Senator John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to the service of our country. He served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years; he spent five-and-a-half of those years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Later he served as the commander of the largest aviation attack squadron in the U.S. Navy. On the political front, John McCain has served over 20 years in the United States Senate, leading American policy on national security and military issues as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. He has been involved in every major foreign policy decision over the past two decades. In short, he has the experience, judgment, and character to lead our country as Commander in Chief from the very first moment he steps into the Oval Office.
Senator McCain's qualifications as a military and foreign policy expert far surpass the credentials of anyone else seeking the most powerful office on the planet.
John McCain's expertise on these important issues is what Americans want in a Commander in Chief. He has continued to run a positive and honest campaign, sharing his qualifications - for which his service is an important tenet - with the American people.
That is why as a retired military officer, I find the attacks and distortions against his record to be so disturbing. It is now clear that Democrats, including the Democratic National Committee and Senator Obama intend to misrepresent Senator McCain's words and stances rather than have an honest and substantive dialogue on the issues that matter.
By suggesting that John McCain is a "blatant opportunist" for discussing his military record with the American people and in the same breath uttering that McCain is "promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years," Howard Dean is demeaning the chairmanship of the Democratic Party and should apologize not only to Senator McCain, but also Democrat voters.
Just last week, two nonpartisan fact-checking organizations called the insinuation that McCain wants to fight the war for another 100 years "false," a "serious distortion," and "rank falsehood."
What makes the Democrats' attacks even worse is that Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge the intentionally false and dishonest attacks he has launched against Senator McCain.
At a press conference on Monday, Obama finally acknowledged that the 100 years Senator McCain spoke of was referring to a peacetime troop presence in Iraq. Yet, as Obama consistently has done in the past, he continued Monday to distort Senator McCain's position irrespective of the truth or facts.