"... as a crowd of North Vietnamese men all swim toward you (there's a film of this, somebody had a home-movie camera and the NV government released it, though it's grainy and McCain's face is hard to see). The crowd pulled him out and just about killed him. Bomber pilots were especially hated, for obvious reasons. McCain got bayoneted in the groin; a soldier broke his shoulder apart with a rifle butt. Plus by this time his right knee was bent 90 degrees to the side, with the bone sticking out. This is all public record. Try to imagine it. He finally got tossed on a jeep and taken only about five blocks to the infamous Hoa Lo prison — a.k.a. the Hanoi Hilton, of much movie fame — where for a week they made him beg for a doctor and finally set a couple of the fractures without anesthetic and let two other fractures and the groin wound (imagine: groin wound) go untreated. Try for a moment to feel this.... He was mostly delirious with pain for weeks, and his weight dropped to 100 pounds, and the other POWs were sure he would die; and then, after he'd hung on like that for several months and his bones had mostly knitted and he could sort of stand up, the prison people came and brought him to the commandant's office and closed the door and out of nowhere offered to let him go. They said he could just... leave.... Try to imagine it was you. Imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self-interest would cry out to you at that moment, and all the ways you could rationalize accepting the offer...."
Wrote David Foster Wallace in the essay "Up, Simba" — in this collection and as a separate book under the title "McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope."