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Letter To McCain From A Vietnam Vet

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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 01:48 PM
Original message
Letter To McCain From A Vietnam Vet
Published on BuzzFlash (http://www.buzzflash.com/articles )

Col. Ronald B. Weinert (Ret.): Dear Sen. McCain, You Have Sullied Your and the Country's Reputation

By BuzzFlash
Created 10/02/2006 - 2:04pm

A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by Ronald B. Weinert, Col, USAFR (Retired)

Dear Senator McCain:
You have sullied the reputation of the country as well as your own by your participation in the charade you and your cohort senators (Graham and Warner) call a "compromise" on S3931. There was precious little compromise, it appears.

The man in the White House now has the "legal" capability to name anyone he so desires as a terrorist threat, and to subject that individual to whatever "aggressive interrogation" he deems fit. You admitted in a statement on a Sunday news show that you did not know what "techniques" might be employed. That is truly amazing. You don't know? Do you even care?

You have enabled more power to be placed in the hands of a man we all know is incapable of exercising it with any modicum of intelligence. He and this government, thanks in large part to your machinations, now are able to again, "legally" suspend habeas corpus solely by the arbitrary decisions of George W. Bush, without advice, consent, or oversight. The courts now have lost nearly all power to review these cases, and the perpetrators of any "aggressive interrogations" that amount to torture are now immune from any meaningful prosecution.

Your role in this obscenity is that you weighed in with justly deserved moral authority derived from your ordeal in Hanoi at the hands of a people who did not bother to redefine the word torture; they just went ahead and did it.

Your experience gave you credential, and when you offered an alleged compromise, it gave moral credence to the proposition, giving your peers in the senate some reason to think there may be merit in it. There were likely fence-sitters who were swayed by your stance. Never mind that the bill would probably have passed regardless; you sold your sacred honor for political gain. Have you no shame, Sir?

I wonder what our mutual comrade, your former POW mate, Robert Norlan Daughtrey might have thought about this? I knew him for 50 years, and loved him like a brother, but am not naive enough to think he would have agreed with me. I saw him just a few days before his death in July of 2005, and asked him what he thought of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and other institutions under our control. He replied that he thought it shameful, but would not recognize what you and I know -- that the attitudes, if not the direct orders leading to the abuse came from the top.

Norlan insisted it was just the actions of low ranking hillbilly reservists, and that our government would not condone such actions. I expect he would still be in denial. Norlan thought you were not conservative enough, but I doubt he would have applauded your dishonor in supporting this bill.

I could be mistaken, but we now know that he was mistaken regarding where the real blame for this torture lies. Our government has been involved in torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other venues, and now will order and carry it out with impunity.

I think you will agree that water boarding is a heinous torture. I do not recall hearing that the North Vietnamese used this method, but we have used it, and I suggest that Mr. Bush's reluctance to discuss techniques is ample evidence that he intends it to be used again in the future, along with other interrogatory "delights."

Now I read that the administration has "fine tuned" the bill to reintroduce some of the provisions that you fought to get removed. That you allegedly fought them is commendable, but you cannot be naive enough to have thought Bush would have honored any of them anyway. Had they been excised from the bill, he would have end-run them with another series of "signing statements."

Nevertheless, your failure to stand foursquare against this bill brings shame on you and shame on our country. The very fact that the houses of congress even debated the merits of torture speak volumes about the depths of immorality into which this nation has descended. The passage of this bill has brought the congress of the country to a point of irrelevance, as are the courts. And you are complicit. Your recent pronouncements that this is a good bill only speak to your willingness to go to any length to serve your ambitions -- ambitions that apparently include running for president.

I am confident you will never hear of this letter, as your underlings will see to it that it goes into the circular file, but I feel better having written it. I could not stand by and see this country go into the dumper without making some effort to speak out, however feebly.
I would continue, but desist, lest I become personally insulting and resort to name-calling. That would be most unbecoming as well as ineffective, however well deserved.

Good luck in your run for the presidency, though I doubt your party will ever stand for it. You haven't lost my vote, Senator, as you never had it, and never will, but you have lost my respect, for what that is worth, and it isn't worth much, about as much as I now value your integrity and character. I have withheld the "Honorable" honorific customarily used in conjunction with a United States Senator because I can find no honor in your comportment in this matter.
Sincerely,
Ronald B. Weinert
Col, USAFR (Retired)
Vietnam veteran
Fighter pilot

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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. Karl and W. are setting back laughing at McCain and calling him
names like they have been doing the stupid "believers" in Jesusland.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. He is their personal suckbucket.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R/nt
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. HooYa Brother welcome Home an K&R
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you, Col. Weinert
Thank you for your service to this country, and for the honorable stand you take now.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
19. May I repeat my prayer that all those who voted for this burn in eternal
hell, every single last one of them?
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Kenergy Donating Member (834 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well said n/t
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. On February 23, 1969, I was present while two NVA soldiers ...
... were treated for their wounds (about 10-12 oozing shrapnel wounds all over their bodies, probably from claymore mines) and interrogated by the intel guys. These teenagers, who were no older than 15 or 16, were lying on adjacent treatment tables in the medical detachment adjacent to the POW compound at Long Binh. They were pale, almost white, from shock and fright - fright that they would be tortured, even vivisected, as they were told the Americans would do if they were captured. This, of course, was the North Vietnamese approach to 'motivating' their young soldiers - knowing they'd fight harder if they were scared to death to be captured.

What made the scene even more surrealistic was the other two NVA POWs sitting on the floor against the far wall. As 'trustees' used for stretcher bearing, they know better. But they also knew better than to open their mouths and try to tell their comrades not to worry -- since they liked being 'trustees.'

I've thought about that day for many years. I've thought about a regime that would send KIDS to attack a heavily-fortified post, telling them that we were just a bunch of WACs and clerks who went to sleep on the perimeter at about 2am. I thought about a regime that would tell these teenagers to fight to the death because getting captured was a nightmare they would never want. I thought about a regime that would tell these teenagers they could eat our C-rations and even gave them C-rat can-openers they had on a necklace around their neck -- and giving them barely enough provisions to make it down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I was grateful that *WE* didn't torture the enemy, even though I knew the ARVN wasn't quite as discriminating. Most of all, I think about how I felt like I had far more in common with those two kids than I ever imagined.

What little 'honor' we had has been jettisoned for the benefit of a political elite whose appetite for power and wealth is insatiable. We're a disgrace as a nation - without honor and without courage.


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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. And that my friend is the difference....you were there....
not the Chimp, not the VP, not many others pursuing torture.....McCain I think has some real mental issues now.....I think his body is tired and his mind is tired...

If we wrest control of Congress in November....we should not stop at impeachment of the * cabal....we as a nation must pursue "Crimes against Humanity"..we must take the lead to show the world that the American people will correct the wrongs of this administration..

And you are right..."We are a Nation without honor and without courage"!

Thank you for your service....
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. That is the difference in a nut shell.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. We're an outlaw nation unless and until ...
... the members of this criminal cabal, including Junior, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, Hadley, Feith, Wolfowitz, and Bolton, are indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for 20 years to life for their crimes.

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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. 20 years to life sounds kinda light to me.
They should get 159 years in federal prison.
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Well said Brother
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thank you for posting. K&R n/t
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. "Have you no shame, Sir?"
It is obvious that McLame is shameless.
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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. I would love to see this letter as a full page ad in some newspapers
I'm guessing most Americans don't read Buzzflash
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civildisoBDence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
26. This letter will be read widely, thanks in part to DU
"I am confident you will never hear of this letter, as your underlings will see to it that it goes into the circular file."

McCain will hear of it, you can bet on that.

Newsprism
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
12. k&r
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
13. The letter says so much about the Republican party and their lack of honor
We can't be rid of these vile hateful skumbags soon enough.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. Distribute far and wide.
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volstork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. well said! n/t
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
20. McCain does in the GOP what he did in the Vietnamese POW Camp
Gain Weight....
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
22. Powerful.
Forwarding to everyone on my list.

k&r
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
23. Thanks for the post
K and R
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
24. Col. Weinert writes as a man with a very heavy, grieving heart.
I have not walked in his shoes, nor do I presume to know what it is like to have been in combat, but I am thinking that this torture bill has added greatly to the emotional weight of many veterans who once believed in a country that set itself apart from third world despots, dictators, tyrants and megalomaniacal rulers.

I salute Col. Weinert for his eloquence and courage. :patriot:
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
25. Hoo-hah! What a butt-blistering letter! McCain deserves it.
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