a fellow p.o.w. questions mccain’s ability to lead

The folks involved in the PAC associated with Brave New Films have just released video of Dr. Philip Butler, a Vietnam P.O.W. who was imprisoned with John McCain, discussing why he won’t be voting for McCain come November. The following excerpt comes for the press release issued by the organization.

…Dr. Butler was shot down over North Vietnam in April, 1965 and was brought to the Hanoi Hilton prison, two and a half years prior to McCain’s arrival. He spent eight years in captivity. Butler is critical of McCain’s habitual use of his P.O.W. story to advance his presidential campaign. “John has allowed I think the media to make him out to be the P.O.W., the hero, and in fact there were over 600 just like him who performed just as well.” Echoing a similar assertion from General Wesley Clark two months ago, Butler continues, “I think I can say with authority that the Prisoner Of War experience is not a good prerequisite for President of the United States.”

Having lived across the hall from John McCain at the U.S. Naval Academy prior to combat, Butler was a close witness to McCain’s famously volatile temperament. “He was very sensitive and touchy and just easy to anger,” says Dr. Butler. “John McCain is not somebody I would like to see with his finger near the red button.” Butler continues, “John McCain’s temperament makes it clear that he is not cut out to be President of the United States.”

Butler points to the health risks faced by former Prisoners Of War as another cause for concern about a McCain presidency – a concern publicly heightened in recent days by McCain’s selection of a political novice as a running mate. “The data show that the Prisoner Of War group are dying at an earlier age and that we suffer lots of residual things that non-P.O.W. group really doesn’t have to deal with. And it’s imperative that we have someone who is healthy and can stand the rigors of that job”…

Brave New PAC is arranging to have ads cut from this footage broadcast around the United States.

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  1. not one of the cool kids
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I agree. My experiences will POW’s is limited to my Uncle and a past co-worker. My Uncle was on the Bataan Death March and a Japanese prison of war. He survived, and would never talk about it in detail to either his family or friends. (He went onto college and worked with children the rest of his life.) It wasn’t just him though, it was almost all of his friends that survived that terrible experience, none of them would give interviews, use their status for ANYTHING! Matter of Fact, if I remember correctly, in the 80’s the show, 60 minutes, tried for over 8 years to get a group of Bataan survivors (including my Uncle) to appear on the program, the would not. When they finally did appear, the overall sentiment from this group of men was “we were just serving our country.” Yes, they were the “Greatest Generation.” My uncle had pain in his feet the rest of his life from the skin rotting off the bottoms of them while he was a prisoner, yet he never complained. Once he wrote an essay just for his sons, telling them about the men he was in prison with, but again, telling them that the experience was just one of many of that long war.
    In the early 1990’s I worked with an African American Vietnam prisoner of war survivor, and he too was humbled and quiet about his experience. He was placed in my company by the Urban League . He had been a bad alcoholic since Vietnam and was finally getting his life back on track. But he never spoke about it – never used his POW status to further his life.
    My point is – from my experience POW’s are much more humble than McCain. I can name no other POW that has gone into politics and used his status to become more powerful. The fact that John McCain has used his POW status all his political career sickens me.
    I recently asked my cousin what his now deceased father would think of McCain. My cousin told me, “he would make my Dad’s skin crawl.”

  2. ytown
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    What McCain is not a humble POW! He talks about his experience more than great uncle Joe! He is definitely not fit for public office!!

    Are you kidding me? One guy 40 years ago knew McCain and questions his leadership ability? That’s it? You have got to be joking!

    He has served over 20 years in the US Senate. Obama, 143 days. Lets focus on the facts, not that ONE person who knew McCain has questions about his ability to lead. It sounds like Dr. Butler just doesn’t like McCain. Not really newsworthy, that’s why Mark’s the only one to talk about it.

    Since when did YouTube become a news source?

  3. Robert
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    This is your monster, ytown. This guy is just a mild version of your swift-boat phonies. Looks like just another one of your sick little roosters is coming home to roost. It’s funny to watch you whine about it.

  4. ytown
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Robert, what are you talking about? Slow down and speak clearly. I am not as smart as you.

  5. Robert
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m not running a day care here ytown…and if you’re judging your own intelligence by mine, you’re using a pretty low bar there pal.

  6. ytown
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Ouch Roberto. Easy.

  7. Robert
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


  8. Robert
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Lead? Shit, I question his ability to even follow.

  9. pat
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    I just finished reading 17 pages of Mccains experience in Nam in his own words from 1973 in a U.S. World News article. I found pg #4 to be very interesting. Pg#6 paragraphs 3,4,and 5. Followed up by first paragraph of pg#7. Pg#8 paragraph #10. Pg #15 I admire Pres Nixon’s Courage a must read and 2nd to last paragraph on pg#15. Pg#16 2nd paragraph. And of course all of pg#17. You have to read between the lines here.

    Especially the story about “The cat” not speaking English. This man is a coward in my eyes. I love how referred to the B-52 pilot who refused to fly the missions during the Christmas bombings . He said and I quote…”you always run into “THAT” kind.” Sound familiar? “That one” This man is hung up on that war. And, he is far but humble.

    He is angry because the War was surrendered and he expected a big party when he came home. Like a POW parade of some sort. He feels he spent 5 1/2 yrs in prison he deserved some respect. Instead what he got was a bunch of very angry American’s at the atrocities that were committed.

    His hatred for anyone other than American’s that stood by him and the war are so revealing in his story. He didn’t believe in negotiating. He is a liar and…..

    I also believe he co-operated w/the enemy more than he is willing to admit. I believe once they found out who he was they towed a pretty straight line w/the guy.

    He’d like for us to think because of who he was they tortured him even more. Of course we’ll never know but that would bring me to ask then why does he want those files as a POW to be kept buried? a

    And why no one but one man was permitted to look at the files of his days as a POW by Michael Isikoff who stated when asked…. the files I read showed nothing. However, a lot of the files were redacted.. blacked out. UMM! Very interesting! I actually find Mccain repulsive. I disdain him! He is a prejudice man read the article and see for yourself.

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