We perish because we know not… #TLENews
Sen. John McCain was applauded in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday morning when he ripped into protesters of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger by calling them “low-life scum.”
“I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” said McCain, R-Ariz.
The protesters were part of the anti-war group CodePink. They rushed up behind Kissinger as he arrived along with two other former secretaries of state, Madeleine Albright and George Shultz, for a hearing on U.S. national security strategy.
The protesters held up signs calling Kissinger a criminal and chanted “arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes.” The disruption lasted about two minutes.
Kissinger, who was President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state during the Vietnam War, didn’t acknowledge the protesters, who again interrupted him later in the hearing before his opening statement. The protesters referenced the secret U.S. bombing campaign in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, and other Nixon-era actions he was involved in.
“Dr. Kissinger, I hope on behalf of all of the members of this committee on both sides of the aisle — in fact, from all of my colleagues, I’d like to apologize for allowing such disgraceful behavior towards a man who served his country with the greatest distinction,” McCain said. “I apologize profusely.”
McCain, who served in Vietnam, has a personal connection to Kissinger and brought it up shortly after the protesters left. While McCain was imprisoned in Hanoi during the Vietnam War, Kissinger is said to have refused an offer to bring McCain home with him during final talks to end the war. As McCain tells it, Kissinger said he would be brought home in the same order as the other prisoners, knowing that to do otherwise would imply favoritism (McCain’s father was a four-star admiral in the Navy).
Tampa Bay Times