Yeah, listen. Despite what some of our more rightward commenters may think, I’m not in the tank for McCain. The Democrats can hit him on the war, on amnesty (please!), on campaign finance (please!), whatever they like without much objection. But there is a certain respect that must be paid to his war record, and assertions about his supposed complete and utter lack of ethics are insufficiently nuanced on that point. To wit:

Well, now it looks like John McCain is part of the corruption problem in Washington. He has done things that are legally questionable — the Keating Five business back in the ’90s — but he doesn’t seem to really have an ethical compass. He doesn’t seem to have an instinct about what is the right thing to do and what isn’t the right thing to do.

No?

Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to give him medical care unless he gave them military information; they beat and interrogated him, but McCain only offered his name, rank, serial number, and date of birth… Interrogation and beatings resumed in the hospital; McCain gave his ship’s name, squadron’s name, and the attack’s intended target. Further coerced to give the names of his squadron members, he supplied the names of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line…

In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years. In July 1968, McCain’s father was named Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC), stationed in Honolulu and commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater. McCain was immediately offered a chance to return home early: the North Vietnamese wanted a worldwide propaganda coup by appearing merciful, and also wanted to show other POWs that elites like McCain were willing to be treated preferentially. McCain turned down the offer of repatriation, due to the Code of Conduct principle of “first in, first out”: he would only accept the offer if every man taken in before him was released as well. McCain’s refusal to be released was even remarked upon by North Vietnamese senior negotiator Le Duc Tho to U.S. envoy Averell Harriman during the ongoing Paris Peace Talks.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on how Dean-o spent his Vietnam years. Maverick himself denounced the Swift Boat ads against Kerry in 2004; how about at least laying off any conclusory pronouncements about what an amoral rat he is in return, hm?

Tags: Democrats