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. Mrs.L

    No not a vote of confidence by foreign leaders but a signal that he is in bed with and scratching their backs as he tallies up for future favors.
    Please give the American people more credit than this. We all know what the truth is.
    So many of us (GOP) choose to turn and look away.

    OBAMA 08,12

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

    Of course! Isn't that special. It just happened. On this day no less. The administration and the media will stop taking the American people for fools, when we stop acting like fools and buying (without question) everything they say as fact.

    July 2, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. ike

    Mccain will be a foreign Secretary for the Obama administration.
    Afterall, he knows nothing about the economy and domestic issues.
    He is well qualified for a foreign secretary.

    July 2, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. LIES!!!!

    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.............What a Liar....... .....Old HOG JAW!!!

    July 2, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. caliguy55

    Lieberman has a screw loose. McCain's so-called campaign is getting downright disgusting. How anyone could vote for this Bush clone (wait - I may be insulting Bush, if that's possible). A "vote of confidence by foreign leaders", I think not. More like a telephone call arranged by McCain's upended campaign to make him look like he has some modicum of intelligence.

    July 2, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Republican for change

    Lieberman should STFU. Haha.

    He wants to start a war with Iran so bad, he knows that he can count on the only candidate who have NOOO understanding whatsoever on the U.S. Economy.

    The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 NOT because of a lack of Millitary Might but because of the Economy.

    It's the Economy Stupid!

    July 2, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. nice

    Obama said McCain going to Columbia is a bad thing yet he didnt even know why McCain was going there. We will never know how much of a roll McCain played in setting them free but i dont think after 5 years they just happend to be set free while McCain was down there...Hmmmm McCain goes down there and they are now free...Thats why im going McCain 08

    July 2, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Pat Riot

    Bravo! Getting our service men and women out of harms way without!

    July 2, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Just how advanced was McCain's knowledge of the rescue attempt. Was that the real reason he went to Mexico, while uses free trade as a cover? Had he been briefed some time ago by the White House. After the incorrect information given by the White House and Republicans, I'm suspicious of any and all information coming from Republicans.

    July 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Sam M.

    Yes, they're confident he's too addled and stupefied to take any notice of what they're doing.

    July 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. case

    Bush and the GOP and McCain has been keeping war going on in Colombia for the last 70 years. The worlds longest Civil War. We need better policy.

    Idependent for Obama

    July 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    I'll bet the house that McCain knew about this BEFORE he headed to Colombia. The Bush camp probably planned this all out so McCain would get some press! Don't trust the Republicans!!!
    Obama '08

    July 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. HereWeGo

    so what, that isn't going to bring the price of gas down or put food on our tables, or give us jobs, or give us health insurance. nice try. The US has the military operation thing down, now we need to get the rest of our affairs in order, you know that stuff that REALLY matters right now????? Hello? I do not hear a response at the end of that red phone. WHERE'S the beef?????

    July 2, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. JCB

    Yes, he does have more experience with foreign leaders, and he will have their respect from the onset. OB would have to earn their respect.

    July 2, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. Tom H

    Lieberman has beome the biggest flake in US politics. What a hack !

    July 2, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. mitchell hussein martin

    they told you in advance because you were visiting diplomats,nothing more,lieberman.if this had gone down without your knowledge,you would have been upset with the colombian government.quit trying to spin everything to your republican buddy.have you seen your approval ratings ,recently,mr. lieberman?your loyalty to sen. mccain will be your final undoing in american politics.you should move to israel!

    July 2, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Ian DaCosta

    Is Lieberman delusional or just plain old blind. You have a republican administration giving the republican candidate opportunities to conduct quasi foerign politricks. Do you not think that people will see through this? Simply infantile.

    July 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |

    Yea, let's all get behind Senator Loserman and Senator Graham as foreign policy advisors. McCain and these 2 clowns running around the world, god help us if this old hack gets elected.

    July 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Keep It Real

    Lieberman is the ventrilquist while McCain sits on his knee as the strings make his mouth open and shut. LOL To bad we need an individual of integrity and not a carnival side show act to uplift our country from the crooks, thieves, liars and thugs of this world (of which Uribe qualifies as such in his own country).

    July 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Kathy

    This DOES demonstrate that leaders of other countries have confidence in McCain.

    I can't imagine that Obama would have been "briefed" about an upcoming military operation by a foreign governement. I doubt they would trust him to keep that information to himself.

    McCain is mature and ready to take on the role of president from the start. Can't say the same thing about Obama.

    July 2, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. xddy4u

    Thia BS won't fly. The GOP machine won't stop at nothing to portray their man as the man of security. What did it cost the US for this jive azz show? Remember Carter and the hostages, how the GOP had them withheld until after the election of Reagan. The GOP is one LOW DOWN part. They are worst than the Mafia.

    July 2, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. Walt, Belton,TX

    Good thing they didn't brief Obama, never know who would have been in on it!

    July 2, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. kemp

    What a coincidence....

    July 2, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Lorna, NY

    (Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders). John McCain will take all the credit for this rescue. He is shameless!

    July 2, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. lightbulb

    Wow, a vote of confidence by foreign leaders...according to Joe Lieberman's opinion anyway. Are we supposed to be impressed by that statement? Under the circumstances I think Uribe would have said the same things to any US government reprsentative. House or Senate member, just a common courtesy, not any great endorsement that's for sure. When are politicians going to wake up and realize that we citizens are not as stupid as they would like to believe. It's time for them to start being honest and try to help solve some of the serious problems facing our country, and dump the posturing. It galls me that neither party will address the serious consequences of the damage being done by drug addiction in this country. We hold the number one spot for drug crimes in the world, and it costs us dearly. Yet no one wants to dig in and get the job done. If I were a candidate for the highest office in the land I'd propse that we take our troops out of Iraq, supplement the troops in Afghanistan with half of them, and put the other half to work in Drug Enforcement. I'll bet those special forces guys could do a bang up job cleaning out some of the trash responsible for doping our people.

    July 2, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10