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Candidate McCain Violates U.S. Naval Academy Honor Code

September 15, 2008

During the Republican convention in St. Paul, Fred Thompson offered a folksy if bizarre recounting of John McCain's rebellious days at the United States Naval Academy. But while McCain's bottom-of-his-class record there was "loaded with demerits," Thompson assured Americans, "he never violated the honor code." That may or may not have been true about John McCain's days at Annapolis. But there can be no doubt that with his avalanche of lies, distortions and smears, candidate John McCain is violating that code today.
In 1953, midshipman H. Ross Perot (you can't make this stuff up) drafted an honor system for officers of the Naval Service. He wrote:

Honor, personal integrity, and loyalty to the service, its customs and its traditions, are fundamental characteristics essential to a successful Naval Officer. Any midshipman unable to conduct himself at all times in a manner indicating the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and manliness, is unfit to hold a commission in the Navy or to enjoy the privilege of being a member of the Brigade. Therefore, any midshipman guilty of offenses of a dishonest nature, such as Falsehood (including any form of deception or attempt to deceive) or Fraud (including false muster- answering for another at muster, or any form of cheating) or of offenses indicating Moral Turpitude, is an individual intolerable to the Brigade, and becomes immediately subject to a recommendation for dismissal from the Naval Service.

Today, the web site of the United States Naval Academy offers a simpler, more streamlined version of its "Honor Concept:"

"Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right.
They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie.
They embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.
They respect the property of others and ensure that others are able to benefit from the use of their own property. They do not steal."

By either reading, presidential candidate John McCain has established himself as anything but a "person of integrity." With his endless falsehoods and frauds when it comes to savaging Barack Obama or rewriting the record of his running mate Sarah Palin, John McCain hasn't put either the truth or his country first.
As I noted earlier today, Team McCain's mountain of falsehoods about Sarah Palin's history on earmarks, travel to Iraq, national security and energy expertise and the Bridge to Nowhere have grown to almost comic proportions. (On the earmark issue. even the reliably Republican Wall Street Journal weighed in on the reality of Palin's pork-barrel pursuit.) Editorial boards across the nation branded McCain's ads and statements "intellectually dishonest", "deceptive", "double-speak", "a fictional narrative" and a "campaign of lies." On Saturday, NBC's Mark Murray in a piece simply titled, "Wheels Come off Straight Talk Express?" documented "a brutal day for John McCain and his campaign" as the chorus of press criticism reached a crescendo.
On Sunday, even the excreable Karl Rove acknowledged John McCain had "gone, in some of his step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100 percent truth test."
During his St. Paul speech, Fred Thompson offered a moving account of John McCain's Vietnam service to America. He also made a point of emphasizing that "being a POW certainly doesn't qualify anyone to be president. But it does reveal character." And no doubt, so does McCain's behavior since.
Sadly, airman McCain's legend as a naval pilot is now a distant memory, his reputation shredded and tarnished at the hands of Senator McCain. Candidate McCain has violated the Naval Academy's honor concept for officers that "They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie."
And yet in a final irony, John McCain wants Americans to put him in the White House after engaging behavior that would apparently get him thrown out of the Naval Academy.

5 comments on “Candidate McCain Violates U.S. Naval Academy Honor Code”

  1. to: boob_in_birmingham ... yes ! I served, both at the U.S. Naval Academy as a contemporary of John McCain and subsequent active and reserve duty. In 2000 I considered voting for John ... that McCain ha morphed into an individual who will do and say anything to become President, including scurrilous, patently false statements, and the selection of a completely unqualified individual to potentially be a heartbeat away from a 72 year-old ... this does not comport with the oath he took repeatedly on entry to the Academy, as he advanced in rank, as an elected member of Congress, and -if elected- as President ... "TO PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". This is a possibly once honorable man who has sold his soul to the "amerikan taliban" to achieve his life's goal ... to equal or surpass his Father and Grandfather, the former being the main reason John got into the Academy, was not thrown out of the Academy, got into pilot training, was not court-martialed or grounded for losing any of 5 aircraft ... including the Forrestal incident which may have been the result of a show-off "wet start" ..., received unwarranted promotion and plush assignments [admission to the War College, squadron CO at Pensacola and Congressional liaison]. Your comment, inane and ignorant as it makes you appear probably reflects some truth ... but merely about you !

  2. For the perspective on another USNA Alum and one more closely associated with John McCain, being in his company at the Academy, a Navy pilot in Nam, and a POW at the Hanoi Hilton for 2-1/2 years longer than McCain, "Google" Phil Butler + Naval Academy + POW ... also on

  3. More lies and slander I see. McCain is a politician. Yeah he lies and exaggerates at times as does Palin. Do you honestly think Obama and Biden are any better? Look beyond his hype and "hope and change" nonsense and consider what he has done and want to do. He is an ultra-left radical who will do anything to please his backers. He constantly changes his opinion, and will say anything to get elected. How can any sane man not be disturbed by some of the thing Obama and his backers say. How can you support a man who would cut our military down to the size of the Rhode Island National Guard (no offense guardsmen) when we need it more than ever.
    I see that your repeating your own collection of lies against McCain including that he lost five aircraft (false), and that he caused the USS Forrestal fire despite all of the evidence against the claim. You really disgust me. You never look at all of the false attacks against McCain and Palin.

  4. Recon:
    Explain to me the Right Wing email circle jerk of unbelievably repugnant smears on Mr. Obama. I am on a few email lists of the RW friends, and it is TRULY disgusting.
    I tell them, if they are Christians, dont they know that bearing false witness is a sin? How can any of you support these kind of sleazy, immoral writings going around the private emails of so called 'conservatives'?
    Palin and McCain are BOTH pathological liars. McCain is a compulsive gambler who first was put in office by his father-in-laws Las Vegas Mafia business partner, Kemper Marley.
    A phoenix reporter was killed by a car bomb investigating the rejection, by the Jockey Club, of Marley and Hensleys investment in Ruidoso Race track. Real American Terrorists. McCain was never a man with any integrity at all.
    He has used the Land Trust money in Arizona for sweetheart deals for his buddies, who kick back money to his campaign. This money is supposed to fund Arizona public schools. McCain has stolen money from children for 26 years here in Arizona. One land deal last year in Yavapai County. A sweetheart deal for his friends, and then a couple hundred grand for McCain. He is a crook, and always has been.
    McCain was directly involved in the Savings and Loan failure and bailout with his buddy Charles Keating. HE LEARNED NOTHING FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. He is a dumb guy who is easily manipulated by his buddies like Phil Gramm. He has no leadership capabilities.
    You post NO EVIDENCE for your claims about Obama and the size of the military. YOU ARE A LIAR TOO.
    No honor, Recon, no honor at all.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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