McCain: Hanoi Hilton Guards Taunted POWs With Kerry's Testimony

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    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/2/17/124410.shtml

    McCain: Hanoi Hilton Guards Taunted POWs With Kerry's Testimony

    These days, former Vietnam War POW Sen. John McCain has nothing but praise for his fellow Vietnam veteran Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' current presidential front-runner.

    But after he was released from the Hanoi Hilton in 1973, McCain publicly complained that testimony by Kerry and others before J. William Fulbright's Senate Foreign Relations Committee was "the most effective propaganda [my North Vietnamese captors] had to use against us."

    "They used Senator Fulbright a great deal," McCain wrote in the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S. News & World Report. While he was languishing in a North Vietnamese prison cell, Kerry was telling the Fulbright committee that U.S. soldiers were committing war crimes in Vietnam as a matter of course.

    Sen. Ted Kennedy, a key Kerry presidential backer, was "quoted again and again" by jailers at the Hanoi Hilton, McCain said.

    "Clark Clifford was another [North Vietnamese] favorite," the ex-POW told U.S. News, "right after he had been Secretary of Defense under President Johnson."

    "When Ramsey Clark came over [my jailers] thought that was a great coup for their cause," McCain recalled. Months earlier, Sen. Kerry had appeared with Clark at the April 1971 Washington, D.C., anti-war protest that showcased his testimony before the Fulbright Committee.

    "All through this period," wrote McCain, his captors were "bombarding us with anti-war quotes from people in high places back in Washington. This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us."

    McCain biographer Paul Alexander chronicled the Arizona Republican's anger toward Kerry during their early careers in the Senate together.

    "For many years McCain held Kerry's actions against him because, while McCain was a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, Kerry was organizing veterans back home in the U.S. to protest the war."

    In his 2002 book, "Man of the People: The Life of John McCain," Alexander says that the two Vietnam vets finally reconciled in the early 1990s after having "a long - and at times emotional - conversation about Vietnam" during a mutual trip to Kuwait.

    Later, Kerry sought to minimize the rift, telling Alexander: "Our differences occurred when we were kids, or at least close to being kids. It was a long time ago, and we both came back and realized that there were a lot of difficulties in the prosecution of that war."

    NewsMax gratefully acknowledges the help of U.S. Veteran Dispatch editor Ted Sampley for supplying McCain's revealing 1973 account in U.S. News.
     

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