The possibility that he lied about being tortured to win votes makes me very uneasy. I compiled the following from a very interesting, but long, article in today's London Times.
I know many of you Republicans are going to accuse me of not trusting an American hero over a Vietnamese jailer, but that's not true. I'm not saying McCain lied. I just think it's important to point out the discrepancies in the stories. Read the article in the Times and make up your own mind. I don't know who is telling the truth.
The Times interviewed his jailer Tran Trong Duyet. They were friends after the war. Duyet claims that McCain received good medical care and was never tortured in any way.
Amazingly, McCain crash-landed forty-one years ago tomorrow. He was supposedly treated for his injuries and spent the next five and a half years as a prisoner. The story accounts differ most when each side describes McCain’s incarceration, first at the prison known as the Hanoi Hilton and later at The Plantation.
Tran Tron Duyet's Version from the London Times
"[Duyet], the former prison director, met McCain a year after he had been shot down. He recalls a defiant rule-breaker, the patriotic son of an admiral and a fervent believer in the war. What he does not recall, however, is a victim of torture or violence."
“I never tortured or mistreated the PoWs and nor did my staff,” says Mr Duyet in contradiction of Mr McCain’s account and those of other prisoners. “The Americans were dropping bombs on military and civilian targets – so it’s not as if they had important information we needed to extract.” Mr Duyet says that he sympathises with Mr McCain and other PoWs for claiming that they were tortured. “It’s up to the Americans to decide whether or not he counts as a hero. He was very brave, very manly, he dared to argue with me and he was very intelligent. But all the talk of being tortured is for the sake of votes.”
McCain's Version from Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain
“I was hauled into an empty room and kept there for four days. At intervals, the guards returned to administer beatings. One held me while the others pounded away. They cracked several of my ribs and broke a couple of teeth. Weakened by beatings and dysentery, with my right leg again almost useless, I found it impossible to stand."
“On the third night I lay in my blood and waste, so tired and hurt that I could not move. Three guards lifted me to my feet and gave me the worst beating yet. They left me on the floor moaning from the pain in my arm. Despairing of any relief from pain and further torture, I tried to take my life.”
I don't know what to think. I guess I should believe McCain since he's a fellow American. It's weird though. What do you guys think? McCain does look permanently injured from possible torture, but supposedly his injuries from the crash were severe too.
You should also be aware of another creepy McCain fact related to Vietnam. Did you know that McCain has been receiving 100% disability payments from the Defense Department since the early seventies, despite his abilities and personal mobility?
Many in the veteran's community still think it's a travesty of justice. That level of disability is usually reserved for highly crippled vets. There are many examples of wheelchair bound soldiers who receive less than 50% disability. The man has too many red flags if you ask me.
I guess I'll just have to believe that John McCain did his best, and whether he was tortured or not, he says he was. I'll just have to give him the benefit of the doubt. That doesn't mean, however, that I am free of doubt. I still don't like the red flags. There are too many mysteries. The man creeps me out.
Saturday's Political News Special #1 - Michael
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