Tuesday, August 05, 2008

McCain Attempted Suicide Twice, But Won't Release His Mental Health Records During This Campaign

The John McCain Campaign is hoping to ride the shallow message of don't vote for Barack Obama because he's young and popular all the way to the White House. But this inch deep and very shallow campaign is also concealing some huge vulnerabilities of John McCain. Buried in the 1500 pages of medical records released by the McCain Campaign is information that McCain attempted suicide twice, yet his campaign won't release his full mental health records to the public. This is a serious issue that the McCain Campaign hopes to skirt; his full mental health records after years of physical and psychological abuse by his North Vietnamese captors and whether McCain is currently receiving any psychiatric care or medications.

If you want to make John McCain go ballistic, just suggest to him that his campaign should release his full mental health as well as medical records. McCain has no problem releasing his medical records, which did show that he is cancer survivor with a current clean bill of health and very healthy for his age. But when it comes to McCain's mental health records, this becomes a closely guarded secret of the McCain Campaign, and likely for very good reason. There is likely some significant issues to hide from the public here.

The fact of the matter is that one out of every eight servicemen returning from Iraq are experiencing serious mental health problems such Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and examples of depression, alcohol, drug abuse or suicide are high among returning vets suffering from this other serious mental health disorders. However, virtually none of these servicemen were captured by the enemy or tortured like John McCain was for five years at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors. The North Vietnamese often received instruction from Soviet KGB or military intelligence officers in techniques of brainwashing, psychological abuse and other methods to break down a soldier and gain false confessions out of them.

It is highly likely that anyone who has suffered such serious abuse has lifelong mental health problems and likely has received treatment for depression or other serious mental health disorders which could include medication, hospitalization or even electro-shock therapy. It is no wonder that the McCain Campaign wishes to conceal the extent to which John McCain received mental health services, or whether he is still undergoing mental health services or is on any mental health medications. Even antidepressants can have significant side effects and are controversial because some people have done very disturbed acts under the influence of them. In Oregon, a 12 year old boy who was put on antidepressants killed his parents and shot up his school, killing two students and wounding many more. The fact of the matter is that mental health medications can have significant side effects that cloud judgement or can lead to erratic and bizarre behavior.

John McCain's long history of sudden anger and outrageous outbursts both in the Senate as well as with reporters calls into question whether McCain is still suffering from significant mental health problems as a result of his captivity or whether he is currently under psychiatric care or medications.

The fact of the matter is that good judgement is the most important trait needed in a president, and if John McCain has a history of mental health disorders as a result of his abusive treatment as a POW or is currently under mental health treatment, then his ability to command the largest military in the world, command the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, or make other vital life or death decisions could be greatly clouded. The voting public has a right to know this information.

You know that the McCain Campaign will attempt to run out the clock on the 2008 campaign and ignore any request for his mental health records from reporters or the public. But this information is vitally important.

If John McCain has any mental disorders or is under current psychiatric care or medications should be an important and valid issue in this important election. McCain claims that all of his trauma as a POW had left by 1977, yet the fact that he twice attempted suicide according to the 1500 pages of medical reports from his doctors released to the public so far indicates some history of mental health problems that the McCain Campaign should be upfront about.


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Jay Tea said...

Let's see. McCain released, by your own words, 1500 pages of medical records. That's not enough, you want more.

Obama released a single page statement from his doctor saying "yup, he's fine," and that's OK with you.

And just for historical context, John Kerry repeately promised to release his full military record to the public. Long after the election he lost, he let three reporters (one of them his pet biographer from the Boston Globe) look at it under very controlled circumstances and restrictive conditions.

Did I get anything wrong?


At 8:18 AM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Jay, of the 500,000 American soldiers who will return from Iraq, an estimated 80,000 may suffer from some mental disorder such as depression, alcohol or drug abuse or Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or other mental health issue. Yet none of these service-persons has suffered from five long years of physical and psychological abuse like John McCain has. It is a perfectly legitimate question for the voting public to ask what sorts of mental health records exist for any treatments that John McCain may have had to deal with any psychological scars from this abuse.

The McCain Campaign seems to want to have it both ways. They argue that John McCain should be elected president based on his abusive treatment as a POW in Vietnam, but then shell up when any reporter asks for the mental health records of John McCain to deal with all of this abuse and whether or not he is still under some treatment. This is a very legitimate issue.

You do know that most persons elected to the Senate or Congress are lawyers. And most carefully choose their words or guard their actions. By contrast McCain is no lawyer, and some of actions seem bizarre and strange, so this mental health issue is an important concern that voters should have addressed by the McCain Campaign.

In 1972, Senator Thomas Eagleton left the Democratic ticket after news that he had received shock treatments for depression were revealed. Back then most voters were wary of electing someone who could become president who suffered from some past mental health disorders. However there is also a great deal of ignorance surrounding mental health issues, and the public also needs to become more understanding as well.

But with all of the awesome power of the presidency, including control of the biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons, it is a perfectly honest concern for voters to want to know about the mental health of anyone in charge of this much destructive power. And so far the released health records of John McCain don't seem to address this issue at all.


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