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Editorial

Unacceptable Trump Attacks on Senator McCain

Some things we cannot ignore. Otherwise, we become accomplices.

From the days of Ancient Greece until now the memory of the dead is treated with the greatest possible respect and reverence.

Even if the deceased was unjust, even if he had committed some evil, he remained unassailable.

Political figures were left to the judgement of history.

This philosophy holds true to this day. Criticism of the dead is seen as an improper, even an unethical act, since the dead man cannot defend himself.

When someone attacks and condemns the dead, it does not reflect on the deceased but rather on the accuser.

Over the past few days President Donald Trump has launched one attack after another against the late Sen. John McCain, despite the fact that he died seven months ago.

In repeated tweets and in a speech in Ohio on Thursday, Trump repeated his claims against the dead Senator.

First, that McCain gave the Steele Dossier to the FBI when he was a presidential candidate.

The Steele Dossier containing serious but unproven accusations against Trump.

And, secondly, after the President noted that he had approved the kind of funeral McCain wanted, Trump said that McCain’s family did not say thank you.

But allow me to pause for a moment to offer a brief review of the life of the late senator:

McCain served as a Navy officer for 22 years.

In October 1967, during his 23rd air combat mission over North Vietnam, a missile hit his plane and forced him to evacuate by parachute. He was found unconscious with both hands and one foot broken.

He was imprisoned in the worst prison in North Vietnam, the so-called Hanoi Hilton (now a museum), and was deprived of medical assistance.

Later, as Senator, he spearheaded the passage of the law that normalized the relations between North Vietnam and the United States.

Now, with regard to the dossier:

This file contained explosive information against then-candidate Trump gathered by British spy Christopher Steele, who was the ex head of the Russia section of the British intelligence agency MI6.

The information was very negative, but because it was largely unverified, few media organizations, almost all of them marginal, published them.

When he received the documents, McCain did what every reasonable Senator would do – he submitted the file to the authorities for examination.

Secondly, to be perfectly fair, the family should have offered Trump the customary “thank you” when Trump approved his public funeral expenses.

But that is not something one speaks of in public.

Even when someone outside the family does pay for funeral expenses out of his own pocket, it should not be spoken of.

And certainly not by a U.S. president.

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