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 For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-07-02 14:28:11

To paraphrase the quote, “For whom the Gods would destroy, they first make – stupid.”

The unauthorized Randy Cunningham page is excellent!

I was a Navy fighter pilot, at Miramar, when Duke was there. Flew the F-4 and lived. Being a liberal in a conservative camp, it was not easy.

Duke was always known as a great fighter pilot who could out-fight just about anyone in the sky. But he was near terminally stupid. His MBA from National “University” is a joke. He was so stupid that while at Topgun he broke into his C.O.’s office to take a look at his terrible fitness report (Why look?). He was so stupid that despite holding the Navy Cross and having made Ace, he barely made it to Commander. His squadron command was a shore based command, did not deploy to sea tours, and was only made possible by the Navy inserting very, very strong executive and operations officers.

BTW - Many of us do not believe that a SAM got him. We flew F-4s and knew its gas consumption . . . we believe he just stayed too long in the fight and plain ran out of gas. The SAM story was a cover-up concocted after he got back on board the Connie by flagstaff.

El Duke has had a couple passes at his 15-minutes of fame, it is time for him to go away . . . and take that job in the defense industry that awaits him.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Phil Karn 
Date:   2006-03-10 15:32:44

Again, I ask: what was "accomplished" by increased MiG kill ratios? Take a wide view. Look beyond the narrow, romantic, testosterone-laden adolescent fantasy epitomized in the "Top Gun" movie. Stop deluding yourself that everything the US military ever does somehow advances the cause of "freedom".

How have I overlooked history? I am well aware of what happened in SE Asia in the 1970s. How are those events relevant to a destructive, pointless and counterproductive war in Vietnam we never should have fought?

I'm reminded of a favorite line in the movie "Animal House", when the brothers witness their pledges being abused by members of another fraternity: "How dare they do that to our pledges? Only WE can do that to our pledges!" Maybe it was wrong to allow all those millions in SE Asia to be murdered by others. We should have continued to do it ourselves, eh?

I'm also well aware of an incredible amount of human suffering around the world that the US barely notices because of a lack of "strategic interests" in the region. Some of the worst suffering doesn't even involve repressive governments or civil wars but rather diseases like HIV, polio, etc. Where is your righteous outrage over the lack of US action in these cases?

At least we stopped our direct share of the slaughtering in SE Asia when we left. That's got to be good for •something•.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: H. Stevens 
Date:   2006-03-24 13:53:54

I served in the Navy and was attached to VF-92 out or Miramar during the Vietnam era (1965-1969). I was just an electronics tech fixing F-4 radios and the sort, not a pilot. During our deployments I spent many hours watching flight operations from the observation deck of the Enterprise. I was always amazed at the talent and skills of the pilots on the Big E in handling landings and take offs. Those guys were good. One day I watched one of our planes (I think the pilot was our squadon CO) that flew back was serously shot and crippled plane. Not unusual to have that happne. The pilot had been shot up through the legs and nearly bled to death on his flight back. He somehow managed to land and when his plane stopped, I watched the flight deck crew lilft him out of the cockpit and get him to sickbay for medical care. Many planes came back with varying degrees of damage and limited the pilots to control their landings, or else they would have had to ditch. On a few occassions I watched take offs with bomb laden planes catapulted off the flight deck then nose down into the ocean and disappear from sight and miisng flight crews, some that were rescued, some not. Those were the risks. Pilots knew that each time they took off and, as such, they always had my utmost respect.

The "Duke" may have been one of those I watched take off and land. It saddens me to know that he may have been someone that piloted a plane I took part in fixing. I would not criticize his military service record because that is not the issue. The issue is greed and how Mr. Cunningham willingly allowed himself to stoop so low and in such a demeaning, illegal and disrespective manner. And to what end? A sad tale indeed; from hero to schmuck.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: H. Stevens 
Date:   2006-03-27 13:51:59

Thanks lb & Phil for your kind thoughts. It looks as though I missed Cunningham by 1 cruise. VF-92 (the "Silver Kings") was also the sister F-4 squadron to VF-96 (the "Fighting Falcons"). The three cruises we were part of the the Enterprise air wing were between 1966 and 1969. Since Cunningham went out to sea a year later, I missed him, sort of. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: MACS(SW) Ramey 
Date:   2006-04-12 15:23:37

I am a retired Senior Chief Master-at-Arms, and served on two carriers (JFK/IKE)as an investigator on the JFK & CMAA on the IKE. During my career I was amazed at the skill it took to pilot any aircraft to a stop on a floating island. I have watched the History channel several times with CDR Cunningham being interviewed about his exploits as a Naval Aviator. I was and still am impressed with his skills. One thing that a lot of people seem to forget, the old Navy traditions during the Cold War and Vietnam were to work hard and play hard. The Jet Jocks seemed to bring a lot of attention to themselves and like any Sailor they get drunk and make fools of themselves. I personally have escorted a Vice Admiral and numerous high ranking officers back to the ship highly intoxicated. A sea story? Here is one, a Navy Captain who was the Chief of Staff for an unnamed Admiral broke into a golf course at night with his staff members and stole golf carts tearing up the base. I had to beg the XO of the base not to do anything about it. He reluctantly agreed. Duke is a victim of the old Navy, and a victim of that old Sin, greed. He is currently at the FCI Prison, Butner, NC. Look it up online.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: jerry kammer 
Date:   2006-11-04 04:51:26

I'm one of the Copley reporters who worked on the Cunningham bribes-for-earmarks story. We're doing a book now. Would sure like to talk with you.
Please let me know how to contact you.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: John 
Date:   2005-07-02 19:49:19


Fame — and 5 MiG's — can obscure flaws of character for many years. People see what they want to see, and disregard the rest.

The Navy was well aware of Cunningham's flaws early on. They refused his request for a regular commission, and were going to terminate him after that Constellation WestPac cruise.

But 5 MiG's suddenly changed that!

To separate Cunningham afterward would have been a PR disaster. He became a real problem for the Navy, and it had to "cover" for their inappropriate and disappointing hero for the next 15 years. His commanding officers usually rated him at the bottom, as a sub par officer. His CO at Top Gun said he "couldn't write a simple declarative sentence." ("Fall From Glory, p. 236)

Did he run out of gas? That was the speculative consensus of F-4 drivers. Even if a SAM really did get he and Willie, as the story went, he was also out of gas anyway, for staying too long.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-07-03 10:50:10

The story about him, mentioned elsewhere, as to having been shot down by another MiG after his 5th kill was wrong also. Had he been shot down by a MiG, you can bet that North Vietnam would have hooted and hollered about it in the international press.

You're right, he stayed for the 5th kill, when he could have extended and gotten the hell out of Dodge. All of us would have done exactly the same thing. That is why the SAM story was viewed as so much BS, no one cared that he ran out of gas after getting his 5th. "You damn right I stayed on in the fight and got my 5th" "You damn right I traded a $3.5 million dollar airplane for a $250,000 airplane . . . so what!" Nothing wrong with that logic for a fighter pilot.

As for him not being augmented to a regular navy commission. It addition to all of the "flaws" that have been so well documented, he also simply waited too long to put in his letter. Augmentation letters, back then, were usually submitted during the 0-2 and 0-3 period of a reserve officer's service; not 0-4 and 0-5 time frames. The timing of that letter was quite important.

John, in addition to everything that you said above (including reminding us of Jack's wonderful statement about him and the " . . . declarative sentence" business) another overriding reason for non-augmentation of many officers, was that the Navy was drastically cutting back the black shoe and aviation officer ranks. A lot of us were just hired for the war, and then gotten rid of as soon as possible . . . with out a doubt, had Randy not become an ace, he would have been gone when the war was over . . . willingly or un-willingly.

And by the way his nickname or "call sign" of "Duke" had nothing to do with John Wayne. He greatly admired Diego "Duke" Hernandez, who was in VF-96 with him and a Naval Aviator that we all knew and admired. I went through the F-4 RAG with Hernandez at VF-101 Key West. Duke Hernandez was a great officer, Naval Aviator and example. Randy took on "Duke" Hernandez's nickname for his own. Sadly he did not pack the gear to also take-up his example.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Phil Karn 
Date:   2005-07-03 14:52:26

I'm not totally familiar with Duke's Vietnam flying record. I've certainly heard that he claimed 5 MIG kills, which he is still milking, but after that, what happened to his plane? Where did it crash? Was it ever found, and if so, could it be determined whether it was shot down or simply ran out of gas?

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: LB 
Date:   2005-07-08 07:30:37

Heh Heh....once again I'll state that if you {{{SHRIEK}}} Liberals....would put as much time and effort into humanitarian causes you might have as you put time and effort into BASHING another human, you probably would accomplish something in your lifetime.

And once again I'll state that despite your efforts to destroy Randy, the VOTERS have made their CHOICE.

I agree with most of the above...Randy was NOT a great officer nor a great leader. Just a great fighter pilot with an advanced sense of situational awareness.

And Randy...and I....were the ONLY ones on the '70 Cruise in America to check out and study the "Drill" and "Doughnut" manuals...and Randy was the ONLY one to get a last minute AI briefing on possible MiG movements and locations.

I detect a great sense of jealousy from those other so-called fighter pilots who didn't get one MiG....let alone FIVE.

Now go get a real job, and ACCEPT the CHOICE the VOTERS have made.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-07-08 09:49:59

The problem with this whole mess is as was said in some arcane piece of case law, ". . (that) it is the appearance of impropriety that offends the court." For whatever reason in this age of the news traveling at the speed of heat and fully disclosing a public figures most confidential information (that) no elected person can have feet of clay or dirt under his finger nails. Had the man simply recused himself from any voting on matter affecting friends and business associates, we would not be having these conversations. Then the man could have sold the home for 3-times its value, and folks would have said, “Welcome to California real estate.” Was the deal illegal, probably not or not provable. Was it stupid for an elected official of government to do such a thing? Of course it was. It does not matter if he had shot down the entire North Vietnamese Air Force; prior good acts these days does not get him a pass.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Phil Karn 
Date:   2005-07-08 10:32:40

Hey, getting Duke out of office •is• a humanitarian cause! Just look at that idiot's voting record.

As for the voters, they're fickle. Incredibly fickle. Most who voted for Cunningham knew very little about him, just as they know very little about the other candidates they vote for. That's why we get so many corrupt, incompetent clowns in public office. And its both our right and our duty, under the First Amendment, to better inform the public about the people who represent them. And they just might change their minds.

I find it absolutely laughable that someone's proficiency in an airplane 35 years ago should somehow qualify them for a policy-making public office. If anything, all those g-forces acting on his brain probably made him •less• qualified.

To be honest, I couldn't care less about Cunningham's Vietnam record, no more than I care about Kerry's or even Bush's. They're totally irrelevant, and I never could understand why so much was made of them. I do care very much about their positions on public issues, their basic honesty and integrity, and above all their respect for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the principles of human rights that they represent. Given that Cunningham has sponsored, and the House has passed, the very first amendment that would begin to dismantle the Bill of Rights, I think I have an excellent reason to oppose him. It's just too bad that so few people care about the Bill of Rights anymore. So instead we'll have to rely on his having cheated the taxpayers out of a few hundred million. That's peanuts compared to protecting the Bill of Rights, but so be it.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-07-08 12:39:22

Well said Phil . . .

Especially this attempted dismantling of the Bill of Rights with this stupid and unnecesary flag burning amendment. This is what really concerns me about the right wing, they really want to go after those first 10 amendments to or Constitution. If the radical right wing, religious right wing had its way, free speech would be out, illegal search would be out etc. But every wacko could own a .50 cal machine gun.

If you are not a member of the ACLU, go on line and join. The ACLU's job is to protect those precious first 10 amendments. Nutty as it sometimes is, our Bill of Rights has been blindly defended by the ACLU.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Phil Karn 
Date:   2005-07-08 15:10:45

Oh, and yes I •do• support the ACLU. I gave their foundation a grant last year. They are one of the most important (if not •the• most important) organizations in this area, along with the EFF (which specializes in computer freedoms). And yes, I support the ACLU even when they defend the non-violent expression of people I find loathsome, such as fundamentalist abortion protesters or the American Nazi Party. If their freedom of speech is protected, then mine will be too.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: John Lester 
Date:   2005-07-10 14:38:31

When I was first commissioned, and upon every promotion after, the oath I swore was to 'support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic'. I didn't swear my allegiance to a man, a party, the then current Administration or a swatch of fabric.

The genius of the Founding Fathers was their realization that all those things are easily corrupted — men and their political parties fail, governments come and go, and the most despicable monsters wrap themselves in flags to make their crap palatable to the masses.

What makes our particular country different is not the graphic artistry of our emblems. It's the way we set up our government in order to ensure the maximum possible individual liberty consistent with necessary social responsibility. The most powerful symbol of our Democracy is not the flag —- we could change that tomorrow and not change who we are or what we believe. No, the most powerfull symbol of our Democracy is our Constitution - change that, and you truly change who we are.

But that's exactly why this drive to change the Constitution is on the front burner - because the folks who lie awake at night listening for the tiny, tiny screams of stem cells, yet are deaf to the cries of the humans around them, want very badly to change who we are.

It doesn't surprise me that the poster boy they've chosen for their Crusade is Mr. Cunningham. Many fighter pilots I've known are pretty one-dimensional - don't hate me, that's just a personal observation from ten years on active duty, and not as a pilot. He might have been God's Own Gift gripping the stick .... but that has no bearing on anything outside the cockpit. Recorded history is full of competent warriors who make lousy policy makers.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Dani Dodge 
Date:   2005-08-08 13:12:28

I am very interested in talking to people who served with Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Please call me at 760-476-8227 or email me at Dani.Dodge@uniontrib.com
Thank you,
Dani Dodge
staff writer
The San Diego Union-Tribune

 American Fighter Aces Association 1984
Author: Dan Anderson 
Date:   2005-08-26 12:02:27

Here's an interesting quote from "TCatTAFM" at http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/8/25/21659/2828 about Cunningham:

Here's a story that tells you everything you need to know about "The Duke":

Back in 1984, at the annual convention of The American Figher Aces Association, Cunningham showed up in uniform that Saturday night, playing the role of "America's only fighter ace still on active duty" to the hilt, glad-handing left and right.

I was sitting there with three For-Real fighter aces from WW2, (I'm an aviation historian in one of my other existences) and not one of them would get up to shake his hand, and in fact they gathered a few other "legends" (at least to those of us who pay attention to such things) and proceeded to bad-mouth Cunningham as being a perfect example of NOT having what Tom Wolfe described as "The Right Stuff."

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Bill Justice 
Date:   2005-09-15 03:45:40

I find it interesting that Paul, and John did not give their units. Lemme guess you guys were in nam. Yea right.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: LB 
Date:   2005-09-15 13:22:32

Author: Bill Justice (199.218.242.—-)
Date: 09-15-05 03:45

I find it interesting that Paul, and John did not give their units. Lemme guess you guys were in nam. Yea right.==============

I'd like to know what VF they were in also, and when THEY were there. Duke was there a long time. In the 34 years I've been out, I've met quite a few "wannabees" including two who bragged about being an F-4 Pilot, and one who claimed to be "CO of the Blue Angels" while in dress blues Navy Captains uniform, in Salt Lake City claiming to be scouting the area for an upcoming airshow at the county fairgrounds. Geeze.

I should have called the FBI on that one.

VF-96 1969-1971

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-09-15 17:14:37

Bill - I was a dog when Doc Townsend had it, and again when the drunk Bill Albertson had it, which was about the time you were in - 96. If I know Diego "Duke" Hernandez, one of the greats, I was there. We know me. I will see you at the Nugget. Simply because someone speaks against your postion or belief or hero, does not make them a fraud. p

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-09-15 17:15:41

Correct my last, "You know me." p

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-09-15 17:42:05

Bill and the others who disagree with some of the opinions of Congressman Cunningham, and facts surrounding his fall from grace employ the old and worn knee jerk conservative argue mode. When they cannot argue the message - because what we detractors are saying is absolutely true, they then attempt to attack the messengers. Bill, I appreciate you defense of him, I really do. I cannot wait to hear it at ‘Hook. You also know me from the RAG, VF-121 –“me Aviator, you get in the back.” Bill, not all of us were conservatives, and went the lockstep party line bs. I guy that had the SDS (students for a democratic society) logo on my helmet, that caused Dan Pederson, Ops of -121, to almost have a stroke. Now you know my real name is not Paul. Call sign was a type of cat. Think Bill, give it a try, burn some neurons. An anti-war LCDR MOS:1310 that resigned his commission in 1972 . . . think Bill, think!

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-09-20 09:00:36

Why is the site so much about Cunningham . . . because that is the subject of the site! People are welcome to put up a site praising him . . . . and I wish that someone would.

Cunningham got -126 because he could fly, and fly damn well. The Navy backstopped him with folks that could administer. The Navy was after his expertise being passed along, not his leadership tools.

The fighter pilot things, good and bad, are irrelevant to the issues of the MZM deals, yacht deal and who he bought his rancho santa fe home from. Gents, it is the appearance of impropriety.

If the charges support and indictment, he will get his day in court to prove his innocence as is every American’s right. He publicly said that he “Welcomes the change to clear his name.” So, says I, let the games begin.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-09-20 17:47:50

Dear L. B.,

First of all, I have to say that this thread is the best on this site. People are answering back and discussing the issues. That's a great thing. Thank you LB for that.

Second of all, I never served in the military, although three of my siblings did. None were in the Navy, all were ground pounders duking (sorry) it out in the weeds.

Third, I will always be damn proud of them. I also supported them and support any of our fine fellow citizens (for the most part) in uniform today serving their country.

Fourth - like it or not LB - this site and the issues contained herein are about Randy Cunningham, his record as a Congressman and the drama and issues surrounding both. What don't you get?

Sure, there are other, more noble causes to fight and effort into. There always has been, always will be. But where does it start? I for one, am tired of doing nothing. My comments contained on this site is one way I have at making sure my voice is heard. On this subject and others I also write to reporters and elected officials.

I don't know about you LB but I can think of few better causes to fight than massive and unmitigated corruption of our elected officials. Where does the fight for noble causes start? I can few better starting points.

And I am sure we can all read, thank you.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-09-21 09:16:04

No apologies necessary. I don't think you are stupid, LB and I wasn't saying you were defending him...but it seems like we are talking apples and oranges.

My point: You are posting your opinion on an anti-Randy Cunningham site saying, essentially, that people who post the their opinion on this site are stupid, can't read and should commit themselves to more worthy (as you see it) causes.

I get it.

Forgive for saying so but, is that not a bit hypocritical?

And like I said - I feel that posting content and information on this site IS a worthy cause.

Admittedly, Mr. Anderson presents the information about Randy in a satire heavy way, for comedic purposes. But the press reports, Congressional records and Randy's quotes I feel are accurate and without out embellishment.

Simply put LB: It is Mr. Anderson's site and he has a right (yes, I know, a right secured by Randy and others) to present or have a site anyway he wants...as long as it is not distorting or manufacturing false accounts about Randy. Within this framework, on this subject, I choose to comment.

I am sure Randy knows about this site and has looked into how to get it shut down. The fact that he hasn't been able to says he has no right (see above) to do so.

Like I said L.B. - there are many, many causes worthy of all of our attention. This site and these issues about Randy are just one. Just so you know - I am involved in others causes that I feel are worthy (as I am sure you are) and have had great accomplishments in my life, thank you. I count being able to read as being just one.

Brass tacks: As I have stated in other posts on this site, I formerly admired Mr. Cunningham. I thought that he was a true American hero who choose public service.
But then I choose (and it is a choice LB) to delve a bit deeper. It was then I found out that I really didn't know the man at all. The more I found out the less I liked...and here we are today.

I have a right to feel what I feel and say what I say...even if you don't like it or think I am wasting my time on a fruitless, liberal cause.

You think I am a fool. Fine, I can live with that and you have a right to what you believe. Great. Dead heat and it costs us nothing. But be careful arguing with a fool LB, people might not be able to tell the difference between us.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-09-21 10:35:27

And LB, on a few different subjects having to do with your posts, I have a question: Why do you use the phrase "you liberals"? Do you mean that as a insult? Do you have a primer or a guidebook that tells you when a person is a liberal and when they are not? Please, enlighten this ignorant surf.

You, cleary being extremely literate and lexicographically astute, surely knows the meaning of the word liberal. For those of you who do not, let's examine it, shall we? According to Dictionary.com it means:

1. a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
2. a. Tending to give freely; generous
b. Generous in amount; ample

So...basically, "Liberal" means open, generous, broad-minded and non-racist.

Wow. Thanks LB, for the compliment. How did you know I was all those things? I guess it was not intended as an insult after all. Great.

So if being a liberal is the opposite of being a conservative, that MUST mean that the meaning of the word conservative means the opposite as well. Let’s check it out:

1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
2.Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.
4. a. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.
b. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.
5. Conservative Of or belonging to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
6. Conservative Of or adhering to Conservative Judaism.
7. Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources.

Hmm. Not quite the opposite. Quite interesting nonetheless.

Also, another subject: You along with Bill Justice (great name!) question if Paul or John ever served in the military. When they did give you the proof you required, it didn't really change anything. But, as you stated SEVERAL times above, that wasn't the main thrust of your reasoning for posting, was it?

What's the deal with that anyway? Are veterans the only people who can comment on other veterans? To my way of thinking, that's a wee bit exclusionary. It's like the only people who can really comment on Congressmen are other Congressmen. And that would be like having the fox guard the chicken coop, right?

Please comment. I am interested in your view on any of this.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-09-21 14:13:51

There you go again RM being logical!

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-10-04 15:07:47

I have been patiently waiting for LB to respond or comment on the questions I put to him.

Obviously, he has yet to respond.

I have read other post on this site asking why people who take the side of Randy fail to follow up on their comments. Why should this be so?

To date, and much to his credit (truly), the only person who cared enough about their point was, in fact, LB. But it seems, only up to a point.

It has been my experience that most people like to sum up an argument or an issue under debate simply with a personal statement. The problem with that is there is no chance for debate. There is no discussion at all.

Is it fear or for lack of anything else to say? I don't know. I grew up thinking that if I was going to open up my big mouth, I ought to be able to back up what I was saying. Personal conjecture and offensive ridicule are not worthy talking points.

A larger read on the state of politics in this country at virtually every level is more about conjecture, spin and the ever lustful objective: getting re-elected.

As a romantic at heart, I would rather a leader that served reluctantly. At least then, his or her mind would be on the task at hand and not on the petty partisan crap we all have to wade through.

Truth is, there will always be a divide between left and right. How big that divide is, is solely dependent on having the ability to not only to find, but to seek, common ground.

When that stops happening in the larger sense, we cease to be a Republic.

I, for one, will, when faced with a compelling argument defending Randy, will put aside my tendency to flame and engage. Also, the opposite is true - if all you have to offer is a personal statement of mindless support of the man, be prepared to take the heat for your stupidity.

Any takers?

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-10-04 15:14:19

BTW - I put the subject of people not defending what the say on this site to an eight year old recently. His response: "Maybe they are just punk-assed bitches."

I couldn't agree more...

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: LB 
Date:   2005-10-04 16:47:48

And just to REPEAT for the umpteenth time, this one from 9/21 just for you illiterate folks:

I truly am SORRY. I didn't realize that NOT flying a flag in front of his house, charges of womanizing, charges of being gay, speculation of whether he shot down 5 MiGs, charges that Col. "toon" Toom" Toomb" did not exist, speculation that he ran out of gas rather than being SAM'ed (I think had he not been SAM'd, he would have ran out of gas anyway), charges that he wasn't CO of a "real" Navy VF because it was land-based, and a myriad of other things had ANYTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH "his record as a Congressman and the drama and issues surrounding both."

I apologize that I am so f•cking STUPID as to not realize that. After all Ted Kennedy was not only a womanizer but even managed to KILL one of his girlfriends. Or Congressman Franks, since Randy is charged with being both a womanizer and gay!!!! Randy has so much more to look up to with those two as his mentors.

Now if you'll really learn to R-E-A-D, you'll see that I have NEVER defended Randy against charges or speculation about corruption and misuse of power as a congressman. The ONLY argument I have brought to the table is contained in my first paragraph above. As I earlier stated, I could tell a tale or two about his ethics and morality in his personal life, but that has NOTHING to do with his being a Congressman.

So....either I am too STUPID to realize that those things are important in being a "good" congressman, or YOU and your ILK truly cannot R-E-A-D...or COMPREHEND what is written.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-10-04 21:37:27

LB for the sake of time, let's all agree that you are an idiot and move on . . . .

I am sorry about your mom. However, how are your personal factoids in your posts apropos of the discussion herein?

If you are looking for sympathy, you can find it between @!#$ and syphilis in the dictionary.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-10-04 21:51:22

Phil is right, Kennedy was cleared, let it pass.

Phil, Phil, Phil, some people are fixed on it because Kennedy is such a huge target . . . no pun intended . . . really!

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-10-05 10:05:27

Thanks LB for your post.

We are back to square one, in a sense, it seems.

Thank you for your penetrating view of your personal struggles. We all have problems in our lives and busy schedules that we all have to deal with.

Since you were talking in the third-person perspective, I can only assume that you are talking about yourself.

Not to mean any offence but all of that really has no bearing on the subjects at hand. Besides, I can think of very few who don't have 10-15 minutes a day to post comments of interest, as you have shown with your last three posts.

Be all that as it may - you responded, and that's the important thing. Thank you.

At any rate...

You still have not directly addressed my questions put forth to you. See above for both my posts on 9-21 for reference. Please do so, at your leisure. I will be here...

On the subject of your most recent post:
One last time - I never accused you of defending the PRESENT Randy. It seems that your problems are with:
1. People who post meaningless (as you see it) trible on websites
2. People questioning the PAST exploits of Randy
3. People who cannot read
4. People who have too much time on their hands
5. Liberals

Ok? If I am wrong, I am sorry.

Points 1, 3, 4 and 5 are not really worth discussion since, again, they really have no bearing in this forum. See my comments above on 10-04. True, I have commented on all four of these points but, in this case, I choose (again, it is a CHOICE) not to. Again, see my comments on 10-04.

Point two, as I see it, is the crux of relevant discussion.

As such, I have to disagree with you, and here is why: Wouldn't you say that the best indicator of future behavior is, indeed, past behavior? Poke holes in the reasoning all you want but it is true. Being as Randy is an elected official, tasked with an incredible amount of responsibility and influence, his past exploits and claims ARE relevant. Since, really, that is all we have to go on.

Petty as it sometimes may be, that is the process we ALL follow. When hiring people, is it not the first thing to do is check the ACCURACY of the information on a resume? The recent round of hearings with Chief Justice Roberts ought to show you the length taken to ensure a proper appointment. The reason is simple. To examine and to see how the facts uncovered bear on the truth.

Don't you see that? What other information are we to go on, if not the past?

Besides, as citizen of this country, do we not ALL have the right to ask what we want, speculate on what we want, and say what we want...as long as we propose no falsehoods that gain wide acceptance as fact. For instance, as a hypothetical, if I were to go on national TV today claiming that Rep. Cunningham is gay man, I would be in trouble. I can personally speculate about it all I want, however. THAT LB, is a clearly defined RIGHT. The fact that you don't like it is savagely irrelevant, in all ways.

And if you will do me the kind favor to READ my posting the the forum concerning the speculation about Mr. Cunningham being gay, you will see that I post comments saying that I don't think it's true or worth further consideration. Clearly, the person who started that thread did so out of a desire to inflame supporters of Randy. Which, IF true, he or she has done a great job.

To my knowledge, in all content on this site, besides these forums, Mr. Anderson has relied heavily on published news and literature for the basis of his arguments. And Mr. Anderson has right to do so.

I hope you can appreciate my restraint as, clearly, you want to make statements and insult those of us with dissenting opinions. Perhaps you are right to feel angry. Fine. But in a large way, you beget the responses you are angry at.

I find it very telling that you ONLY have a problem with speculation on Dukes past. I would think, as a busy, hardworking citizen like yourself, you would be more interested in Dukes current improprieties and $hitcan the rest.

I have put forth more than a few olive branches to you LB. Let's cut the crap, okay? If you have something to say, please, from now on dispense with the insults and just say it.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-10-05 14:13:08

Damn it LB...that is what I am talking about.

Thank you very much for getting down to it. Truly.

I get what you have been saying, and I get it this time as well.

In most respects, I totally agree with you. Most of what you say is true. And I take your point as well.

Quite frankly, I don't personally care if Randy is was a great pilot, a lousy pilot, a womanizer, fly's a flag, is gay, straight, left, right, red, blue or yellow.

Detractor's will always have their say, just like everyone else. I try to filter all that out, dispense with the histrionics and focus on what we know, today.

My sole concerns with regards to Randy are:

A. Is the man honest?
B. Can he govern?

That is it.

The first concern, I have a feeling, will become known it due course. Part of that comes from sites like this one. Sites like this one give people a place to vent...and it puts pressure on certain people. To do what? To not sweep things under the rug. It pressures people to become accountable. The way it does that may not always be palatable to all. But I would rather live with sites like these than not.

If he is guilty then I say bust him and toss him in jail. No lily-livered slap on the wrist. If that happens, it will be just like the ruling-elite used to be in Russia. We have had far too much of that in the country.

The second concern is arguable. To take nothing from Randy and the things he has accomplished for his true constituents but, I for one, tire of the division he has fostered. The tearing down of one group for the sole gain of another. When a group has to point out how bad all other options or points of view are in order to pass their option or point of view is not governing. We all ought to expect more out of the people we choose to represent us.

Sigh. Perhaps that's the way it's always been. But that is not the way it always has to be.

A fair deal in business is usually when neither side gets everything it wants. If we, fellow citizens, are to coexist peacefully then we have to stop acting as if everything is winner take all.

Other aspects of Randy I don't like as well. But I say what I say and trust others will make their choices based on truth and not on what I say.

I personally think Randy is guilty. Looking at it from a pure percentages viewpoint - I think that, when confronted with the mountain of evidence, the chances for the number of things that would have to be coincidences in order for him to be innocent approaches infinity.

I know, LB, that you have never defended him in that respect. I am just saying...

As to the other points you made (gay, flag, etc.) I just think that when Randy carries on like he does for political gain (flag burning admendment for one) that people enjoy rubbing his nose in his hypocracy and his nepotisim. It doesn't change anything. I am quite sure Randy doesn't care what some Dem in San Fransisco thinks of him. Things like these seem to take on a life of their own. People really start kicking you when you are down. This has been true forever. Randy is just taking his lumps...as he has dished out lumps to others.

Anyway LB,...again, thank you for writing back.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Patton 
Date:   2005-10-05 20:13:10

God, you Navy types are worthless.

Join the Army and do something productive.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-10-06 15:20:04

Excellent Flyboy.

I can damn sure tell you that when I was flying close air support for the Army during 2 tours to Vietnam in a F-4 Phantom, that the Army certainly did not think that our efforts to save their butts from being overrun sucked.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-10-07 10:06:29


I have never really understood the division between our armed forces, in a true sense. I have never served but three of my siblings have, for more than one tour. One is still serving. He was just awarded a Purple Heart. I couldn't be prouder of all of them.

They were/are all Army.

Full disclosure: A neighbor and a friend of mine flies off the The Abe. Great guy. I have two great friends who are Marines.

I get the healthy rivalry and barbed comments meant in fun at each of the armed services. Jar Heads vs. Squids vs. Airedales...etc. etc.... That is normal, and fosters pride in one's own service.

Is that all it is? I sure appears to be and I hope so. But guys in the service (I decline to say which service) I talk to take it to extremes.

From this civilian pukes' point of view: I just feel that if the members of all the services are willing to die for our country, or perhaps more to the point - make the other poor bastard die for his country - that fact alone would make you all roughly equal. I mean, you are all serving. You have all agreed, with pride, to make the ultimate sacrifice for your country.

I would count that as all the common ground one would need to get along.

True, some are closer to the pointed end than others, and I know, even within the same service (see above) that it is never one big happy family but...well, you are all in uniform, doing the job.

Besides - Airpower has never, and will never, win a war. The guys in the weeds do that. But (see above) they need support. The Navy is great at carrying the big stick and if you need a strategic target hit, send in the Spirts. Symbiotic relationship.

Is it just a simple matter or learned behavior?

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-10-07 12:44:54

Trust me R. Middlemas, this Patton guy is just an idjit. The service members are a band of brothers. This guy is an outsider, a wanna be. Spreading the allusion of hate and discontent amongst the services that simply does not exist. When you are in a fight, you don't care what the uniform is that is helping you. The services depend upon mutual support and cross train. Each service has special and unique training and tools that contributes to the success of the effort. All are interdependent upon the other.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-10-14 16:24:14

Pretty cool story LB, thanks. Makes sense to me. You only learn by your mistakes.

Like I have always said, Randy had to have been one damn fine pilot. Whatever people say about him now and with his current troubles, he should be proud of at least that. I am sure he is though.

To me (someone who has never flown but loves jets and the stories just the same) to even be able to fly, let alone excel at flying a beast like the F-4...man, what a rush. Paul has stated that he flew the F-4 and you flew as a RIO. I have nothing but respect for the skills necessary to do such a thing....that goes for Randy as well. The father of a college friend of mine used to fly A-4's in Vietnam. Him and I would stay up for hours talking about it. He would never get tired of my questions... His son always got bored with it and went to bed. Not me.

You guys who have flown those planes on actual missions...you have no idea how big a thing that is to people like me. For me, in this context, I have great respect and admiration.

Hope the wedding went well for you LB.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-10-14 17:24:51

LB, as you know, many of us nuggets saw that red ball on CQ. We were in most cases, scared out of our wits, but would never admit it - forzen at the controls rings a bell.

When I went stupid, and me, the RIO and F-4 lived through the landing, I too was parked. The LSO almost dragged me into the Island. On the CQ ship, the Saratoga, there was a small void about 6' x 8', in the the island structure. He invited me in and he closed and dogged the hatch. And then I picked myself up off the deck. He said that if I ever did that to him, if I did not imediately resond to a power call, he would beat me half to death. He was about 6'4" and 230 and I was about 5'10" and 185. No contest! I never had another incident in over 350 carrier landings.

What we had was a failure to communicate and this guy settled the problem.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-10-16 09:35:20

Amen, brother. These deathly experiences were the fire that hardened our steel. Our success, living, was the oil that quenched us.

The unknowing believe that for the Vietnam Naval Aviator that our missions to "pigpen" or "bull’s-eye" or to the bridges or to some useless target that the NVA had surrounded with meg flack traps and SAM sites, etc. were what was tough . . . and they were. But they were nothing like a bad night in the Gulf, "awake in excess of 30 some hours" trying to manually fly that damn ball with under 1,200 or a 1,000 pounds of gas, an RIO hyperventilating on the ICS and you just pure scared shi&%(@@." I never looked down a guy who tossed his wings, after carp like that.

Often was the night, after getting back on-board, that I could not light a cigarette I was shaking so badly. One night, I had just come in-board, shaking like a leaf, trying to light up and could not. An EM walked by, took the cigarette out of my mouth, lit it and put it back in my mouth . . . he never said a word. As he walked away, I said, "Thank you, bless you."

The amazing thing was that so many of us went right back out the next day and night, many times for another double cycle or “double bubble” and did it again. I sincerely believe that many who died did so as a result of a heart attack or stroke. That flying was perilous, that is why they had/have young guys doing it.

Another thing I noted, and only to myself, were that the guys that bought it, I considered more talented than me. I would never, of course admit it, but I certainly pondered in my dark stateroom away from the world, that I had best be diligent because if "he could get it" it could sneak up on anyone. I was also amazed by people dying doing something that I had done and I lived through it.

As for my observations on Randy, I am not surprised about what happened, to be a risk taker was the essence of being a fighter pilot. But to step over the line between legal and illegal is against the Code. I have carried the honor code from the Academy my whole life, it is my touch stone . . . "If you do it, you got to go."

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-11-28 22:12:12

gb - Willie (your Bill) has and will stay quiet about this entire matter. No doubt he is in shock and pain right now. Anyway, what could he add . . .

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: J Pcok 
Date:   2005-11-29 01:56:08

After reading some "factoids" about Randy's leadership ratings I get the sense that he was sort of put into office by some special interest groups in need of the perfect politician. That is if you are a special interest that sees an asset in a House member who will put only put out legislation covering hot button emotional issues on his own that go with his patriotic war-hero backround as a smoke screen for economic legislation written by the kind folks at the various special interest groups.

Pure Speculation from top to bottom, but it does seem to fit nicely. Cunningham was just along for the ride and thought friends in high places giving him all this stuff would have the clout to keep him out of any trouble. Gee, it's real close to how he was passed through in his Navy career. He was used by them and that put him a particular category. As a well funded Special Interest group it would seem wise to hire very intelligent folks to develop a database of people fitting a certain profile to achieve very favorable economic gain in the process.

Wow, it's like the Manchurian candidate.

Don't get me wrong, I don't create victims out of folks who commit criminal acts. I'm just following some semi-logical paths here. Cunningham was man enough to fly an F4 and shoot down Migs so it follows that he could be man enough to know what a questionable free ride looks like.

Also, Jarhead, Grunt, Squid, and Fly Boy are terms of endearment between the different services. I was an Army 7th ID Light Infantry Grunt. If I personally know someone that was a marine or sailor I can usually call them a Jarhead or a Squid. If they are in uniform or I don't know them then it is bad form and can get your A@@ kicked. The rivalry is not a bad thing, really. It exists down to a pretty surprising level. 1st Squad is better than 2nd Squad. 1st Platoon is Better than 3rd Herd. Charlie Company is better than Alpha Company, and so on up the OOB and on to the different services. We all make fun of the Coast Guard. Until we need them.


 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-11-29 02:03:00

I am one of the Navy F-4 drivers - that knows Randy, knew him then, was in a different squadron, different air group, different ship - who believe that THEY ran out of gas. Both crew members run out of gas, not just the stick. If the guy in the back can get credits for kills, he damn sure can also get credit for running the a/c out of gas. During that 3-kill engagement, THEY never went to the tanker for fuel between engagements. They topped off internal after launch, as we all did, but never went back for more gas. Sorry gb, the F-4 simply did not have those kind of legs. It had 15-minutes of fuel under 20,000 feet in burner. Those engagements were all in afterburner.

Willie, nor Randy, would ever say anything other than that they had been shot down. No reason to change the story.

Would I and every red blooded American Navy fighter pilot that I know/knew have ran out of gas to get that 3rd MiG that day, and achieve Ace status . . . ? In a f—-ing New York minute!

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: chuck 
Date:   2005-11-29 06:44:05

How did this guy ever make it through flight school...he seem incapable of stringing words together in coherant sentences.

Were the acedemic standards really that low in the mid 60s?

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: R. Middlemas 
Date:   2005-11-29 11:14:22

To GB: Thanks for the kind words. I surely do try...
And thank you for correcting me. What you said is more to the point of what I meant to say. God knows, I have repeatedly learned from other's mistakes.

As you say, it would do well for all of us to remember that.

I have not illusions, however to the grand theme. Stupid is as stupid does...and truly their are fools in the world.

That being the case, here's to making all of our own little corners of it a bit better.

LB and Paul: Glad to see the debate is alive and well. Not meaning any offence to either of you as I cannot comment to your subjects at hand.


This whole sad deal with Randy...and it is sad...What could have been accomplished with his record and image...and pissed away.

I know that in other posts as well as this one...I have treated Randy perhaps a bit unfairly...and surely unkindly. The reason for this, I now know is that I felt he wronged me. Not only myself but the other good people (yes, BOTH red and blue) that believed in him, and what he stands/stood? for. The belief in this country and of that of it's heroes. It got me thinking...What is a country? At it's most basic it is the Randy's and the Paul's and the LB's and the GB's and the Dan’s....doing what we do. I know that all of you - in a heartbeat - would stand firm, together, if a ghastly set of circumstances arose. This I do not doubt.

When I think in those terms, I am heartened.

I have no doubt Randy loves his country. It's just too bad that he didn't feel the need to agree with all of what makes a country great.

 More Cunningham as pilot discussion
Author: Dan Anderson 
Date:   2005-11-29 12:06:10

More discussion on Cunningham, the possibility of running out of gas, and other pilot-related stuff is at the
PPRuNE Forum (Pro. Pilots Rumour Network)
(under category "Other Aircrew Forums >> Military Aircrew)

Also at "Glock Talk"

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-11-29 16:28:38

LB you are on drugs? "pull back on the throttles as you climb to zero airspeed at the top of the circle where MiGs cant climb to . . " I can assure you that every MiG that we engaged - at the altitudes that we engaged them - climbed with us very nicely. They had the pretty good command of the vertical below 25M right there with the F-4, as Cunningham very well states in his book. Most MiG engagements in Vietnam were below 18,000. They were not up there at 40,000 feet.

With the F-8 they had some problems . . . but only because the 'gator could do a good job of turning with them in the climb - vertical rolling scissors. The F-4 only went up with the MiG, because it could not turn with the MiG. "Pull back on the throttles . . . ?” When any F-4 stick got slow with a MiG he was dead. You kept up your energy for no other reason than to make it easier to disengage from the MiG, unload and run like hell. I can assure you that we used the full range of burner through out the engagement with a MiG-17.

I gather from your defense that you were an RIO. Well, as for the RIO, hey the crew concept, "one for all, all for one." What you should be able to tell is my background is not a distain for RIOs, but before F-4s I did a tour in F-8s. Last of the true 1-man, manual fly, gun fighters. If RIOs are able to claim carrier landings, be able to fire missiles from the back seat, claim kills and be - due to seniority - the "mission commander" then pal, they get their ticket punched too for the screw-ups that take place. I knew and know some great, simply exquisite RIOs . . . then again.

As for what RIOs think of pilots, absolutely! Why anyone would ever climb into a rear cockpit, no flight controls, with a nut up front, I never could figure out.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-11-29 17:33:41

Actually there were not any a/c around when they went down. They were all alone. RESCAP arrived later, after they did that "barrel roll thingie out over the Gulf . . . right!"

Don't know what they told the kids in training, but I'll tell you one scene that I saw in the war . . . gets some popcorn. There I was sitting in RR #6 with a bunch of guys watching a rerun of the previous recovery. This was a great recovery, our squadron had engaged some -17s and popped one. Well, the wingman lands . . . and this is this story. The camera follows him to his parking spot, thinking that he was the shooter . . . again, he was not. Anyway, they park him up on cat 2 and shut him down. The RIO gets out slides down on the wing and on to the deck and checks the tie downs and signal "thumbs-up." The pilot climbs down and the RIO says something to him, and the pilot takes off his helmet to hear what the RIO said . . . with that removal of the helmet, right there on TV the RIO knocks the pilot on his @!#$. Like I say, I was watching a rerun of the recovery, because I was that pilot seeing myself get knocked on his @!#$. Me and that RIO never had another problem, and I never got slow again. I also never took off my helmet on the flight deck ever again!

It seems that I had pulled your zoom, and for whatever reason taken it out of burner and got slower than s—t, the airspeed got down to somewhere just above rudder kick over - 175 kts. With that the MiG wing man took his shot and almost shot our asses down.

I had a deal with my RIOs, I never got below 400 Kts on Yankee station, except on the ball and in the night bolter pattern. I had broken that deal.

Now I do not know what they taught in those fancy peace time schools in Fallon etc. where they could "stop" the exercise, but I know that if you got slow in combat you were dead or your RIO should have been punching your freekin lights out.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: gb 
Date:   2005-11-29 17:58:23

This is off the subject LB, but it does have to do with a government injustice I feel.

I think you mentioned you're seeking nursing care for mother. I used to work in a nursing care facility. While there, I saw many people lose everything because most of us naturally assume Medicare will foot the bill - which by and large it actually does not.

I saw a number of patients lose everything they worked their whole life for and then shipped off to a lesser facility. I wanted to at least get the word out because I felt this was an injustice.

As a result I started helping people plan for those situations - as difficult as it is to think or talk about. Like I was suggesting, it's better to let other people make the mistakes for you. And for us to learn from them.

If you want some free, general advice on the matter or if you have any questions let me know. I'd be happy to try and help if you feel it may be of any benefit to you and/or your mother.

My email is gbreuder@yahoo.com

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-11-30 00:35:29

Indeed! It kept you out of the Hilton and from getting punched out by your RIO! I am a believer in the "speed of heat" principle.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-11-30 05:55:54

Chuck, that has been said about him for years. Read Vistica's book and what VADM Jack Ready had to say about him when Ready was C.O. of Top Gun and Cunningham was an instructor.

How did he get through flight training and into the front seat of the Phantom? Because he could fly an a/c! They were looking for killers then, not English majors.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Jamie Reno - Newsweek 
Date:   2005-12-01 13:17:50

My name is Jamie Reno, with Newsweek magazine. I'm interested in talking to anyone who served with Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Please contact me at your earlierst convenience. Thanks very much, and cheers.


Jamie Reno

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Phil Karn 
Date:   2005-12-01 14:43:25

Larry, I don't think you need to worry. While I've never thought much
of the military as an institution, and I'm glad I never had to be in
it, I don't think Duke represents "all that's wrong with the
military". And I don't think that many others will blame the military
for him either.

Duke •does• represent all that's wrong with the
military-industrial-CONGRESSIONAL complex (as Ike originally wanted to
call it.)

The military is just a tool that can be used for either good or
evil. It can be a last resort to defend our own country against
attack. It can be part of a collective defense to protect our friends
against aggression. Or, as we've seen all too often in the past few
decades, it can be cynically abused to amass enormous, untoward
political and economic power, not to mention enormous personal wealth
for policymakers and their friends. We saw this in the Cold
War and in Vietnam, and now we're seeing it in Iraq on an
unprecedented scale.

While Duke should get everything that's coming to him, he is also the
product of a corrupt system that breeds countless people just like
him. He was merely the first to be caught thanks to his incredible

I can only hope that Duke's guilty plea represents the beginning of
the end of the whole rotten, stinking Republican war machine that has
done so much damage to our country and to the world. If the
prosecutors are smart, they'll put him on suicide watch and ensure he
is well protected from those he will now expose.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-12-04 14:21:00

LB - read this account and get that "stay out of burner and get slow on top @!#$ out of your RIO head." http://www.acepilots.com/vietnam/cunningham.html

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Phil 
Date:   2005-12-04 16:02:01

As a former USCG SAR Controller, I appreciate the comments about intra-and inter-service rivalries, especially, "We all make fun of the Coast Guard. Until we need them. "

As a news editor for a Great Metropolitan Radio Station (KIRO-AM, Seattle), I doubt the Navy's image will be tarnished by Randy Cunningham's guilty plea.

I don't hear reporters in our shop (or real people on the street, for that matter) connecting Cunningham's criminal behavior as a Member of Congress with his Navy service. What I am hearing is stuff like, "How could a guy who showed bravery under fire stoop to sh— like this?"

Most of our society has finally decided to respect Vietnam veterans, despite that war's divisiveness. Even aging folks from the Loony Left who spat on returning service members (including Coasties) during the 60s and 70s have figured out that it's no longer PC to chant "Baby killer!" when a Vietnam vet decides to run for public office.

Investigative reporters are no doubt searching Cunningham's personal history for evidence of character flaws, and I'll be surprised if they don't find some (duh) — maybe some of it in his Navy career. And we'll no doubt see exposes of the cozy relationships between lobbyists and Members of Congress.

But having said that, I respect the man's service as a warrior. I believe that Congress — not the Navy — is the institution that needs to start worrying about its image.


 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-12-04 16:29:29

Well said, Phil . . . .

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-12-06 12:33:40

You Skyhawk Assn type of guy!

Cunningham made a lot of enemies. And it all has come back to roost.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: LouieDuck 
Date:   2005-12-07 08:41:45

"You Skyhawk Assn type of guy!"

Aye. Still, I think most Americans will mold their thinking of Navy pilots to the McCain image (A-4s, also VA-163) and not the puffy Cunningham visage.

Nothing against two-seat plane jocks, but we single seat guys willingly and necessarily take all the credit — and all the blame — for our actions.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: Paul 
Date:   2005-12-07 10:01:50

My first tour was F-8s . . . I was forced into F-4s. So I embrace everything that you say.

 Re: For Whom The Gods Would Destroy . . . .
Author: the phantom 
Date:   2006-01-09 18:04:49

where is my post?

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