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Cindy McCain says she doesn’t care about dead US sailors
By Ray Hanania — Cindy McCain, the wife of Arizona Senator John McCain, probably didn’t know what she was getting into when she set up a “Fan Page” for herself on Facebook.
McCain suddenly 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 U.S.S. Liberty in 1967.
The people, many involved in the U.S.S. 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 Senator John 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. McCain quashed the investigation fearing it would damage American-Israeli relations. (Even in awarding citations to the heroic survivors of the attack, the United States deleted any reference to “Israel” as being the aggressor. Naming the foreign country that attacked an American soldier is standard procedure and included in all medals. President Lyndon Johnson at the time declined to present medals to the ship’s captain William McGonagle.)
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 Egypt’s 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 the U.S.S. Liberty, which was monitoring communications on both sides, would alert the pro-Western Jordanian Government. And that’s when the attack began with skirmishes and entering the Old City on June 7 and full scale assaults on June 8, the same day of the Liberty attack.
(The Liberty had been monitoring Israeli communications and Liberty veterans believe the ship was destroyed to cover up Israel’s decision — not Jordan’s — to attack. Jordan had exchanged fire with the Israelis and the Israelis have since propagandized that they “begged” Jordan not to attack. But that wasn’t the case. Israel had been talking about talking East Jerusalem from since before the war started on June 5.)
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 Admiral McCain, who whitewashed the investigation and prevented the controversy from becoming a major American scandal.
When Cindy McCain, Senator John McCain’s wife, set up her Facebook page, activists with the U.S.S. Liberty Survivors began posting comments about the issue on Cindy McCain’s Facebook Fan Page.
I even posted a comment wondering if the McCain’s felt any remorse over the Israeli killing of the American soldiers and the role that Senator McCain’s father played in covering it all up more than 40 years ago.
Cindy McCain deleted my comments. But the survivors of the U.S.S. Liberty have been relentless and pursuing the controversy to the point where they forced Cindy McCain to make an astonishing comment in which she wrote on her fan page, “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 34 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. She’ll probably quickly delete the posts as fast as you might post them. They’re non-stop. She must be using some of her husband’s Senate staff to help bury this ugly incident from the McCain’s family past.
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 his political career.
Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan concern Senator McCain and his wife Cindy.
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.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and Chicago Radio Talk Show Host Sundays at 8 am on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470. www.RadioChicagoland.com.)
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Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com