Heads up for scandal
C_____,...I read your enclosures re the alleged flaws in Presidential candidate John McCain's record of Navy service with considerable alarm. I deem its timing and content not for the purpose to legitimately inform, but rather to embarrass.
Firstly it contains some facts I know to be in error; secondly it suggests he was to blame for damaging several Navy aircraft (including the tragic conflagration aboard USS FORRESTAL in 1967, and when he was shot down over Hanoi later the same year); thirdly it impugns his conduct as a POW in North Vietnam under the most stressful human conditions imaginable.
My contradictory conclusion is derived from……a close friend and Naval Academy ‘58 Classmate of John's in his flight training class, and one of my Naval Academy '56 Classmates who was a fellow POW with John McCain; and thirdly, a fellow POW with John McCain, who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his leadership in captivity, and who just in the last 2 weeks personally asked me to support John McCain for President. If this hero retained any animosity or disappointment about John's performance in his time of trial, I do not think he would be asking me to support John McCain for President and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The credibility of these three senior U.S. Military officers WHOM I KNOW TO BE UNWAVERING IN THEIR TRUTHFULNESS, trump anything the author of your dramatic disclosure can tell me about John McCain. Since it is designed to cast doubt on John's character, I shall distance myself from it forthwith. I suggest you do the same.
/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.