Why would someone lie? Why would someone ever betray your trust? We all know why, but we still too often just accept what we hear at face value.
Recently there has been a dispute in the media about whether John McCain being shot down and tortured in Viet Nam is a sufficient qualification for him to become President of these United States. However you might come down on this question, there is an article of faith that lies behind it. Without any question we are expected to accept that John McCain was in fact tortured in Viet Nam.
Of course there is an open and raging dispute about what constitutes torture and no doubt someone on the receiving end is apt to have a more inclusive definition. But there are other possibilities as well.
I recently listened to a 60 Minutes interview of John McCain ( it was about an hour into the Sam Seeder broadcast of 5/18/2008 ) in which he admitted writing a confession of war crimes against Vietnamese civilians and, in answer to a leading question about whether he was tortured to extract the confession he hesitated and said yes. I found it very interesting that while he openly admitted making the confession, he seemed reluctant to admit to having been tortured.
But if he were not tortured, why else would he confess? Possibly to gain favor with his captors. There is also the matter of the Stockholm syndrome in which a captive person begins to identify with his or her captor. Is it impossible that McCain confessed, later became horrified about what he had done and then concocted the torture story to cover his tracks?