A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. [emphasis added]
McCain claims "they broke me," but in the ellipsis between paragraphs, he leave out what his capitulation entailed and why he felt so "ashamed" around his fellow prisoners...
There's good reason to believe that the legend of John McCain's stoicism while undergoing torture is not all it's cracked up to be -- and that in claiming to have been "broken," McCain was preparing a plausible denial of responsibility should the Democrats have made public the propaganda broadcasts he allegedly made after being captured by the North Vietnamese.
This personal scandal, in turn, appears to be part of a larger coverup of the U.S. government's abandonment of hundreds of POWs after the pullout of Saigon. (Their stories surfaced in Hollywood action movies, but were ignored or "debunked" by the mainstream media.)
The veteran New York Times war reporter Sidney Shanberg had been working on this story for decades, and Ron Unz, the publisher of the The American Conservative, has just re-published Shanberg's research, along with a related symposium, all which comes on the scene like a bombshell amidst John McCain's senatorial campaign.