The 'war hero' candidate buried information about POWs left behind in VietnamSydney H. Schanberg won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for international reporting “at great risk” from Vietnam and Cambodia. After the war he served as city editor of the New York Times. The Academy Award-winning film “The Killing Fields” was based on his book “The Death and Life of Dith Pran.” Schanberg was a journalist for 50 years.
This is an expanded version of a story that appeared in the Oct. 6, 2008, issue of The Nation. Research support was provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.
By Sydney H. Schanberg
John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.
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