Katrina Vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation, went off on John McCain in an ill-advised, unhinged Wednesday morning tweet, declaring the decorated Navy veteran and former Vietnam prisoner of war an "armchair warrior."
As best can be determined, vandenHeuvel is upset that the Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate has previously stated that if Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 presidential campaign, he would consider it an act of war.
If Vanden Heuvel has taken whatever McCain said as an expression of a desire for large-scale armed conflict, as seems to be the case, that would seem to be quite a stretch.
Vanden Heuvel appears to believe that she has a right to do an end-zone dance on McCain because Russia's "apparent meddling," in words found at a Washington Post dispatch, is, according to Michael Schmitt, a noted cyber expert, "not an initiation of armed conflict" and "not a situation that would allow the U.S. to respond in self-defense militarily.”
Well, disagreeing with McCain, who is prone to occasional saber-rattling, is one thing. But given his distinguished service record, calling him an "armchair warrior," which vandenHeuvel did in the above tweet, is miles beyond the pale.
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Vanden Heuvel has received serious and richly deserved blowback from others. In a series of tweets accompanied by photos, Ryan B. Leslie delivered the most relevant fact-based responses (some minor edits made):
"McCain escaped ... (a) burning plane on the USS Forrestal. An accident that claimed 134 lives."
"Instead of going stateside with squadron after (the) accident, he VOLUNTEERED to transfer to the Oriskany."
"McCain refused repatriation because his father was CINCPAC. He wanted other POWs to go home before him."
Another tweeter advised that "'armchair' is a decidedly poor choice, given that he can't use his one arm."
"Armchair warrior" McCain also has sons who have served in the military.
Despite all the handwringing and folklore, the allegations of Russian "meddling" — which have nothing to do with the conduct of the presidential election itself and are limited to claims that its spies or agents are responsible for illegally obtaining information from the Democratic National Committee and passing it on to WikiLeaks — remain unproven. Julian Assange at WikiLeaks and others speaking on his behalf have consistently countered that the information obtained was not "hacked" at all, but was leaked by someone inside the DNC.
Patrick Eddington, currently at the Cato Institute and a former eight-year adviser to a Democratic congressman from New Jersey, accurately observed on January 24 at The Hill that the January 6 multiagency report vaguely alleging Russian interference "contained exactly zero declassified intelligence to back up the claim," and that Democratic congresspersons who claim to have inside knowledge to support their contentions "have a complete legal shield to go to the House floor and disclose, in lurid detail, exactly how Putin and his minions tried to subvert our democratic process" — and haven't.
Vanden Heuvel's tweet is par for the course for an outlet which has seemingly never missed an opportunity to smear those who keep the nation safe while advocating a degree of federal control, left-driven power and outright statism which would render what our service members bravely defend unrecognizable.
Thus far, the double standard-imbued national establishment press hasn't sought an apology for her outrageous smear.
No one should expect it to happen.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.