In a development that John McCain must have been very happy to hear about, the man who was in charge of the "Hanoi Hilton" while McCain was a prisoner of war has endorsed him for the presidency. Tran Trong Duyet said in June that he considered McCain his "friend," and that "if I was American, I would vote for him."
Duyet said that during their time together, he and McCain used to debate the morality of the war. (It seems that McCain supported it, while Duyet did not.) McCain, he said, was a "very frank man . . . very conservative, and very loyal to his country and the American ideal." McCain also taught him English, Duyet said, adding, "He had a very interesting accent."
Also interesting was Duyet's insistence that his friend McCain was lying when he said he had been tortured in captivity. "We never tortured him," Duyet said. "We never tortured any prisoners . . . He did not tell the truth [about that]." (Hey, we don't torture either. I guess our countries really do have a lot in common.) "But I can somehow sympathize with him," Duyet continued. "He lies to American voters in order to get their support for his presidential election." The BBC doesn't seem to have asked Duyet what happened to McCain's arms if he wasn't tortured. Maybe they were broken in a freak golfing accident?
The McCain campaign does not seem to have had any direct response to the comments, instead referring reporters to Orson Swindle, a Marine who was imprisoned along with McCain. Lt. Col. Swindle cited some of the extensive evidence that torture took place at the prison, and said that in his opinion Duyet had "no credibility at all."
Duyet, who ran the notorious North Vietnamese prison for years, was described by the BBC as a "sprightly retiree and amateur ballroom dancer."
Link: BBC News