July 2nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
13 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. PG in Las Vegas

    Sounds like Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are McSame's lap dogs!

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

    Or standard procedures for traveling diplomats in a country; please. by the way where's the coverage on Tax Evasions. Last time I checked, not paying your Taxes (Federal or State) was illegal. No one's talking about how someone who wants to be President or for that matter is an elected Senator and his house-hold is not paying their Taxes, That's real news, where are the tax lawyer legal analyst to help us understand!

    July 2, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Ian

    Give me a break Joe.

    July 2, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. dew5050

    They ought to brief him after promising to give our jobs away through NAFTA!

    July 2, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |






    July 2, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Maxine

    So did Bush know anything of this or just McCain since he was down there selling American jobs.

    July 2, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Not fooled by distractions

    Of course he knew about it in advance – "confidence by foreign leaders"? Doubtful – more likely it's Charlie Black and his major ties to Columbia.

    July 2, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Ms. Sims

    "Confidence by foreign leaders"....psss smells fishey to me. Isn't it ironic that as soon as McCain goes to Columbia of all places the hostages are released. So how much money did that run ya...McCain?

    July 2, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Saad from NJ

    Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders.

    WHAT???? Leiberman has completely lost it! He has got to change his diet, stop eating fatty food, it's getting to the idiots brain!!

    Because McCain had advance knowledge of this stupid raid proves that he has the vote of confidence of all leaders of the world. Maybe Leiberman thinks that Bush is the president of all the 230 or so countries of the world.

    July 2, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    So, his sidekick President Bush made sure that President Uribe told him.

    July 2, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Jeff Long

    That's because McCain is the man!!!!!!!! Obama had no knowledge because he is not in the loop!!

    July 2, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. T GUY


    July 2, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. JR, Plymouth

    Leiberman grasping at straws...

    July 2, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Paul Sickel

    Hmm, so McCain gets insider knowledge of foreign events. They correlate nicely to his trip... Is this a harbinger of a future OCtober surprise for an election McCain and the GOP cant otherwise win/steal?

    This is truly good news. Still, if Columbia could do this today could they have did it yesterday or some other time? Did they wait for McCain's visit before freeing Betencourt an hostages. I hope the answer is no but knowing the power of the GOP I cant say I would be surprised.

    July 2, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. shaik

    Who cares...why is he spending more tax payers dollars to campaign overseas? Americans are hurting from eight years of utter failure....come down down to planet earth! Joe needs to worry about his own seat in CT and stop sucking up.

    July 2, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Dealt

    Let us hope Presidente Alvaro Uribe wasn't so talkative to anyone who just happened to drop by.

    Obviously McCain is trying to get political dividends from this indiscretion. Since there's nothing else to be gained from the bragging, I can only conclude that Senator McCain is a very vain man.

    I know plenty of people like that. They can't bear not showing they were privy to some situation. Fortunately none of the ones I know are running for the American presidency, so with them it's just a not very likeable trait. No harm done...

    July 2, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. John

    A vote of confidence by foreign leaders...or political pandering to shore up his foreign policy credituals that his campaign hopes it helps him in the polls.

    July 2, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. DJ, LA, CA

    Hmmm...why is Graham and Lieberman with him to promote "free trade" ...or to get $ from Uribe to donate to the RNC? Seems odd that both of McCain's henchmen traveled all the way to Columbia to discuss trade.

    July 2, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Oh Boy!!??

    Can you say Convenient? Oh yeah, "Can you plan a raid while I'm coming and then tell everybody we knew about it all along?"

    Vote of confidence? Please. What amount of pandering got that charade in order?

    July 2, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Donna

    I wonder who has more stock in Chapstick..Liberman or Romney...it could have been more of the fact that he was told because he was meeting with the Colombian President..timing is everything!!!

    July 2, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Fred up north


    July 2, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. James Carville

    I have contributed to the Obama and McCain campaigns. The Obama campaign sends me an e-mail to both my e-mail addresses nearly every day with an update of what is going on, and of course a pitch for more money.

    The McCain campaign sent me their FIRST (and apparently last) e-mail this week. The McCain campaign just does not "get" the Internet or how it can be used to rally your troops, get donations, and affect public opinion. They have a website that is hard to navigate, and once you give them your contact information – that make no use of it whatsoever.

    You cannot do that in this day and age. McCain will lose, not because Obama is better, or because of the "issues", but because Obama is running a better campaign, on all fronts, including the internet.

    July 2, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Phil, FL

    I don't think that at all.

    I think it's more hype from the Bush – er McCain – camp.

    July 2, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Chris in Va.

    How many military "rescues" are carried out in a white and orange rescue helicopter? Aren't stealth and surprise foremost factors in a military raid? It was reported that the Columbian government had offered FARC a deal if they surrendered and returned the hostages unharmed. I submit there was no "raid" by commandos, the rebels had made arrangements to accept the government's deal. The Columbian government, to whom McShame is planning to send more American jobs if elected, infomed him of when the 'transaction" was to take place. although not involved, it would be good PR to get McShame's name included in the story.This is just another case of McShame lying to the American people to make himself seem important, when in fact he is simply a liar.

    July 2, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Syl

    OOoooOOoo.... he got an email about some random hostage rescue in colombia, your acting like he authorized the rescue or something.... it was probably somethin like....."hey John......whats up?......remember that politician that got kidnapped a couple years back?......yea..... they're gna rescue her tomorrow!!... REALLY!?... wow thats crazy!"

    July 2, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10