Tuesday, February 24, 2004

When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A. I don't know what to think of this. It should have been a bombshell years ago so I doubt it will be now. It certainly doesn't make Kerry look good, but then I believe John McCain was on that committee as well. I can't believe he would sit still for what this article describes.

In the committee's early days, Kerry had given encouraging indications of being a committed investigator. He said he had "leads" to the existence of P.O.W.'s still in captivity. He said the number of these likely survivors was more than 100 and that this was the minimum. But in a very short time, he stopped saying such things and morphed his role into one of full alliance with the executive branch, the Pentagon, and other Washington hierarchies, joining their long-running effort to obscure and deny that a significant number of live American prisoners had not been returned. As many as 700 withheld P.O.W.'s were cited in credible intelligence documents, including a speech by a senior North Vietnamese general that was discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar.

I interviewed McCain in the early 1990s about the POW/MIA issue and his position then was that he was unaware of any hard evidence that Americans were still being held, but that he wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. He said there was historical precident in that the N. Vietnamese had held French POWs long after their war ended in 1954.

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