President Nixon Pardoned John McCain of War Crimes-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Senator John McCain confessed to being a war criminal and to committing treason during the Vietnam War, and President Nixon pardoned McCain, sparing him from death by firing squad.
False claims that Senator John McCain confessed to being a war criminal been circulating since 2008. They’re based on McCain’s admission that his Vietnamese captors forced him to confess to being a war criminal while he was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
A more modern twist of the rumor emerged in July 2017 on social media. In that version, John McCain was supposedly convicted of treason and was sentenced to die by firing squad before President Nixon pardoned McCain. Like the earlier version, this one is a work of fiction.
First, we’ll take a look at the original claim that John McCain confessed to being a war criminal. It first emerged during the 2008 presidential election in which McCain was the candidate on the GOP ticket. But it actually dates back to 1973 when McCain testified before a congressional panel about his time in captivity. After being denied medical care, beaten and placed in isolation, McCain said he reached his breaking point and wrote a confession for war crimes, according to an official transcript:
Sen. McCAIN: I wrote a confession. I was guilty of war crimes against the Vietnamese people. I intentionally bombed women and children.
WALLACE: And you did it because you were being tortured…
Sen. McCAIN: I…
WALLACE: …and you’d reached the end of the line.
Sen. McCAIN: Yes. But I should have gone further. I should have–I–I never believed that I would–that I would break, and I did.