Torture as a career move

On the day after John McCain’s acceptance speech concluding the Republican convention, Slate posted an item by Noreen Malone asking why McCain’s North Vietnamese captors simply didn’t repatriate him from the Hanoi Hilton without his consent rather than ask him if he would accept early release. Malone answers: “Because they wouldn’t have gotten what they wanted out of his release.”

In addition to addressing that question, the item also insinuates why McCain and his fellow prisoners of war did not accept their captors offers to repatriate them: “Many were older than the average U.S. soldier in Vietnam and had hopes of further promotion within the military—which would have been destroyed by the acceptance of early parole.” Suggesting that POWs who were being tortured were worried about their military careers is preposterous, though perhaps understandable in light of one of the three sources consulted by Slate for the item: Rutgers University Professor Bruce Franklin, author of The Essential Stalin, who is himself a fan of Stalin.

Via Gabriel Schoenfeld.

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