The Mythical John McCain

A Conversation with the NAM-POW Leaders

September 2008

In the year 2003 Duncan J. Watts, one of the principal architects of the new science of networks, authored the book ‘Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age.’ This work pioneered the idea that ‘...everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everybody else on this planet.’ Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel Laureate in Physics (he hypothesized the existence of Quarks before they were created in particle accelerators), and the co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute — the center of the study of Chaos Theory — praises Watts’ book.

Gell-Mann writes, “Here is a wonderful science book you won’t want to put down...relevant to an amazing variety of subjects, including epidemics, markets, scientific collaboration, and terrorism.” He might just have well have included the interactions among the ‘actors’ in this, the year 2008 presidential election campaign. Let me explain.

The following is a description of the ‘connection’ between ADM Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.) — now deceased — to Sen. John McCain, a candidate for President of the United States. The set of linkages through three other intermediaries is the topic of my essay — ‘Five Degrees of Separation.’ It goes something like this:

Five Degrees of Separation

It all started with ADM Thomas H. Moorer, the legendary former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who, in direct opposition to Henry Kissinger, pursuaded President Nixon to mine Haiphong Harbor and carry out an all-out bombing of Hanoi during the stalled Paris Peace Talks. The famous ‘Christmas’ bombings, indeed, were the acts that brought our POWs home.

ADM Moorer was the first ‘link’ in the chain of ‘actors’ that would culminate with Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election year. The ‘five degrees of separation’ in that chain are: ADM Moorer, CDR Robert Stumpf, CDR ‘Beak’ Atkinson, COL Ted Guy, and Senator John McCain.

Bob Stumpf, former flight leader of Navy’s premier Blue Angels flight demonstration team, was one of 300 such naval aviator ‘warriors’ who were purged during the radical feminist ‘witch hunt’ in the aftermath of the infamous Tailhook ‘91 bachannal and whose promotion to Captain was denied by then-SecNav John Dalton at the behest of President Clinton.

In my article published in The Washington Times, ‘PC problems plaguing the Navy,’ dated 9/13/98, ADM Moorer described the real reason behind ADM Boorda’s suicide in 1996 and revealed how that act was related to Dalton’s turning down Bob Stumpf’s promotion to Captain and Stumpf’s decision, while under duress by the SecNav’s lawyers, to simply walk away into retirement. It took him ten years to reclaim his promotion and clear his record of the false charges of wrongdoing.

Col. Ted Guy, USAF (Ret.) read the above article, and as a result, contacted me via Email and I sent him a copy of the unedited submission ‘John Dalton’s Legacy of Deceit,’ dated 7/04/98 which was the basis of the ‘Times’ article. Ted, who was John McCain’s SRO (Senior Ranking Officer) while both were imprisoned at the Plantation in Hanoi, gave me his impression of McCain’s record as a POW in a return Email.

He wrote, “I have absolutely no love or respect for Senator McCain. As far as I am concerned he is a damn liar and changes his tune to fit the occasion. For example, it has been published and he has said that after he was rescued out of the lake…in Hanoi that he was beaten and tortured. I have a DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] message that quotes Francois Chalais, a French television reporter, on 25 through 27 December about his interview with McCain. In this interview he (McCain) states, ‘They immediately took me to the hospital, in a condition two inches away from death. A doctor operated on my thigh, others at the same time dealt with my arms.’ So much for the torture. Additionally, my knowledge and observance of McCain while the SRO at the Plantation clearly show me and others that he was never touched. Why then, all the talking to Foreign Press, and everyone else that wanted to talk to him? I and another senior, who I replaced as SRO in the Plantation, because he was out of communication, feel the same. JOHN McCAIN WAS NEVER TOUCHED THE ENTIRE TIME HE WAS IN NORTH VIETNAM, and I for one have and will continue to state so publicly.”

Guy’s Email continued, “I have a thick file about John McCain that I have been collecting for some time. In addition, a friend of mine in Arizona has been doing likewise and the other day sent me a copy of most of the important things he has. These files/letters/conversations with McCain contain many quotes from, for example an April 23, 1986 letter of his where he says, ‘I have always stated that I believe there are American servicemen alive in Southeast Asia until proven otherwise.’ Guess he got proof really fast because a few weeks later there were none alive and no one was abandoned.’”

“These files contain a rath (sic) [wealth] of information about McCain and his deliberate misrepresentation of facts. It proves to my satisfaction that he will leave no stone unturned in his quest for the White House…I firmly believe that we must do everything possible to keep McCain out of the White House.” A copy of these files were sent to me on 6 July 1998.

None of this information is contained in any of the public records – the ‘P.O.W.’ book, the ‘Honor Bound’ book, or the U.S. & World News report, or any of the books written by the POWs themselves in the aftermath of their return from captivity – referred to above. It is clear than none of the above authors knew what Ted Guy knew. Colonel Ted Guy mailed a copy of some of the above documents to the author of this essay on 6 July 1998, before the year 2000 presidential election. Guy did not mean to maliciously indict Senator John McCain publicly during his year 2000 run for the presidency. It is clear that Guy simply wanted to carry out his perceived duty to keep McCain from gaining his sought prize. Ted Guy wrote, “I would like to send you this information and maybe you can gain enough information, for another factual FORUM [Washington Times] or other article about McCain…I have one request that you hold it until we find out if he is going to run and if so, let him have both barrels just before the first primary or caucus that he is a candidate in. I assure you, you will have my back-up and full support as one who has been there and done that.” George W. Bush won the South Carolina primary and was the year 2000 presidential nominee, so Ted Guy’s request was honored. Colonel Ted Guy died of cancer on 23 April 1999.

The above is an interesting example of Duncan Watts’ research, as it relates to information that is applicable to the 2008 presidential election. A more interesting example, however, is in the essay that was published in the May/June 2008 issue of my Eternal Vigilance journal. That essay — a copy of which is at this hyperlink — reveals the connections among the three presidential primary candidates [Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama, and John Sidney McCain III] and their antagonists, the leaders of the epochal battle between America and the global Salafist Islamic jihad [Sayyid Qutb, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Osama bin Laden]. We, indeed, are living in interesting — and dangerous — times!

Beak’s in *** During the flyover of a military ‘Missing Man’ formation, aircraft #3 pulls abruptly out of the formation, zooming straight upward, to signify the ‘missing man.’ This blog is a page for those of us who fought in the air or on the ground in the Vietnam War, all were shot at — some hit, some not — but neither shot down nor captured, and came home to a ‘disillusioned,’ ‘misinformed,’ and ‘dispirited’ America. Some unfortunates were ‘spat upon’ by bearded anti-war North Vietnam sympathizers as they disembarked from their transports. Others were ordered not to wear their uniforms on the civilian airliners homeward bound.

Nearly all of us looked inward and found the strength to disregard such distractions and ‘got on with our lives.’ By and large, we worked hard and prospered — leaving ‘politics’ to the politicians. Until this coming election — where we were given the Hobson’s choice among three potentially dangerous politicians; those described in the hot items above. In this election the ‘Missing Man’ is back in the formation. Hence ‘Beak’s In.’ The inspiration for such a claim is taken from CDR Paul Galanti’s brilliant ‘Three’s In’ for the NAM-POW website (Sorry Paul for the long-winded extension) — but now we are all covered!

Dr. Gerald L. ‘Beak’ Atkinson, CDR USN (Ret.)

The Mythical John McCain:

John McCain Before Being

Treated for His Wounds in the North Vietnam Hospital

The Second Round in the Conversation

The Mythical John McCain: A Conversation with the Leadership of the Vietnam War POWs

The first step in this conversation occurred when I posted the ‘John McCain Sang Like a Canary’ essay as described in a Hot Item above and sent an Email to a list of over 1,000 folks — many of whom are Naval Academy graduates and fellow naval aviators — across the country who have been with me over the past decade on matters of national importance. That 1,000-or-so then spread the word to a broader audience. One group that further ‘spread the word’ was the Board of Directors of the Tailhook Association — even though they had opposed much of my previous effort with regard to opposing the ‘feminization’ of the U.S. Navy after the Tailhook ‘91 episode.

The second step was to harvest the rapid, strong response by the leadership of the NAM-POW organization, most of whom are associated with the candidacy of Senator John McCain for the presidency in the 2008 election cycle. All told, eight NAM-POWs responded: Dick Stratton, Paul Galanti, Bud Day, Orson Swindle, and Mike Cronin — along with three others (Fred Purrington, Ed Shuman, and Bob Shumaker) who were cc: addressees on an Email from CAPT Bob Stumpf, USN (Ret.), a former Blue Angel leader and a victim of the ‘witch hunt’ in the aftermath of the Tailhook ‘91 bacchanal. All of the six who responded directly had very strong words of disapproval for my accusation.

Although all of these responses had substantive objections, one stands out, that of Richard Stratton. Each of the others are recorded at this hyperlink. They will be addressed in future posts. For those of you who are not acquainted with Stratton, an essay entitled ‘The Boat School Boys’ provides the details of his superb leadership while held prisoner in the Hanoi prison complex. CAPT Richard Stratton, USN (Ret.) writes: Subject: Were You There?

“I read with amazement and surprise an Email allegedly from you: [----- Original Message -----

From: Gerald L. Atkinson

To: Tailhook Board of Directors

Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:02 PM

Subject: John McCain].”

“I was startled, given the subject matter, that you had not contacted me in researching your material. For, as you well know, I was an Acting Senior Ranking Officer [SRO] at the Plantation at a time when Senator McCain was incarcerated there and later on, I was a cellmate of his at various times in the Hoa Lo prison.”

“Had you contacted me I possibly could of saved you from some of the distortions, out of context facts and outright lies concerning Senator McCain that found their way into your material. I could have given you some insight into some of the personalities involved in the web of lies and deceit that have been woven around the subject since the 2000 campaign and even earlier. Since you did not contact me, I have to assume that you are more comfortable with fiction than with fact.”

“If you were in Hanoi, DRV during the Vietnam War – specifically the Plantation and Hoa Lo -- and I missed your presence, I will defer to your perceptions and intelligence. For, Lord knows it was difficult communicating under the threat of torture with our primitive means of tapping, peeping, hand signals, coughing, hacking, sweeping and exchanging notes in manure buckets. Misunderstandings in such situations and confusion can arise. However, Beak, I do not believe that you were there.

“I was there and will attest ‘that your fundamental thesis and slander’ regarding Senator McCain's performance of duty while a POW are in error. As I read your message, it brought to my mind the sad and solemn African American Spiritual: "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord." Maybe this spiritual ‘resonated in my mind as I read your material because I was observing your crucifixion of an honorable and honest man - John McCain.”

“Beak, you were not there and I was. Instead of ‘the diatribe attributed to you,’ I choose to take the testimony of a real man and warrior who was there -- James Bond Stockdale (MOH). In his succinct summation of Commander John McCain's Vietnam prison ‘performance before the captains selection board,’ Admiral Stockdale was unequivocal. He declared: ‘John McCain was the bravest of the brave.’ Commander McCain was selected for promotion to Captain by this board of senior officers. These senior officers ‘examined his entire military career and Vietnam experience in excruciating detail and voted their ‘approval’ in secret session. I will defend to my death your right as an American to publicly and privately disagree with the politics and programs of Senator John McCain. However, as an American and a Catholic Christian I wholeheartedly condemn the calumny that you have perpetrated against him in this message. I pray that this is some kind of a mistake and that the subject matter is wrongly attributed to you. If not, Beak: Were You There?


Richard A. Stratton

AB, MA, MSW RPOW - Vietnam

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?


End of CAPT Stratton’s Response.

Beak Atkinson’s Answer: It is simple. No, I was not there! But neither were you! Nor was Bud Day. Nor was Paul Galanti. Nor was Orson Swindle. Nor was Mike Cronin. Not even James Stockdale was there. In fact, the official record shows that not one POW was there. You see, John McCain ‘Sang Like a Canary’ and gave military information to the North Vietnamese when he was in the Hanoi hospital which treated their officers for wartime injuries. The official record [‘Honor Bound: American Prisoners of War 1961-1973’] reveals the facts. It takes a bit of time to ascertain this truth, but it exists if one looks for it. There were no POW SROs in the North Vietnamese hospital where McCain was treated for his wounds. There were no other POWs in the hospital. Yet it was in that hospital and his recovery room during the period from four days after he was captured until around mid-December 1967 that John McCain gave interviews to the communist correspondents listed in my previous posting.

In that posting I provided the details of these facts — available to anyone who has the time to dig them out of the official records and McCain’s article in the U.S. News & World Report article. So you see, I didn’t really have to ’contact you’ or anyone else to find the truth on this matter. I have documented the truth in the three essays at the hyperlinks above. It is clear that neither you nor any of the other NAM-POW leaders took the time to read those essays — engaging only in an immediate, emotional, lock-step response. Only one, Bud Day, even mentions that he “...googled up some of [my] writings, and recognize that [I] have been deceived.” More on that below.

So, the answer to the question, ‘Where you there?’ I will respond in kind. [Same hymnal lyrics, different verses.]

Were you there when they interviewed McCain?

Were you there when they interviewed McCain?

Were you there, were you there, were you there, were you there

Were you there when they interviewed McCain?

And, of course the answer is the same. No you weren’t!

If you but read my essay, ‘John McCain as a POW,’ and pay attention to the footnotes (mostly from the ‘Honor Bound’ book) you will find the context within which his behavior was described. Initially, while alone in the North Vietnamese hospital — without ‘adult supervision’ — McCain behaved in his own best self-interest, trading military information for medical treatment. In that essay, I leave it for the reader to ascertain whether or not the reader would have made such a tradeoff. I did not provide a judgment. Later on, with ‘adult supervision’ McCain partially redeemed himself by joining the resister leadership exhibited by you and others at the Plantation, and still others even later on at the Hoa Lo complex. But then, completely without duress and essentially on his own again (during the 1970 period of essentially torture-free confinement), he inexplicably blabbed all sorts of self-aggrandizing information (far, far outside the bounds of the Code of Conduct) to the Cuban psychologist, Dr. Fernando Barral. The record shows that this interview prompted McCain’s SRO at the time, Jeremiah Denton, to issue a directive to the POWs — no more interviews!

My original inflammatory message was meant to anger the high-level NAM-POW leadership currently involved in promoting McCain for the presidency. It got their attention, and they responded. Dick, I apologize if my ‘blast out of the blue’ gave you or any of your colleagues anguish or distress. I detect some of that in your response and some of the other responses I have received. As I said to Bob Stumpf in a previous Email, “I intend to carry on a conversation with the POWs who responded to my Email in due time and reveal why I am 'dead sure' that I am right about this. I will not give it away now because I want to give the POW responses time to mature. And I want to make sure that I respond in a way that I don't add to their anguish and memories of what they endured -- I know that some of them still have nightmares regarding their torture. And for God's sake, who wouldn't -- it is very difficult to even read about it, much less have endured it. In fact, I described Jim Kasler's torture under Fidel as an example of the horror that occurred in the torture chambers in Hanoi. Just to make that point.”

On to Bud Day’s response — “I googled up some of your writings, and recognize that you have been deceived.” Beak Atkinson’s reply is as follows: Anyone who reads the stuff on this website should understand its central message. That is, While we (you POWs and those of us who were shot at and some hit, some not, but neither shot down nor captured) were overseas fighting (and ‘winning’ by the way) the war in Vietnam, America’s ‘enemies within’ were winning the war at home — a culture war, the nature of which its leaders predicted could not be countered even by the use of force. That is what my website is all about. In over a decade of researching, learning and writing on this subject — the cultural Marxist marriage of the writings of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud — I came to realize that the Clintons’ presidency intended to continue this culture war via a ‘march through our institutions.’ This website contains over 170 pages (essays, some themselves over twenty five eight-and one-half by 11 inches of paper long) illuminating this subject.

That introduction leads me to reveal an event that occurred 15 years ago this 2008 Memorial Day. It is related to this discussion with the NAM-POW Leadership. Soon after assuming the presidency, Bill Clinton’s administration induced the son of the heroic Korean War Marine General Chesty Puller, himself a severely wounded Marine in combat in Vietnam, to introduce the president at a speech he was to give at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Upon hearing of this blasphemy, a retired member of the 82nd Airborne Division organized a demonstration of Vietnam War veterans to be spontaneously assembled to protest the president’s presence and speech at the wall that day.

Over one thousand of us assembled on the ‘grassy knoll’ east of the wall and lined up in military formation — rank by rank. This was to be a peaceful demonstration monitored by leaders who verbally cautioned ‘no disrespect to the president,’ ‘no threat of violence.’ Nevertheless, the authorities barricaded us behind a wire/wooden picket fence with mounted police officers patrolling the endpoints. Bill Clinton could not trust those of us who fought in the war to keep our heads, given the knowledge that he, the president, had spoken out against the war when he was a student at Oxford University in England during the war.

After Chesty Puller’s son, from his wheelchair, gave a courteous introduction, President Clinton stepped to the podium. At that point a single voice on the ‘grassy knoll’ (obviously a retired senior sergeant veteran of the 82nd Airborne) gave a loud, resounding, deep voiced command — Attenhut! Over 1,000 of us snapped to attention. Then came the command, About Face! At that second, over 1,000 of us turned our backs on the President of the United States of America. And remained so for the duration of his speech. One demonstrator waved a huge cardboard placard on a four foot wooden pole which read ‘Where was Bill?’ That demonstrator (you can guess who it was) started singing out ‘Where was bill?’ A few more voices joined in. Then more, and more, and more. Finally, over a thousand voices were chanting in unison, ‘Where was bill?’ On the ‘grassy knoll’ the singing chorus of ‘Where was Bill?’ drowned out the president’s address. The 82nd Airborne had won! Unfortunately, several months or years later, I forget which, Chesty Puller’s son, who introduced Bill Clinton that day committed suicide — the ultimate fate of one who was tricked into introducing the seriously flawed president.

What relevance does this story have in our discussion with the NAM-POW leadership? Let me see. Oh, yes. You know the lyrics, here are the words: They are addressed to all of those who are critical of my exposition of Senator John McCain’s behavior as a POW.

Where were you when we turned our backs on Bill?

Where were you when we turned our backs on Bill?

Where were you, where were you, where were you, where were you

Where were you when we turned our backs on Bill?

Now on to the response by CAPT Bob Stumpf USN (Ret.). Stumpf is not a NAM-POW, but he enters the conversation as one I have known for some years — during his fight with the radical feminists who wanted his scalp via the ‘witch hunt’ in the wake of the Tailhook ‘91 bacchanal. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), RADM C.A. Hill Jr., USN (Ret.) and I publicly backed him in his fight against SecNav Dalton’s infamous attempt to dishonor him. See the essays on the Mark Hill Corner of this website for the details. Bob Stumpf writes (the entirety of his response is accessible at this hyperlink): “I will continue to rely on the current testimony of dozens of former POWs who praise McCain's performance over the decade old ramblings of one deceased former POW. If you prefer dead POWs' comments, how about that of the late Medal of Honor winner VADM James Stockdale? "John McCain was the bravest of the brave."

Stumpf in further defense of McCain adds, “What kind of a friend would I be to turn against the ‘ONLY ONE of 535 congress people to take a fervent, vocal, conspicuous and politically dangerous stand on my behalf’ twelve years ago? Let me remind you that John McCain took on the Senate and the Administration to right a terrible injustice, and doggedly pursued justice until it was done more than six years later. I owe him what's worth more than anything, my personal and professional reputation.”

OK, that is his opinion. But then comes an ominous sounding part — something reminiscent of the Clintons’ scurrilous ‘War Room’ mentality. Stumpf writes “My colleagues on the campaign and I will do everything possible to discredit any further slanderous treatment of John McCain, and by association, your credibility and good name. Be very careful.

Beak’s answer. Great balls afire! Bob Stumpf should know that you shouldn’t threaten an old fighter pilot that way. That is just the kind of stuff that gets old ‘Beak’s’ dander up. You have just sparked the juices that lit the fire of Beak’s In! So here it is. There is absolutely nothing you, or any of the NAM-POWs, could ever do to ‘discredit my credibility and good name.’ You see, I march to the drumbeat of ADM Thomas H. Moorer, not that of ADM James Stockdale. ADM Moorer was responsible for convincing President Nixon, in spite of the opposition of Henry Kissinger, to bomb Hanoi in order to bring our POWs home. The famous ‘Christmas’ bombing of Hanoi and the mining of Haiphong Harbor during December 1972 brought the enemy back to the Paris bargaining table and agreement to return all of our POWs. During early 1973 you came home. Thanks to ADM Moorer.

ADM Moorer supported every one of the initiatives that I took in exposing the threat of the ‘enemies within’ as described above. You might wish to read his article in The Washington Times in which he lauded my book, The New Totalitarians.’ A quote from that article states, “Although Gerald Atkinson in “The New Totalitarians” stops short of saying the Republic will be in jeopardy if Mr. Clinton is re-elected, he does make the case that many traditional American institutions, in particular the Navy, will be irreparably damaged by a second Clinton term — due in large measure to his policies of placing women aboard ships and in combat roles.” Of course, no politician has been more instrumental in ‘placing women aboard ships and in combat roles’ than Senator John McCain. Senator McCain, as an honorary member of the USNA Board of visitors, supported his old Academy roommate, ADM Charles Larson USN (Ret.) as superintendent of the Naval Academy when the latter invited members of our ‘enemies within’ to teach a New Age ‘ethics’ at the Academy. This is treated at the hyperlink ‘Leadership and Ethics Training’ and ‘Anatomy of a Closet Leftist.’ The damage wrought at the Naval Academy is dealt with at the hyperlink ‘The Stockdale Dilemma.’ There will be more on this subject later on in our ‘conversation.’

In my second book, ‘From Trust to Terror: Radical Feminism is Destroying the U.S. Navy,’ ADM Moorer gave the following praise, “[This book] presents solid evidence of what we have long suspected. The Clintons and their Boomer elitists are irreparably damaging the U.S. Navy. If the radical feminists are allowed to continue their agenda, the proud fighting Navy which won the war of the Pacific will no longer be capable of similar victory.” This prediction is borne out by the recent TV series, ‘Carrier’ a 10-hour documentary of life aboard the USS Nimitz, which shows male and female sailors/marines dancing on the hangar deck (both married to spouses back home) and a female sailor/aircrew-member stating ‘I wish we were back home dropping practice ‘smoke bombs’ on the range rather than killing people on the ground.’ As Stephanie Guttman observed in her book, ‘The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America’s Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars?’ “On the smoking sponson, just off the Hangar feels very much like your average sports bar on ‘Ladies Night’: can pick out clusters of anxious males tracking the movements of one or two female seamen who have wandered in and bestowed themselves on a few lucky men...You have to remember says a female sailor, that a majority of the ship are men, so a new female is ‘fresh meat’ so to speak. ‘But that’s why they hang around the Hangar Bay. Period. I knew a girl who came the same time I did. She would go, put full makeup on, do up her hair, and then put on her jogging clothes to go exercise in the Hangar Bay, and after running she would walk around. That’s how she met most of her boyfriends.’ I can report that, yes, as a general and women and girls and boys (and a combination thereof) in gender-integrated units have plenty of sex.” In that same book, Guttman reveals [page 148] that during the summer of 1991, Senator John McCain was helping prepare a bill that would kill the 1948 Combat Exclusion Law, which kept women of the Navy and the Air Force off combat ships and from combat aircraft squadrons.

So who the heck is this prima donna ’egg head’ Beak, who writes books and criticizes our hero NAM-POW, Senator John McCain? Just what operational combat experience does he have to make such a challenge? Well, Beak is a former Navy Jet Fighter Pilot who entered the Naval Aviation Cadet (NavCad) program in 1953, qualified for jets and commissioned in 1955. As a young Ensign he was assigned to VF-84 at Oceana, VA and flew Navy fighter aircraft; F9F-5 Panthers, F9F-8 Cougars, and finally the F7U-3M Cutlass. His squadron ‘shook down’ the USS Forrestal out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the F7U-3M on the old ‘paddles’ carrier approach — 150 ft at the 180, 125 ft at the 90 and then the ‘paddles’ LSO to the ‘cut.’ The aircraft was so underpowered that you flew the entire pass at nearly 100% power, took a ‘cut’ by ‘dipping’ the nose (down/up) at full power to get aboard. The aircraft could undergo a ‘post-stall gyration,’ from which controlled fight was impossible, if you pulled too many g’s in combat maneuvers. Section formation takeoffs were accomplished with both aircraft in afterburner, the leader with one-third speed brakes out, and the wingman holding his position totally with speed brake manipulation. The aircraft could not get off the ground without both afterburners blazing away. That aircraft was not deployable.

The squadron then was redesignated VA-86, the Sidewinders, and took the first A4 Skyhawks off the assembly line. The primary mission was nuclear weapon delivery then. The Skyhawk and the night-fighting Banshee were the Navy’s sole component of the nuclear deterrent — along with the Air Force’s B-47 medium range bomber. We were one of the first squadrons to deploy to the Med in the early version of the A4. We VA-86ers shared a ready room on the USS Randolph with VA-72. That was a time when all of the 'kinks' had not yet been worked out of the A4. We remember the days when you had to 'lock the throttle’ at 100% before the cat shot (hydraulic catapult days) so that it wouldn't 'spring back' to idle when you reached up to raise the landing gear handle on becoming airborne off the bow -- if you remember the harmonic resonance problem with the fuel control cross-shaft on the J-65 engine, I had one shut down in the chocks at Gitmo without pulling the throttle around the horn, 30 seconds after a final landing (runway 09, remember the hill there). Most likely few Skyhawk drivers remember the fuel control 'hangup problem' -- night FCLP and carrier landings, back to idle at the break, gear and flaps down, throttle back up to near full throttle and the engine would 'hang up' at 80% for over 30 seconds, not enough power to maintain altitude. We lost four pilots that way during a six-month period in 1959. I understand from Herm Muller and Red Vezina that the next group of replacements lost five more pilots during their shakedown deployment on the USS Independence -- including the CO and Operations Officer. I doubt if John McCain, Paul Galanti or others of the Skyhawk community who flew the A4 and were shot down over North Vietnam ever knew of that history. Who knows? Who cares?

From there it was U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (2 years) and the University of Michigan (1 year) and then back to the fleet. Flew the A3D during a six-month Med cruise aboard the USS Saratoga. Then transitioned to the Mach 2.0 RA5C Vigilante and completed a nine-month Med cruise aboard the Sara in 1965. I was chosen to carry out the flight demonstration of the Vigilante in the 1965 Paris Air Show — only one of six U.S. combat aircraft demonstrated that year. I believe that I am the only pilot ever to have flight demonstrated the Vigilante in the Paris Air Show.

After that nine-month deployment I had accumulated my allotted four years of sea duty before being ordered to another round of shore duty. But my squadron, RVAH-9, had been ordered to immediately get ready to fly to the West Coast and deploy to Vietnam. I volunteered to extend my sea duty for another year so I could make that deployment. Besides being professionally motivated to do so, my attitude was ‘If my generation was going to war, I was damn well going to go fight in it.’ I did not want to miss the opportunity. I made that deployment, flying the Vigilante in combat over North Vietnam during 1966. I was shot at many times, hit once, and survived. All told, I had spent 20 out of 22 months deployed to either the Med or off Yankee Station on the USS Ranger. By the time I came home, my five children hardly knew who I was.

Upon return home I was picked to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. I was awarded the (now defunct) ‘Most Outstanding Test Pilot’ award for Class 46 which graduated in June 1967. I was assigned to Flight Test at Pax River. I was in hog heaven — doing what I loved doing, flying the world’s best and hottest aircraft — a fighter pilot’s dream come true. Then, ‘out of the blue, came a huge surprise. Somewhere, high up in the Navy, it was decided that they would pick six naval aviators, each with heavy operational experience and who also had the academic aptitude to obtain a PhD at a major university so that on return to the Navy they could ‘do battle’ with Defense Secretary McNamara and his ‘whiz kids’ in the Pentagon. I was skeptical, but after some assurance by BuPers officials that I would then return to operational flying, I took the offer. I went to the University of Michigan and fulfilled another lifelong dream — earning a PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the U of M. That opened an avenue of opportunity that has also been very professionally rewarding, but not of interest to the those of you who have or will attempt to ‘do everything in their power to discredit my credibility and good name.’

Before closing, let me leave you with a single thought. Take a look at my essay, ‘Who Chooses Our Heroes in the Age of Multiculturalism.’ In it, I make the point that the civilians who choose to emphasize the military’s choice of war heroes tells us more about America than it does about those who have become our true war heroes. A nation on the rise builds its mythical heroes from the mold of Simon Kenton (in the days of the then-Northwest Frontier), Andrew Jackson for his part in winning the battle for New Orleans, Sergeant York in WWI, and Audi Murphy in WWII. A nation which creates its mythical heroes from the mold of prisoners of war is a nation whose culture is crumbling. For God’s sake, many of us would never have been motivated to join Navy carrier aviation if our only choice was the suffering of our prisoners of war in the hands of the Japanese at Cabanatuan in the Philippines during WWII. Instead, as youngsters we were in awe of Claire Chennault of the famous ‘Flying Tigers,’ Butch O’Hare of the U.S. Navy, Joe Foss of the Marine Corps, and Gabby Gabreski of the Air Force.

For God’s sake you guys. Give it up. Quit thinking only of yourselves and start thinking of the future. We need to build the mythical image of heroes for the next generation — fighters, not just courageous survivors of brutal torture and other horrors of imprisonment. We must encourage our grandsons to take up Mixed Martial Arts (ever hear of Royce, pronounced Hoyce, Gracie) — which John McCain has tried to ban. We need to condition a generation of youth who are capable of not only defending themselves, but their family, their neighbors, and our country. Your pushing the myth of John McCain, the Vietnam War hero, is a disservice to our nation and its future ability to engage and win the current epochal war against the global Salafist Islamic jihad. We need to mythologize a kind of hero such as Sergeant Pryor, whose hand-to-hand fight to the death with a Taliban enemy in Afghanistan is described in my essay, ‘Conclusion to the Lies, Lies, and More Damn Lies.’ Get the hell off the stage and start contributing to the motivating of our youth to become the heroes our nation will need in the coming battle for our nation, our culture, and our civilization. It is the 13er and Millennial generations whom we must encourage by the examples of our traditional heroes. For example, please Google ‘Glen Beck Ted Bell’ and learn about Ted Bell’s book for 12-year-olds which brings back the tradition of the epic novels like Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island in which a young boy sets out to become ‘the hero of his own life.’ Instead of John McCain’s radical feminist supporters who have flooded our children with ‘chic lit’ stuff and encourages our education establishment which would rather raise our young boys as little girls with a penis.

So, where does that leave us? You NAM-POW leaders have set in stone your own set of deceptions concerning the behavior of John McCain as a POW. John McCain knows what he did. You know what he did. And no one told the truth. Now you are stuck with it. And you have stuck our nation with it. As Sir Walter Scott wrote, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive! Now that Carl Rove and the Republican spinmeisters are promoting the ‘herohood’ of John McCain, you have no one to blame but yourselves. It would have been so easy for John McCain to come clean and admit, very early on, that he gave military information to the enemy in order to obtain medical treatment for his very serious shootdown injuries, a level of treatment that essentially no other POW received. He could then have been ‘forgiven’ over time by the American public. But no, you kept on generating obfuscations, allowing John McCain to hide under the truly heroic efforts of some of you, and creating the ‘Mythical John McCain.’

Each of you has demanded that I apologize to John McCain for the ‘slander’ that I have brought against him. That so-called ‘slander’ is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is you who should apologize. To your NAM-POW compatriots, to those of us who also fought alongside you in the Vietnam War, to your Naval Academy classmates, and most importantly to the American people.

As I said above, Beak’s In! Let the fun begin!

The Mythical John McCain: A Conversation with the Leadership of the Vietnam War POWs

The Second Round

The second round of subject conversation begins with the response of Bud Day, one of two who responded to the conversation which appears in the text above. Bud Day replies in an Email to Bob Stumpf, “I note that Atkinson responded in his own blissful and neurotic ignorance. No one can change a fool. It's like making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. He is just a fool..educated..and commissioned...but still a fool. and a meathead!” Beak Atkinson answers: Wow! I didn’t know a Medal of Honor winner could unravel so quickly. Bud Day may have his opinion, [obviously formed without reading a word of my commentary, or much of it] but I would prefer the opinion of others — including one of the bunch who still call themselves ‘Moorer’s Boys,’ after the late ADM Thomas H. Moorer (you know, the heroes who won the Battle of the Pacific during WWII and wore their stars during the Vietnam War). VADM Jerry Miller USN (Ret.) writes, “Dr. Jerry Atkinson, an educated naval aviator (some say, the most dangerous kind) has become concerned. He writes and publishes pieces that attack the current teaching, contending that the nature of the character education being administered, particularly that dealing with ethics, is dangerous — an attempt to undermine the very essence of the military profession and maybe the U.S. society in general. Atkinson is intense in his interest about many issues and expresses himself in bold terms, often merely to focus attention on the issue — to cause some reflective thought. He has certainly done that relative to the teaching of ethics at the Naval Academy.”

Nevertheless, a substantive and more useful response was received from Paul Galanti, one of the NAM-POW Leaders. He speaks for one of two groups who want to see more concrete evidence that ‘John McCain gave military information to the North Vietnamese in exchange for medical treatment at a Hanoi hospital for injured North Vietnamese Officers.’ The conversation appears below:

There are two disparate groups who want to see the ‘evidence’ that John McCain ‘Sang Like a Canary’ to the North Vietnamese while imprisoned in Hanoi. One is a group of dumbfounded, but open-minded veterans who want to know, “Is there evidence, that wasn't filtered through communists, that John gave away military information?” One such veteran, a fellow Vigilante pilot who commanded a Vigi squadron and flew combat missions over the North further added, “One paragraph please.” The other group is comprised of McCain’s fellow POWs and other U.S. Naval Academy graduates – some who saw combat in Vietnam, some who did not – who are absolutely furious that anyone, especially anyone who was not there in Hanoi, could make such a claim. After all, the NAM-POWs were there and know everything there is to know about John McCain’s behavior there.

The latter group is typified by Paul Galanti who writes, “I just read your entire sanctimonious screed that not only harangued John McCain but those of us who had the temerity to challenge your outrageous assertions about him. You're wrong - very wrong - on this…I can't believe anyone could or would challenge us on our observations on our experience. You really weren't there. You don't know what transpired. You frankly don't have a clue.”

Well, I am sorry to say that the latter group is wrong, dead wrong. You see, McCain has already given the answer himself – backed up by the two authentic, officially sanctioned books on the subject [1] [2],, “P.O.W.” and “Honor Bound.” The answer is right out of McCain’s article in the U.S. News & World Report, “How the POW’s Fought Back,” 14 May 1973. On page 47 of that article, John McCain self-reports that “When I saw [my leg], I said to the guard, “O.K., get the officer. An officer came in after a few minutes. It was the man that we came to know very well as “the Bug.” He was a psychotic torturer, one of the worst fiends that we had to deal with. I said, “O.K., I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.”

This self-reporting of giving military information to the enemy is backed up by the two above authentic sources. According to the ‘P.O.W.’ book, page 364, “…the cockeyed Bug interrogated him. Bug wanted McCain to tell him what kind of aircraft he had been flying and to name future targets…Bug deduced it was not possible to interrogate him…Bug advised the broken pilot of his criminal status, assured him that he had no rights and that if he failed to provide satisfactory answers he would receive no medical treatment. That surprised McCain. He could not believe that his injuries would be left untended. All he had to do, he decided was to hold out for a couple of days. Then the interrogator would give up on him, and he would be taken to a hospital.”

According to page 363 of the ‘P.O.W.’ book, “The Vietnamese had not been quick about identifying [McCain] and had nearly let him die…‘We have the crown prince!,’ exclaimed [his jailers]. ‘[They] crowed the news to their captives.’ McCain was taken to a hospital soon after they learned of his famous father.” The book ‘Honor Bound’ [page 360], reveals that ‘The captors judged the ‘crown prince’ a prize worth saving and a natural for The Plantation propaganda stageings once he was well enough to be taken there.’”

Both of the above official books on the POWs agree that John McCain spent the next six weeks (early November through the middle of December 1967) in the hospital in Hanoi which treated North Vietnamese officers – but not our POWs. It is also clear from the official record that during that time nary a POW nor an American SRO was in that hospital. James Stockdale was not there. Bud Day was not there. Dick Stratton was not there. Paul Galanti was not there. Orson Swindle was not there. No POW was there. So there is no American first hand evidence concerning the nature of the military information that John McCain promised ‘the Bug’ in exchange for his medical attention.

And John McCain has not publicly stated what the nature of that information was. But there is evidence, backed up by U.S. intelligence sources and made available to Col. Ted Guy -- McCain’s SRO later on at the Plantation prison complex -- through FOIA requests, declassified, and released to the public in 1987 that describes interviews with John McCain by North Vietnam, Cuban, Soviet, and French communist foreign correspondents during the period 31 October through 8 December 1967 – while McCain was in that hospital.

So what is more credible? As Bob Stumpf would have us believe, “I will continue to rely on the current testimony of dozens of former POWs who praise McCain's performance over the decade old ramblings of one deceased former POW. If you prefer dead POWs' comments, how about that of the late Medal of Honor winner VADM James Stockdale?” But wait a minute. None of those POWs were there. And neither was Stockdale. If they had been there, what would they have told us about the nature of McCain’s military information disclosure to the enemy? In fact, they haven’t told us anything specific. So the evidence they seek to support their view is not there. It does not exist. They simply were not there!

It is obvious that, had the information been of the nature of a host of other POWs who gave inspiringly devious, in fact, subtly humorous information that made fun of their captors without them realizing it, we would have darn sure found out about it. Nearly every such account of such behavior by every POW who carried it out is provided in the two references above. For Example, Mike Cronin (in a protest of my exposé) states, “In my case, and that of most other POWs, even had they reported accurately what I said, it would have all been false. When I realized I couldn't remain silent, I lied. I even lied about the information I was supposed to give them because it helped to support the other lies I was telling. They weren't going by the rules; I was being brutally tortured. I have permanent injuries and lived through the torture only by lucky accident. I didn't go by the rules either. Anyone who believes anything I said to the communists during my stay in Hanoi is a fool.”

So, who should we believe? It is not a matter of choosing James Stockdale or the NAM-POW leadership over ‘evidence filtered through communists.’ It is a matter of whether or not to believe the NAM-POW leadership who side with James Stockdale – who we know WAS NOT THERE when John McCain was in the North Vietnamese hospital. Do we believe the ‘Stockdale side’ where absolutely no evidence exists or do we believe the ‘Guy side’ where evidence (however displeasing) exists. Yes, it is evidence provided through the eyes and ears of the communist correspondents WHO WERE THERE when John McCain gave his interviews to them! But it is evidence!

The fact is that the three references above do not point to a single instance when the North Vietnamese simply ‘made up stuff’ for public display without first ‘breaking’ the POW via torture. If they had done so, they would not have had to use torture to obtain a ‘confession.’ Their public display had to have the seemingly ‘willing’ confessor become a visible and vocal part of their propaganda effort.

The goal of torture, be it at Abu Ghraib or at Hanoi is and was to humiliate the prisoner. The record shows, [Honor Bound, pp. 144] that “Prior to late October 1965 there were sporadic instances of ‘slaps and cuffs,’ but no documented cases of outright torture of American POWs in North Vietnamese prisons…For the Americans, whose Code of Conduct precluded cooperation with the enemy and specifically prohibited responses to questions beyond the so-called ‘big four’ (name, rank, serial number, and date of birth), the end of the era of restraint placed them in a vexing position. There was no way they could comply with both the captor’s requirements and their own Code of Conduct…The Vietnamese assumed that, where persuasion and harassment had failed, brute coercion would succeed…What they did not realize was how much abuse the prisoners would take before surrendering. Before long, torture, as both an instrument of punishment and a means of extracting information – cloaked in a rationale of legitimacy – became a standard procedure. And the Americans faced a cruel choice between submitting, which under the Code of Conduct could be construed as treason, and suffering.”

The gruesome details of the torture the POWs suffered are provided on pages 145-148, including graphic sketches, in the ‘Honor Bound’ book. The humiliation visited on the POWs is articulated in the retorts by various POWs to their tormentors that ‘…you treat us like animals.’ But that was not the ultimate humiliation that they faced. As described in the ‘Honor Bound’ book [pp. 163-165], “Despite courageous, often ingenious resistance, Denton, Stockdale, and Risner in the end all capitulated to some extent, as had dozens of their junior comrades by the summer of 1966. Jim Mulligan later testified that the North Vietnamese managed to obtain statements from 80 percent of the American prisoners over the duration of the war…although some in the early group would be among the staunchest resisters, they also were exceedingly vulnerable; for an inescapable fact of confinement in North Vietnam after the inauguration of the torture era was that if the captor exerted enough pressure and turned the screws tight enough, no one, not even the most defiant and strong-willed, could resist indefinitely. Each of the men had a different threshold of pain, but all had an eventual breaking point.” [Note: So much for Sen. John McCain’s stance against torture on enemy combatants, such as used successfully on Omar Sheik Mohammad — the master plotter of the 9/11 attacks — to obtain vital information on al-Qaeda].

The fact of a POW’s ‘breaking’ would result in an acute sense of humiliation. ‘Honor Bound’ reveals that “When they broke, the POWs – seniors and rank and file alike – no sooner recovered from their physical trauma than they had to confront another torment that often proved as agonizing as the torture itself. In acquiescing to the enemy’s demand for information or a confession, they had violated what they understood to be the cardinal principle of the U.S. military Code of Conduct, which stipulated that, no matter the circumstance, prisoners were to furnish only their identity and nothing more. The acute shame and guilt experienced by the earliest extortion victims…was common more or less to all those who would succumb.”

The ‘Honor Bound’ book continues to describe how the POWs handled that situation such that they could survive and return home with honor — as Paul Galanti writes, Three’s In! In sum, then, resistance would continue to be based in principle on adherence to the rigorous requirements of the Code of Conduct, but it was understood that sticking to the ‘big four’ was the heroic ideal and not an absolute imperative…The realistic objective became one of holding out as long as possible, then giving as little as possible, and using the breathing spell that normally followed a period of torture to recover strength for the next bout…[That] especially would be no small accomplishment as the captors’ alleged ‘humane and lenient treatment’ degenerated ever more savagely into cruel and unusual punishment.” Not one of us should ever disagree with that accommodation!

So, why would we not have some confidence in the information provided by Col. Ted Guy, who after returning and gradually becoming an activist in the POW/MIA cause, publicized the documents he received through FOIA actions described above? Why would we believe James Stockdale over Ted Guy? Is it because one was awarded the Medal of Honor upon his return and the other was not? Was it because James Stockdale was a senior with a Naval Academy background and Ted Guy was more of a ‘blue collar’ Air Force fighter pilot? Was it because the political leadership at the time needed ‘heroes’ and the more ‘glamorous’ the better. The fact is, the more we learn about Ted Guy, the more credible he becomes.

According to the book, ‘P.O.W.’ [page 566] “The combative Guy had been [shot down] in Laos…was captured after shooting it out with some North Vietnamese soldiers, killing at least two of them. [Note: How many did Stockdale kill before being captured?]. After capture he had been subjected to all the tortures which by this time the Vietnamese were routinely inflicting on their American prisoners. He had spent the next thirty-seven months in solitary confinement – first at the Plantation, then in Vegas, on to D-1, and back to the Plantation on November 25, 1970.” In fact, Paul Galanti, in an Email to me on another subject at a happier time, stated “Beak, I assume you've seen the aforementioned e-correspondence. Let me know if you want Ted Guy's note to Admiral Thomas F. Brown III (then a Tailhook Association executive) and Brown's response. (Ted was one of the toughest in Hanoi).”

According to the ‘P.O.W.’ book [pp. 566-574], Ted Guy was transferred to the reopened Plantation on 25 November 1970. [There] torture remained much in vogue [from the time it reopened in 1970 through early 1972, the year before the POWs returned home]. [Guy] remained isolated, but was now in a cell from which he was able to at least see other Americans…SRO Guy found that the bulk of the prisoner population was enlisted men and that they wanted nothing so much as strong leadership. He promulgated policies virtually identical to the BACK US policy Jim Stockdale had established at Hoa Lo years earlier, but urged a gradual buildup of the resistance campaign in order to soften the Vietnamese reaction.”

Ted Guy was tortured during January/February 1972 [only 14 months before all of our POWs were returned home]. The torture chamber was filthy. For the first three days and nights Guy was allowed no sleep. He was stripped naked, locked in leg irons, and made to lie on his stomach. A guard stood on the backs of his legs, Cheese kept a foot on his neck, pinning his head to the floor, and another guard flogged him with a rubber hose. The beating lasted a long time. Guy lost control of his bodily functions, he vomited, and when the pain became more than he could bear, he screamed. Rags were crammed into his mouth and the flogging continued.”

“In the long days and nights that followed, torture guards who enjoyed their work took turns inflicting long beatings with their fists … During one stretch Guy was kept kneeling for approximately eighteen hours. His knees were swollen to the extent that he could not pull his trouser legs over them. When he refused to author a confession of crimes, he was made to kneel again, this time atop an iron bar…The torture ended for Guy when after ten days and nights, he produced an acceptable confession, an apology, and an agreement to do anything that was asked of him. Then he was asked to write a letter of ‘solidarity’ and encouragement to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. When he balked at this, he was ordered back onto his knees and offered another round of torture. Unable to tolerate the prospect, he yielded…Although Ted Guy did not receive the most brutal torture dished out by the North Vietnamese – such as that recorded at the Zoo by the Cubans – he withstood brutal torture for much longer than the average at one of the most brutal camps, such as the Briarpatch.” Although not a Medal of Honor winner, it appears that Ted Guy and James Stockdale had parallel experiences in Hanoi.

So, why have the NAM-POW leaders forsaken Ted Guy, one of their own, in favor of James Stockdale – who was not there when John McCain traded military information for medical treatment while held in the North Vietnamese hospital? Why has Ted Guy been thrown under the bus and James Stockdale lionized? Could it be because the NAM-POW leadership has become ‘politicized’ and bray into the wind about their ‘hero,’ John McCain to an unknowing American public?

Why would they disown and attempt to discredit and disgrace one of their own – Ted Guy – a POW who has been dead for nearly a decade -- in order to establish cover for John McCain? For shame! But now, Ted Guy has risen from the grave to tell the truth about John McCain. And whether the NAM-POW leadership likes it or not, one’s credibility is based on TRUTH, not heat and emotion in the midst of a political battle – no matter how crucial the outcome!

The Mythical John McCain: A Conversation with the Leadership of the Vietnam War POWs

The Third Round

The only NAM-POW Leader to respond to the second round submission (see above) was Paul Galanti. One must assume that the others who responded in the first round concur in this response. Galanti writes, “Go back into your hole. You are getting laborious.” Beak Atkinson answers: Thanks to Paul Galanti, I dug a little deeper and ‘Voila’ — Eureka — I found it. The incontrovertible proof that ‘John McCain gave the aforementioned military information to his North Vietnamese captors in exchange for medical treatment for his shootdown wounds while in the North Vietnamese hospital in Hanoi.

A source whom I trust implicitly — while reading this conversation — and who has had access to the debriefings of our NAM-POWs upon their return home from Hanoi reveals that “Each and every returnee was debriefed by a NAVINTCOM trained debriefer. If there was any information of a derogatory nature on any returnee that information was recorded and disseminated (to interested military entities) on a message called ‘BluePlate.’ If the returnee revealed any incriminating information on himself, it was recorded on a ‘Cluster Wheat’ message.” The source read every one of the Cluster Wheat and BluePlate messages (and there were some), but did not see John McCain's name mentioned on any of them.

The source also asks, “These debriefings were done immediately after the returnee arrived at his designated hospital in the states, while it was still fresh in their minds. If it wasn't mentioned back in 1973, why is someone suddenly discovering a ‘recollection’ 35 years later? The time to make those sorts of statements was after they returned.”

The answer to the first question, regarding ‘incriminating information’ is at the heart of the basic issue regarding John McCain’s behavior while at the North Vietnamese hospital. Unfortunately, it goes against the protectors of McCain’s reputation and character. That is, the debriefing records reveal a startling truth — that none of the other POWs knew anything about McCain's interviews with his North Vietnamese captors and the communist correspondents while he was interviewed at the hospital where he traded 'military' information for medical treatment. The NAM-POWs didn't know the details of it because 1) they were not there (thus, it could not be in the 'BluePlate' record), and 2) because McCain never told them the details of his interviews and did not 'incriminate' himself upon his return home via the 'Cluster Wheat' record.

I know Paul Galanti very well. He and I have been on the same page on very important presidential election and national security issues, including the support of John O’Neil in his Swiftboat Veterans’ exposé of Senator John Kerry during his 2004 run for the presidency. We have also been together on other important 'things,’ including Tailhook '91, the Bob Stumpf Affair, the Hultgreen Affair, the Jerry Burns Affair, the New Age 'ethics' stuff at the U.S. Naval Academy, and the Lamar Owens frame-up, and I have found him to be honest, trustworthy, and a courageous warrior for the TRUTH. I simply couldn't believe that he would ever LIE or brush aside the truth about McCain's behavior in the six-week period that he was under his captors' control in the hospital. It simply wasn't like Paul Galanti to place 'politics' above his personal honor. No way!

Now, thanks to this new information regarding the official POW debriefings by American experts, I know that Paul Galanti is not lying. He simply does not know the details. He wasn't there at the hospital and McCain has never told him or any of the other POWs the truth about the details of his interviews with the communist correspondents while in the hospital. And now Paul is simply defending McCain on the basis of McCain's record after his initial cooperation with the enemy -- which even Ted Guy (his SRO at the Plantation) lauds in the official books on the subject. This fact, and the fact that McCain did not come clean with his ‘Cluster Wheat’ interviewers in the U.S. is a damning account — attesting to his character.

Although my source did not actually conduct any of the debriefings described above, he was almost as close to this subject as was Major Wm. Mayer, US Army, who in 1960 presided over the debriefings of our Korean War POWs. I am right now looking at a tape recording of that experience, entitled, "Mind Control: The Ultimate Weapon, The POW Experience in the Korean War 1950-1953." My interest in that subject was piqued by reading the 'Honor Bound' book and comparing that experience with that which we were trained to expect in our SERE training before we deployed to Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam. As a result, I subsequently wrote a great deal about that subject, having gone to college with a fellow who had been captured, marched to the Yalu under the infamous North Korean Major, 'the Tiger,' and imprisoned near the Chinese border.

As a result of this interest, I developed a conversation with a group of Korean War POWs -- including a chaplain -- who were very helpful in guiding me to books, and their personal accounts. This resulted in an article in The Washington Times FORUM commentary section. That commentary is applicable to the subject at hand regarding John McCain.

In response to the second question, “If it wasn't mentioned back in 1973, why is someone suddenly discovering a ‘recollection’ 35 years later? The time to make those sorts of statements was after they returned,” This is easy to answer -- the pathway is clear. Ted Guy had no quarrel with McCain during their years together at the Plantation. As explained in the two original essays on the subject (see above), Ted became an activist in the POW/MIA movement years after their homecoming and came to believe that Senator McCain had betrayed the MIAs by joining Senator John Kerry during the early 1990s in 'squashing' the POW/MIA matter. It was then that Ted Guy gathered the 'details' of John McCain's early behavior at the North Vietnamese hospital, which was readily available by declassification of documents by the Pentagon in the 1987 time frame.

When Ted Guy learned that McCain was making a run for the presidency in 2000, he sent me a package which contained the 'details' of McCain's 'interviews with the communist correspondents in Hanoi. He had found me though a chain that included ADM Moorer's public defense of Bob Stumpf, RADM C.A. 'Mark' Hill's public exposition of it in his 'corner' on my website, and my public documentation of it in The Washington Times. Ted Guy had no intention of 'trashing' McCain's reputation. But when he learned that McCain was running for the nomination for president in 2000 he knew he had to speak out. Ted Guy swore me to secrecy unless McCain won the South Carolina primary in 2000. I kept that promise when Bush won the nomination. Ted Guy died of cancer in 1999.

I did not take Ted Guy's word for granted — that is, as fact — in my public exposition of this matter. I spent hours and hours pouring over both the 'P.O.W' book and the 'Honor Bound' book -- over 1,400 pages in all -- read every word and paper-clipped all the pertinent pages. I found that, if one took the time to follow the time-sequenced trail of each of the principal 'actors,' in the saga, McCain indeed behaved as I have described. Both books back up what is published in this Blog, beginning with McCain's own public confession in his 'U.S. News & World Report' article on the subject in 1973, that he 'gave military information in exchange for medical treatment' at the North Vietnamese hospital. All Ted Guy did was provide the shocking details of what that information was.

Consequently, the 35-year-delay in this 'recollection' is due simply to the random set of circumstances surrounding this matter and the fact that we now know that Ted Guy -- the decade-or-so old dead guy -- has spoken from the grave on a very important matter of John McCain's character and his fitness to lead this nation as we near the next 'Social Moment' in our history.

Thus, a close look at the official record reveals that John McCain indeed ‘Sang Like a Canary’ to his North Vietnamese captors during his stay in their hospital from four days after his capture (26 October 1967) until around the middle of December 1967 — at which time he was transferred to the Plantation prison complex. This record should put to rest the TRUTH of the matter. The NAM-POW Leadership is wrong, dead wrong on this matter — Ted Guy was right.

We can now turn to other aspects of Senator John McCain’s fitness to serve as president of the United States of America! These aspects are illuminated in other responses by the NAM-POW Leadership and others in the first round of this conversation.

Of course, this entire conversation is prefaced by the observation, as I have made before, that both the Democrat and Republican parties have let the American people down with the choices we have been given in this 2008 election cycle. We were given the Hobson's choice among; a radical feminist, cultural-Marxist candidate — who, although defeated during the Democrat primary, is a threat to our nation as long as she is politically viable, either as a Supreme Court justice, a cabinet member of an Obama presidency, or simply as the celebrated icon of the radical feminist/cultural Marxist movement in America; an acolyte of black liberation theology with a 'black Muslim' twist; and a false 'hero' of the Vietnam war who has major character flaws. This election may just be one in which a record number of folks will vote for 'none of the above.' Each of these contestants for national power as a result of the 2008 election is as dangerous as the other.

As Thomas Sowell bemoans in The Washington Times (‘Making a choice,’ 06/08/08), “[This] is time for a sober — if not grim — assessment of where we are. Not since 1972 have we been presented with two such painfully inadequate candidates…[I] stayed home [then]...Senator John McCain has been criticized in this column many times. But, when all is said and done, he has not spent decades aiding and abetting people who hate America.” What a grotesque state of affairs in this election year!

Readers of the essays on this website and subscribers to my Eternal Vigilance journal know that I take a longer view of our nation’s history — and of its likely future based on that history. If one reviews our ‘Generational History,’ and the prospect that current events place us in another of our nation’s scheduledFourth Turnings,’ there is a very likely prospect that a ‘Social Moment’ can be ‘predicted’ around the year 2020.

If and when this occurs -- irrespective of who is elected president in 2008 -- will you, will we, will the real leaders of this great nation be wise enough, courageous enough, and strong enough to 'rise up out of the ashes' like a Phoenix and grasp the mantle of power that returns America to the greatness for which our Founding Fathers laid the foundation, and in which we believed and fought for during 'our' war? Stay tuned!

The Mythical John McCain: A Conversation with the Leadership of the Vietnam War POWs

The Fourth Round

Having dispensed with the objections of Richard Stratton, Bud Day, and Paul Galanti in the first three rounds of this conversation, we now progress to objections voiced by others of the NAM-POW leadership voiced in the initial round, but not as yet answered. In an Email message on 26 April 2008, Orson Swindle wrote, “Your credibility is zero. In writing about John McCain as you have, you demonstrate ignorance. Paul Galanti has said it well. John McCain's performance as a POW was admired by all, totally courageous and honorable in every respect. What is your motive? What and who are your sources? Are you man enough to admit error or is this slander and BS done with a purpose? Your poor judgment is alarming.”

Beak Atkinson answers: Galanti has been answered above. In addition, my sources are explicitly delineated above. They are the authoritative books on the subject of POWs in Southeast Asia and John McCain’s self-reporting via the U.S. News & World Report article. The slander and BS, as well as purpose answers are the same — Beak is after the TRUTH. And so far, he has found it — and published it. And for most Americans — TRUTH is the foundation of credibility.

Ignorance, of course, is in the eye of the beholder — which speaks for both Swindle and Atkinson. We can all learn from the above sources about each of the POWs — if we but spend the time wending our way through 1,400 pages of the historical record. I have done so for you as well in a file labeled The Orson Swindle Story. As for relative ignorance, let me remind you of an account by James Stockdale during the year 1970 when the North Vietnamese relaxed their torture regime and prisoners experienced less brutality and better living conditions. The record reveals that “James Stockdale cited the alternatives as ‘whether to hit the Vietnamese head on or to ease into position of open defiance.’ The senior remembered getting a query from cell 6 [at Camp Unity] asking what their ‘posture’ should be and replying, ‘Our basic posture will be one of ‘oblique envelopment.’ The word came back from 6, ‘Are you me? Orson (Swindle) can’t even spell it.’” Oh well, I guess you may have forgotten that. How can you possibly be a spokesman for Senator John McCain’s presidency if you ‘can’t even spell it?’

The record also reveals that you were never imprisoned in close proximity with John McCain (See the Swindle Story link above) until 19 March 1971 when you both were rounded up from your respective camps and sent to Skid Row. Then you were both together at Camp Unity during 1971-1972, the period during which torture ceased to exist (except for Ted Guy) and which was labeled ‘The Good Guy Era.’ Consequently, you would seem to be far removed as a ‘witness’ to John McCain’s behavior as a POW during McCain’s six weeks in the North Vietnamese hospital (early November 1967 to mid-December 1968) and during the ‘Extortion Era’ (1968-1969) at the Plantation as one could be. What you know of John McCain’s behavior could only have been acquired by conversations with him and others during the 1971-1972 period. That is also covered at the above hyperlink. You can hardly be a credible spokesman for John McCain’s POW record as you tout yourself to be.

The question of ‘motive’ is a good one and deserves a forthright answer. Here it is: There was a day when independents could, individually and without a central leader (i.e. no spider at the center of the web — in the parlance of ‘network theory’) cast their votes for the party that had been out of power in the previous election or elections in the hope of denying or at least weakening the power of tyrants in our representative democracy. These independents take to heart the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in forging a system of government with divided powers among the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches which has kept tyranny at bay for over two centuries. The independents of today have no such choice. The choices they have between the Democrats, who have been taken over by the Liberal Left Cultural Marxists, and the Republicans, who have been taken over by the Corporate Titans (as well as the credit market, and Wall Street speculators) are not viable in the coming presidential election.

The independents see this choice in the coming election and observe the lack of seriousness on the part of the prospective candidates. They are waiting for someone to rise up out of the mist and directly address the central problems America faces today. They are waiting for real leaders to rise up and let them know — in plain language — what must be done to preserve both our heritage handed down to us by our Founding Fathers and our place in the world as a benevolent and trustworthy example of champions of freedom derived from a representative constitutional republic

Over the past year I have attempted to formulate the essence of two major problems facing our nation. One is the decay and dissolution from within — that is, the cultural Marxist revolution being carried out by the power elites of the Boomer generation. I have characterized a part of that counter-culture revolution as The Looming American Matriarchy. Hillary Clinton is an icon.

The other major problem that must be directly addressed by our prospective leaders is the global Salafist Islamic jihad — a religious war being carried out by Islamic terrorists who have hijacked a major, popular religion in the name of ‘reform’ or ‘revival’ (labeled a ‘spiritual awakening’ in Christendom). These jihadis are zealots who have turned their religion into an ideological movement that has as its goals the destruction of the United States of America and bringing the past glory of the Prophet Mohammed’s Islamic caliphate to the entire world —using suicide bombings, murder, butchery, torture, and assassination of innocents, including civilians — all specifically prohibited by the Quran — via a tactic called takfir. For an in-depth discussion of this topic, read my essay at the hyperlink ‘Hillary’s Takfir,’ which compares Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Takfir with Hillary Clinton’s..

We must force our political process and our presidential candidates to address these two major problems faced by America. We must be sufficiently independent to cut through the strident rhetoric, the meaningless ‘politics as entertainment’ venue, and the dodging of hard questions by our politicians. They must face the reality of these threats to America’s future. We want direct answers to the hard questions!

The candidates must convince us that they fully understand these two problems and that they have a realistic, hard-nosed set of plans and policies to eliminate both of these threats to America’s future. Otherwise the independents will most likely ‘sit out’ the coming presidential election. They could simply vote for ‘none of the above.’ And the ‘extremists’ at both ends of the political spectrum will decide it. This would guarantee a tyrant of some stripe as our next president. Could it be an acolyte of Black Liberation Theology with a trace of Muslim heritage — one who was enthralled by the writings of Malcolm X during his young adult years? And what are his plans for Hillary Rodham Clinton who has cut some kind of deal for delivering her 18 million followers to Obama’s presidential campaign? One way or another, we will have to deal with Hillary Clinton for some time to come. This issue discusses her past contribution to the decadence we see in our culture today. She will be every bit as dangerous to American civilization in the future as she has been in the past. Visit the hyperlink above to learn the source of this threat

Conversely, could it be a former Navy Vietnam War carrier pilot whose total warfare and foreign policy experience was 23 missions over North Vietnam, five and one-half years of courageous survival in the Hanoi Hilton POW camp, and more than a decade in the U.S. Senate where he provided ‘cover’ for the Clintons’ disastrous support of Muslim mujahideen during our armed intervention in both Bosnia and Kosovo with a feeble ‘we must support our troops’ opposition to those policy disasters.

As Thomas Sowell bemoans in The Washington Times (‘Making a choice,’ 06/08/08), “[This] is time for a sober — if not grim — assessment of where we are. Not since 1972 have we been presented with two such painfully inadequate candidates...Senator John McCain has been criticized in this column many times. But, when all is said and done, he has not spent decades aiding and abetting people who hate America.” My July/August 2008 issue of the Eternal Vigilance journal addresses this topic.

If and when a major failure of leadership occurs — irrespective of who is elected president in 2008 — and our Social Moment arises, will you, will we, will the real leaders of this great nation be wise enough, courageous enough, and strong enough to 'rise up out of the ashes' like a Phoenix and grasp the mantle of power that returns America to the greatness for which our Founding Fathers laid the foundation, and in which we believed and fought for during 'our' war? Stay tuned!

The Mythical John McCain: A Conversation with the Leadership of the Vietnam War POWs

The Fifth Round

Peggy Noonan, a gifted Republican Party speechwriter laments in the Wall Street Journal that, McCain ‘...often shows passion for things that he cares about. He stands up to power, He faces them down. It’s not only a self image, it’s a self obsession. But he rarely speaks of meaning...McCain, to McCain, is defined by his maverickness. That is who he is...Issues removed from his personal drama, from the saga of John McCain (e.g. his POW experiences, the disparate crusades allied with Democrats in the Senate, etc.), don’t seem to capture his interest to any deep extent...He has positions, but a series of separate, discrete and seemingly unconnected stands do not coherence make...But voters hunger for coherence, for a philosophical thread that holds all the positions together...In the most successful political careers there is a purpose, a guiding philosophy … Philosophy is the foundation. All the rest is secondary.’ Along with Noonan’s questions, I would suggest that we take a look at the historical context of where America now stands on the stage of history and compare that situation with previous eras of history and ask serious questions as to whether or not John McCain has the right stuff — at this time in our history — to successfully take the reins of power and lead America out of its current ‘funk’ to a brighter future. We might go back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome for some comparisons.

John McCain’s NAM-POW supporters, however, — not particularly impressed with philosophy — raise the fiction that he has almost superhuman qualities — during an interview with Karl Rove as reported in The Wall Street Journal — serving as Bud Day’s ‘surgeon’ for resetting Day’s broken arm (improbably, while McCain was not only unable to walk, but unable to rise off his bed while recovering from his wounds at the Plantation) and his ‘chaplain’ later on, during a time when Day was McCain’s SRO at the Vegas complex in Hanoi. Day’s devotion to McCain in his bid for the presidency nears that of the second coming of Christ.

CAPT Bob Stumpf, USN (Ret.) — not a NAM-POW, but a strong supporter of McCain’s presidential campaign — credits McCain for saving his personal and professional reputation. Stumpf writes, “What is your goal, Beak? Do you really prefer Clinton or Obama over John McCain? And oh, by the way, what kind of a friend would I be to turn against the ‘ONLY ONE of 535 congress people to take a fervent, vocal, conspicuous and politically dangerous stand on my behalf’ twelve years ago? Let me remind you that John McCain took on the Senate and the Administration to right a terrible injustice, and doggedly pursued justice until it was done more than six years later. I owe him what's worth more than anything, my personal and professional reputation. Beak Atkinson answers Stumpf: Not only did Senator McCain fail to take ‘a fervent, vocal, conspicuous, and political stand in your successful quest for redemption of the false charges by the radical feminists who engineered the witch hunt in the wake of the Tailhook ‘91 bacchanal, but Senator John McCain was as responsible as anyone (except President Clinton) for the ‘feminization’ of the U.S. Navy from that time right up to now. McCain acted as you describe in ‘private,’ out of the reach of the radical feminists who were calling for your hide — but he did not, repeat did not, do anything in public on your behalf. In fact, he did everything publicly in his power to cement the choke hold the radical feminists held on him as he became one of their strongest political supporters for the ‘feminization’ of the Navy’s combat arms. The only PUBLIC support you received during that time was through the direct intercession of ADM Thomas H. Moorer and RADM C.A. ‘Mark’ Hill, Jr. via the their support through commentary in The Washington Times and the latter’s ‘corner’ on this website. It is difficult for us to believe that you do not understand that what was occurring to you — and to over 300 other naval aviator ‘warriors’ in those dark days — is directly attributable to the crass and base political opportunism of Senator John McCain in furthering the radical feminist cause. I have documented that record, which may come as a surprise to you and many of your other cohorts who support McCain’s run for the presidency. It is now available for all to see at the hyperlink ‘John McCain: America’s Commodus.

To further our understanding of what really motivates Senator John McCain in his run for the presidency, I have devoted a great deal of time to researching the periods in history — ancient Rome and ancient Greece — which tend to mirror where our nation is today — and have found some striking parallels. In addition, I have researched the most reliable record of John McCain’s persona through the exhaustive material supplied in his epic biography by Robert Timberg, the author of ‘The Nightingale’s Song.’ For those of us who believe there is merit in studying ancient empires and discerning patterns that repeat themselves throughout the history of mankind, we can learn how the successes and failures of major civilizations came about. And we can judge whether or not those actors on the stage today have the ‘right stuff.’

As an introduction to this commentary, we go to the criticism of this effort by McCain’s fellow NAM-POW, Mike Cronin. Mike earned the reputation of being one of the strongest resisters to the North Vietnamese captors’ efforts to break the will of our Vietnam War POWs. On his return, he has had no access to nor recollection of the ‘Cluster Wheat’ records. Cronin writes, “The interrogations had been so many years in the past that it wasn't relevant by the time the debriefings took place. The debriefings focused on trying to account for those who might still be held by the Vietnamese. The debriefings are still classified, but each of us has access to his own...The debriefers had a canned list of questions. I added a lot of info not asked for because the questions were cut and dried and prepared from above without anyone knowing what the conditions had been, but I was under no obligation to expand my comments beyond what was asked for…[That is an interesting comment — could there have been more that he could have given?]...By the way, you won't find any POW who was able to stick with name, rank and serial number, though all of us tried our best. Here's a fact: Beak, you wouldn't have been able to do so either. Many men better than you were not able to do that. What followed was lies and evasions. The Vietnamese were technically ignorant and didn't know what to ask about technology and tactics, and believed whatever you said. They were far more interested in politics and propaganda.”

Beak Atkinson’s Answer to Cronin: My sources, as recorded in previous rounds of this conversation are sound and are the basis of the conclusions made. As to whether or not there were ‘any POWs who were able to stick to name, rank, and serial number though all of us tried our best…’ the answer is: if you take the time to read through the exhaustive materials in the two major reference books, you will find that 80 percent of our POWs made some sort of ‘confession’ but if you read closer you will find that at least three — Jim Kasler, Red McDaniel, and Jim Bell were among those who ‘came back on their shield’ — as in the ancient Spartan days of Rome. They did not give more than ‘name, rank, serial number, and date of birth,’ as all of us took an oath to uphold as ‘an American fighting man.’ It is immaterial whether or not I or anyone else who was not there could have stuck to this oath. No one — you, me, or any of the rest of us who went through SERE training could predict whether or not we could have stuck to the oath. If I were to hazard a guess — based on what I picked up in SERE training — I would probably not have survived the experience. Ed Atterberry’s example may be an example of why. But who knows? You sure as hell don’t. And neither do I. And I certainly don’t want to go back to alter the outcome of my ‘near shootdown’ to find out. Irregardless, it is completely immaterial to this conversation. There is, however, one thing that is quite admirable about Mike Cronin’s defense of John McCain. It reveals the tightness of the bond that holds our NAM-POWs together in the most proud and cohesive group of ‘warfighters’ the world will ever know. That ‘unit cohesion’ is the ‘nuclear’ force that holds all of America’s fighting units together in time of war. A unit cohesion, however, that is rapidly being eroded by the introduction of women into our combat arms. And Senator John McCain has been, and is, one of the foremost proponents of women-in-combat on America’s political stage!

So, why do we believe that John McCain is the one to lead America to a brighter future? Is he America’s Marcus Aurelius, Rome’s ‘Philosopher King?’ Obviously not! As Peggy Noonan states above, John McCain is NOT a ‘deep thinker.’ His beginnings display not only a mean streak and a bellicose nature, but a tendency toward sullen rebellion against any constituted authority – be it during early schooling for those born with a silver spoon in their mouths – at the prestigious private Episcopal High School (a boarding school for boys in Alexandria, Virginia) [44], U.S. Naval Academy restrictions [45][46], or naval aviation training discipline [47][48]. McCain’s proclivity toward social frivolity, a procurer [49] of questionable activities for congressional ‘friends’ and sponsors during his naval aviation and senatorial liaison assignments (while estranged, but still married to his first wife) point, rather, toward a similarity to Commodus, the nepotic son of Marcus Aurelius.

As a result of the above historical research, I have found a character in ancient Greek history who parallels John McCain’s persona to an eerie degree. His name is Alcibiades. And I ask the question, ‘Is John McCain America’s Alcibiades? (At this hyperlink, go to the bottom third of the page and be sure to read all of the extensive footnotes). Durant muses over how the great war between Athens and Sparta began. It had to do with the Greek empire that spread from Syracuse in the West to Corinth in the East [58]. “…the basic cause of the war was the growth of the Athenian Empire, and the development of Athenian control over the commercial and political life of the Aegean. Athens allowed free trade there in time of peace, but only by imperial sufferance; no vessel might sail that sea without her consent…Athens defended this domination as a vital necessity; she was dependent on imported food, and was determined to guard the routes by which that food came…the resistance to Athenian policy came from nearly every state in Greece…Surrounded by enemies abroad and at home, Pericles worked for peace and prepared for war…[Alcibiades played a central role in the ‘suicidal war’ between Athens and Sparta]. Durant describes the personal life of Alcibiades. It has a strange and eerie parallel to that of Senator John McCain [59]. “Alcibiades was one of those who, in the Assembly, defended [important but contentious] resolutions. His support for any motion usually sufficed to carry it, for he was now the most famous man in Athens, admired for his eloquence, his good looks, his versatile genius, even his faults and crimes. His father, the rich Cleinias, had been killed at the battle of Coronea; his mother, an Alcmaeonid and near relative of Pericles, had persuaded the statesman to bring up Alcibiades in his home. The boy was troublesome, but intelligent and brave; at twenty he fought beside Socrates at Potidaea, and at twenty-six at Delium (424). The philosopher seems to have felt a warm attachment for the youth, and called him to virtue, says Plutarch, with words that ‘so overcame Alcibiades as to draw tears from his eyes, and disturb his very soul.’ Yet sometimes he would abandon himself to flatterers, when they proposed to him varieties of pleasure, and would desert Socrates, who would then pursue him as if he had been a fugitive slave.” Read the complete story at the above hyperlink. It may give some of us cause for concern in being blindly supportive of John McCain for the presidency.

John McCain: The Fool as Presidential Candidate

Otto Scott, the author and publisher of his ‘Compass,’ during the 1980s-1990s wrote several books — James I: The Fool as King, and Robespierre: The Fool as Revolutionary — which unmasked the part played by ‘fools’ in high places which led to revolutionary movements on the world stage of history. He played a prominent part in my life as the first historian to prominently and positively review my 1996 book, The New Totalitarians, in his ‘Otto Scott’s Compass.’ Hence, the title of this editorial.

Senator John McCain has continued the string of ‘fools’ in history by choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate for the presidency. This surprising choice is not only a knee-jerk ‘grandstanding’ decision made by a crass, self-serving politician with a reputation for irrational behavior, but exposes his past as a person who would betray his country by advancing the radical feminist cause — one that has the potential of destroying American civilization. It is characteristic of his past political maneuvers.

This choice has left voters with a terrible choice in the coming presidential election — an articulate, completely inexperienced young black politician with direct connections to the Black Muslim brotherhood of Black Power and a former prisoner of war who has played on that ‘hero’ role as a catapult to political prominence. John McCain, the ‘accidental candidate’ who comes from a lineage of ‘military royalty,’ and who has based his entire political career on the foundation of supporting the radical feminist (actually a cultural-Marxist) cause and now, glaringly, revealingly shows his shallowness of mind by naively attempting to ride on the shoulders of Hillary Clinton’s ‘18 million’ primary campaign voters to victory on the road to the presidency.

It is obvious that Sarah Palin is a bright young star in American politics. She has demonstrated, as the governor of Alaska, traits and an attitude that are admirable, courageous, and timely. But McCain is taking advantage of this gifted woman by using her ‘womanhood’ as a crutch in an attempt to ‘steal’ Hillary’s radical feminist followers. It will cost him, and us, dearly.

Sarah Palin has been thrown into the political ‘mosh pit’ at a time when her family of five youngsters — one, a baby, with a permanent cognitive disability — desperately need a constant mother’s care. She is completely naïve with respect to national security affairs. She is of the ‘correct’ generation, the 13er generation, for leadership in America’s current Fourth Turning when the nation needs such leadership for the coming Social Moment. McCain’s choice is not fair to this inexperienced, overburdened woman, to his party, and to our nation. General David H. Petraeus of the same 13er generation would have been a much better choice for Vice President should (heaven forbid) McCain fail to outlive his first term (a second term is not possible). General Petraeus (the architect of the successful ‘surge’ strategy in Iraq) is a member of a military which the American people regard with much higher esteem than any other institution in the land, especially that of the Mass Media, the Congress and the Presidency.

But no, John McCain made the fatal ‘political’ choice, a woman bent on ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ of American politics. This is typical of John McCain’s political past. He has bowed to the radical feminists all through his political career.

In 1993 I wrote an essay, The Annapolization of America: A Social Epidemic, I described a ‘Tipping Point,’ a magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu. It describes a process and the ‘actors’ required to foment a cultural revolution — such as the one which John J. Miller described in the National Review. His article, ‘Babylon Comes to Sparta: Have our service academies gotten too modern?’ (14 July 2003) was prescient.

That article has meaning far beyond our nation’s premiere service academies. It is a description in microcosm of what has slowly overtaken America over the past 40 years — and spread in the ‘wink of an eye’ of cosmic time during the 1990s. And it comes to a head during the 2008 election cycle.

In a nutshell, Miller’s premise is that our nation’s premiere service academies are being forced to follow the lead of the Naval Academy in essentially purging the ‘warrior spirit,’ the ‘warrior ethos,’ from the training and education of our nation’s core combat leadership. Their education at Annapolis is producing a result that looks ‘too much like America.’ The numerical dominance and relative power of the civilian faculty at the Naval Academy is the touchstone of Miller’s argument. But it is more than that, much more. What we have seen occur at the Academy is an example of a tiny grain of seed — the seed of the ‘socialization’ of not only the U.S. military, but every institution in the land.

I have written extensively on this subject. Two books, numerous articles published in the FORUM section of The Sunday Washington Times and a voluminous set of essays on my website provide evidence, detailed foundational evidence, that Miller has it just right. Miller’s article may have been a tad late, but, finally, the subject has been exposed to a national audience. The problem, however, is much broader and deeper in America than just at the Naval Academy. The epidemic has spread across the land — to every institution, including attempts to dissolve the family unit, the basic building block of any long-lasting civilization .

Read a copy of the September/October 2008 issue of my Eternal Vigilance journal to learn how Senator John McCain has been at the forefront in supporting this revolution. It also unmasks in minute detail the true background of Barack Obama, who Charles Krauthammer describes as ‘The Perfect Stranger’ (Washington, 08/29/08), but without the subterfuge of effete prose by a Washington pundit. Indeed, we have a Hobson’s Choice in this coming election. A choice between a Black Liberation (Black Power) candidate — and a slinky, opportunistic, behind-the-scenes supporter of radical feminism.

The Mythical John McCain: A Conversation with the Leadership of the Vietnam War POWs

The Sixth and Final Round

This is the sixth and final round of the conversation with the NAM-POW leaders on the subject of the Mythical John McCain. It will establish the final piece of evidence that reveals the veracity of the conclusions made thus far. I have given the NAM-POW leaders five opportunities to tell us what they know about the details of John McCain’s ‘battlefield information’ that he has publicly stated that he provided his North Vietnamese captors in exchange for medical treatment early after his capture. They have provided nothing. That can mean simply and conclusively that they have no clue as to such details. The final piece of evidence is revealed in this round of the conversation. It comes as a result of an Email from Jerry Coffee, who is a NAM-POW supporter of John McCain’s run for the presidency. In a future set of essays I will address the subject of the Real John McCain – explaining how his political record has been consistently left of center and injurious to the nation’s national security.

You can read Beak Atkinson’s Response to Jerry Coffee’s Email. It provides conclusive proof of John McCain’s behavior as a POW as has been described on these pages. You see, there is specific, detailed, and officially available evidence of the extent to which John McCain gave battlefield information to his captors in return for medical treatment during the six-week period while he was in the North Vietnamese hospital. There is also detailed information of the same nature that he gave a boastful interview with a Cuban psychologist during the ‘Good Guy’ period (1970) while McCain was at the Vegas prison complex. These official U.S. Government records have been made available to anyone who wishes to see them. They are Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents which were collected and classified during the 1967-1970 time frame, since then declassified and placed in the publicly accessible CIA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) database. Anyone can view these documents on the Internet at the URL: . One can view the section of the CIA’s intelligence collection database which deals with John McCain by typing the keywords, ‘John McCain’ in the search window at the above URL. It lists 18 entries – with applicable dates of creation -- 14 of which deal directly with the subject at hand. They include – in virgin form – all of those that Ted Guy sent to me in the late 1990s and which appear on this website at the hyperlink, McCain Sang Like a Canary. One, is labeled ‘HANOI IN ENGLISH TO AMERICAN SERVICEMEN IN S. VIETNAM – JOHN SYDNEY MCCAIN, dated 10/30/67, four days after he was shot down and the very day that the ‘Crown Prince’ agreed to give battlefield information to his captors in return for medical treatment for his wounds. An interesting thing about this CIA intelligence database record is that it contains a handwritten note that ‘This was passed to Adm McCain by Adm Flatly on 10//30/67 and initialed by sjk.’

At the response hyperlink above, you will find a detailed answer to each of the five paragraphs in Jerry Coffee’s Email to Beak Atkinson. In summary, John McCain has publicly stated that he traded ‘battlefield information’ to the enemy in return for medical treatment. He has not made public the details of his part of that bargain. He did not ‘come clean’ during his debriefing by the Pentagon debriefers upon his return. If he had done so, this ‘incriminating evidence’ would have appeared in the Cluster Wheat messages. No such message exists. The CIA has since released intelligence information relevant to the time period in which John McCain made his trade with the enemy. That information is now available in the CIA FOIA database files for anyone to see. They include the same documents that I have made available on this website. That leaves only one of two possibilities. Either you NAM-POWs have engaged in a ‘code of silence’ concerning John McCain’s trade with his captors or else he has never confided these ‘incriminating’ details to you.

I prefer to believe that the latter possibility is true. Why? Because I know very well, ‘as sure as God made green apples,’ that Jerry Coffee and other NAM-POWs whom I know personally have the personal traits of honor, courage, and honesty that would not allow a ‘code of silence’ on such an important matter. Consequently, it must be true that John McCain has not told any other NAM-POW the details of his ‘trade’ with the enemy.

In conclusion, it follows that I now believe, after exhausting all of the available evidence, that John McCain has betrayed each of you: Dick Stratton, Bud Day, Paul Galanti, Mike Collins, et. al by withholding that information from you. In this act, he has betrayed each one of you. He has betrayed all the rest who fought in the Vietnam War. He has betrayed his current political operatives, the Republican Party, and – most importantly – he has betrayed the American people. Such a man is simply not, REPEAT NOT, presidential material!

And that is not the only time Senator John McCain has betrayed us. As Ted Guy discerned during the 1990s that Senator McCain abandoned the POW/MIAs and joined the turncoat traitor, John Kerry, in shutting off the U.S. Government search for MIAs, Senator McCain lost the vote of the 300,000 plus members of the POW/MIA organization who drove their Harley’s through Washington, D.C. last Memorial Day in support of the MIAs. And when Senator McCain joined John Kerry and Ambassador Pete Peterson (a former NAM-POW who became the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam) in opening the Free Trade door to the communist labor market, those 300,000 voters represent the millions of blue collar Americans – some Vietnam War veterans, others sons and daughters of those veterans – who have lost their jobs to the communist Vietnamese laborers. Even if the piddly 600+ names that Jerry Coffee memorized while imprisoned in Hanoi all voted for John McCain in this coming election, it would only be a drop in the bucket compared to those above who will not vote for him.

Senator John McCain also betrayed those of us who joined John O’Neill and his Swift Boat veterans (including Bud Day, Paul Galanti, and most of the NAM-POW veterans) when he again gave public support to the turncoat traitor John Kerry who ran for the presidency in the 2004 election. McCain publicly trashed John O’Neill and his Swift Boat veterans while we supported that gallant Swift Boat warrior. You can bet your bottom dollar that most of the Vietnam War veterans who fought in that war and are still damned proud of their role in it will not vote for John McCain this coming November. He betrayed us then and he will betray us again. The calumny which John McCain has engaged in with respect to his NAM-POW record – that which is still UNKOWN to his NAM-POW supporters -- is only the first-then and last-now in a long line of such betrayals.

As I have said before on this blog, we are faced with a Hobson’s Choice in the coming presidential election. Many Americans will make their choice on emotional grounds emanating from the Democrat and Republican parties’ spinmiesters. Many independents, upon whose shoulders this coming election will be decided, are still bewildered, uncertain, and will make their choice – on the basis of limited knowledge (stands on illegal immigration, the go-go virtual economy, free trade, the collapse of Wall Street due to speculation and greed, and the loss of jobs for American workers, etc.). Many will make their final decision in the voter booth. The coming election will decide nothing – in the grand scope of history. Only those of us who stand ready to ‘pick up the pieces’ and rise out of the ashes like a Phoenix in the aftermath of the coming election can save our American civilization. Are you ready? Stay tuned!

Barack Obama’s Black Liberation Theology What is Black Liberation Theology? According to this interpretation of the Scripture, “Black [liberation] theology cannot accept a view of God which does not represent God as being for oppressed blacks and thus against white oppressors. Living in a world of white oppressors, blacks have no time for a neutral God. The brutalities are too great and the pain too severe, and this means we must know where God is and what God is doing in the revolution. There is no use for a God who loves white oppressors the same as oppressed blacks. We have had too much white love, the love that tells blacks to turn the other cheek and go the second mile. What we need is the living love as expressed in black power, which is the power of blacks to destroy their oppressors, here and now, by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject God’s love.” (‘A Black Theology of Liberation,’ pp. 70). James H. Cone – the theologian who inspired Reverend Jeremiah Wright who baptized Barack Obama in his Trinity United Church of Christ. ” And now, of course, that is precisely Senator Barack Obama’s takfir. A tactic used by those who would wield power, raw naked power over us!

Gerald L. Atkinson states (above) the Hobson’s Choice we have in the coming presidential election and observes a general consensus among both independent voters and even many in the polling industry who find that many are undecided and have a certain ‘malaise’ expressed as ‘can’t we just start over with a new slate of candidates?’ It is clear, that the voters do not have nearly enough background information on the two presumptive candidates to make an informed choice come November 2008. And the mass media, as well as the political spinmiesters on each side will not provide this information.

In this regard, Dr. Atkinson has conducted extensive research on those who influenced Hillary Clinton’s worldview early in her formative years and describes it in terms of the Arab concept of takfir. This material is presented at the hyperlink, Hillary’s Takfir. Dr. Atkinson has also conducted similar research on those who influenced Barack Obama’s worldview — during his 20s as a ‘street organizer’ and during the late1980s and early 1990s as he became a member of the Christian faith under the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in the Trinity Union Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois. It turns out that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have a common point of reference — and the same revolutionary as an intellectual ‘mentor’ — Paul Tillich.

The story of this common revolutionary theme is fascinating and very disturbing. It is described at the hyperlink Barack Obama’s Takfir. Dr. Atkinson defines the Arab concept of takfir, where it was conceived (early in the Islamic caliphate (Saudi Arabia), where it gained strength in its modern form (Egypt), and describes how it had become a tactic in al-Qaeda’s quest for world power (the global Salafist Islamic jihad). He describes a striking similarity in the means by which two of the six 'actors' that have been addressed on these pages -- Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ayman al-Zawahiri -- have defined and used the concept of takfir as a tactic on their road to gaining power, raw naked power in their respective domains. Whereas this tactic is defined in the rise of al-Qaeda and its origins, it is also apparent in the tactic used by Hillary Rodham Clinton during her rise to a position of power in American politics. The only difference in the two tactics is the domains in which they are used. With Zawahiri it was used as a means of eradicating Muslims who were considered to be blocking the rise to power of al-Jihad, an Egyptian precursor to al-Qaeda and its global Salafist Islamic jihad. With Hillary it was developed and used against anyone who would appear to be a threat to her lifelong dream to grasp the reins of power in American politics.

There is also a strong strain of takfir in Barack Hussein Obama’s background – nearly hidden to the public – as he suddenly rose to a position of power in the Democrat Party when he surprisingly (with extreme audacity) won the party’s nomination for the presidency in the 2008 election cycle. Whereas Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two man in al-Qaeda, drifted toward takfir in his role as the primary advisor to Osama bin Laden – inspired by the martyr, Sayyid Qutb -- Hillary Clinton found her connection to a version of such a tactic in the Reverend Donald Jones, her youth minister in the United Methodist Church. And Reverend Jones was an acolyte of Paul Tillich – the existentialist guru who invented Systematic Theology while at the ecumenical Union Theological Seminary in New York City (1933-1955). By this connection, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the radical feminist (actually cultural-Marxist) icon of The Looming American Matriarchy – thanks to her ‘Qutb,’ Paul Tillich.

So now, we suddenly find that Barack Obama (the middle name, Hussein, becomes irrelevant in the context of what is to follow) has a direct connection to the very same guru, Paul Tillich, via the intermediary James H. Cone – the father of the modern day Black Liberation Theology – at the very same Union Theological Seminary in New York City. What the Reverend Donald Jones did for Hillary (as the intermediary to Tillich) during her youth (1960s-1970s), James H. Cone (the intermediary to Tillich) did for Barack Obama during his young adulthood (1980s). And both Don Jones and James Cone owe their worldview – passed on to their protégés – to Paul Tillich. And Black Liberation Theology is every bit as dangerous to American culture, indeed American civilization (via a disintegration from within due to Hillary’s cultural-Marxism), as any threat posed to America by the global Salafist Islamic jihad.

As an introduction to the direct connection between the Black Muslim movement in America and al-Qaeda, please read an excerpt from John Miller’s seminal book, ‘The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It,’ at the hyperlink: The Cell.

Read the results of Dr. Atkinson’s research at the hyperlink, Barack Obama’s Takfir. You just might learn some history and you should be alarmed! For those of you who have followed Dr. Atkinson’s trail of using the ‘cycles’ of American history to make some sense of the headlines you read in our nation’s news media, the sound bites in TV programming, and the mush from the politicians, there is ‘motive’ here in describing what is going on in a time frame that provides perspective and meaning. When one observes events in terms of our past — not just yesterday’s news — we can make sound judgments leading to action that can and will save our constitutional republic from those who would exercise power over us. Stay tuned!

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