July 2nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain had advance knowledge of Colombian raid

ON BOARD THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN PLANE, En route to Mexico City (CNN) - After a scheduled meeting between John McCain and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday, the presumptive Republican nominee was briefed on the upcoming hostage rescue raid carried out Wednesday.

As he left Colombia Wednesday afternoon, McCain learned that raid had been successfully completed, and congratulated Uribe by phone.

Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, both traveling with McCain, were also briefed. Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders.

UPDATE: John McCain released a statement on the operation later Wednesday afternoon. (Full statement after the jump)

“Today, I spoke by phone to President Uribe. He told me some of the details of the dramatic rescue of the people who were held hostage. Three Americans are now free and Ingrid Betancourt is now in good condition. I’m pleased with the success of this very high-risk operation. Sometimes in the past, the FARC has killed the hostages rather than let them be rescued.

“So I congratulate President Uribe, the military and the nation of Colombia. It is great news. Now we must renew our efforts to free all of the other innocent people held hostage. With regard to the three Americans and Ingrid Betancourt - they had been held many years, as many as six years.

“Last night, President Uribe and the defense minister did brief us that the operation was going to take place today.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Listen Up...

    Huh? Everytime I hear those words, McCain and Lieberman, I get the creeps. Eeek!

    July 2, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. DeniseGA

    Puh-leeze! Now I guess he is going to try and gain credit for their release! They briefed him, because he was going to be there, today!

    July 2, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. No McBush

    They knew the old man just needed extra time to run.

    July 2, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Caryn, WDC

    Why in the hell is McCain in Colombia? We don't have enough problems in the US with the declining dollar, war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and soon Iran that he needs to be out of the country? UNBELIEVABLE.

    July 2, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Charlotte

    Good thing they didn't tell Obama, he might have wanted to bump fists sit down and talk, until it was too late to get the job done.

    July 2, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Frank, San Diego

    I guess that McCain has the support of Columbia's government. Just the kind of endorsement that he needs.

    July 2, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Jdugement over experience

    I don't think it sits too well that mccain is this close to the Colombians, as a matter of fact, that's dangerous.

    July 2, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Ardnuas

    McCain is just like George Bush..... we can't believe ANYTHING this man says. McCain is ERRATIC and HOTHEADED. He WILL start a war in Iran in 2009.

    July 2, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Loretta from California

    I HAVE ONE QUESTION: Why didn't the Columbian Government attempt a rescue before Senator McCain's arrival?

    FARC HAS HAD THESES HOSTAGES FOR YEARS….and the Columbian Government decides to act now.? When Senator McCain just so happens to be there?

    They really want that Free Trade Agreement, Don't they?

    THIS LOOKS SO STAGED!!!

    July 2, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. al

    *********************************************

    LIEBERMANN YOU'RE A FOOL. HE JUST TOLD EM BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE.

    July 2, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. JOYCE

    THIS GOES TO PROVE HOW DIRTY POLITICS ARE PLAYED OUT
    TO IMFORM ONE NOMINEE AND NOT THE OTHER. IS NOT RIGHT AND WILL ONLY HURT THE REPUBLICANS/

    SHAME ON THEM

    July 2, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Snake Belly John

    More like a vote of confidence from George Bush. McCain is NOT the president, and will never be if I have anything to do with it. I knew there was something suspicious about him flying off to Columbia.

    What a snake. He's getting phony publicity off of my tax dollars when he does not have my permission to use it. He also will NEVER get my vote, the snake…..ssssssssssss.

    July 2, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Republican for Obama

    An entire state within our OWN country, Liebermans OWN state, signals a vote of confidence for Obama.

    Pretty sad when you have to depend on other countries to gain confidence. But that's usually the case, those that are inept, must go further out to find those not familiar with their incompetence.

    July 2, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Marc PDX

    Obama, to the contrary, will never know what on earth is going on in the rest of the world if he gets elected president. Every day will be a brand new surprise in the world of "Change you can believe in".

    A naive president for a naive nation...

    NObama N'08

    July 2, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Rachel

    Hey John,

    While you're in Columbia, just stay down there and retire.

    Obama 08

    July 2, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    I do NOT believe that John McCain was briefed before the raid! The raid took place today Wednesday, and John McCain was briefed TODAY, IT WAS SHEER COINCIDENCE! Unless he is now trading prisoners for FREE TRADE?

    This President Uribe is the very same one who paid MARK PENN $300,000 dollars to broker a COLOMBIAN FREE TRADE DEAL. In my opinion McCain was in COLOMBIA relating to the VERY SAME FREE TRADE DEAL! This man is going to try to play on this coincidence for all that it is worth. SOMETHING FISHY IS REALLY GOING ON HERE!

    I hope that Americans DO NOT FORGET why McCain was in COLOMBIA!

    July 2, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Travis (in the real world)

    I'm sure the photo-op will show pictures of McWar with combat gear on and telling the world how he was THE MAJOR player in the release of the prisioners.

    July 2, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Women for Obama

    The old man needed a head start, didn't he?

    July 2, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Frantz (Atlanta)

    Talk about political posturing? Lieberm and McCain have no shame.

    July 2, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Congratulations Mr President !

    July 2, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Rachel

    What position is lieberman looking for in a McCain administration?

    July 2, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Marc PDX

    CNN Headline Two Years From Now (when Obama is our commander in chief):

    Sucker Nation Gets Sucker Punched (Again)...
    ... Terrorists strike nation after reversal of homeland security laws...
    ... Obama blames Bush...
    ... calls for more Hope and Change...

    If it wasn't so sad it would be funny...

    NObama N'08

    July 2, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. David Goldman

    ALL THOSE PHOTO OPS IN THE WORLD WILL NOT MAKE

    MCINSANE A LEADER OF ANYONE BUT THE

    MENTALLY CHALLENGED & THE HATEFUL.

    HE IS NOTHING BUT AN IGNORANT ANGRY OLD BIGOT.

    July 2, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Linda31

    Liberman needs to shut his face. How about the Columbia gov needed to make sure that McCain was not in the way.....

    Liberman trys to grab at anything, disgusting!

    July 2, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Pam

    Sounds like it was staged for McCain's benefit.

    July 2, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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