h/t to BooMan for this link.
By the time committee investigators finally began briefing the senators in secret sessions in early spring, 1992, the issue of live POWs had become, as McCain later described it, “white hot;” this not only because of intense public interest in the plight of the POWs, but also because Texas businessman and longtime POW advocate H. Ross Perot had entered the presidential race, and had done so amid press accounts that he thought President Bush was not doing enough to bring the POWs home. By late May Perot was in first place in the national polls, ahead of President Bush, who was in second place, and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Governor Bill Clinton, who was in third. What would the committee find? Might a ruling that 69% of the American people were right and that, in fact, there were live POWs still held half a world away throw the election to Perot? How could it not?
Enter John McCain
Given his wartime experiences as a POW in Vietnam, Sen. John McCain was by default the most powerful and influential member of the Select Committee. Members on both sides of the aisle deferred to his judgment; reporters hung on his every pronouncement. And so when McCain, his chief of staff Mark Salter and their allies on the Select Committee joined forces with top Bush administration officials to assail, ridicule, attack, discredit, photoshop, retouch, manipulate, massage and/or “cherry-pick” the intelligence in order to destroy its intelligence value and keep the matter of live POWs from becoming an issue in the 1992 election, the live POWs never had a chance.
How McCain and Salter and the others went about doing this is a case study in how powerful government officials can manipulate intelligence to make it say what they want it to say – and the main reason we believe that John McCain must not be Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces.
“There’s evidence, evidence, evidence,” Ross Perot claims. “McCain was adamant about shutting down anything to do with recovering POWs.” McCain, he says, “is the classic opportunist-he’s always reaching for attention and glory. Other POWs won’t even sit at the same table with him.”
The remains of captured Navy pilot, Larry Van Renselaar, came home in a body bag, sent back by the North Vietnamese in 1989, after his wife put up a 20 year fight against a corrupt U.S. government, concealing her husband’s whereabouts as a POW for political expediency reasons.
Instead of telling Diane Van Rensaleer her husband was alive and in a slave labor camp, the lying contingent of morally irreprehensible politicians and military brass concealed his status, closing the official book on the pilot in 1978 even though credible CIA intelligence information revealed he was still alive in 1987, two years before he arrived home in a body bag.
“Larry was shot down on September 30, 1968. They closed his case in 1978. In fact, John McCain, who is a very dangerous and violent man, was the driving force behind closing all the POW files, classifying records in order to keep the truth from the families and the American people,” said Van Rensaleer this week from her home in Corte Madera, California.
- Anheuser-Busch signed an import and distribution agreement with the Gannon Distribution Co. to launch Budweiser in Vietnam this month, the St. Louis-based brewer.
Gannon Distribution will sell the beer that will be brewed and packaged at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Los Angeles. Budweiser will initially be available in Ho Chi Minh City as well as select chain outlets across the nation.
Gannon is a part of Creve Coeur-based holding company Gannon International, one of the largest privately held companies in the St. Louis area with $80 million in 2007 revenue. President and CEO Bill Franke founded the company in 1983 and is the majority owner.
- The end of the 2004 presidential election campaign doesn’t spell the end of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the well-funded alliance of former servicemen that remains dedicated to preventing Sen. John Kerry from becoming president.
The group, which recently changed its name to Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, plans to convene next month to celebrate its successes and to consider speaking out further about Kerry’s military service, his anti-war activities afterward, and other issues, says William E. Franke, the longtime St. Louisan who ran the organization’s day-to-day operations.
In my previous life as creve coeur @dKos before being banned …