MCCAIN

*MAGS OUT/NO SALES*(NYT1) UNDATED — June 14, 2008 — MCCAIN-POW — John McCain, bottom right, with his squadron in 1965 in an undated photo. About a year after his release from a North Vietnamese prison camp, Cmdr. John S. McCain III sat down to address one of the most vexing questions confronting his fellow prisoners: Why did some choose to collaborate with the North Vietnamese? McCain blamed American politics. “The biggest factor in a man’s ability to perform credibly as a prisoner of war is a strong belief in the correctness of his nation’s foreign policy,” McCain wrote in a 1974 essay submitted to the National War College and never released to the public. Prisoners who questioned “the legality of the war” were “extremely easy marks for Communist propaganda,” he wrote. That 35-page final paper was limited to an evaluation of the military code of conduct through the prism of his “narrow, but personal, viewpoint.” It was in many ways a first draft of his political autobiography, recounting the ennobling stories of resistance that he and his co-author, Mark Salter, would later retell in his 1999 memoir, “Faith of My Fathers.” (Library of Congress via The New York Times)

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