Rolling Stone vs. McCain. Article: “Make-believe Maverick.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 6, 2008
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Here’s the article, with thanks to Timothy Morton for the heads up. Excerpt:

At Fort McNair, an army base located along the Potomac River in the nation’s capital, a chance reunion takes place one day between two former POWs. It’s the spring of 1974, and Navy commander John Sidney McCain III has returned home from the experience in Hanoi that, according to legend, transformed him from a callow and reckless youth into a serious man of patriotism and purpose. Walking along the grounds at Fort McNair, McCain runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.

McCain is studying at the National War College, a prestigious graduate program he had to pull strings with the Secretary of the Navy to get into. Dramesi is enrolled, on his own merit, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in the building next door.

There’s a distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam — call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a “confession” to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn’t survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service’s highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as “one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met.”

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.” For more, click here.

Here’s another, re: Palin.Photo




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


One Response to “Rolling Stone vs. McCain. Article: “Make-believe Maverick.””

  1. Evelyn says:

    Heh,Heh. This is a direct quote from a book Dramesi wrote in 1975 entitled “Code of Honor”, W.W. Norton & Co. I found this in a local library. Here is what he said about POW McCain, page 191: ” I met white-haired John McCain for the first time. We shook hands and hugged as though we were longtime friends. The magnetism of two men with like attitudes and respect for one another was easily felt.Most of the time he moved around on a crutch.He had a broken arm and a damaged knee, yet he was able to get up on stools and devise the most ingenious ways of communicating. He was always on the move, smiling and waving to people he knew were watching and disregarding the guards’ harassment. The sight of the lively John McCain was enough to lift your spirits for the rest of the week. For the weak he was an inspiration; for the strong a constant reminder to keep trying. It was not the North Vietnamese who impelled John’s smiling and laughing. He had a smile for all Americans and a disdain for the North Vietnamese. He was thin and not a big man,but there was no doubt John had heart.”