Tuesday 12 December 2017

My kind of guy when it comes to fighting terrorism

He has his faults but his courage makes John McCain stand out, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Now that Senator John McCain seems certain to become the Republican presidential candidate, it's time to brag that I once met him.

It was 1997 and I was in the US with Sean O'Callaghan, the IRA terrorist and murderer who turned unpaid garda informer; among his many good works was having his IRA colleague, Martin Ferris, sent to jail for 10 years for gun-running. Sean had later given himself up for his teenage crimes, was not long out of jail, and was on a speaking tour.

We were both fans of McCain, not least because of his extraordinary heroism when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, but also because he is so much his own man he is prepared to stand up for what is right, rather than what is popular. At lunch one day in Washington we were introduced to one of McCain's staffers, who in that wonderfully accessible American way said, "Hey, come right up. If the senator's there, he'd be glad to meet you."

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