Saturday, June 27, 2015




THE SPY IN THE HANOI HILTONuncovers the true story of POWs inside the Prison, known as the Hanoi Hilton, who created a high-level espionage operation that reached all the way to the CIA and the White House. This included sending radio transmissions to the Pentagon and President Nixon's White House during the brutal Christmas Bombings of 1972, signaling that POWs inside the Hanoi Hilton were still alive and that the raid should continue.

The spy network was led by James Bond Stockdale, an air-wing commander who was shot down on a bombing mission into North Vietnam on Sept. 9, 1965. He was one of the two most senior-ranking U.S. Navy officers imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton. Stockdale later rose to the rank of Vice Admiral, became one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the Navy, and ran for Vice President. He was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his secret communication network and for bravery in the face of torture. Former CIA official Robert Wallace calls Stockdale's spy network "one of the most significant activities in Agency history." [Full]

I missed this Smithsonian film that aired in April, and of course knew nothing about it.  One of the things that strikes me is, that while John McCain's capture is prominently mentioned, he himself is left completely out of the narrative here.  I find that telling.


Jess said...

A few years ago, while perusing the internet, I found a blog, with comments about McCain, when he was commander of a training unit in Florida.

The comments didn't reveal affection, or competency. If those comments revealed the true abilities of McCain, he lacked the best qualities, and his legacy is that of a political hack.

Rodger the Real King of France said...

McCain was a shit pilot (crashed 3 planes as I recall), and had a number of Hanoi Hilton mates claim he collaborated - which is why he was John Kerry's chief apologist and hostile to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I guess I don't much care for him.

BlogDog said...

My father, with his State Dept. rating, was "higher ranked" than any military POW in Vietnam. He told me that he had little respect for McCain after dealing with him at the end of the war when the POWs were grouped together for their upcoming repatriation.

Anonymous said...

What Rog said. McCain's father was a 4 star Admiral. He was NOT going to wash out. Did his short comings as a pilot contribute to his being shot down? Who knows but think Kara Hultgreen.

Skoonj said...

McCain was not only unsympathetic toward family members who wanted an effort made on behalf of some POW/MIA still missing, he actively sabotaged their efforts. Former Rep. John LeBoutillier has chronicled those efforts.

Anonymous said...

Remember when he hugged his interrogator?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the link to this movie. I worked for Capt Larry Carrigan, a former POW shot down in 1965. We never talked about his time in the Hanoi Hilton. He was one of the best officer's I ever worked for, and seeing this movie made me understand why.
USAF MSGT (Retired)

Anonymous said...

It's being rebroadcast tonight.


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