Blogs > Liberty and Power > McCain a Hero?

Oct 9, 2008 10:03 pm

McCain a Hero?

The more I learn about John McCain the less that I like him as a person let alone candidate. When in boot camp for the Navy we all were required to view a film on the catastrophic fire which occurred on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Forrestal in July 1967. The purpose of the film was to make clear the danger of fire at sea, however, the self sacrifice and heroism of the crew in fighting the blaze also made a strong impression.

Historian Mary Hershberger has written a fascinating article titled Investigating John McCain’s Tragedy at Sea, which reviews McCain’s role in the event. After presenting evidence that over the years McCain has been less than truthful about his actions and that he may actually have contributed to the severity of the incident, Hershberger states that, ”Whatever the circumstances of the fire’s origins, McCain did not stay on deck to help fight the blaze as the men around him did. With the firefighting crew virtually wiped out, men untrained in fighting fires had to pick up the fire hoses, rescue the wounded or frantically throw bombs and even planes over the ship’s side to prevent further tragedy. McCain left them behind and went down to the hangar-bay level, where he briefly helped crew members heave some bombs overboard. After that, he went to the pilot’s ready room and watched the fire on a television monitor hooked to a camera trained on the deck.” A little later, while fires were still burning, McCain left the vessel by helicopter for some RR in Saigon. This account of McCain’s involvement does not sound very heroic to me.

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