Tran Trong Duyet was the head of the Hanoi Hilton, the Vietcong prison in which John McCain was held captive for almost six years. He has stated that if he were American he would vote for McCain. Read about it below and see a photo.
Politics and war make strange bedfellows at times … often. This may be one of the strangest I’ve seen in a while. Tran Trong Duyet was the head of the Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi during the Vietnam war. We know it as the Hanoi Hilton. He was in charge of the prison during the captivity of presidential candidate, John McCain. Duyet is 75-years-old now and retired, He is, of all things, an amateur ballroom dancer and keeps caged birds. Interesting symbolic hobby.
He talked with the BBC recently and spoke affectionately of John McCain. He said he was his friend and that if he was an American, he would vote for him.
Duyet talked about having McCain into his office for private chats. They argued about the war, he said. He called McCain a ‘frank man’, he said he was ‘loyal to his country and the American ideal’. In other words, he respected McCain’s behavior while in captivity. He confirms that McCain was not disloyal to his country during the years he was a prisoner of war.
What is interesting that the part the liberal press and the liberal blogs pick up on is that Duyet states that he never tortured McCain or any prisoners who were in the Hanoi Hilton. These liberal blogs ignore the obvious contradictions in Duyet’s statements. That he found McCain to be frank and loyal, yet lying about torture. That he has followed McCain’s career with interest, appreciates the work McCain has done to mend ties with Vietnam, but doesn’t know how McCain might react to seeing him again.
In an incident like this, one has to ask oneself what is the more believable scenario. Are all the men who were ever in the Hanoi Hilton lying about what went on there? Would they have motivation to lie about a prison of war camp run by the communist Vietcong – a group that were not known for their kinder-gentler methods of warfare? Or would the torturers have motivation to make a quick denial that they tortured and then move on to another subject? Would a man who had lived under communist rule most, if not all, of his life, have a motivation to minimize that aspect of the job he had as a young man. He had run one of the most notorious prisoner of war camps in the world and is still living in a communist country in which freedom of speech is a foreign concept and censorship routine. If McCain, and the other men who were prisoners there, were not tortured, then why would Duyet be concerned about how they might react if they saw him again?
The fact that Duyet would support McCain for president doesn’t come as a big surprise either. If for no other reason than the fact that he might want to mend a fence or two between himself and someone who was once his prisoner and now will likely be the most power man in the world, the President of the United States. Scary thought, that.
But really, its more than that. For anyone who knows anything about warriors, you know that even though men might fight on opposing sides, a good soldier understands and respects the qualities of his enemies. World War II vets admired the discipline and tenaciousness of the Japanese and German warriors. The Japanese and Germans admired the shear naked courage of the Americans.
My husband is a Vietnam vet. I’ve heard him say many times that the Vietcong were a fierce and deadly enemy. Respecting their ability in battle doesn’t diminish their danger or make them any less of an enemy. So it seems, that Duyet saw in McCain, his enemy and prisoner, a man he could respect as a warrior on the other side of the battle.
No, the liberals are looking for anything they can to discredit McCain. Their problem is that they just can’t find anything that has enough substance to really cause McCain problems. Attacking him on his war record and trying to make a big deal out of Duyet saying the Vietcong never tortured any prisoners is just not the right tact to take. There is too much evidence to the contrary.
Their attempts to do this only exposes their complete lack of understanding of the warrior spirit, of war and of the basics of human nature.