They took him to the hospital, questioned him, and he gave highly classified informationSubmitted by soule on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 15:48
Earl Hopper: I'm a US Army retired colonel. I spent 30 year in the Army. I was Airborne Special Forces, I fought in Europe, Korea, and Vietnam. My oldest son was also on active duty, He was in the Air Force and shot down over North Vietnam. He remains missing in action. Although the government has declared him dead, we have no body; no evidence of his death.
I first became familiar with the present senator from Arizona, John McCain (and I hate to say "from Arizona" because I'm a native of Arizona. I was born and raised there, and still live there) but, from the very beginning, in talking to the returned POWs, in the very beginning we began to hear some very bad things about John McCain and his activities while he was in the POW camps.
As an example (and I'll quote this because it can be checked out), he personally wrote an article in the magazine [US News & World Report] , wherein he stated that during the time he was in prison (in fact I think it was 5 or 7 days after he was captured) he asked the [North] Vietnamese to take him to the hospital, the Vietnamese hospital. And in so doing, he promised them that he would would give them classified military information.
They did. He did.
They took him to the hospital, questioned him, and he gave highly classified information. The most important of which was he gave the "package route", which was the route to bomb North Vietnam. He told in detail the altitude they were flying, the direction, if they made a turn, and how to get (into N. Vietnam ?) He also gave them where the targets were; of their primary entry. Whether it was a railroad; whether is was a bridge; whether it was an ammunition or fuel dump; or whatever it was, he gave them the primary targets the United States was interested in.
After he gave them that information, the Vietnamese naturally moved their anti- aircraft defenses into those areas and built them up and strengthened them. They also moved the rockets, aircraft weapons, into the "package route" of where the airplanes were flying in or egressing. The result of this, according to the information that came out later on, in intelligence, was that the Vietnamese started knocking down our aircraft in greater amounts than they had before. In fact, there was an estimate that we started losing 60% more aircraft and more men than we had previously. This went on for about a month, and it got so bad, that they finally called off the bombing of North Vietnam because of the information that McCain had given to them.
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A forgotten real hero: Col. Ted Guy
Now, a story: in 1990-1991 I had the great privilege to meet and ultimately befriend retired Air Force Colonel Ted Guy. Ted had been a POW in Vietnam for over six years -- after being shot down and captured in Laos and driven on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to Hanoi. Ted became famous as the war ended as he tried to bring changes against several of his fellow US POWs who he thought had cooperated with the North Vietnamese while in captivity; after coming home in 1973 his superiors decided not to press charges. But Ted was forever branded a "real hard ass" because of this incident.
For a while Ted was the Senior Ranking Officer (SRO) in -- I believe -- The Plantation (a POW camp on the outskirts of Hanoi) in which John McCain was also being held.
The SRO kept the chain of military order among the POWs; they took orders from him and kept discipline that way.
When I got to know Ted Guy, the US Senate Select Committee on POWs was being organized; McCain was named a member. Ted Guy's thoughts -- then -- about McCain? "John was a good troop in camp."
Ted Guy -- since repatriation in 1973 -- had discounted any chance that living US POWs were left behind in Vietnam after the January 27, 1973 Paris Peace Agreements. In fact, by his own admission, Ted often became gruff with MIA family members who asked him if their loved one might have been left behind in captivity. "I told them there was no chance and they needed to get a life."
This was the same message many of the former POWs were delivering to relatives of the thousands of men who did not come home in Operation Homecoming: "Forget it... we are the only living men... give it up and move on with your lives." Of course, that was easy for them to say: they had come home!!!
The US Government never officially briefed the returning POWs about the egregious violations of the Paris Peace Accords -- by both Hanoi and Washington DC. Washington refused to pay the $4.25 billion President Nixon secretly promised in a February 1, 1973 letter to Premier Pham Van Dong -- and kept hidden from the Congress for three years; Hanoi failed to release the other group of 600 US POWs they were holding as an insurance policy against these funds.
If the truth had been told to our returning heros, they would probably have led the charge for the return of their comrades; but they were not told. Instead they were sent out to America's heartland as the war heros we so desperately needed -- McCain and Ted Guy included.
Except that Ted Guy was intellectually honest enough to read all the new revelations that began surfacing in the 1980's; by 1991 he had seen enough. "I was lied to," he told me. "I am now certain we knowingly left men behind in captivity." Ted also got a fellow former POW, Terry Uyeyama, to join our little 'group' as we went around DC trying to get the US Government to reverse policy and negotiate for the living men still being held in Vietnam and Laos.
Then McCain entered the picture.
As the Senate Committee heated up -- and more and more new information surfaced showing that indeed we did leave men behind held against their will in Vietnam and Laos -- McCain began a long and vicious campaign to discredit and shoot down any new information or anyone advocating that the truth about our POWs be made public. Thus emerged for many to see the mean and ugly side of John McCain.
Ted Guy, his old Senior Ranking Officer and friend and admirer, soon changed his mind about McCain.
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