of such information would only stir up fresh grief for the families of those who were never accounted for in Vietnam. Of the scores of POW families I've met over the years, only a few have said they want the books closed without knowing what happened to their men. All the rest say that not knowing is exactly what grieves them.

Isn't it possible that what really worries those intent on keeping the POW documents buried is the public disgust that the contents of those files would generate?

How the Senate Committee Perpetuated the Debunking

In its early months, the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs gave the appearance of being committed to finding out the truth about the MIAs. As time went on, however, it became clear that they were cooperating in every way with the Pentagon and CIA, who often seemed to be calling the shots, even setting the agendas for certain key hearings. Both agencies held back the most important POW files. Dick Cheney was the Pentagon chief then; Robert Gates, now the Pentagon chief, was the CIA director.

Further, the committee failed to question any living president. Reagan declined to answer questions; the committee didn't contest his refusal. Nixon was given a pass. George H.W. Bush, the sitting president, whose prints were all over this issue from his days as CIA chief in the 1970s, was never even approached.

Troubled by these signs, several committee staffers began asking why the agencies they should be probing had been turned into committee partners and decision makers. Memos to that effect were circulated. The staff made the following finding, using intelligence reports marked "credible" that covered POW sightings through 1989: "There can be no doubt that POWs were alive...as late as 1989." That finding was never released. Eventually, much of the staff was in rebellion.


Newsday, Jan. 7, 1993
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd8newsday.pdf
(click link to download)
This internecine struggle (see coverage, at left) continued right up to the committee's last official actthe issuance of its final report. The "Executive Summary," which comprised the first forty-three pageswas essentially a whitewash, saying that only "a small number" of POWs could have been left behind in 1973 and that there was little likelihood that any prisoners could still be alive. The Washington press corps, judging from its coverage, seems to have read only this air-brushed summary, which had been closely controlled.

But the rest of the 1,221-page Report on POW/MIAs was quite different. Sprinkled throughout are pieces of hard evidence that directly contradict the summary's conclusions. This documentation established that a significant number of prisoners were left behindand that top government officials knew this from the start. These candid findings were inserted by committee staffers who had unearthed the evidence and were determined not to allow the truth to be sugar-coated.

If the Washington press corps did actually read the body of the report and then failed to report its contents, that would be a scandal of its own. The press would then have knowingly ignored the steady stream of findings in the body of the report that refuted the summary and indicated that the number of abandoned men was not small but considerable. The report gave no figures but estimates from various branches of the intelligence community ranged up to 600. The lowest estimate was 150.

Highlights of the report that undermine the benign conclusions of the Executive Summary:


POW/MIAs Report, pp. 207-209
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd207to209.pdf
(click link to download)
* Pages 207-209: These three pages contain revelations of what appear to be either massive intelligence failures, or bad intentionsor both. The report says that until the committee brought up the subject in 1992, no branch of the intelligence community that dealt with analysis of satellite and lower-altitude photos had ever been informed of the specific distress signals US personnel were trained to use in the Vietnam war, nor had they ever been tasked to look for any such signals at all from possible prisoners on the ground.

The committee decided, however, not to seek a review of old photography, saying it "would cause the expenditure of large amounts of manpower and money with no expectation of success." It might also have turned up lots of distress-signal numbers that nobody in the government was looking for from 1973 to 1991, when the committee opened shop. That would have made it impossible for the committee to write the Executive Summary it seemed determined to write.

The failure gets worse. The committee also discovered that the DIA, which kept the lists of authenticator numbers for pilots and other personnel, could not "locate" the lists of these codes for Army, Navy or Marine pilots. They had lost or destroyed the records. The Air Force list was the only one intact, as it had been preserved by a different intelligence branch.

The report concluded: "In theory, therefore, if a POW still living in captivity [today], were to attempt to communicate by ground signal, smuggling out a note or by whatever means possible, and he used his personal authenticator number to confirm his identity, the US Government would be unable to provide such confirmation, if his number happened to be among those numbers DIA cannot locate."

It's worth remembering that throughout the period when this intelligence disaster occurredfrom the moment the treaty was signed in 1973 until 1991the White House told the public that it had given the search for POWs and POW information the "highest national priority."


POW/MIAs Report, p. 13
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd13.pdf
(click link to download)
* Page 13: Even in the Executive Summary, the report acknowledges the existence of clear intelligence, made known to government officials early on, that important numbers of captured US POWs were not on Hanoi's repatriation list. After Hanoi released its list (showing only ten names from Laosnine military men and one civilian), President Nixon sent a message on February 2, 1973, to Hanoi's Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. saying: "US records show there are 317 American military men unaccounted for in Laos and it is inconceivable that only ten of these men would be held prisoner in Laos."

Nixon was right. It was inconceivable. Then why did the president, less than two months later, on March 29, 1973, announce on national television that "all of our American POWs are on their way home"?

On April 13, 1973, just after all 591 men on Hanoi's official list had returned to American soil, the Pentagon got into step with the president and announced that there was no evidence of any further live prisoners in Indochina (this is on page 248).


POW/MIAs Report, p. 248
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd248.pdf
(click link to download)

POW/MIAs Report, p. 91
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd91.pdf
(click link to download)
*Page 91: A lengthy footnote provides more confirmation of the White House's knowledge of abandoned POWs. The footnote reads:

"In a telephone conversation with Select Committee Vice-Chairman Bob Smith on December 29, 1992, Dr. Kissinger said that he had informed President Nixon during the 60-day period after the peace agreement was signed that US intelligence officials believed that the list of prisoners captured in Laos was incomplete. According to Dr. Kissinger, the President responded by directing that the exchange of prisoners on the lists go forward, but added that a failure to account for the additional prisoners after Operation Homecoming would lead to a resumption of bombing. Dr. Kissinger said that the President was later unwilling to carry through on this threat."

When Kissinger learned of the footnote while the final editing of the committee report was in progress, he and his lawyers lobbied fiercely through two Republican allies on the panelone of them was John McCainto get the footnote expunged. The effort failed. The footnote stayed intact.


Newsday, Jan. 8, 1973
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd7kissinger.pdf
(click link to download)

POW/MIAs Report, pp. 85-86
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd85to86.pdf
(click link to download)
* Pages 85-86: The committee report quotes Kissinger from his memoirs, writing solely in reference to prisoners in Laos: "We knew of at least 80 instances in which an American serviceman had been captured alive and subsequently disappeared. The evidence consisted either of voice communications from the ground in advance of capture or photographs and names published by the Communists. Yet none of these men was on the list of POWs handed over after the Agreement."

Then why did he swear under oath to the committee in 1992 that he never had any information that specific, named soldiers were captured alive and hadn't been returned by Vietnam?


POW/MIAs Report, p. 89
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd89.pdf
(click link to download)
* Page 89: In the middle of the prisoner repatriation and US troop-withdrawal process agreed to in the treaty, when it became clear that Hanoi was not releasing everyone it held, a furious chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, issued an order halting the troop withdrawal until Hanoi complied with the agreement. He cited in particular the known prisoners in Laos. The order was retracted by President Nixon the next day. In 1992, Moorer, by then retired, testified under oath to the committee that his order had received the approval of the President, the national security advisor and the secretary of defense. Nixon, however, in a letter to the committee, wrote: "I do not recall directing Admiral Moorer to send this cable."

The report did not include the following information: Behind closed doors, a senior intelligence officer had testified to the POW committee that when Moorer's order was rescinded, the angry admiral sent a "back-channel" message to other key military commanders telling them that Washington was abandoning known live prisoners. "Nixon and Kissinger are at it again," he wrote. "SecDef and SecState have been cut out of the loop." In 1973, the witness was working in the office that processed this message. His name and his testimony are still classified. A source present for the testimony provided me with this information and also reported that in that same time period, Moorer had stormed into Defense Secretary Schlesinger's office and, pounding on his desk, yelled: "The bastards have still got our men." Schlesinger, in his own testimony to the committee a few months later, was asked aboutand corroboratedthis account.


POW/MIAs Report, pp. 95-98
http://www.nationinstitute.org/pdf/syd95to98.pdf
(click link to download)
*Pages 95-96: In early April 1973, Deputy Defense Secretary William Clements "summoned" Dr. Roger Shields, then head of the Pentagon's POW/MIA Task Force, to his office to work out "a new public formulation" of the POW issue; now that the White House had declared all prisoners to have been returned, a new spin was needed. Shields, under oath, described the meeting to the committee. He said Clements told him: "All the American POWs are dead." Shields said he replied: "You can't say that." Clements shot back: "You didn't hear me. They are all dead." Shields testified that at that moment he thought he was going to be fired, but he escaped from his boss's office still holding his job.

*Pages 97-98: A couple of days later, on April 11, 1973, a day before Shields was to hold a Pentagon press conference on POWs, he and Gen. Brent Scowcroft, then the deputy national security advisor, went to the Oval Office to discuss the "new public formulation" and its presentation with President Nixon.

The next day, reporters right off asked Shields about missing POWs. Shields fudged his answers. He said: "We have no indications at this time that there are any Americans alive in Indochina." But he went on to say that there had not been "a complete accounting" of those lost in Laos and that the Pentagon would press on to account for the missinga seeming acknowledgement that some Americans were still alive and unaccounted for.

The press, however, seized on Shields' denials. One headline read: "POW Unit Boss: No Living GIs Left in Indochina."

*Page 97: The POW committee, knowing that Nixon taped all his meetings in the Oval Office, sought the tape of that April 11, 1973, Nixon-Shields-Scowcroft meeting to find out what Nixon had been told and what he had said about the evidence of POWs still in Indochina. The committee also knew there had been other White House meetings that centered on intelligence about live POWs. A footnote on page 97 states that Nixon's lawyers said they would provide access to the April 11 tape "only if the Committee agreed not to seek any other White House recordings from this time period." The footnote says that the committee rejected these terms and got nothing. The committee never made public this request for Nixon tapes until the brief footnote in its 1993 report.

McCain's Catch-22

None of this compelling evidence in the committee's full report dislodged McCain from his contention that the whole POW issue was a concoction by deluded purveyors of a "conspiracy theory. But an honest review of the full report, combined with the other documentary evidence, tells the story of a frustrated and angry president, and his national security advisor, furious at being thwarted at the peace table by a small, much less powerful country that refused to bow to Washington's terms. That President seems to have swallowed hard and accepted a treaty that left probably hundreds of American prisoners in Hanoi's hands, to be used as bargaining chips for reparations.

Maybe Nixon and Kissinger told themselves that they could get the prisoners home after some time had passed. But perhaps it proved too hard to undo a lie as big as this one. Washington said no prisoners were left behind, and Hanoi swore it had returned all of them. How could either side later admit it had lied? Time went by and as neither side budged, telling the truth became even more difficult and remote. The public would realize that Washington knew of the abandoned men all along. The truth, after men had been languishing in foul prison cells, could get people impeached or thrown in jail.

Which brings us to today, when the Republican candidate for President is the contemporaneous politician most responsible for keeping the truth about his matter hidden. Yet he says he's the right man to be the Commander-in-Chief, and his credibility in making this claim is largely based on his image as a POW hero.

On page 468 of the 1,221-page report, McCain parsed his POW position oddly: "We found no compelling evidence to prove that Americans are alive in captivity today. There is some evidencethough no proofto suggest only the possibility that a few Americans may have been kept behind after the end of America's military involvement in Vietnam."

"Evidence though no proof." Clearly, no one could meet McCain's standard of proof as long as he is leading a government crusade to keep the truth buried.

To this reporter, this sounds like a significant story and a long overdue opportunity for the press to finally dig into the archives to set the historical record straightand even pose some direct questions to the candidate.

###

Sydney H. Schanberg, a journalist for nearly 50 years, has written extensively on foreign affairs--particularly Asia--and on domestic issues such as ethics, racial problems, government secrecy, corporate excesses and the weaknesses of the national media.

Most of his journalism career has been spent on newspapers but his award-winning work has also appeared widely in other publications and media. The 1984 movie, The Killing Fields, which won several Academy Awards, was based on his book The Death and Life of Dith Pran - a memoir of his experiences covering the war in Cambodia for the New York Times and of his relationship with his Cambodian colleague, Dith Pran.

For his accounts of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Schanberg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting "at great risk." He is also the recipient of many other awards - including two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism.

Jan Klimkowski
09-27-2008, 03:43 AM
Magda - thank you for posting that expose of McCain and PoW/MIA situation.

Read it and weep.

It does seem highly plausible that McCain has spent decades burying his past - regardless of the human cost.

I was particularly struck by the following:


McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidencedocuments, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs' sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scornedhas been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the "bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists." He has regularly vilified those who keep trying to pry out classified documents as "hoaxers," charlatans," "conspiracy theorists" and "dime-store Rambos."

And:


It's not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his post-war behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Loto try to break down other prisonersand was broadcast over Hanoi's state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain.

So, in short:

McCain confessed to bombing civilian targets and being a war criminal, and a recording of this confession was played endlessly to other American PoWs.

The Pentagon and numerous American and non-American intelligence agencies have (secret) copies of this act of collaboration.

McCain is now the Republican Presidential candidate, campaigning fundamentally on a national security, "bomb bomb bomb (insert Evil Enemy as appropriate)" agenda whilst shuffling stiffly, like one of Romero's Zombies, to a Beach Boys' number.

McCain is thus a dog, "owned" by many masters.

However, in addition, as per my previous posts, McCain must have had his psyche messed with by the black shrinks of both Vietnam and America. The major scrambling of his mind would have been in the 60s & early 70s, when particularly vicious and crude "programming" techniques were being utilized.

Indeed, McCain was programmed in the era of the Manchurian Candidate.

And since the early 90s, since well before McCain was a Presidential candidate, various sources have told me that McCain was himself a Manchurian Candidate.

These sources did not mean that McCain was a Sirhan Sirhan, a hypno- & narco-programmed asssassin-cum-patsy. Rather, these sources meant that McCain's brain had been opened up, messed with, and programmed with crude Pavlovian and Behaviourist triggers. McCain's brain had been fundamentally and irrevocably damaged.

McCain's volcanic bursts of rage - whatever their origin - are clear evidence of a dangerous psyche, and should in and of themselves rule him out as a man whose finger can be on the Domesday Button.

Dawn Meredith
10-01-2008, 06:54 PM
Thank you Maggie and Jan for these important articles. With the election so close-in both time and polls- this information should receive the widest dissemination possible. I know some here believe it makes not a bit of difference who is elected and, on many levels I agree, but McNasty is one scary man. I have been noticing this all this past year. I have felt he's been downright psychotic which I chalked up to "still fighting the Viet Nam war" syndrome/obsession. Imagine him as President? With power to make war all he clearly desires? Terrifying.

Dawn

Peter Lemkin
10-03-2008, 08:42 AM
Is everyone aware of McCain's father? "In mid1968, McCain's father was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and McCain was offered early release." - clearly reason he got special treatment and perhaps special "attention" as a captive.......

Magda Hassan
10-03-2008, 10:43 AM
Yeah, Dawn and Jan, I really don't get how McCain can possibly be thought a contender by serious people. He has so many things going against him. His vile and uncontrolled temper pre-dated any Vietnam imprisonment. He obviously has plenty of unresolved father and anger issues. He was an underachiever at school and military training coming almost bottom of the class. If he wasn't white and male and from a connected and privileged background he'd be lucky to be flipping burgers in a fast food joint. He was an undisciplined pilot and crashed several, I think 5, planes. He has been reticent about disclosing his full military record and medical files. Why? He bombed and murdered innocent women, children and civilians and doesn't seem to give a shit. When he was captured by the Vietnamese he sang his heart out. He has a bad attutude to women and has traded in his wife for a prettier (less damaged) and more cashed up model though it seems he still treats her very disrespectfully. He was involved in dubious financial dealings in the Keating 5 scandal. His political record is very undistinguished. He has no idea what his principles are. And he generally seems out of touch with reality. He can't recall how many houses he owns or how many cars he has. And none of this takes in to account that he has probably had his brains totally scrambled somewhere along the line and not put back intact. Plus he's nearly due for life support and he chose Palin as a VP. He should be put out to pasture. And he (and she) is the best that the Republicans could come up with? Talent sure is thin on the ground there.

John Bevilaqua
12-17-2009, 09:22 PM
Yeah, Dawn and Jan, I really don't get how McCain can possibly be thought a contender by serious people. He has so many things going against him. His vile and uncontrolled temper pre-dated any Vietnam imprisonment. He obviously has plenty of unresolved father and anger issues. He was an underachiever at school and military training coming almost bottom of the class. If he wasn't white and male and from a connected and privileged background he'd be lucky to be flipping burgers in a fast food joint. He was an undisciplined pilot and crashed several, I think 5, planes. He has been reticent about disclosing his full military record and medical files. Why? He bombed and murdered innocent women, children and civilians and doesn't seem to give a shit. When he was captured by the Vietnamese he sang his heart out. He has a bad attutude to women and has traded in his wife for a prettier (less damaged) and more cashed up model though it seems he still treats her very disrespectfully. He was involved in dubious financial dealings in the Keating 5 scandal. His political record is very undistinguished. He has no idea what his principles are. And he generally seems out of touch with reality. He can't recall how many houses he owns or how many cars he has. And none of this takes in to account that he has probably had his brains totally scrambled somewhere along the line and not put back intact. Plus he's nearly due for life support and he chose Palin as a VP. He should be put out to pasture. And he (and she) is the best that the Republicans could come up with? Talent sure is thin on the ground there.

Did you folks see the recent piece about how Sarah Palin was chosen as the VP candidate by the Pioneer Fund Eugenics crowds because of her pro-life, pro-Christian and pro-family agendas with her distinct proclivity towards favorable Eugenics acceptable attitudes? I will dig it out or just Google Palin Pioneer Fund Eugenics and you will probably get a hit on it, too. And McCain is now associated with some of the same crowd of racists and Eugenicists, too which lends credence to the accusations of his history as a mind control target and as a programmed inductee using techniques enhanced by these same Pioneer Fund, ManCand afficionadoes.

Sometimes I just feel that Paul Weyrich was right when he said: "The entire history of the 20th Century will have to be essentially re-written from scrach once the complete roles played by Wickliffe Draper and The Pioneer Fund are revealed and fully understood/comprehended."

And THAT is why I continue to push the Draper agenda out to the public. His role was MASSIVE from the 1920's until long after The Bell Curve was published in 1994 from his grave and final resting place.

The Seduction of Sarah Palin: Eugenics, CNP, and the Pioneer Fund

- by Paul & Phillip D. Collins (http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Articles/index.php?n=54), October 13th, 2008
http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/images/2008/e/eugenics.jpg Left to right: Wickliffe Preston Draper (1891-1972), founder and benefactor of the Pioneer Fund; on the Board of Directors (1937-72). Harry Hamilton Laughlin (1880-1943), Pres. (1927-28) and Dir. (1923-39) of the American Eugenics Society; Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office in (1910-21) and its Director (1921-40); first president of the Pioneer Fund (1937-41). Frederick Henry Osborn (1890-1981), second president of the Pioneer Fund (19411958); Pres. (1946-52) and Dir. (1969-72) of the American Eugenics Society.

No one on America's political stage today has more motivation to oppose eugenics than Sarah Palin. The Alaskan Governor and Vice-Presidential running mate has learned experientially about the sanctity of life. In April, she gave birth to a baby boy with Down syndrome (Demer, no pagination). When she first learned that the child would be born with the birth defect, Palin chose life in a situation where 90 percent of women have an abortion (no pagination). Lisa Demer has correctly described Palin "as anti-abortion as a politician can be" (no pagination).
It was, therefore, disturbing to learn that Palin had been vetted by a secretive group with connections to the eugenics movement. In a September 1, 2008 article for The Nation, Max Blumenthal reported that the "members of the Council for National Policy are the hidden hand behind McCain's Palin pick" (no pagination). According to Blumenthal, the Council for National Policy (CNP) met at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis the week of the Democratic National Convention to acquaint themselves with Palin (no pagination). The article also stated that the Palin selection secured McCain the support of the conservative movement and that CNP participant James Dobson "may soon emerge from his bunker in Colorado Springs to endorse McCain, providing the Republican nominee with the backing of the Christian right's single most influential figure" (no pagination).
For many people on the left, it is hard to swallow the idea that the CNP has ties to the eugenics movement. After all, CNP participants such as James Dobson, Tim LaHaye, and Alan Keyes are considered to be stalwart pro-lifers. George W. Bush even put in an appearance at a secret meeting of the CNP in 2000 promising to nominate only pro-life judges (no pagination). There is a body of evidence, however, that suggests that all the pro-life rhetoric and pro-life participants may be mere window dressing to hide the sinister goal of creating a master race.
Helms and the Pioneer Fund

The CNP connects to the eugenics movement through deceased Senator Jesse Helms. Helms was on the CNP Board of Governors in 1982 and was a member in 1984-1985, 1988, 1996, 1998, and 1999 ("The Council for National Policy: Selected Member Biographies," no pagination). Throughout his political career, Helms collaborated closely with two other CNP participants: Thomas Ellis and R.E. Carter-Wrenn (no pagination). In the 1980s, the three CNP participants teamed with Harry Weyher and Marion Parrott to form an elaborate, multimillion dollar network of corporations, political action committees, ad hoc groups, and foundations ("Race Science and the Pioneer Fund," no pagination). According to the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism, the network's leadership "especially, Harry Weyher, Thomas F. Ellis and Marion A. Parrott are part of an interlocking set of directorates and associates linking the Pioneer Fund to Jesse Helm's high-tech political machine" (no pagination). In the 1980s, Ellis' Coalition for Freedom, a component of the Jesse Helms political machine, received grants totaling $195,000 from the Pioneer Fund (Begos, no pagination).
What exactly is the Pioneer Fund? The story of this mysterious private trust fund begins with a reclusive philanthropist named Wickliffe Draper. Draper was born in Massachusetts in 1891 (no pagination). The product of a mixture of old Kentucky and Puritan blood, Draper was convinced that his family tree constituted a superior stock of humanity that should be considered the true Americans (no pagination). In the 1920s, Draper inherited a multimillion-dollar textile fortune (no pagination). After attending the Nazis' International Congress for the Scientific Investigation of Population Problems in 1935 Berlin, Draper decided to devote a large portion of his fortune to eugenics and race science (no pagination).It would be no exaggeration to say that Draper was drawing his inspiration from mass murderers. Wilhelm Frick, a war criminal convicted during the Nuremberg trials, was the Honorary Chairman at the 1935 meeting that Draper attended in Berlin (no pagination).
In 1937, Draper joined with eugenicists Harry Laughlin and Frederick Osborn to form the Pioneer Fund (no pagination). The Fund helped the crusade for nationwide eugenical regimentation through the distribution of grants (no pagination). In its first year, the Pioneer Fund had in its budget two German films promoting the theme of eugenics. One of those films, entitled The Hereditary Defective (http://drvitelli.typepad.com/providentia/2007/03/the_hereditary_.html), was shown at 28 high schools throughout the United States thanks to the efforts of Harry Laughlin (no pagination). Draper's money was also used to print a special edition of Earnest Sevier Cox's "White America" (no pagination). The racist tract was distributed to every member of the 1937 Congress (no pagination).
For Draper, "race betterment" meant disenfranchisement for blacks. One of the white supremacist academics Draper recruited to his cause was segregationist and Chair of Psychology at Colombia University Henry Garrett. Garrett served as a witness supporting segregation in the 1952 Davis v. County School Board ("Race Science and the Pioneer Fund," no pagination). Davis v. County School Board became part of a much larger, historic case, Brown v. the Board of Education (no pagination). In 1964, the Missippi Sovereignty Commission used $215,000 given to it by Draper in an attempt to prevent the Civil Rights Act from passing (Begos, no pagination). In 1977, North Iowa professor Dr. Ralph Scott used Pioneer Fund money to finance anti-busing, anti-school integration seminars (Lichtenstein, no pagination).
Draper may have even tried to use internal security organs to advance his agenda. According journalist Grace Lichtenstein, Draper supported Representative Francis E. Walter, the chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), throughout the 1950s and 1960s (no pagination). In 1960 HUAC staff director Richard Arens was forced to leave his Congressional job when it was discovered that he was a paid consultant to Draper (no pagination). Draper may have contributed to the corruption of national security politics and the discrediting and dismantling of America's internal security apparatus. So it is that Paul Wolfowitz, during his time as Deputy Defense Secretary, could have a "discreet romance" with a woman who was born in Tunisia and raised in Saudi Arabia without anyone asking any serious questions about penetration and compromising of internal security (Leiby, no pagination).
Probably the most high profile case involving the Pioneer Fund was the publishing of The Bell Curve in 1994. The controversial best-seller asserted that whites were genetically superior to blacks and that blacks were inclined to have lower IQs (Begos, no pagination). Anglo-American race scientists William Shockley, Hans J. Eysenck, Arthur Jensen, Roger Pearson, Richard Lynn, J. Philippe Rushton, R. Travis Osborne, Linda Gottfredson, Robert A. Gordon, Daniel R. Vining Jr., Michael Levin, and Seymour Itzkopp were all cited in The Bell Curve and were all recipients of Pioneer Fund money ("Race Science and the Pioneer Fund," no pagination). According to a November 22, 1994 ABC World News Tonight report, the researchers cited The Bell Curve received $3.5 million from the Pioneer Fund ("The Bell Curve and the Pioneer Fund," no pagination).
One would think that with the passing of Draper, Laughlin, and Weyher, the Pioneer Fund would have begun pursuing nobler endeavors. Unfortunately, old habits seem to die hard. In February 2006, current Pioneer Fund head J. Philippe Rushton spoke at an American Renaissance conference held at the Hyatt Dulles Hotel in Herndon, Virginia (Williams, no pagination). American Renaissance is a white supremacist magazine headed up by Jared Taylor that promotes the "clear conception of the United States as a nation ruled by and for whites" (no pagination). Rushton was surrounded by such notable white supremacists as former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, racist talk show host Hal Turner, Director of the Holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review Mark Weber, former neo-Nazi National Alliance members David Pringle and National Vanguard's Kevin Strom, and former Klansman and head of white supremacist website Stormfront.org Don Black (no pagination). Rushton used the occasion to speak about IQ tests proving whites' supposed genetic superiority over blacks (no pagination).
The Pioneer Fund and the Power Elite

While many might consider the Pioneer Fund merely a fringe organization, it is far from being a collection of disenfranchised, racist misfits. Pioneer Fund principal Harry Laughlin was also the superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) (Chaitkin 551). The ERO was established on 80 acres of land and in buildings donated by E.H. Harriman's widow, Mary A. Harriman (550). The Harrimans were the most powerful family in the Democratic party at one time and their dynasty belongs among the ranks of the power elite. Like most elitists, the Harrimans possessed a fascination with eugenics. Averell Harriman was on the Executive Committee of New Yorks' American Museum of Natural History. In 1921, Harriman and the rest of the Museum Executive Committee hosted the Second International Eugenics Congress (551). Averell also contributed $1,000 to the conference and his mother and sister were primary hostesses at the conference (551).
The trend was repeated in 1932 when the Third International Eugenics Congress was held at New York's American Museum of Natural History (552). Once again, the Harrimans financed the conference and Averell's mother and sister acted as hostesses (552). At the conference, Dr. Ernst Rudin, the man responsible for Nazi Germany's sterilization program, was recognized with a medal and was elected President of the International Federation of Eugenics Societies (552). There is no small connection between Laughlin, the Harrimans, and the Nazis. When writing the Nazi's sterilization law entitled "For the Protection of German Blood and German Honor," Rudin relied heavily on the "Model Sterilization Law (http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/%7Ewellerst/laughlin/)" drafted for the ERO by Laughlin (551). Laughlin was attempting to achieve the ERO's goal of producing "the perfect man" by 1980 through the sterilization of 15 million Americans (551). Among those targeted by Laughlin's law were "orphans, the homeless, ne'er-do-wells, and tramps" (552). Ironically, Laughlin would later discover that he had epilepsy, a condition his model law identified as a criterion for sterilization ("Harry Laughlin," no pagination).
George H.W. Bush, the consummate oligarch, gave an audience to recipients of the Pioneer Fund. In 1969, then-chairman of the Republican Task Force on Earth Resources and Population Bush invited Professors William Shockley and Arthur Jensen to appear before the committee and share their views concerning race and eugenics (52). According to the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism, Shockley would go on to "receive an estimated $188,710 from the Pioneer Fund between 1971 and 1978" and Jensen, Shockley's recruit into race science, received more than a million dollars from the Pioneer Fund over three decades ("Race Science and the Pioneer Fund," no pagination). For Bush, the growth of the black population was obviously a threat, as is evidenced by the views held by Shockley and Jensen. In the same year that the GOP task force supplied him with a congressional platform, Shockley wrote:

"Our nobly intended welfare programs may be encouraging dysgenics-retrogressive evolution through disproportionate reproduction of the genetically disadvantage We fear that 'fatuous beliefs' in the power of welfare money, unaided by eugenic foresight, may contribute to a decline of human quality for all segments of society." (Tarpley and Chaitkin 200)
To counter this tide of so-called "retrogressive evolution," Shockley proposed a "Bonus Sterilization Plan" (Tarpley and Chaitkin 200). Individuals with genetic defects, chronic diseases, or drug and alcohol addiction would be paid for volunteering to be sterilized (200). Chaitkin and Tarpley elaborate:

"If [the government paid] a bonus rate of $1,000 for each point below 100 IQ, $30,000 put in trust for some 70 IQ moron of 20-child potential, it might return $250,000 to taxpayers in reduced cost of mental retardation care," Shockley said. (200).
True to the Draper tradition, Shockley identified African-Americans as the main target of his mass sterilization plan. Tarpley and Chaitkin share Shockley's racist views:

"If those blacks with the least amount of Caucasian genes are in fact the most prolific and the least intelligent, the genetic enslavement will be the destiny of their next generation," he wrote. Looking at the recent past, Shockley said in 1967: "The lesson to be drawn from Nazi history is the value of free speech, not that eugenics is intolerable." (200)
Why would Bush give Pioneer Fund recipients with radical racist views a platform? Tarpley and Chaitkin provide an accurate explanation:

Oligarchy subsumes the self-conception of the oligarch as belonging to a special, exalted breed of mankind, one that is superior to the common rule of mankind as a matter of hereditary, genetic superiority. This mentality generally goes together with a fascination for eugenics, race science and just plain racism as a means of building a case that one's own family tree and racial stock are indeed superior. (9-10)
Conclusion

The majority of conservatives have been duped and Palin is no exception to that rule. If Palin does not want to become involved with the kind of dirty politics and radical agenda that have made most Americans jaded and cynical, she must recognize the CNP for what it really is. Under the CNP's mask lies an elite combine that is mobilizing unwitting conservatives and grassroots activists behind an elite agenda. Part of that agenda is eugenics.
Sources Cited



Begos, Kevin. "Benefactor With a Racist Bent (http://extras.journalnow.com/againsttheirwill/parts/two/storybody3.html)." Winston-Salem Journal
Blumenthal, Max. "Secretive Right-Wing Group Vetted Palin (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters/352178)." The Nation 1 September 2008
Chaitkin, Anton. Treason In America (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0933488459/conspiracyarc-20/). New York: New Benjamin Franklin House, 1985.
"Council for National Policy: Selected Member Biographies (http://www.seekgod.ca/topiccnp.htm)." Seek God
Demer, Lisa. "Abortion opponents give Palin high marks (http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/518512.html)." Anchorage Daily News 7 September 2008
"Harry H. Laughlin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Laughlin)." Wikipedia 10 July 2008
Leiby, Richard. "What Will the Neighbors Say? Wolfowitz Romance Stirs Gossip (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55423-2005Mar21.html)." Washington Post 22 March 2005
Lichtenstein, Grace "Fund Backs Controversial Study of 'Racial Betterment' (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45/022.html)." The New York Times 11 December 1977
"Race Science and the Pioneer Fund (http://www.ferris.edu/ISAR/Institut/pioneer/search.htm)." Institute for the Study of Academic Racism July 1998
Tarpley, Webster and Anton Chaitkin. George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0930852923/conspiracyarc-20/). Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992.
"The Bell Curve and the Pioneer Fund (http://www.ferris.edu/isar/tanton/abcnews.htm)." ABC World News Tonight 22 November 1994
Williams, David. "BNP leader embraced by top US Nazi (http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/index.php?link=template&story=162)." Searchlight Magazine April 2006

About the Authors

Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He co-authored the book The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship, which is available at www.amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1419639323/conspiracyarc-20/). It is also available as an E-book at www.4acloserlook.com (http://www.4acloserlook.com/ascendancy.html). Phillip has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, News With Views, B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent and Conspiracy Archive. He has also been interviewed on several radio programs, including A Closer Look, Peering Into Darkness, From the Grassy Knoll, Frankly Speaking, the ByteShow, and Sphinx Radio.
In 1999, Phillip earned an Associate degree of Arts and Science. In 2006, he earned a bachelor's degree with a major in communication studies and liberal studies along with a minor in philosophy. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, political science, semiotics, journalism, theatre, and classic literature. He recently completed a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose entitled Expansive Thoughts. Readers can learn more about it at www.expansivethoughts.com (http://www.expansivethoughts.com/).
Paul D. Collins has studied suppressed history and the shadowy undercurrents of world political dynamics for roughly eleven years. In 1999, he earned his Associate of Arts and Science degree. In 2006, he completed his bachelor's degree with a major in liberal studies and a minor political science. Paul has authored another book entitled The Hidden Face of Terrorism: The Dark Side of Social Engineering, From Antiquity to September 11. Published in November 2002, the book is available online from www.1stbooks.com (http://www.1stbooks.com/), barnesandnoble.com (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/), and also amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/). It can be purchased as an e-book (ISBN 1-4033-6798-1) or in paperback format (ISBN 1-4033-6799-X). Paul also co-authored The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1419639323/conspiracyarc-20/).
A comprehensive collection of Collins articles can be found here (http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Commentary/Collins.php).

Jan Klimkowski
12-17-2009, 09:43 PM
John - I too believe that eugenics, and members of the covert and overt movements associated with it, are at the root of much evil.

Eugenics is one of the fundamental deep, dark, secrets of C20th and C21st history. Royal or "noble" bloodlines are inherently eugenic. And their implications for the status of the rest of us are clear and unambiguous.

Intellectual or racial bloodlines - together with the concept of racial hygiene - are also inherently eugenic.

The Holocaust rendered the concept of eugenics entirely unmentionable in polite society. But the eugenicists remain, and Pioneer is part of their deep, black, thunderously beating heart.

There are quite a few threads on the subject on DPF, such as:

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27&highlight=eugenics

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620&highlight=eugenics

The shadows shifting around Sarah Palin, like those cast inside John McCain's fractured psyche, are certainly intriguing.

Magda Hassan
12-18-2009, 11:28 AM
Yeah, Dawn and Jan, I really don't get how McCain can possibly be thought a contender by serious people. He has so many things going against him. His vile and uncontrolled temper pre-dated any Vietnam imprisonment. He obviously has plenty of unresolved father and anger issues. He was an underachiever at school and military training coming almost bottom of the class. If he wasn't white and male and from a connected and privileged background he'd be lucky to be flipping burgers in a fast food joint. He was an undisciplined pilot and crashed several, I think 5, planes. He has been reticent about disclosing his full military record and medical files. Why? He bombed and murdered innocent women, children and civilians and doesn't seem to give a shit. When he was captured by the Vietnamese he sang his heart out. He has a bad attutude to women and has traded in his wife for a prettier (less damaged) and more cashed up model though it seems he still treats her very disrespectfully. He was involved in dubious financial dealings in the Keating 5 scandal. His political record is very undistinguished. He has no idea what his principles are. And he generally seems out of touch with reality. He can't recall how many houses he owns or how many cars he has. And none of this takes in to account that he has probably had his brains totally scrambled somewhere along the line and not put back intact. Plus he's nearly due for life support and he chose Palin as a VP. He should be put out to pasture. And he (and she) is the best that the Republicans could come up with? Talent sure is thin on the ground there.

Did you folks see the recent piece about how Sarah Palin was chosen as the VP candidate by the Pioneer Fund Eugenics crowds because of her pro-life, pro-Christian and pro-family agendas with her distinct proclivity towards favorable Eugenics acceptable attitudes? I will dig it out or just Google Palin Pioneer Fund Eugenics and you will probably get a hit on it, too. And McCain is now associated with some of the same crowd of racists and Eugenicists, too which lends credence to the accusations of his history as a mind control target and as a programmed inductee using techniques enhanced by these same Pioneer Fund, ManCand afficionadoes.

Sometimes I just feel that Paul Weyrich was right when he said: "The entire history of the 20th Century will have to be essentially re-written from scrach once the complete roles played by Wickliffe Draper and The Pioneer Fund are revealed and fully understood/comprehended."

And THAT is why I continue to push the Draper agenda out to the public. His role was MASSIVE from the 1920's until long after The Bell Curve was published in 1994 from his grave and final resting place.

Yes, John. I'm slowly reading through all your works (more please :ciao:). I'm finding it most interesting. Like yourself and Jan I see the pernicious eugenics ideology as responsible for much more than it is known or acknowledged.

Jan Klimkowski
05-28-2013, 06:25 PM
I watched the 2004 version of The Manchurian Candidate again last night.

Raymond Prentiss Shaw = John McCain?

Hmmmmmmm

:alberteinstein:

Jan Klimkowski
09-04-2013, 08:58 PM
John McCain: A Manchurian Candidate?

The question is more relevant than ever.

Danny Jarman
09-04-2013, 09:08 PM
Barack Obama...