The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

John McCain visits the Hanoi Hilton

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) visited the "Hanoi Hilton" prison today, where he was jailed and tortured for years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. "Touring the Hanoi Hilton this morning – it’s been converted into a museum #Vietnam," McCain tweeted Friday from the trip through Southeast Asia he is on with Sens. ...

631953_hanoi21.jpg
631953_hanoi21.jpg

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) visited the "Hanoi Hilton" prison today, where he was jailed and tortured for years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

"Touring the Hanoi Hilton this morning - it's been converted into a museum #Vietnam," McCain tweeted Friday from the trip through Southeast Asia he is on with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  "Also visited Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi - where I landed after being shot down in 1967 - & the monument to my capture."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) visited the "Hanoi Hilton" prison today, where he was jailed and tortured for years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

"Touring the Hanoi Hilton this morning – it’s been converted into a museum #Vietnam," McCain tweeted Friday from the trip through Southeast Asia he is on with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  "Also visited Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi – where I landed after being shot down in 1967 – & the monument to my capture."

Politico reported that McCain has visited the Hanoi Hilton several times: "A frequent visitor to the Hanoi Hilton, he was last there in 2009…. McCain first returned to the Hanoi Hilton in 1985 — the 10th anniversary of the fall of Saigon — with legendary broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite. He visited again in the early 1990s with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a fellow Vietnam veteran, to promote efforts to normalize relations with the communist country. McCain also made a trip there shortly after losing the GOP presidential primary race in 2000."

Speaking with the New York Times after his 2000 trip, McCain scoffed at the Vietnamese government’s whitewashing of what went on at the prison and described the daily torture and propaganda he and other prisoners were forced to endure.

"’I still bear them ill will,” he said of the prison guards, ”not because of what they did to me, but because of what they did to some of my friends — including killing some of them.”

McCain also tweeted photographs of the delegation’s meeting with the Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang.

The delegation visited the Philippines earlier this week, where they met with President Benigno Aquino III, among others. Lieberman took the lead in tweeting during that leg of the trip.

"1st stop – Philippines. Dawn of a new era in our 60 yr alliance, which grows stronger based on shared history, interests, values, and future," Lieberman tweeted on Jan. 17.  "US must support Philippines military, esp maritime domain awareness and territorial defense."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.