Privileged 'War Hero', Liar, Collaborator, Traitor
Editor's Note: I transcribed the dialog of a 5 part video interview on June 22, 2007 between retired Army Colonel Earl Hopper and Gerard Kiley of Veterans Against John McCain. To make the reading flow easier, I removed the repeated phrases, false starts, etc. that hamper a printed version of an unrehearsed conversation. Earl Hopper had spent 30 years with the Army in Airborne Special services and with Army Intelligence and was a founding member of the National League of Families dedicated to retuning living POWs and MIAs of the Vietnam War.
The impression that McCain and the media has attempted to portray of McCain's 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam is about as far from the truth that one could possible go. McCain, from the first moments of his capture, had behaved as a COLLABORATOR and propaganda tool for his North Vietnamese captors. McCain had engaged in no less than 30, and likely as many as 38 anti-American propaganda broadcasts for Radio Hanoi during the period of his captivity. Far from the image of a dedicated American "hero" sweating it out in a North Vietnamese prisoner's "hotbox" for 5 1/2 years, McCain was often given "special" treatment by his captors, who were fully aware of his father's and grandfather's 4 star admiral positions with the Navy.
No one has ever witnessed McCain's supposed "torture" at the hands of his jailers. The consensus opinion of other POWs in McCain's camps was that McCain was NEVER tortured by the North Vietnamese. McCain's disgraceful and wholly reprehensible conduct (along with John Kerry) during the 1991-93 Senate Committee on POW/MIAs leaves no doubt that McCain is a traitor to this country and its veterans and especially to the families of POWs and MIAs.
By Ret. Col. Earl Hopper < email@example.com>
Interviewer, Jerry Kiley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Audio Transcriped by Ken Adachi
February 8, 2008
John McCain Cost American Lives In Vietnam (part 1)
June 22, 2007 interview between Ret. Army Col. Earl Hopper and Interviewer Gerard "Jerry" Kiley of Veterans Against John McCain (http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com)
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.
John McCain Cost American Lives In Vietnam (part 2)
When he returned, there were several of the American prisoners, to include five colonels, Colonel Ted Guy, was the one that wanted to prefer charges against McCain and two or three other returned POWs because during the time they were in prison, they were not acting in accordance with the military code. And as a result of these other colonels wanting to prefer charges against them, the Secretaries of the services got together and they decided that, No, they did not want these 'renegade' (my word, renegade) prisoners of war coming home to be charged and court marshaled.
They had played up the prisoners of war as "heroes" during their homecoming [Operation Homecoming-negotiated return of American POWS to America]. They didn't want anything now to "disturb" that view that they had given to the American people; that the American people picked up. All returned POWs, if you remember, were "heroes" when they first come home. And they didn't want to disturb that view.
So the Secretaries of the armed services decided and told the other POWs that they would not allow these particular POWs to be charged and be court marshaled over their activities while in the POW camps. Consequently, none of the POWs ever went into the court; [and] never had any legal action taken against them for being traitors while they were in captivity.
Interviewer: Earl, is it true that I heard mentioned before, that McCain did not receive any increase in his military rank, which was common. Could you just talk about that for a second?
A man, if he's in captivity, and either a prisoner of war or missing in action, is on active duty; the very same as if he was stationed right here in the United States. He gets his promotions, along with his peers. He gets his increase in pay,
his wife still gets the allowance that he sent to her and so forth. And he is promoted, along with his peers, here in the States. Both in the same year group, as prisoners of war, missing in action; gets promoted along with the active duty people.
McCain did not do it. He did not get promoted even when he returned.
Now, the Navy knew of his activities while he was in the POW camp because the enemy [North Vietnamese] widely broadcast over their radio, what McCain was doing. And in fact, praised McCain for doing it.
So he got no promotion at all while he was in captivity.
Other POWs, that were in captivity at the same time, they got their promotion at the time they were supposed to.
John McCain Cost American Lives In Vietnam (part 3)
Interviewer: And I understand that most POWs in that time frame that McCain was there, 5 1/2 years, would have received at least one promotion, if not two promotions, during that time frame. Is that correct?
They would have received, yes, at least one, and possibly two. It all depends on when their date of rank was before they went down. Many of them got a promotion early after their captivity, after they were captured, and then
they stayed long enough to get another promotion after that. My son, for example, was shot down and was carried as 'missing in action'; not as a prisoner of war, but 'missing in action'. And he went from first lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel in a 'missing in action' status before they finally declared him dead.
Interviewer: And Earl, some people say that what McCain did was at the very least collaboration and at worst, treasonous. Would you say that you would agree with that?
No. I agree with only one part of it. He was treasonous.
McCain, for what he did while he was in captivity, was a traitor. Because he gave information to the enemy, classified, military information to the enemy, which caused the deaths of many of his fellow aviators that came in behind him.
Interviewer: He is your senator and he's running for president. What's your feelings about that?
My feeling is: first, he's not MY senator. He is just from Arizona. He's not a native of Arizona, thank God. He came in there because certain political influences here in the States, say "if you go to Arizona, Barry Goldwater is retiring, and that's a good place where you can fill in, and you got the name of a hero." The Republican Party got behind him and he went in there and he got the nomination and the election-unfortunately.
I have never liked McCain, either professionally, militarily, politically, or personally. I just never did care for him. And it's certainly nothing personal that we had over him. [However,]It became personal.
One day there was a hearing here in Washington on the [Earl said "Korean", but meant Vietnam] prisoners of war, missing in action by the Senate POW committee. McCain came into the Hart Senate office building from his office about the same time that I came in from the outside and we kind of came together and I said "Hello John"
He turned around and looked at me and said: "I don't like what you said about my wife!"
I never met his wife. I didn't know his wife. I couldn't even tell you her name, even today.
I said "Well, what did I say about your wife, John? I don't remember saying anything."
And he said "Oh, forget it".
I said "No, I want to know. You said I said something about your wife. I want to know what it is you're accusing me of" . And he wouldn't answer me.
John McCain Cost American Lives In Vietnam (part 4)
And he turned, and he turned as red as the bars on the United States flag; from his neck up, you could see, the red come out. And I said "John, I said you were a God damn liar!".
It was plenty loud. He heard it because he was only a few steps away from me. He said nothing and continued to walk away.
John has no courage of any kind. I wouldn't allow someone, even though... if I were a senator and a taxpayer come in and called me a liar, I would stop and get it settled right there. And in his case, all he had to do was say "I'm sorry, I made a mistake" and that's all. But he didn't have the nerve to do it or the courage.
No, McCain is not MY senator. I have no respect for him personally or professionally.
Interviewer:: And as far as the presidential, eh, do you think he would make a decent president?
Absolutely not! That would be the biggest mistake the voters of this country could make if they elected John McCain as president. John McCain doesn't have nerve enough to do anything. He would do whatever money PAID him to do, from the voters, that's all. He has no personal courage whatsoever.
Interviewer: Do you feel betrayed by McCain?
Absolutely. Every American should feel betrayed by McCain, and especially every military man and especially the pilots that flew in Vietnam after McCain was captured.
I've been to Hanoi. I've seen that sign that they put up for him where he was captured, there by the lake. The sign even made [had] a mistake on it. They called him [said] that he was from the US Air Force. They also called him McCann, not McCain.
So everything dealing with that man is wrong, and it would be the worst mistake this country could make to nominate and select him president.
Interviewer:: Could you just, eh because I don't think we touched on it, your credentials. You were a board member of the National League of Families?
Yes, I was a charter member of the national league of families. I was in Washington here when we first met, with Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona, and Senator Bob Dole from Kansas, And they encouraged us, as a family group, to incorporate . By being incorporated, we could have more effect on congress and other politicians; rather than just have a loose group of family members. And I was one of the original ones. As a matter of fact, I think I'm the only living member of that original group now.
John McCain Cost American Lives In Vietnam (part 5)
In the following year, 1970, we met again here in Washington, and after discussion, we incorporated and become The National .... Families of American Prisoners (???) in Southeast Asia. I ran for the board of directors after one or two years and was elected to it. I was a member of the board of directors for some 12 or 14 years. I was the chairman of the board of directors for about 8 years at that time. I also served two years as the executive director of the National League of Families and I ran their national Washington office. I was also state coordinator for the League in Arizona. I'm now the vice chairman or the vice president if you will, of the POW organization known as Task Force Omega which is incorporated.
We do an awful lot on POW/MIA work. My wife is a research analyst . She's written a book that lists every man as missing, prisoner, returned, or unreturned. And she gets calls from all over the country-including the government- asking her for information that we have on the POW/MIAs . She's a wonderful researcher.
Interviewer:: We were against John Kerry and we defeated him when 4 years ago, when he ran, or less than 4 years ago, but the last election. What's your feelings as far as Kerry's relationship or McCain's relationship with Kerry?
They're two of a kind.
Kerry is a liar. He put himself in for a Silver Star which the actions were not true. He put himself in three times for the Purple Heart, when he was not qualified, because a Purple Heart has to be treated by a doctor. And the wound has to be caused by the enemy.
In Kerry's case, and he omitted this, his Purple Heart was caused were by, some of them, by rushing scratches. But all of them were treated by his local boat medic, who was not a doctor, who was just an aids man. So his Purple Hearts didn't even qualify. And this was evidenced by a number of members of his crew that turned against Kerry while he was running and said no, Kerry was lying. And I believe them.
Interviewer:: And their relationship, though, in terms of.., you said they were two of a kind. Two of a kind in terms of..how did they affect-both of them together-the POW issue?
They're both liars. Neither of them has any effective combat command experience, as they claim they do. They're very low character. You can't trust either of them because they do not tell the truth.
Interviewer:: And as far as their effect on the POW issue, in terms of information gathering and the release (?) (words trail off)
Neither of them. Neither of them has ....on the POW issue.
Patty Hopper: Earl, when they were on the Senate Select Committee, what effect did their behavior have on the POW/MIA issue, both John Kerry and JOhn McCain?
John McCain,. when he was on the Senate POW/MIA committee, was not loyal to our POWs. Every time a witness appeared that was on our side, to include family members, he would pressure them. John McCain is not pro-POW.
Interviewer: Just to clarify, what committee are we talking about?
John McCain was on the Senate POW/MIA committee which was composed of about ten members from the Senate on that committee.
Interviewer: 1992, correct?
John was not pro-family member; he was not a pro-POW, unreturned POW member. He was opposed to anything that we tried to do. As a result, John McCain again reflected his disloyalty to the US service man and their families by not working for the prisoners of war, not attempting to (return them home ?).
So, I have no confidence in John McCain. It would be the biggest mistake this country could make to ever put that man in the White House. I'm not a Republican anymore, I was at one time, but if I were, if the Republicans nominated John McCain, they would lose two of their members, my wife and I.
Patty Hopper: Earl, how did John McCain treat POW/MIA families?
He did that also on one or two government witnesses who testified in favor of the returned POWs, or I should say the unreturned POWs and their families. He went to great length to try to get the government witnesses prove what they were saying by producing the evidence, the papers, which they were quoting. He did. It didn't bother McCain.
John McCain Videos:
Serving the NWO with Distinction While Sand-bagging American Veterans & Their Families
McCain Lays into Dolores Alfond of National Alliance of Families McCain: "Missing and Presumed Dead" Part 1
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