RICHMOND — The last time Sen. John McCain lay dying, he was in a North Vietnamese prison cell having been brutally tortured.

Over the propaganda loudspeaker, one of Mr. McCain’s fellow prisoners of war would later recall, the brave Americans heard the voice, clearly, that of an American, testifying before Congress that it was the American forces like John McCain — not the North Vietnamese — who were committing torture and murder over in Vietnam.

American servicemen “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam,” claimed the American, reportedly a U.S. Navy officer.

Such unverified testimony in the hands of the North Vietnamese was a massive propaganda win.

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