WHAT HAPPENED IN HANOI NEARLY FIVE DECADES AGO?
by Sharon Rondeau
At the time, U.S. forces were fighting the communist North Vietnamese on behalf of South Vietnam, bolstered by the post-World War II “Domino Theory.”
On August 4, TruNews interviewed internet journalist Charles C. Johnson, who said he obtained a mislabeled but authentic recording of McCain reciting North Vietnamese propaganda during his captivity in Hanoi, which has been reported as approximately five and one-half years.
He was captured on October 26, 1967 and released in 1973, according to one timeline.
In the 1967 article, Air Force Col. John Peter Flynn is reported to have jointly voiced with McCain his admiration for the “density and accuracy” of North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire aimed at American fighter planes and commented that the U.S. “lacks experienced pilots.”
The UK Daily Mail reported that while inspecting photographs of his own capture and “a photo of former prisoners pictured with letters from home,” McCain remarked, “This always entertains me. A wonderful life!”
When McCain ran for president in 2008 and in 2000, many Americans questioned whether or not he was a “natural born Citizen,” as mandated by Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, given his birth in Panama, albeit to two U.S.-citizen parents.
It is believed that the “natural born Citizen” requirement was included in order to preclude the nation’s chief executive from having foreign allegiances.
McCain’s father was Adm. John Sidney McCain, Jr., a World War II veteran who was on active duty when his son John was born on August 29, 1936. McCain Jr. ultimately served as commander of U.S. Pacific forces from 1968 to 1972; he passed away in 1981 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the younger McCain “received minimal care and was kept in wretched conditions” after his capture by the communists. However, in the propaganda recording, if authentic, McCain is heard to say that the North Vietnamese treated his injuries carefully and restored him to health.
In an article in USA Today dated November 8, 2012, McCain was quoted as having said that two Americans with whom he was imprisoned in North Vietnam “nursed me back to health.” One of those cellmates, Col. Bud Day, received the Medal of Honor from then-President Gerald Ford in 1976 and supported McCain in both of his runs for the presidency. Day passed away in 2013.
My support for improved relations with Vietnam has always stemmed from my deep conviction that it would best serve the national interest and values of the United States. Fortunately, many Vietnamese patriots, including my dear departed friend Nguyen Co Thach, felt the same for their country. Fifteen years later, it is fitting that we spend some time celebrating all that we have achieved together. But not too much time. The strength of our relationship has always been our relentless pursuit of the opportunities that lie ahead of us. We have finished the hardest work of normalizing our relationship; now we must turn to modernizing our relationship. Our focus must not simply be how we get along with each other, but how we use our emerging partnership to advance great common purposes together.
Following the TruNews broadcast featuring Johnson, The Post & Email contacted McCain through his website and his media representative to ask if the recording obtained by Johnson is authentic but received no response.
Whether or not McCain was coerced or threatened to say the words attributed to him by both Johnson and the North Vietnamese via the Agence France-Presse article has not been addressed. McCain has largely based his political career on his “war hero” status.
McCain is seeking a fourth term in the Senate but faces a primary challenger, Dr. Kelli Ward, on August 30, the day after McCain turns 80. Early voting has already commenced in Arizona. Ward has reportedly criticized McCain for “supporting his friend Hillary Clinton’s globalist agenda for decades.”
“The Socialist Republic of Vietnam” has an embassy in the United States.