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  1. #1
    countybear's Avatar
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    Who is John McCain? (The lesser-told story)

    With all of the media-driven blitz about his opponent, I believe it is important for us to take a moment and ask ourselves what we haven't been told about John McCain. Certainly, some outlets have grazed (or driven-by) the McCain story, but no one has really hit the high points in any detail, so I will (with the aid of Wikipedia).

    McCain was born in 1936 on an American Naval Air Station, the son of John McCain, Jr., who would eventually ascend to the same rank as John McCain's grandfather, John McCain, Sr.; four-star Admiral in the United States Navy.

    McCain attended The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis (as did his father and grandfather), graduating in 1958. Although he excelled in literature and history, he was known as having some problem with mathematics. He was known by his classmates as a friendly sort, who often stood up for victims of bullying. He was also known as having some conflict with higher-ranking personnel, a fact which contributed to a lower class rank.

    McCain spent two years training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, where he was known as a partying type. He was, upon completion, assigned to the aircraft carriers Enterprise, and then Intrepid, initially flying A-1 Skyraider ground attack aircraft. He was known at first as reckless, pushing the envelope a bit in his aircraft, but his flight skills were documented as improving vastly, and he was considered a good pilot, yet still one who flew 'on the edge'.

    In 1965, McCain married Carol Shepp, a model who had two children from her first marriage. McCain adopted both, and he and Shepp had another child together in 1966.

    McCain requested a combat assignment as the war in Viet Nam intensified, and was assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Forrestal at the age of 30, where he was attached to an A-4 Skyhawk squadron. In 1967, the Forrestal was assigned to participate in Operation Rolling Thunder, a bombardment campaign, and McCain and his fellow pilots were vocal about micromanagement of the operations from Washington, McCain himself once writing:

    "In all candor, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots who didn't have the least notion of what it took to win the war."

    On July 26th, 1967, McCain was injured, and nearly killed in what became known as the 'Forrestal fire', when jet fuel was touched off and engulfed a number of aircraft on the deck of the carrier. McCain scrambled out of his aircraft, but rather than fleeing the blaze, he remained to help another pilot escape his aircraft. A bomb then exploded, and McCain, by then a lieutenant commander, took shrapnel in the legs and chest. The ensuing fire on the Forrestal killed 134 sailors and took 24 hours to control.

    Upon recovering from his injuries, McCain volunteered to return to combat service, and was assigned to the U.S.S. Oriskany, another carrier in support of Operation Rolling Thunder. McCain went on to earn a Bronze Star and a Navy Commendation Medal flying bombing missions into Viet Nam.

    On October 26th, 1967, McCain was shot down over Hanoi in an A-4E by a surface to air missle. I'll let Wikipedia take over here, as I believe it tells the story well:

    McCain fractured both arms and a leg ejecting from the aircraft,[35] and nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake.[33] Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.[33] McCain was then transported to Hanoi's main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton".[34]...

    McCain spent six weeks in the hospital while receiving marginal care.[33] By then having lost 50 pounds (23 kg), in a chest cast, and with his hair turned white,[33] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi[40] in December 1967, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live a week.[41] In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[42]

    In mid-1968, John S. McCain, Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release[43] because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purposes,[44] and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially.[43] McCain turned down the offer; he would only accept repatriation if every man taken in before him was released as well. Such early release was prohibited by the POW's interpretation of the military Code of Conduct: To prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda, officers were to agree to be released in the order in which they were captured.[33]

    In August 1968, a program of severe torture began on McCain.[45] He was subjected to rope bindings and repeated beatings every two hours, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery.[33][45] Further injuries led to the beginning of a suicide attempt, stopped by guards.[33]... He subsequently received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.[50] Former prison officials have denied that American POWs were tortured,[51] which contradicts prisoners' personal experiences.[35]

    McCain refused to meet with various anti-war groups seeking peace in Hanoi, wanting to give neither them nor the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory.[52]...

    Altogether, McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years. He was released on March 14, 1973.[56] His wartime injuries left McCain permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.[57]
    McCain's return to the U.S. reunited he and his family, and after long physical therapy and attendance of the Naval War College, he returned to flight status and was assigned to a Training Squadron in Florida. There, he dramatically improved the performance of the squadron and propelled it to recieve its first ever Navy Meritorious Unit Citation. He was assigned to be the Navy's Senate Liaison in 1977, where he was most noted as being key in landing congressional funding for the Navy's supercarrier program, (which gave birth to the Nimitz class carriers), against the wishes of the Carter Presidential administration.

    In 1980, McCain divorced Carol Shepp in an undisputed divorce. They remain on friendly terms, with Carol even openly supporting John in his presidential bids. He re-married Cindy Hensley in 1980, leaving the Navy as a Captain in 1981.

    His naval awards and accomplishments include a total of 17 decorations, including the "Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal, for actions before, during, and after his time as a POW."

    McCain ran for and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1982 in Arizona. He was there once branded a 'carpet bagger', to which he responded:

    "Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi."[64][77]
    I'll again defer to the Wiki:
    In 1984 McCain and his wife Cindy had their first child together, daughter Meghan. She was followed two years later by son John Sidney McCain IV (known as Jack), and in 1988 by son James (Jimmy).[87] In 1991, Cindy McCain brought an abandoned three-month old girl needing medical treatment to the U.S. from a Bangladeshi orphanage run by Mother Teresa.[88] The McCains decided to adopt her, and named her Bridget.[89]
    In the house, McCain was known for being directly in line with Reagan on the vast majority of issues, with only one notable conflict;

    McCain's politics at this point were mainly in line with President Ronald Reagan, including support for Reaganomics, and he was active on Indian Affairs bills.[80] He supported most aspects of the foreign policy of the Reagan administration...

    McCain opposed keeping U.S. Marines deployed in Lebanon citing unattainable objectives, and subsequently criticized President Reagan for pulling out the troops too late; in the interim, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing killed hundreds.[81][64
    From the House of Representatives, McCain was then elected to three consecutive terms in the U.S. Senate. During his Senate tenure:

    McCain became enmeshed in a scandal during the 1980s as one of five United States Senators comprising the so-called Keating Five.[98] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in lawful[99] political contributions from Charles Keating Jr. and his associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, along with trips on Keating's jets[98] that McCain belatedly repaid in 1989.[100] In 1987, McCain was one of the five senators whom Keating contacted in order to prevent the government's seizure of Lincoln, and McCain met twice with federal regulators to discuss the government's investigation of Lincoln.[98] ... In the end, McCain was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee of acting improperly or violating any law or Senate rule, but was mildly rebuked for exercising "poor judgment".[101][99]
    McCain developed a reputation for independence during the 1990s.[104] He took pride in challenging party leadership and establishment forces, becoming difficult to categorize politically.[104]
    McCain's senate voting record can be found here:
    http://www.vote-smart.org/voting_cat...p?can_id=53270

    McCain authored his memoirs in 1999, "Faith of My Fathers", which hit the bestseller list, and was later made into a television movie. In 2000, McCain entered a presidential campaign, facing primaries against George W. Bush, the campaign was marred by some particular political brutality:

    The Arizona Republic would write that the McCain-Bush primary contest in South Carolina "has entered national political lore as a low-water mark in presidential campaigns"...

    An anonymous smear campaign began against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, and audience plants.[126][142] The smears claimed that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains' dark-skinned daughter was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a "Manchurian Candidate" who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days.[126][136] The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.[136]

    McCain lost South Carolina on February 19, with 42 percent of the vote to Bush's 53 percent...

    ...With little hope of overcoming Bush's delegate lead, McCain withdrew from the race on March 9, 2000.[150] He endorsed Bush two months later,[151] and made occasional appearances with the Texas governor during the general election campaign.[126]
    Post-2000, McCain returned to the Senate, and was involved in sponsorship of a number of bills and chaired leadership on a number of committees.

    After the September 11, 2001 attacks, McCain supported Bush and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.[152][159]...

    In March 2002, McCain-Feingold passed in both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush.[115][152] Seven years in the making, it was McCain's greatest legislative achievement.[152][162]

    Meanwhile, in discussions over proposed U.S. action against Iraq, McCain was a strong supporter of the Bush administration's position.[152] He stated that Iraq was "a clear and present danger to the United States of America", and voted accordingly for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002.[152] He predicted that U.S. forces would be treated as liberators by a large number of the Iraqi people.[163] ...

    In October 2003, McCain and Lieberman co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act that would have introduced a cap and trade system aimed at returning greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels; the bill was defeated with 55 votes to 43 in the Senate.[166] They reintroduced modified versions of the Act two additional times, most recently in January 2007 with the co-sponsorship of Barack Obama, among others.[167]...

    ...By August 2004, McCain had the best favorable-to-unfavorable rating (55 percent to 19 percent) of any national politician;[172]
    Breaking from his 2001 and 2003 votes, McCain supported the Bush tax cut extension in May 2006, saying not to do so would amount to a tax increase.[153] Working with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, McCain was a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components... In June 2007, President Bush, McCain, and others made the strongest push yet for such a bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007... the bill twice failed to gain cloture in the Senate.[179]
    McCain remained consistent on the Iraq War, but criticized the administration's conduct of certain points, including the manner in which it had been routinely addressed to the people:

    In August 2006, he criticized the administration for continually understating the effectiveness of the insurgency: "We [have] not told the American people how tough and difficult this could be."[165] From the beginning, McCain strongly supported the Iraq troop surge of 2007.[189] ...The surge and the war were unpopular during most of the year, even within the Republican Party,[191] as McCain's presidential campaign was underway; faced with the consequences, McCain frequently responded, "I would much rather lose a campaign than a war."[192] In March 2008, McCain credited the surge strategy with reducing violence in Iraq, as he made his eighth trip to that country since the war began.[193]
    Throughout his political career, McCain has remained quite humble about his past. Sometimes, his service to the country has been muted, dismissed, and over-ridden by hype. Perhaps McCain's story should be better told, regardless of who becomes president.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  2. #2
    Jenna's Avatar
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    I don't think McCain would be as good at running the country as Obama, but I do think McCain's a true American hero who should be honored for his patriotism and sacrifices.

  3. #3
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I don't think McCain would be as good at running the country as Obama, but I do think McCain's a true American hero who should be honored for his patriotism and sacrifices.
    Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Howard Christ, Jenna... can you just let the man have one frigging thread without your 'opinion' on Obama's supposed superiority? I think he earned it.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  4. #4
    Jenna's Avatar
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    I was trying to say that I agree with you about McCain being an admirable person!

  5. #5
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    A man who gave us five years in hell and more than 25 years as a legislator deserves his four years over a man who's resume can be printed on a 3x5 card.

    Tough call, except not.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  6. #6
    Captain America's Avatar
    Captain America is offline Reed and Malloy were my FTOs
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    Captain McCain came as close to being killed in the Forrestal fire as he did when he was shot down. The Forrestal fire changed the way the Navy trained personnel to fight fires and the video from the flightdeck cameras became training films. The first part of the film shoes the rocket hitting McCain's plane while he was sitting in it. The Auxilary fuel tank hung under his plane ruptured and his plane was completely surrounded by fire. He had to climb out of his cockpit and walk out on the nose of his plane in order to drop beyond the ring of fire. The fire spread to other aircraft on the crowded fllight deck which were loaded with fuel and ordnance. Bombs began cooking off from the heat and turned the flight deck into a living hell as several crewmembers were killed trying to control the fires and rescue trapped aircrews. The fact that McCain cheated death and then ran back into that mayhem tells me all I need to know about the man. He demonstrated spur of the moment courage and later as a POW prolonged courage and honor. Chris ,I have a copy of that training film if you ever want to see it.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

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  7. #7
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    I wish it wasn't such a lesser-told story. Excellent post!
    Arm the sheep!

  8. #8
    Ducky's Avatar
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    By comparison, the 'community coordinator' on someone else's resume seems even more pathetic.
    \\
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    `` ` ` ` (3--(____)
    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtN1YnoL46Q


  9. #9
    Retmilleo909 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I don't think McCain would be as good at running the country as Obama, but I do think McCain's a true American hero who should be honored for his patriotism and sacrifices.
    I agree Jenna, John McCain is a true American hero, whereas Barack Obama is not..In view of this, I believe this country would be much better off with a true American hero as her Commander in Chief; and I hope and pray that America will be rewarded with that better and more qualified helmsman, which she so justly deserves.

 

 

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