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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

French Interview with McCain as POW Released - Video 10/22/08

Here is amazing video just released from a French Archive of the interview done with John McCain when he was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Brief snippets of it have been seen before, but nothing this extensive:

A French national archive has posted online extended footage of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain being interviewed as a bedridden prisoner during the Vietnam War.

French reporter Francois Chalais conducted the interview. His widow says the online release this week of 4 minutes, 33 seconds of footage is the fullest distribution of the interview since it first aired four decades ago.

The video shows McCain shirtless and unshaven, smoking a cigarette. Answering questions from Chalais, he spoke about being shot down over Hanoi on Oct. 25, 1967, and parachuting into a lake.

At times, when speaking of his family, McCain's lower lip trembles and his voice breaks.

«I was on a flight over the city (Hanoi) ... and I was bombing and I was hit by a missile or anti-aircraft fire, I'm not sure which,» he said, adding that his plane «went straight down.

After landing in the lake, McCain said he «was picked up and taken to the hospital, where I almost died.

In the interview, McCain said he was treated well by his Vietnamese captors. Asked about the food, he told his French interviewer, «It's not like Paris ... (but) I eat it.

The exact date of the interview is not clear, but it appeared to be taken in late 1967.

The French national audiovisual archive INA is posting the interview on its Web site, www.ina.fr, for one week. It was first broadcast on French television program Panorama in January 1968.


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