Monday, September 29, 2008

veracity of mccain vacation account [from the horse's mouth, folks]

earlier, i posted a disturbing email account about john mccain's allegedly shameful behaviour while on a vacation on turtle island. it was written by a first-hand observer and participant. i contacted the woman who seemed to be responsible for the story. below is the response i received. nothing told in this sordid tale makes me believe any less that it is true. it confirms in my mind the many tales from a wide variety of sources about mccain's unpredictable, explosive, at times completely erratic and inappropriate behaviour in a variety of settings. it's bad enough that this guy is a united states senator; worse still that he is a major party candidate for president. but consider his actions just in the last month or so: palin, suspending his campaign not once but twice so that he could focus even more on his campaign of country first crap, his aversion of looking barack obama in the eyes, and on and on. whether it's post traumatic stress disorder or not, i don't care.
i just know that the man is NOT fit or qualified to be president.
not only that, this whole thing just creeps me out:
he's the uncle you wouldn't want to sit by at holidays.
Little did I think when I forwarded this account to four or five friends on 16 September that I would be identified as the author or receive so many questions. Some of you have clearly received the email without the preface attached. Most simply ask whether this really happened, some praise "my" courage, some angrily accuse me of distortion and lies.
I'm sorry that I did not check the story more carefully before forwarding it. I am paying for my mistake by sending this clarification to every person who contacts me. Here's as much of the truth as I know:
First of all, I did not write the account. Here is the preface as I received and forwarded it:

To: Mary-Kay Gamel Subject: Fwd: MY HOLIDAY WITH JOHN McCAIN
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 11:13:22 -0400
----- Forwarded Message ----From: Kate Marianchild <>Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008
Subject: My Holiday with John McCain: a first-hand account
(Note from Kate: This shocking account was written by Ana Dubey, a friend of my cousin and her husband, who have known Ana for many years. Ana has a PhD in psychology and has a private practice in San Francisco . My cousin's husband went to business school with Ana's husband, who has since started and sold a number of successful companies. Ana's husband is currently a Managing Director of a private equity firm in the Bay Area. Ana and her husband are not political activists and don't have any personal ax to grind. In fact, in writing this account of her experience with John McCain, Ana is acting outside of her own economic self-interest as she and her husband are among the top 3-5% of our population who would benefit from the McCain tax/economic policies. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might vote for John McCain. Also please post it on blogs and send it to newspapers and radio stations.)

I am not Ana Dubey (whose full name, I believe, is Anasuya Dubey, apparently the daughter of a former Indian Consul in San Francisco). I gather that Turtle Island costs $2000/day--I could never afford such a holiday. After the email was further forwarded and people wrote with questions, I wrote to Kate Marianchild.
Here is our exchange:
Dear Ms. Marianchild: I got your email with the shocking story and forwarded it. Some recipients are questioning it. I googled Ana Dubey and got a husband/wife team who run a bakery in Honolulu. Can you assure me that Ana Dubey really is a psychologist in San Francisco?

Yes, I can assure you of that. She is a private person and psychologist. And perhaps you can send this on to your friends:
Dear Friends,
Everyone is asking to talk to Ana Dubey or receive a direct email from her validating the "Holiday with John McCain" story. I emailed Ana and asked her how to handle all the correspondence I was receiving. She didn't reply to me, which is understandable as we have never met and I am sure she is totally besieged with emails right now. I don't feel comfortable forwarding lots of emails to her or giving out her email address.
However, I did forward one email - one I received from Frances Moore Lappe (author of Diet for a Small Planet, Food First, Democracy's Edge, Hope's Edge, Getting a Grip, and etc, and founder of the Small Planet Institute - <> ). Frances (aka Frankie), said she would like to pursue the story by talking to Ana, and that she would distribute it if she were convinced it was authentic.

Here's what I just received from Frankie (Frances) Lappe. If you still have doubts perhaps you can contact Frankie, as she is a more public person than I believe Ana to be.
Kate Marianchild

I just spoke with Ana, who was wonderful.
Sounds like NBC is on it. Sure hope an interview gets aired.
Thank you so much for asking her to call me. I admire Ana very much.
Frances Moore Lappé
Small Planet Institute
25 Mt Auburn St., Suite 203
Cambridge MA 02138
617.441.6300 x 115

I have not contacted Ms. Lappe, and the story is still quite uncertain. As a reader of texts I think it has the ring of truth (especially given McCain's well-documented temper). Some have questioned the idea of McCain shopping and pushing his then no longer infant adopted daughter in a shopping cart, but those could have been references to earlier times. Presumably the holiday took place in December 1999, and some have pointed out that the US was not at war with Iraq then, but bombing raids based on the sanctions were being carried out. The NEW YORKER portrait of Cindy McCain attests that the adoption of Bridget was indeed her idea. And so forth.
There are various sites where the story is being discussed. There is a lot of corroborating information at
I sent an inquiry to; no response yet.

IF POSSIBLE, PLEASE PASS ON MY CLARIFICATION TO ALL WHO MAY HAVE SEEN THE STORY. At some point I will have to stop responding to the flood of emails; I've got work to do!

In sum, the story may be true, but we'll never know unless Ms. Dubey sees fit to come forward at some point. I hope she will. I also hope that all of you know the unquestionably true story of McCain's shameful abandonment of his first wife, which is far more revealing than this anecdote.
Mary-Kay GamelProfessor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and Theater ArtsCowell CollegeUniversity of California, Santa CruzSanta Cruz, California 95064831-459-2381 (office); 831-429-8803 (home)


the mostly reverend said...

now, before y'all start slamming on me, read HERE
[comments and all] as it constitutes an FAQ section.

songbird said...

I have an urgent message about the "My Holiday with John McCain" piece posted on this blog. It includes a message from Frances Moore Lappe that was written to me, Kate Marianchild, as a personal note not intended for public consumption and not intended as validation of Ana Dubey's story. Frances Moore Lappe states that she cannot vouch for the story without independent corroboration from others who were at Turtle Island at the same time.

I would like to request that
France s Moore Lappe's name be removed from this blog and not be posted on any other blogs.

Here is my further statement about the story.

"Ana (Anasuya) Dubey sent the story to my cousin's husband who checked its validity before sending it on.

I wrote an intro, using information he gave me, and sent to my friends.

I am satisfied that the story is true, for several reasons. 1) I trust my cousin's husband implicitly. He checked the story out with Ana before sending it to me; 2) while I haven't directly spoken with Ana, I did forward her an email from a nationally known figure. Ana then called and spoke with that person. 3) someone else I have had email correspondence with remembers hearing that Ana told this story when she returned from that trip; 4) I have received independent verification from the Washington Bureau Chief of a national magazine that McCain has gone to Turtle Island and let down his hair at least one other time (that time he talked about how much he hates Bush);

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