Senator Biden's asinine comment about the forthcoming president's "test" provoked John McCain's quick rejoinder: "I've already been tested." Then that French video of the wounded John McCain in a Hanoi prison came along as stark proof.
While recently endorsing Barack Obama (for the second time), Fidel Castro made a point to insult the brave and grievously wounded man featured in that video as, "a tool of the Miami Mafia." (i.e. Americans of Cuban heritage who refused to serve as Castro's tools, and today overwhelmingly refuse to serve as the Democratic party's "Hispanic outreach" tools.)
Yet Fidel Castro knows full well that John McCain, along with his naval-pilot Band of Brothers -- even under a form of "persuasion" that few of us can even imagine -- serve as tools for nobody, except for the nation they swore to defend.
Fidel Castro knows this better than most. No doubt he heard it point-blank from the "interrogation specialists" he sent to North Vietnam in 1967-68. When John McCain addressed a crowd of Bay of Pigs veterans and former Cuban political prisoners last year he learned that he and his fellow POW's in North Vietnam had shared torturers with the Cuban-American freedom fighters then hosting and applauding him, which included the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in the Castro/Che Gulag as Alexander Solzhenytzin suffered in Stalin's Gulag.
"Anything that I and my friends might have experienced is nothing - nothing -- compared with what some of the men in this room went through," a gracious John McCain said as many of his hosts misted up.
"I'm introducing a man who suffered the prisons, as I did," said Roberto Martin-Perez, who introduced McCain on the podium.``This honor that's been conferred upon me is not only mine but the thousands of victims who have suffered because of this terrible doctrine' (Communism.)" Senor Martin-Perez suffered 28 years in Castro's Gulag, repeatedly spitting in the face of the Communist torturers who demanded his "confession." Thus The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Democratic Underground all recently denounced Senor Martin-Perez (who also narrates a McCain campaign ad) as a "terrorist," and McCain's association with him as the Republicans' own Ayers scandal.
Fine. Let Democrats equate an anti-communist U.S. citizen who honorably stood up to 28 years of torture by sadists serving a Stalinist regime that denounced the U.S. as "a vulture preying on humanity!" and came closest to nuking us, to Bill Ayers. And let that Stalinist regime's dictator endorse their candidate. No Republican campaign ad could make the ramifications of this election any clearer.
In 1967 Castro sent several of his regime's most promising sadists to North Vietnamese prison camps to instruct the Vietnamese reds in finer points of their profession. Testimony during Congressional hearings titled, "The Cuban Torture Program; Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents" held on November 1999 provide some of the harrowing details.
The communists titled their torture program "the Cuba Project," and it took place during 67-68 primarily at the Cu Loc POW camp (also known as "The Zoo") on the southwestern edge of Hanoi. In brief, this "Cuba Project" was a Joseph Mengelese experiment run by Castroite Cubans to determine how much physical and psychological agony a human can endure before cracking. The North Vietnamese never asked the Castroites for advice on combat. They knew better. Unlike director Steven Soderbergh, they probably saw through the whole "Che as Guerrilla" hoopla for what it was and is: a Castroite hoax to camoflauge the Inspector Clousseau-like bumblings of an incurable military idiot -- and more specifically, Castro's own hand in the idiot's offing. The North Vietnamese sought Castroite tutelage only on torture of the defenseless, well aware of their expertise in the matter.
For their experiment the Castroites chose twenty American POWs-mostly Navy flyers. One died: Lieutenant Colonel Earl Cobeil, an Air Force* F-105 pilot. His death came slowly, in agonizing stages, under torture. Upon learning his Castroite Cuban affiliation, the American POWs nicknamed Cobeil's torturer, "Fidel." POW Captain Ray Vohden testified:
"The difference between the Vietnamese and "Fidel' was that, more or less, once the Vietnamese got what they wanted they let up, at least for a while...Not so with Fidel,...'I'll show him,' Fidel said to me. 'I'll make him (Colonel Earl Cobeil) so happy to bow down when I finish with him, he'll come crying to me on his knees begging me to let him surrender!......When I saw 'Fidel' with the fan belt I was surprised because up to that time I had never heard of anyone getting hit like that. Slaps, punches, straps, manacles, ropes, yes.
"But 'Fidel' was going to show the Vietnamese a new trick... Earl Cobeil, had resisted 'Fidel' to the maximum. Now I could hear the thud of the belt falling on Cobeil's body again and again, as Fidel screamed "you son of a beech! You f**ker . I will show you! I will show you!' I could hear the thud of the belt falling on Earl Cobeil's body again and again. I almost threw up each time I heard the belt hit Earl's body. I didn't think any human could endure such a thing. The guards all stood around laughing and yelling in Vietnamese. It had been far easier for me to endure the straps myself then to have to go through this.
"They (the North Vietnamese) tortured to obtain military information or a political statement, they punished us for breaking their rules....but rarely tortured indefinitely just for the sake of torture. Eventually they always let up....However, the Cubans unmercifully beat a mentally defenseless, sick man to death."
"Earl Cobeil was a complete physical disaster when we saw him," testified another fellow POW, Col. Jack Bomar. "He had been tortured for days and days and days. "His (Cobeil's) hands were almost severed from the manacles. He had bamboo in his shins. All kinds of welts up and down all over; his face was bloody. He was a complete mess. They brought him into the room and as far as we could tell, Captain Cobeil was totally mentally out of it. He did not know where he was. Then 'Fidel' began to beat him with a fan belt......When he ('Fidel') lost his temper, he was a complete madman. He would get red in the face; he just exploded with rage, especially if you refused to bow to him like Cobeil refused to do."
"Fidel's" month long beatings of another U.S. POW named Jim Kasler were "among the worst sieges of torture any American withstood in Hanoi," according to the book Honor Bound. "Fidel" flogged Kasler "until his buttocks, lower back and legs hung in shreds, and at the end he was in a semi-coma."
These hearings, by the way, identified this "Fidel" with great probability as Fernando Vecino Alegret, who served until quite recently as Cuba's "Minister of Education," and thus hosted many of those visiting delegations of smiling U.S. scholars and educators who return enchanted with the marvels of Cuban literacy and health-care. The Congressional hearing concluded:
Think about it: the very declarations people like Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Jeremiah Wright and so many other Obama-backers broadcast for free publicity, Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh's prisoners refused to sign to save their lives, or to end years of daily torture. Also note that John McCain enjoys overwhelming support from these men.
"The ruthless nature of the (Cuban) interrogators and the severity of their actions led prisoners such as Captain Raymond Vohden and Colonel Jack Bomar to question how human beings could so batter another human being. They (the American POWs) stood firm in the face of unrestrained brutality, intimidation, and humiliation."
Could the ramifications of this election be any clearer?
I'd say John Mc Cain passed his test with flying colors--the glorious colors of the flag he swore to defend.*hat tip to Steve Lohr for pointing out he was from the USAF not the Navy. AT has some sharp readers. The Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Associated Press all have Earl Cobeil as a Naval pilot. But Lohr is exactly right, as my Air Force veteran cousin also pointed out to me this morning. HF
Humberto Fontova is the author of four books including Exposing the Real Che Guevara. visit hfontova.com