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. Swede Against McSame

    Just shows that McCain is also a political opportunist which is what he accuses Obama of. Hope you Americans get it right this time!

    July 2, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Earl

    Are my eyes deceiving me?....Is Lieberman there to correct any mis-speaks McWar might make?

    Seems he's really trying to be McSame's VP....and both wearing ballcaps...Lieberman's cap say's "Dunce"

    So when George declares was on Iran, won't Lieberman look like a great politician. Isn't that his homeland?....hmmm the plans are in place.

    "Grumpy old Men" sound close?

    July 2, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. mike caroline co. va

    bush will probably let minibush bring home the three americans so he looks like a hero. ancient republican campaign stratagy.

    July 2, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    Of course McCain is liked by the Colombian government. He wants to sign the free trade deal that would send more American jobs south of the border.

    July 2, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. JT

    I wonder if the Colomians really made the grab? It wouldnt suprise me if they gave the go ahead to some black ops from the UN or US. Maybe signs that things are changing for the good in that country. If they really did then my hats off to the columbians for their HRT(Hostage Rescue Team).

    July 2, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Ben, I feel you. Especially when you're one of the first 10 or so in and you have written absolutely nothing that is in anyway inciteful or inflammatory.

    I'm sure, Joe, that since you all were briefed, that all of you are trusted by foreign leaders.
    OR, it could be that the US is funding anti-drug operations down there and they want to continue that flow of money.

    And, they want to show some appreciation to their lobbyists who help run Sen. McCain's campaign, and to ensure they continue to lobby for the Colombians.

    Oh yeah, this goes for Mark Penn too.

    July 2, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. A nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I don't know if it is just me or what but I can't stand to listen to or look at Mrs. Obama. She scares me, she really does. I bet they sell a lot of Halloween masks with her face. Whew.....

    And obama is two faced. i can't believe his flip flop of positions.

    this guy has no scruples or values. He should never have been the candidate. He was put there by howard Dean and the DNC.

    Hillary won the electoral votes and could have had a cake walk to the presidency but no we have to have someone who doesn't share our values running. I hope he loses and loses big.

    July 2, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    ben, i've been awaiting moderation since my very first post, and i have no idea why!

    July 2, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. MM

    I am very happy about the release of the Columbian prisoners. We should be told more news about the release, about who captured them, about the # of people captured in Columbia, etc. Who really cares that McCain knew the day before - it is not like he planned it or had anything to do with its implementation of the release. He was visiting, he met w/Columbia president who told him. So what. Says nothing at all about his character.

    July 2, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Sacto Joe

    No, what it signals is a "lock" by the Republicans on the machinery of government! And that is a very dangerous thing.

    July 2, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Republican for change

    Brian, it's a total stage show. You can see it from 2500 miles away.

    Playing the usual Hero card.

    Because he has no solutions on the Economic Front other than a carbon copy of W's old plans.

    July 2, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. James, Redlands, CA

    Of course he had knowledge. His right hand man advisor Black is a lobbiest who has recieved over a million dallors in fees from Occidental Oil to push the Columbian Free Trade Agreement. A company allegedly responsible for the annialation of an entire villiage and all of its inhabitants.

    Republicans don't be naive. This is not a trip to promote free trade.

    This is a trip to ensure the Columbians that thier money is well spent and they will get what they want from the US.

    So much for the Straight Talk Express. We're being had again (Haliburton, KBR)

    July 2, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. not important

    And to think. McCains economic advisor is Phil Gramm.

    July 2, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Happy $4.00 Holiday

    Dear John,

    Just wanted to wish you and your oil buddy a Happy 4 Dollar A Gallon Holiday.

    See you in November.

    July 2, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Alice in Florida

    Comments were closed for the other article, so I'll post here:

    I think their (the Japanese commercial's) only problem was that they had the wrong animal behind the podium – it should have been a skunk like Barack – black and white and stinks up everything

    Showing Barack as a monkey is an insult to monkeys


    July 2, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. VM

    I can't believe he's trying to milk this incident for it's political use to John McCain. Disgusting!!!

    July 2, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Marcus B

    Great photo-op McCain! Considering thr fact that Pres. Bush knew about the mission, I think McCain took this trip not to push free trade, but to parasitically attach himself to the positive press coverage. I hope Americans see right through this mess.

    OBAMA/SEBELIUS 2008-2016

    July 2, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. tim, boston

    trying to repeat the treasonous stunt by the senile liar, reagan?

    insane shameless mccain is desperate, obviously.

    July 2, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. Yeah, I said it


    July 2, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Annie

    McCain already being treated like a President

    July 2, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. Kaci

    Lieberman, nee Benedict Arnold. It signals nothing. McCain's "goodwill tour" to all of these foreign countries tells us the obvious – he has no plan for the American people. So let's feign leadership by hopping a plane to all these other countries with tweedle dumb and .... come on, the American people are smarter than that. Besides, once Colin Powell comes out and endorses Obama, McCain is toast.

    July 2, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. tim, boston

    i bet this dirty trick was karl rove's idea.

    the US has screwed nicaragua and other central american countries over and over and over and over again.

    columbia is the last bastion of our bastards.

    good luck with that, mcshame!

    July 2, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Rich In Seattle

    So can Lieberman honestly say that if Obama was in Columbia he wouldn't have been briefed as well? The desperation of the McCain camp is pretty darn funny if it wasn't so darn sad.

    July 2, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Mark

    McCain is the more qualified candidate. At least we know where he stands on the issues. Obama will say anything to get elected.

    July 2, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Enderlyn from Toronto

    Oh! Give me a break. Do the McCain camp need to spin every story? or do they think the American people are not informed? Gee....

    July 2, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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