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Entries in John McCain (8)

Friday
Jun082012

John McCain: Leak Investigation Should Follow Evidence

ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- While Sen. John McCain Friday ratcheted up his call for a special prosecutor to investigate leaks of classified intelligence, McCain’s office said the investigation should follow the evidence wherever it goes -- even if it leads to Congress.

“The investigation should go where the evidence takes it -- be that the White House, administration or Congress,” a McCain aide told ABC News.

Republicans have accused the White House of leaking the information purposefully in an effort to make the president look good, but White House officials would not be the only ones with access to the kind of classified information that was leaked to The New York Times and other media outlets over the last two months. Some members of Congress and a small group of senior Congressional staff would likely have access to the information as well.

The president Friday condemned the leaks and called the suggestion that the White House was behind them “offensive” -- a statement McCain said was not satisfactory.

“What the president did not unequivocally say today is that none of the classified or highly sensitive information recently leaked to the media came from the White House,” McCain said in a written statement Friday. “I continue to call on the president to immediately appoint a special counsel to fully investigate and, where necessary, prosecute these gravely serious breaches of our national security.”

McCain’s statement pointed out that the articles in question -- including recent New York Times stories on a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program and the “kill list” of terrorists to be targeted by drone strikes -- cited administration sources.

“The journalists themselves identify some of the sources for their articles as 'administration officials,' 'aides’ to the president,' 'members of the president’s national security team who were in the [White House Situation Room]' during key discussions, an official 'who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program,' and 'current … American officials',” McCain said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May172012

McCain: Will New F-22 Fighter Limits Affect Missions Abroad?

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A day after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced strict flight restrictions for America’s most expensive fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, over safety concerns about the plane’s oxygen system, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised questions about how the move would affect America’s national security and operations abroad.

McCain, the ranking member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee and vocal critic of the $79 billion F-22 program, noted that a number of the planes had recently been deployed to Southwest Asia -- reportedly to a United Arab Emirates base just 200 miles from Iran's mainland -- "to promote regional security.”

“Please describe what effect, if any, these measures will have on the ability of the F-22s deployed overseas to execute their intended missions,” McCain wrote in a letter to Panetta Wednesday.

The restrictions, which keep the planes in close proximity to potential landing strips in case of a mid-air emergency, were announced two weeks after an ABC News Nightline investigation found that the advanced $420 million-a-pop fighter jets have been plagued by a rare but potentially deadly oxygen problem for years. Despite multiple investigations, the Air Force has been unable to pinpoint the cause.

In another case, a malfunction that the Air Force has yet to identify caused one pilot’s oxygen system to shut off during a training mission in Alaska in November 2010 just a minute before he died in a fiery crash.

A senior defense official said the Pentagon will “certainly” respond to the letter and, without going into specifics, told ABC News the planes would “remain operational in areas where geographic proximity to landing strips permits it.”

“The full range of our capabilities will not result in any operational impact to Afghanistan or elsewhere,” the official said.

Despite being deployed abroad, no F-22 has ever taken part in a combat mission since the $79 billion fleet went combat-ready in late 2005. From Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S.-led “no-fly zone” over Libya, the Air Force said the sophisticated jets simply haven’t been needed yet.

McCain’s question of combat-readiness also came a day before the American ambassador to Israel said the U.S. has done its military planning and is “ready” to strike Iran if diplomatic talks over the country’s controversial nuclear program fail.

In addition to the senior defense official’s comments, a spokesperson for the Air Force referred ABC News to comments made by Pentagon spokesperson Capt. John Kirby during a Pentagon briefing Tuesday.

“The majority of F-22 pilots are out there flying it every day,” he said, noting the planes’ deployment to Southwest Asia. “There have been no problems. It is flying.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar152012

Meghan McCain Reveals to 'Playboy': ‘I Love Sex’

Dustin Finkelstein/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- John McCain may have recently come to former running mate Sarah Palin’s defense, but in an interview with Playboy magazine, his daughter Meghan revealed still-simmering tensions between the McCain and Palin clans.

Meghan McCain told Playboy that a memoir written by Bristol Palin, Sarah’s daughter known for her teen pregnancy, was a “total lie.”

Bristol, she said, avoided her at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and “totally took off” when she saw Meghan across the room, lest Bristol be confronted about jabs she made about the McCain women in a recent memoir.

In her book Not Afraid of Life Bristol dings Meghan and mother Cindy McCain for having “so much Louis Vuitton luggage, so many cell phones, and so many constant helpers to do hair and makeup.” Bristol also writes of Meghan that after their first meeting she had the “sneaking suspicion that I might need to watch my back.”

“I saw her across the room,” Meghan, a conservative commenter on MSNBC, told Playboy of seeing Bristol at the correspondents’ dinner. “That girl biffed it fast, totally took off. All that stuff she wrote was a total lie. I have, like, one Louis Vuitton purse. She’s just young and confused and was thrust into all this. The media aren’t kind to her. But once someone signs up for Dancing with the Stars, it’s hard to sympathize.”

Meghan, who was interviewed for the magazine but did not pose nude, also revealed to Playboy that she “almost overdosed on Xanax,” the anti-anxiety drug, the day before the 2008 election.

“I gained a lot of weight,” she said of her time on the campaign trail, “because of Starbucks and Snickers.”

Meghan, who has departed from her father in her strong support of same-sex marriage, dismissed any rumors that she was gay. Using an obscene rhyme, she said was “strictly” straight, adding: “I can’t help it. I love sex and I love men.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun222011

Activist Criticizes McCain for Blaming Wildfires on Immigrants

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain came under fire recently for stoking Arizona’s heated immigration debate by blaming undocumented immigrants for the state’s recent wildfires.

Activist Randy Parraz criticized McCain’s comments on ABC’s Top Line Tuesday, saying there was little proof of the senator’s claim.

“He could have said that Boy Scouts of America started this fire,” Parraz said.  “When you claim that there's substantial evidence you need to be able to produce that and he did not do that.”

Parraz, a Democrat, said Arizona’s climate is politically charged and sensitive, and McCain’s comments served to “fan the flames of fear and intolerance.”

McCain made his comments at a press conference on Saturday.

"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain, R-Arizona, said in an interview aired on Phoenix’s KTVK.  The senator further suggested that immigrants are setting fires to “signal others,” “keep warm,” or to “divert law enforcement.”

McCain defended his comments on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday, saying, “Congressman Flake and I were briefed right just before that press conference by the forest service official that this same situation exits, so frankly, I’m not so sure what all this controversy is about.”

Parraz maintains that the senator made a “serious overstatement,” and capitalized on the state’s tragedy for political gains.

“John McCain had a national stage and he chose to play politics,” said Parraz.  “Not only did he say that there was substantial evidence that documented folks, he then made a request for more money for border security.  So now the fires are about border security.”

The Arizona activist also said McCain has gone through a political makeover over the last two years, edging further and further right in his policies and agendas.

Parraz is a labor activist and has been leading the effort to oust Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce.  Pearce sponsored Arizona’s immigration law and is known for his staunchly conservative policies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun212011

McCain Baffled by Controversy over Illegal Immigrant Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he's "not sure what all this controversy is about" surrounding his claim that illegal immigrants caused some of the wildfires raging across eastern Arizona.

McCain said the issue of possible immigrant involvement was first raised at a press conference over the weekend, and that his response was based on a briefing he received from a Forest Service official.

"[Cochise County, Ariz.,] Sheriff Larry Dever will tell you that the Monument Fire was started when the park, the forest was closed. So anyone who was in there is illegal," McCain told ABC News.

The Forest Service has only said publicly that the wildfires appear to be "human caused" and has not offered any evidence that the suspects may have been illegal immigrants.  

"This is the toughest year in Arizona's history as far as fires are concerned," McCain said. "The fact is that as far back as 2006 the Forest Service testified before Congress, and I quote, 'Large numbers of warming and cooking fires built and abandoned by cross border violators have caused wildfires that have destroyed valuable natural and cultural resources.'"

But McCain's critics say his unsubstantiated claims that there's "substantial evidence" that illegal immigrants are responsible for "some of these fires" only agitates an ongoing political debate.

"The sad thing is that the intention was pretty clear," said Clarissa Martinez with the National Council of La Raza. "It was to demonize immigrants and demonize Latinos."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun202011

McCain's Claim That Illegal Immigrants Started Wildfires Disputed

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz.) -- A U.S. Forest Service official said on Sunday there is no evidence that illegal immigrants started some of the wildfires in Arizona, as Sen. John McCain has claimed.

Tom Berglund, spokesman for the federal group managing the Wallow fire that McCain toured on Saturday, said the cause of the fire has been determined as "human," specifically an "escaped campfire," meaning the campfire sparked beyond the confines of the rocks containing it.

Two "subjects of interest" have been spoken to, but as of now, no suspect has been named, Berglund said.  When asked if there is substantial evidence that some fires were caused by illegal immigrants, as McCain said at a news conference Saturday, Berglund said, "Absolutely not, at this level."

"There's no evidence that I'm aware, no evidence that's been public, indicating such a thing," he said.

"We are concerned about, particularly, areas down on the border where there is substantial evidence that some of these fires are caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain said Saturday at a press conference, according to CNN.  "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border."

"They have set fires because they want to signal others.  They have set fires to keep warm and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them," McCain said.

McCain offered no evidence to substantiate his claims, however, prompting criticism from Latino civil rights advocates.

The Wallow fire has burned 511,118 acres of land, according to InciWeb, an online database that tracks natural disasters.  On Saturday, it was about 38 percent contained, according to the Arizona Republic, but authorities are concerned about high winds.  The 200 residents of Luna, N.M., located seven miles away from the Arizona border, were evacuated on Saturday.

The Wallow fire is one of five wildfires currently being battled in Arizona, including the Monument fire in southern Arizona, which destroyed dozens of homes last week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

Sen. McCain Wants Heads to Roll for WikiLeaks, But Others Say Not Likely

Photo Courtesy - NBC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., demanded Tuesday that top brass be disciplined for the massive security breach of classified documents that are now spilling out of the WikiLeaks website, but former Washington officials said it is unlikely that anyone will be held accountable beyond the lowly private who is now in jail.

"Let's go back to the principle of need-to-know. Why would a private first class have access to all of this information? Somebody is responsible for that and it isn't just the private first class. They should be held accountable for a change," McCain told ABC News Tuesday.

WikiLeaks' latest release Tuesday will no doubt continue to strain already sensitive relationships and add pressure on the military to hold someone accountable.

Since the first tranche of cables was released Sunday, federal agencies have launched investigations, promised improved regulations, and vowed to prosecute Army Private Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks director Julian Assange.

Manning has been held in a Quantico, Va., brig awaiting court-martial since July, but no senior officials or military officers have taken responsibility for the historic security breach and none have been threatened with losing their jobs.

"We probably are not going to see heads roll," said Gen. Jack Keane, a retired four-star general and former Acting Army Chief of Staff. "The supervisors in this case will likely get a pass because this is a major deception."

The military says it will not comment on who, if anyone else might be held responsible until it completes an ongoing investigation.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

McCain Wants Heads to Roll for Wikileaks, Others Say Not Likely

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain demanded Tuesday that top brass be disciplined for the massive security breach of classified documents that are now spilling out of the Wikileaks website, but former Washington officials said it's unlikely that anyone will be held accountable beyond the lowly private who is now in jail.

"Let's go back to the principle of need-to-know. Why would a private first class have access to all of this information? Somebody is responsible for that and it isn't just the private first class. They should be held accountable for a change," McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News.

Wikileaks' release of the latest tranche of secret diplomatic cables spurred federal agencies to launch investigations, promises of improved regulations, and vows to prosecute Army Private Bradley Manning and Wikileaks' director Julian Assange.

Manning has been held in a Quantico, Va., brig awaiting court martial since July, but no senior officials or military officers have taken responsibility for the historic security breach and none have been threatened with losing their jobs.

"We probably are not going to see heads roll," said Gen. Jack Keane, a retired four star general and former Acting Army Chief of Staff. "The supervisors in this case will likely get a pass because this is a major deception."

The military says it will not comment on who, if anyone else might be held responsible until it completes an ongoing investigation.

Manning is alleged to have downloaded vast numbers of secret diplomatic cables and military documents while working as an intelligence analyst, committing the greatest security breach in U.S. history using little more than a memory stick and a Lady Gaga CD.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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