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. Sharon Minnesota

    President. McCain will be on top of world events in his 8 year term in office. Quiet, but effective. Unlike the Jr. Sen. from Illinois who is all talk and nice smiles.

    July 2, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Bulldog

    I smell a political stunt here. The day McCain arrives in Columbia and this just happens out of nowhere. Something smells fishy here just like Lieberman predicting a terrorist attack in 2009.

    July 2, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Pat Edwards, Kansas City MO

    We now know President Bush knew all about this quiet operation in COLUMBIA to resue hostages (including 3 Americans) and Senator McCain goes to talk to the President before his trip and then goes on to find out "more" once he talks to Pres Urabe. First, am I the only one who thinks this rescue operation at this time was "set up" to make McCain/Bush/the Republicans look good? Don't get me wrong, I am so HAPPY they are rescued, alive and mostly well, without a single shot being fired!!!!! Second, could this mean someone knows where Osama ben Ladan is and will bring capture him in a "timely" manner? I no longer trust...how many more have to die...what are we doing? This rescue shows countries can work together without people dieing. Why can't this happen worldwide?

    July 2, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Ramona E.

    And why are we supposed to care?

    I really hope that McCain's people keep leaking stupid, insignificant stories like this. This kind of crap will put the nail in "McSame's" coffin.

    Goodnight and good luck.

    July 2, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Bulldog

    They have been held hostage for 6 years and the day the McCain just happens to be in Columbia and all of a sudden they are rescued. What are the odds of that happening? There are better odds at winning a state lottery. I believe McCain just as much as I know believe that the Iraq war was not about the oil. This sounds like a planned event to give John McCon a big headline.

    July 2, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Anil Sharma

    I do not agree that this signifies a vote of confidence by foreign leaders. McCain is a respectable senator of USA who is helping Columbia fight the war against drug. So were other senators. All senators were briefed.

    It is a fact that Senator Mccain would be preferred over Senator Obama as a candidate of balanced diplomacy. Senator Obama wins the international relations column any day.

    July 2, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. Nana

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


    Somebody please explain if you dont mind, what is Lieberman talking about?

    July 2, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. laurie, michigan

    Thanks for the laugh....I bet they have confidence. They want the CAFTA bill enacted.

    July 2, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. Carlos

    Let's see... a pro Columbian "candidate" gets secret intel that maybe even President Bush didn't know. Perhaps Bush told McCain a story of a "little birdie told me you should go to Columbian around hmmm... now."

    You have got to be kidding me....

    July 2, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Obama 08

    Lieberman and Graham are ridiculous lemmings. I quess the Colombians do like McBush, he's all for free trade which hurts Americans.

    July 2, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. Rob indetroit

    Bush made sure mccain was briefed, by the colombian's. Another example of republicans putting their own selfish needs ahead of human life. that propaganda move did'nt fool anyone Go Obama08.

    July 2, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Vietnam Vet

    Now lets get on with the rescue of our Americans held hostage in IRAQ by their own government perhaps you can be in on that also.

    July 2, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. Len in Washington

    So now Bush is divulging top secret information to the Presumed Republican Candidate in order to help the campaign. Disgraceful. Just like the rest of Bush's so-called "Presidency."

    Do they really think we're so stupid that we can't figure this out?

    Good Grief....is it November yet?

    July 2, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. tda

    He was only told because he was in the country, it has nothing to do with other world leaders having confidence in him. They would have told ANY high profile american politicians. MEDIA, PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK. THE ONE POLL i WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IS THE ONE REGARDING AMERICANS CONFIDENCE IN OUR OWN NATIONAL MEDIA. IT SUCKS!!!! I HAVE BEEN SPUN TO DEATH! ENOUGH ALREADY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  15. brian

    liberman is a sham..mccain only had a briefing of the operation because he was in the country meeting with their leader...come on...i bet his visit was scheduled for this time for a reason..hint hint

    July 2, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. ED FL

    What a disgrace, Bush Mccain and Cheney left hostages in danger until it might prove an advantage to the most deceitful politician that has come upon the USA since The current administration. Talk about Carter he is a Saint compared to Mc Bush and his Flunkies. Mccain has again shown what a dispicable person and/or group he is heading with his suck up shadow LIE BERMAN. Think about it america this GOP has reached a new low for humanity and its present candidate uses prisoner tactics as a crutch for personal gain. Apparently he learned his lesson and used this Columbia episode for personal gain . GOOD LUCK WITH THIS MANUEVER. NO WONDER WE ARE DISPISED WORLD WIDE BECAUSE OF THIS POLITICAL PARTY.

    July 2, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. Go Barak and Michelle Obama!

    wonder where this is going

    July 2, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. D.C.Mataya

    McCain- what about our economy and jobs here in the USA???

    Lieberman & Graham need to be in our Country doing their jobs as our representatives!!! A couple of real losers!

    July 2, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. An American

    Who cares?

    July 2, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. CT voter

    Lieberman is like his pet chearleader, I'm so anxious to vote him out of there, wow I cannot wait, he just keeps fueling my fire.

    July 2, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. William, Tx

    I foreign government briefed me so make me president or I'll lose my temper.

    July 2, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Firstly, it is a wonderful thing that the hostages were freed. That is the most important thing and we say "thanks be to God".

    Secondly, in my gut of guts felt BEFORE I even saw this headline (came to the website as soon as I watched the news segment), that President Bush had a heads up of this and cued McCain in on it for political reasons. If McCain was given a heads up by the Columbian president, WITHOUT A DOUBT President Bush had to have known too. Smells awfully fishy. Smells like partisan politics at its worst especially at a time when Bush is pushing for a Columbian free trade policy and is using his presidential knowledge to advance the republican candidate.


    July 2, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Robert

    Looks like a clever setup by the McSame campaign and the lobbyist lobbying for Columbian Free Trade.

    July 2, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. pat C.

    i am sure that gave McSAME A RUSH! after all ,that is all he knows. i can not stand anything this man stands for and this is just a show-off to the american public. why is he not at home trying to help us little people fix our domestic problems like.....most of us can't afford to travel on big airplanes, we can't afford gas now to travel to the next town!! this man is so out of touch with reality, i shiver at the thought of him in the whitehouse giving orders that effects the american people in anyway!
    does this man even know we are in a criis? right now i don't care about mexico or columbia, i DO however care about where my next tank of gas is coming from and what i can't pay in order to pay for it!

    July 2, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Griff

    Took the time, to look in on his neighbors... Not just because they were special to him... Mr 'Nice Guy', McCain... Not Mr 'Bitter' Obama...

    July 2, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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