The debate over torture really should not be happening… and there is evidence that the American people cannot tolerate it. American POW’s were tortured during the Vietnam war. Despite the best efforts of the North Vietnamese government, the truth about its treatment of our men became known; in large part due to the efforts of Captain Jeremiah Denton. Captain Denton was one of the famous “Alcatraz Gang” kept separate from other prisoners because of their open defiance. Denton was put on display in a North Vietnamese propaganda film produced for the International Red Cross. Forced to recite a script, Denton was able to blink the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse code to get the true message to the world.
Watch the video here. This is true multi-tasking.
The anti-war movement thought it had… ironclad allies in angry POW’s returning home from captivity. It seemed only logical to radicals like Tom Hayden and his wife Jane Fonda; the US government sent them to Vietnam, and then left them to languish in deplorable conditions(though the Haydens would never admit to the wretched state of North Vietnamese prisons) there was a clear expectation that the men would join the anti-military movement. Captain Denton had been in prison so long, his own son had grown up, served in Vietnam, and come home. Denton was the first POW off the plane in 1973, and his words ring true to this day:
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”