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Thursday
Oct232008

John McCain Vietnam POW Interview Video

Look at this extraordinary 40 year old video just released by the French film archive site www.ina.fr - Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. It shows John McCain being interviewed in a North Vietnamese prison camp by French journalist Francois Chalais. His widow, Mei Chen Chalais, is suing French and American television stations for showing this footage without her permission.

A meeting which will leave its mark on my life: My meeting with John Sidney McCain was certainly one of those meetings which will affect me most profoundly for the rest of my life. I had asked the North Vietnamese authorities to allow me to personally interrogate an American prisoner. They authorized me to do so. When night fell, they took me--without any precautions or mystery--to a hospital near the Gia Lam Airport reserved for the military. (Passage omitted) The officer who receives me begins: I ask you not to ask any questions of political nature. If this man replies in a way unfavorable to us, they will not hesitate to speak of "brainwashing" and conclude that we threatened him. (Passage omitted) "This John Sidney McCain is not an ordinary prisoner. His father is none other than Admiral Edmond John McCain, commander in chief of U.S. Naval forces in Europe." - Francois Chalais - January 1968

Apparently Madame Chalais is particularly irked that the footage was also used in a 2005 movie of McCains life Faith of My Fathers - named after his autobiography where “My husband is shown as pro-North Vietnam and a very aggressive journalist who tries to extract confession from McCain. I don't like it so much because that is not the truth, François was a very honest journalist.".

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