Senator John McCain, the poor helpless victim of an unconscionable attack on his wartime heroics by that mean man Donald Trump is talking on TV today and as has been the case for decades, exploiting his time spent as a POW for political purposes. The entire media onslaught – joined by nearly all of those who Trump is leading in the polls – is beginning to have the appearance of a setup. With the desperation of the Republican establishment to banish Trump from the debates and put up a firewall between his rise in the polls and their approved candidates, it was obvious that some dirty tricks would be needed. It was after all reported that Bill Clinton and “Jeb!” were scheming to address the “Trump thing”. If that is the case then the Donald stumbled directly into the middle of the trap and now he is being ambushed as unfit for commander in chief and very soon, as one who doesn’t support the troops.

McCain, being the career politician and con artist that he is didn’t respond to Trump’s comments right away which is bizarre considering his volcanic temper. McCain has waited while the media has launched a full blown smear campaign against Trump with the worst piece of propaganda being published by the estblishment bastion the Washington Post this morning. The story which is entitled “What Donald Trump was up to while John McCain was a prisoner of war” is a textbook example of character assassination that juxtaposes pictures of the suffering POW with the happy go lucky Trump. But according to some there are reasons to question what McCain really did during the war but more on that in a little bit.

As reported by CNN in the story “John McCain: Donald Trump Owes POW Families an Apology”:

In his first response directly addressing Donald Trump’s comments on his war record, Sen. John McCain said Monday that the real estate mogul should not apologize to him, but should instead apologize to the veterans captured in war and their families.

When asked Monday if he wanted an apology from Trump, McCain, whose supporters have been blasting Trump all weekend, said he doesn’t need one.

“I don’t think so, but I think he may owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving our country,” McCain told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”.

“I’m in the arena, as (Teddy Roosevelt) used to say,” McCain said, skipping an opportunity to knock Trump further as his allies and other presidential contenders from Trump’s own party have been outspoken in denouncing his remarks.

Trump disparaged McCain and other prisoners of war in remarks Saturday. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in the “Hanoi Hilton” where he was tortured repeatedly. Trump, meanwhile, received four student deferments and one medical deferment to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

Asked if he was angry that someone who had avoided that draft was knocking him, McCain said he preferred to move past the issue.

“I put that all behind me,” McCain said. “I put all that behind me. For me to get back in anger at anyone is non-productive. Our country was divided in an almost unprecedented fashion during the Vietnam War. And when I came home I was shocked. So I have worked ever since to try and heal those wounds.”

McCain is being dishonest to the extreme in claiming that “I put all that behind me” because his entire political career has been built upon the cornerstone of his being captured and tortured at the Hanoi Hilton. But that may not be all that McCain has been less than honest about. According to two stories that were recently brought to my attention, McCain’s entire wartime narrative should be called into question. There is the stunning possibility that he himself may have participated in a cover up over leaving behind those who were still missing in action in Vietnam. Now I realize that to many that this is really through the looking glass, alternate universe type of stuff but if the government, the media and our politicians regularly lie to the American people about damned near everything why should anything that they say be treated without skepticism?

The two articles are very long reads but well worth the time. One is an extensive essay by Ron Unz of the American Conservative entitled “John McCain: When “Tokyo Rose” Ran for President” which is of particular interest for links to some archival footage that has been cast down the memory hole. The film clip is from a news broadcast from when McCain returned home and shows him walking on his own power – although with a limp – which flies in the face of that famous public relations shot of him shaking hands with President Richard M. Nixon while on crutches. The crutches picture makes a reappearance in the WAPO hit piece on Trump but the video footage contradicts this iconic image.

Even more damning is an extensive piece by Pulitzer Prize winning Vietnam war correspondent Sydney Schanberg – who was portrayed in the movie “The Killing Fields”– reporting that Senator McCain himself bears some responsibility for leaving men behind in Vietnam. The Schanberg piece, entitled “McCain and the POW Cover-Up” is jaw-dropping and stunning and it lays out a damning case against the “war hero”. I excerpt the opening but go and read the entire thing and judge it for yourself.

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

Given the long history of rumors that run counter to the official narrative on the ‘heroic’ John McCain, he is not so much a victim of a scurrilous and unwarranted attack by Trump who never wore the uniform as is being promoted. But rather it is McCain’s own convoluted story that should be afforded the careful scrutiny and investigation that it deserves now that it has become so important anew. Given how the establishment has chosen him as their designated martyr, getting to the bottom of McCain’s real history could go a long way towards determining who it is that ends up becoming president next year.  If the smear campaign succeeds and if Trump is taken out by the media swarm, it is going to seriously alter the dynamic come next November. It may even punch Hillary Clinton’s ticket back to the White House if Trump’s supporters are sufficiently angered and don’t vote for the chosen Judas goat this time around.

Perhaps it is Senator McCain himself who has some apologizing to do to the families of those left behind but minus a serious examination his role in the POW MIA cover up the truth will always be obscured by the fog of a war that never really ended.