Does Cindy McCain Care About Dead U.S. Soldiers?

By Ray Hanania

March 22, 2012 5 min read

Cindy McCain, the wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, probably didn't know what she was getting into when she set up a "Fan Page" for herself on Facebook.

McCain noticed that several people who visited her page complained that her husband's father had been involved in the cover-up of the Israeli killing of 34 Americans on the USS Liberty in 1967.

The people, many involved in the USS Liberty, were referring to the June 8, 1967, Israeli military assault on the American spy ship that was monitoring the events of the Arab-Israeli war. The ship was fully identified and flying the American flag when Israeli fighter jets and naval vessels began the assault.

When it was over, the Israelis had killed 33 of the ship's military personnel and one civilian assigned to the ship's mission. Why did the Israelis attack the U.S. ship?

No one really got to answer that question because it turns out that Sen. McCain's father, Naval Commander John S. McCain, set up the naval inquiry into the Israeli assault and the killing of the 34 American soldiers. He then quashed the investigation fearing it would damage American-Israeli relations.

Veterans of the Liberty who have spent decades investigating the issue conclude that Israel was preparing to attack Jordan in order to capture East Jerusalem. Two days earlier, Israel attacked Egypt alleging that President Nasser had been preparing to invade Israel. It was called a "pre-emptive strike."

The far superior Israeli army quickly destroyed the Egyptian military and turned its sights on Jordan. What better way to finally control East Jerusalem, which Israeli forces failed to do in 1948, than to invade under the cover of an Arab-Israeli war?

The Israelis feared that the USS Liberty, which was monitoring communications on both sides, would alert the pro-Western Jordanian government. And that's when the attack began.

The expansionist aspects of Israel's actions were easy to ignore in the pro-Israel American news media. But how do you cover up the murder of 34 Americans, including 33 active duty servicemen?

That was ordered by Adm. McCain, who whitewashed the investigation and prevented the controversy from becoming a major American scandal.

When Cindy McCain set up her Facebook page, activists with the USS Liberty Survivors began posting comments about the issue.

I even posted a comment wondering whether the McCains felt any remorse over the Israeli killing of the American soldiers and the role Sen. McCain's father played in covering it all up more than 40 years ago.

My comments were deleted. But the survivors of the USS Liberty have been relentless in pursuing the controversy — to the point that an astonishing comment was posted, presumably by Cindy McCain: "I don't care about this issue."

The idea that the wife of a man who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War would not care about the deaths of 33 American soldiers and a civilian at the hands of a foreign country was astounding.

You can go on Facebook and find Cindy McCain's Fan Page and ask her yourself. The posts will probably be deleted as fast as they're coming in.

It is ironic, though, that someone who claims to care about the lives of American soldiers doesn't really care about all of them — only the ones that are convenient and that help bolster a political career.

Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan concern Sen. McCain and his wife. But Americans killed by Israelis? Well, they are in that special Twilight Zone of American politics where reason is trumped by partisan politics and political self-interests.

For more information on the USS Liberty, visit www.USSLiberty.org. To visit Cindy McCain's Fan Page, type her name in the Facebook search box and feel free to tell her what you think.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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