Guard: We Didn't Torture McCain

Prison staff saw to prisoner's health, he says
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 14, 2008 11:39 AM CDT
John McCain is administered to in a Hanoi, Vietnam, hospital as a prisoner of war in this 1967 black-and-white file photo.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – John McCain’s claims that he was tortured while imprisoned in Vietnam are false, says the head guard at the prison where he was held. “On the contrary, we saved his life, curing him with extremely valuable medicines that at times were not available to our own wounded,” said the guard. He noted that conditions at the prison were “tough, though not inhuman,” the Guardian reports.

After his release, McCain said he had been beaten “from pillar to post” and that repeated torture made him suicidal and willing to confess to war crimes. His cellmate corroborated the torture claim. But McCain’s father was head of Navy operations in Vietnam, and the guard said he recognized the propaganda value of this. "I never lost him from sight,” he said. “I was frightened a doctor or nurse might do him harm."