So far, I’ve been unable to find any reference to McCain’s story about a Vietnamese guard drawing the sign of the cross in the dirt before 1999 when the anecdote appears in Mark Salter’s book, co-written with McCain, “Faith Of My Fathers.”
This story has developed an interesting twist. Former Watergate conspirator Charles Colson apparently started a story in the Rightie grape vine about Solzhenitsen and the cross. McCain and Mark Salter apparently pick up on the story and in what appears to be some kind of right-wing urban myth blowback, adopt the cross story as their own. TPM checked with a Solzhenitsyn biographer who says the cross in the firt story never happened. So as the Right is want to do, theey start a fictional story about Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his ordeaal under the repressive and brutal former Soviet empire that appeals to conservative evangelicals ( actully is a good story, it just doesn’t appear to be true). It works its way into McCain’s otherwise honorable and courageous time as a POW. When he uses the story in 2005, a story that originated on the Right with Chuck Colson, the Republicans at The Free Republic ponce on McCain as a liar, one comment was “This guy is so full of $hit his eyes are brown. He is a sellout RINO. I would not believe a word he says.” Micheal Goldfarb currently writes on the Mccain site that all those liberal bloggers are attacking McCain. Milkie claims the “cross in the dirt” story did happen ( anyone know how many degrees of separation there are between Goldfarb and Colson),
The story Solzhenitsyn told was of a prisoner who drew a cross in the dirt in a Soviet Gulag. McCain’s story is of a guard who drew a cross in the dirt in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. – Goldfarb, 8-18-2008
Back to Sullivan who notes the dates and changing circumstances of the tale,
One more thing: McCain’s various stories only talk of one guard – “the only real human being that I ever met over there”. And yet the guard who loosened his ropes in May 1969 could not have been present the following Christmas, as McCain had been transferred to another location (unless the transfer occurred between Christmas and New Year of 1969 and unless the guard was transferred to exactly the same camp at the same time).
We know that Goldfarb is a lying lackey. McCain might be lying or at 72 he has accidentally, but never the less conveniently adopted a story that has a certain symbolic power for many Americans across the political spectrum. One account of Mccain’s time as a POW appeared U.S.News & World Report on May 14, 1973 John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account. A moving story and told in great detail. There is no mention of a guard drawing any symbols in the dirt.
Former Whitehouse press secretary Scott McClellan thinks it would be “very divisive” for a President Obama to investigate Bush administration crimes once in office. Yea we wouldn’t want to restore the rule of law or anything. To start thinking of presidents in general as just what they are, civil servants accountable to the people. One thing for sure is that a McCain presidency will let the rats go off to their nests collecting taxpayer provided benefits until they kick off.
Senator Obama has a few brillant wonks on staff. An interesting look at one of his ecnomists, Obama’s Geek Economist
He soon caught on, however. “When the Internet first appeared, this heated debate developed among economists,” he recalls. “One side said the Internet will make it easier for companies to price-discriminate, and it’ll be fabulously profitable. The other side argued that the Internet will be the great equalizer–it’ll make markets close to perfectly competitive and people much more price-sensitive, and profits will be highly constrained. I’m probably the leading guy associated with that second position. Arguably, I got lucky, but what I wrote basically turned out to be correct.”
Goolsbee’s writings on this subject started bringing him “calls from all over the place, from policy makers and businesspeople–online merchants, particularly.” In the late 1990s, he published some highly influential papers that evaluated the depressive effects of taxation on Internet commerce.
No doubt a big disappointment to the Right who in typical Chicken-Little fashion claim anyone not a Republican is a pinko communists traitor that will fluoridate our drinking water and mess with our precious bodily fluids.
But when he resorts to these kinds of falsehoods, and casts such aspersions on his opponent’s patriotism, John McCain is no longer putting his country first. If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent. For a man with his claims to honor and integrity, that’s not too much to ask.
Lying is dishonorable, but if telling the truth and campaigning with some integrity will lose McCain the Whitehouse then he will continue to be dishonest. That is simply the way most Republicans think about politics, putting honor aside for them is the price to pay for winning, and they’re hapy to do so. Then as they seat back in their newly elected office they have a good laugh at those Democrats that try and run a reasoablily honorable campaign.