[Col. Bud] Day relayed to me one of the stories Americans should hear. It involves what happened to him after escaping from a North Vietnamese prison during the war. When he was recaptured, a Vietnamese captor broke his arm and said, "I told you I would make you a cripple."Rove goes on to make the case that McCain needs to be more open to letting the public know about these events. I'm not sure. I agree (in part) with Ed Morrissey that the article would have sounded better coming from a fellow POW such as Col. Day. I think a better idea would be a 527 group of McCain's fellow POWs, Vietnam veterans, etc. to deliver ads in the fall to tell these stories for McCain. That way, the general public will still get a sense of McCain's service in the Vietnam war while McCain runs primarily on the issues (with a little war-hero biography thrown in here and there).
The break was designed to shatter Mr. Day's will. He had survived in prison on the hope that one day he would return to the United States and be able to fly again. To kill that hope, the Vietnamese left part of a bone sticking out of his arm, and put him in a misshapen cast. This was done so that the arm would heal at "a goofy angle," as Mr. Day explained. Had it done so, he never would have flown again.
But it didn't heal that way because of John McCain. Risking severe punishment, Messrs. McCain and Day collected pieces of bamboo in the prison courtyard to use as a splint. Mr. McCain put Mr. Day on the floor of their cell and, using his foot, jerked the broken bone into place. Then, using strips from the bandage on his own wounded leg and the bamboo, he put Mr. Day's splint in place.
Years later, Air Force surgeons examined Mr. Day and complemented the treatment he'd gotten from his captors. Mr. Day corrected them. It was Dr. McCain who deserved the credit. Mr. Day went on to fly again.
McCain's POW time & the general election
Karl Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal today on Sen. McCain's unwillingness to talk about "private" stories. For example: