McCain's Khmer Ruse? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

McCain's Khmer Ruse? By Michael Powell and Tom Edsall Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, February 16, 2000 ; C1 Et tu, Khmer Rouge? That John McCain has roiled the Republican establishment is well known. Each day its howitzers fire new rounds: liar, hypocrite, and--God save his soul--closet liberal. Now Paul Weyrich, a sachem of modern social conservatism, discerns a novel bat in the attic. McCain, he suggests, could be a Manchurian candidate, arguably the first Republican presidential candidate sponsored by Hanoi. As to his source? "The Cambodian Khmer Rouge has claimed that 'McCain is a Vietnamese agent,' for what it's worth," Weyrich writes in a widely circulated e-mail column for his Free Congress Foundation. Weyrich briefly forswore electoral politics last year before taking up the cudgel for the recently expired candidacy of Steve Forbes. His column is sparse on additional proof. He cites a POW-MIA Web site, though an examination of it suggests it's a tad longer on saliva than facts. And he notes, ominously, that there are families of POWs and MIAs who "accuse [McCain] of being a traitor." Weyrich, who did not return several calls seeking comment, adds helpfully in his e-mail column that it is "hard to know who is telling the truth in all of this. . . . There must be some basis for the emotions expressed by otherwise rational people." All of this does not set McCain to quaking. (And, really, couldn't that be just a sign of his programming?!) Riding the bus from downtown Detroit to Warren, Mich., recently, McCain and his consultant, Mike Murphy, had a bit of fun with the Manchurian candidate theory. They crafted a fictitious counter-strategy known as "Operation Banjo," in which they would trick George W. Bush into believing the charge and acting on it. The imaginary plan goes like this: Get a reporter to convince Bush that McCain is a commie agent and that a key word--banjo--would set him off. Then Bush would stalk into the next debate armed for an expose, and, in this shared fantasy, use his opening statement to declare: "All my conservative compassion goes out to the young, single mother on the outskirts of poverty whose fine, young Hispanic son needs support so he can learn his wonderful gift for the banjo." At which point Bush would turn to watch McCain quiver and shake. Or not. "Remember, this was the period when I was crazy," McCain says of the time two months back when several newspaper stories explored charges that time in Vietnamese prisons had damaged his pysche to the point that he could not control his temper. "McNuts, McWacko, Crazy Times Demand Crazy Candidate," Murphy says in a parody of the headlines at that time. There is, to all of this silliness, a serious undercurrent. McCain was an early advocate of normalizing relations with Vietnam, and has not displayed great patience for those who claim that the Southeast Asian nation is holding on to prisoners 25 years after the fall of Saigon. So some vets have been unhappy with him for years and the whispers date back to the '80s. A few retired military types have written letters to the Navy, urging officials to revoke McCain's medals for his time as a prisoner. More broadly, Marshall Wittmann, a McCain supporter and former legislative director for the Christian Coalition, sees a Republican K Street elite and the social conservative establishment facing the same conundrum: their growing irrelevance. For years, Republican candidates kowtowed to them. Now the Republican mainstream is edging toward the center and the shock troops of the conservative movement have scattered. The Christian Coalition is in decline and Bush, the establishment's anointed prince, is scrambling to preserve his crown. "You have the conservatives in a deep panic pulling out the most grotesque and obscene tactics," Wittmann says. "The K Street establishment and the conservative establishment are united in fearing someone who they can't control." Yeah, well. Just what you'd expect a Manchurian candidate's supporter to say, right? Ted Sampley, former Special Forces sergeant and the Web site author whom Weyrich cites, sees right through it. The Vietnamese, Sampley says, "know exactly what makes John McCain flinch, what makes him laugh. They know his personality because they owned him for 5 1/2 years." McCain's bus pulls into Warren. The candidate has already warned reporters that caffeine sets him off, activating those radio waves coming from God knows where in the Vietnamese foothills, where graying former Viet Cong operatives study South Carolina voting patterns and relay instructions for media buys. Suddenly he's sticking out his tongue, shaking his head back and forth. "Stop those voices," he says. "Stop those voices." Then he looks at the reporters and cracks up--laughing. Link

For Educational/Research Purposes Only!

-- Henry Howfambofergilfer (, February 16, 2000


McCain has such a well-rounded, well-developed and inclusive sefl- deprecating sense of humour ... serves him so well.

Great article. Formatting would help.

-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), February 16, 2000.

For the last time...Just the Facts... - McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.

Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."

- Mafia ties: In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.

- At least one veteran's group (U.S. Veteran's Dispatch) really hates him, and accuses McCain of cooperating with the North Vietnamese while he was their prisoner. They also sketch McCain's ties, through his wealthy father-in-law, to various Arizona scandals including the murder of reporter Don Bolles. Check out their version at the US Veteran's Dispatch web site.

- Family troubles: McCain has a reputation as a politician who has difficulty keeping his pants zipped, according to Republican sources. He acknowledges that his adultery broke up his first marriage. His second wife Cindy, the daughter of a wealthy Budweiser beer distributor, was addicted to prescription narcotics and even stole hard drugs from a medical charity that she ran. McCain acknowledges that she didn't want him to run, and only agreed once he promised that she doesn't have to go to New Hampshire or Iowa.

Quotes: - "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father." -- John McCain

- "He took his role as father very seriously. But when we finished chores, we'd go to the beach and swim. He'd pretend he was Banana Man and throw me into the waves. We had bodysurfing contests." -- McCain's daughter Sidney. Banana man?

- Leonardo DiCaprio is "an androgynous wimp." -- McCain.


"The Pampered Politician", by Amy Silverman, The Phoenix New Times, May 15, 1997 "See John Run Off at the Mouth", Phoenix New Times, October 1, 1998

"Opiate for the Mrs.", Phoenix New Times, September 8, 1994

"Flashes: What's Up, Murdoch?", Phoenix New Times, September 17, 1998

the US Veteran's Dispatch web site.

"Symington Gets Slammer", Phoenix New Times, February 2, 1998

Election 98: Arizona Governor, Fox News web site

"Keating Gets New Trial", CNNfn Web Site, December 2, 1996

"No More Wagging,", (editorial) by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, January 3, 1999

"John McCain, rock-and-roll dad", by Andrew Essex, The New Yorker Magazine, December 6, 1999 p52

-- Diane (, February 16, 2000.


But Leonardo DiCaprio IS an androgynous wimp.

-- (, February 16, 2000.

I've been waiting for the Manchurian Candidate whisper to surface. I see it as a sign that Bush and his backers are actually scared of McCain.


-- (, February 16, 2000.

According to Matt Drudge, Leonardo is an avid supporter of Al Gore.

-- (glimpsewimps@Algor.HQ), February 16, 2000.

Hollywood actor (actress) supports democrat. Now there is a news flash.

-- JB (, February 16, 2000.

Oh, yeah, that sicko numbskull richboy crack smoking addict - Bush - is really scared now. What scandalous lie will his handlers think of next? They will continue until they find one that sticks, or until they lose. PLEASE do not vote for the back stabbing politician - Bush.


-- Uhhmmm... (, February 16, 2000.

We have Chinese-owned politicians, why not Vietnamese-owned? I see no real practical difference between a congressman who is owned by a trans-national corporation and one who has a financial obligation to a foreign power.

I wonder about McCain, though. Does anyone remember the newsbyte about McCain being invited to visit the CFR? Shortly after that, McCain suddenly became very prominent in the news and then scored the surprise upset over Bush, in New Hampshire. You heard it here first: McCain will be the nominee and, I predict, the next President. He is also a politically palatable stalking horse-not at all what he seems. Beware. (and no, I'm not a Democrat and I do NOT like Bush)

-- chairborne commando (, February 16, 2000.

Chairborne Commando, I agree with you... I wouldn't want it on my conscience that I voted for either... imagine what I would feel like if I had swallowed the lie in the early 90's and voted for Clinton! I didn't vote for the other guy either... they're all corrupt and all owned by some UnAmerica agenda... the ones that would make the honor list are shot down before they can catch the eye of the people. Unfortunately, a fraud and traitor will step into the shoes of an adulterous draft-dodging liar... and the American people will be manipulated into the UN, continued partial birth abortions, gay military, and the elimination of GOD from America! BRyan

-- SB Ryan G III (, February 17, 2000.

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