‘Hanoi Hilton’ operator endorses McCain

HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images This 2008 presidential campaign has seen its fair share of strange endorsements worldwide, and many believe this is the most internationally monitored U.S. election in history. We’ve seen Hamas endorse (and unendorse) Barack Obama. Fidel Castro has weighed in. Now comes the most intriguing unwanted endorsement yet. The BBC reports today ...

594514_080623_mccain2.jpg
594514_080623_mccain2.jpg

HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

This 2008 presidential campaign has seen its fair share of strange endorsements worldwide, and many believe this is the most internationally monitored U.S. election in history. We've seen Hamas endorse (and unendorse) Barack Obama. Fidel Castro has weighed in.

Now comes the most intriguing unwanted endorsement yet. The BBC reports today that Tran Trong Duyet, who ran the infamous Hoa Lo prison in North Vietnam -- more commonly known as the Hanoi Hilton -- would support John McCain if he were a U.S. voter. He should know; he spent five-and-a-half years with John McCain while the then-Navy pilot was a prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton. McCain had been shot down during a bombing raid over Hanoi, and was barely alive when an mob of angry North Vietnamese pulled him out of a lake. (That's McCain's flight suit on the right.)

HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

This 2008 presidential campaign has seen its fair share of strange endorsements worldwide, and many believe this is the most internationally monitored U.S. election in history. We’ve seen Hamas endorse (and unendorse) Barack Obama. Fidel Castro has weighed in.

Now comes the most intriguing unwanted endorsement yet. The BBC reports today that Tran Trong Duyet, who ran the infamous Hoa Lo prison in North Vietnam — more commonly known as the Hanoi Hilton — would support John McCain if he were a U.S. voter. He should know; he spent five-and-a-half years with John McCain while the then-Navy pilot was a prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton. McCain had been shot down during a bombing raid over Hanoi, and was barely alive when an mob of angry North Vietnamese pulled him out of a lake. (That’s McCain’s flight suit on the right.)

In Duyet’s telling, the Hanoi Hilton was nothing like its fearsome reputation. He claims that although he and McCain had frequent political debates about the validity of the Vietnam War and other topics, neither McCain — who to this day cannot raise his arms above his shoulders — nor any other imprisoned GIs were tortured at his prison.

McCain is my friend,” said 75-year-old Mr Duyet as he feeds the caged birds he now keeps in his garden in this coastal city [Haiphong]. “If I was American, I would vote for him.”

I’ll just go out on a limb here and say that McCain might not exactly feel the same way about his jailer-in-chief.

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