According to Article 5 of the US Military Code of Conduct, which addresses conduct of US Service Members captured by the enemy:
“When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.”
In the 47 years since 1969, many POW’s from the Vietnam War have spoken of hearing recordings of then Lieutenant Colonel John McCain being broadcast on North Vietnamese Radio. Until today, those broadcasts were neither confirmed nor denied by the US Government or John McCain.
When McCain was released from captivity on March 14th, 1973, McCain received a hero’s homecoming in public. In private though, rumors swirled that McCain was under investigation for crimes he apparently committed against the United States while in captivity. McCain has been called “Songbird” by many of his fellow Vietnam Veterans, apparently referring to common belief that McCain shared US Flight paths with his North Vietnamese captors resulting in many US Aircraft being shot down.
Shortly after his return to the United States, it’s alleged that McCain was pardoned by President Richard Nixon, and his debriefing, and other files relating to his service in Vietnam were sealed, and continue to be sealed to this day.
Apparently this recording was not released officially by the US Government, but was discovered inadvertently by someone searching through the US Archives and was mislabeled as something else.
The Transcript of the recording is as follows:
“To the Vietnamese people and the Government of the DRVN I’m John Sydney McCain 624787, Lieutenant Commander US Navy. Born 29 August 1936 Panama, home state (unaudible) Shot down 26 October 1967 A4 Aircraft. I as a US Airman am Guilty of Crimes against the Vietnamese country and people. I have bombed their cities, towns and villages and caused many injuries, even death to the people of Vietnam.
I was captured in the Capitol of Hanoi while attacking it. After I was captured I was (inaudible) for the hospital in Hanoi where I received very good medical treatement. I was given an operation on my leg which allowed me to walk again and a cast on my right arm which was badly broken in three places. The doctors were very good and they knew a great deal about the practice of medicine. I remained in the hospital for sometime and regained much of my health and strength.
Since I arrived in the camp of detention, I have received humane and (inaudible) treatment. I received this good treament and food, even though I came here as an aggressor and the people who I injured have much difficulty in their living standards. I wish to express my deep gratitude for my kind treatment and I will never forget this kindness extended to me.”