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Solzhenitsyn Biographer: Cross-In-Dirt Gulag Story Never Happened
TPM ^

Posted on 08/19/2008 1:38:38 PM PDT by flyfree

There's been a ton of buzz on the web for the last day or so -- beginning with this Daily Kos diary -- suggesting that John McCain patterned his story about a Vietamese captor drawing a cross in the dirt before him on a similar episode from Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn's time in the Soviet gulags.

But it turns out that this episode probably never happened to Solzhenitsyn at all, and according to a Solzhenitsyn biographer it appears nowhere in his published writing. Columbia University professor Michael Scammell, the author of Solzhenitsyn: A Biography, says the episode "never happened," and didn't appear in Solzhenitsyn's book, Gulag Archipelago, either.

(Excerpt) Read more at tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cross; dailykos; kos; mccain; pow; saddleback; solzhenitsyn

1 posted on 08/19/2008 1:38:39 PM PDT by flyfree
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To: flyfree

So now we know, this never happened to Solzhenitsyn, and there’s no way McCain could have picked it up from his works.


2 posted on 08/19/2008 1:41:16 PM PDT by flyfree
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To: flyfree

Not to mention McCain mentioned this seven years before Solzhenitsyn’s first book was in the US.


3 posted on 08/19/2008 1:42:22 PM PDT by mnehring (http://www.heyobamababy.com/obama_baby_cool_cat.htm)
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To: flyfree

Where we must go to find someone to create a smear. The paranoia of the Left has spawned more than one industry designed to harm anyone who would dare have truck with Christians or Patriotic Americans for that matter.


4 posted on 08/19/2008 1:43:21 PM PDT by Steamburg (Your wallet speaks the only language most politicians understand.)
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To: flyfree
The leftist 'Rats and their liberal fellow-travelers slobber like Pavlov's dogs at any and every opportunity to somehow ridicule or discredit the Christian faith of anyone.
5 posted on 08/19/2008 1:44:46 PM PDT by mkjessup ("People are going to begin to wonder if Russia can be trusted!" - SecState Maddy Rice, well DUH!!!!)
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To: flyfree

So it’s a “made up” attack on McCain using a “made up” story about Solzhenitsyn. I guess for the leftists it’s hard to keep up with the lies.


6 posted on 08/19/2008 1:46:10 PM PDT by JWinNC (www.anailinhisplace.net)
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To: mkjessup
The leftist 'Rats and their liberal fellow-travelers slobber like Pavlov's dogs at any and every opportunity to somehow ridicule or discredit the Christian faith of anyone

Especially when it collides with their own faith in the dictatorship of the proletariat.

7 posted on 08/19/2008 1:46:20 PM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood (Tagline.)
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To: flyfree

Plus McCain doesn’t need to make stuff like this up. Unlike Clinton (and Obama) who was a empty suit so he had to make up stories, McCain has plenty of background to draw on.

There is a lot I don’t like about McCain, but making up stories isn’t one of his shortcommings.


8 posted on 08/19/2008 1:46:26 PM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: mnehrling

Oh, those silly KOmmies won’t let a little fact get in the way of a good conspiracy. This will hang out their in their alternate universe forever; just like Bush being wired during his 2004 election debates. Some things never end...


9 posted on 08/19/2008 1:47:53 PM PDT by bcsco (Contact McCain today. NO to pro-choice VP!)
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To: flyfree

The left wingers are complaining that McCain never talke about this guard in the 1970’s.

Why WOULD HE ENDANGER THE LIFE OF THE GUARD?

The guard would have been tracked down and shot by the Communist North Vietnamese for 1) being a Christian and 2) helping an American POW survive prison camp!

No man or woman would want that on their conscience, leastways anyone with a conscience and the left appears not to have one.


10 posted on 08/19/2008 1:48:50 PM PDT by HD1200
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To: flyfree
The King Rat Obama lost big time in the debate and his fellow Rats know it so they will try to distract by use of any means necessary from the debate. I'm surprised Obama hasn't gone to the country of Georgia yet.
11 posted on 08/19/2008 1:50:33 PM PDT by tobyhill (fraud -noun;(1)deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, (2) Obama)
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To: flyfree

Nice try... But like so much of the muck they try to throw McCain’s way, it ain’t true. McCain is though and Barry obviously isn’t and everybody is finding that out.

Unfortunately for the Democrat party, they’re finding it out way too late, and now have to live with their mistake, but I’m sure Hillary will spend the next 4 years explaining it to them over and over and over again.


12 posted on 08/19/2008 1:51:19 PM PDT by jerod (They were pro-abortion, for gun control & wanted a cleaner environment at all cost - The NAZI party)
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To: HD1200
Orson Swindle, who was held as a prisoner of war along with McCain, tells the McCain Report that he heard this particular story from McCain "when we first moved in together." That was in the summer of 1971, Swindle said, though "time blurred" and he couldn't be sure. He said it was some time around then that the Vietnamese moved all "36 troublemakers" into the same quarters, where they "talked about everything under the sun."

http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainreport/Read.aspx?guid=181471d0-5456-4434-9f78-2f30ffc39459

13 posted on 08/19/2008 1:52:25 PM PDT by flyfree
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To: tobyhill
'm surprised Obama hasn't gone to the country of Georgia yet.

According to another thread his campaign was just in Georgia doing some voter registration training.

...Oh, you mean THAT Georgia. Maybe they were there? By mistake, kinda? I wouldn't put it past them...

14 posted on 08/19/2008 1:55:07 PM PDT by bcsco (Contact McCain today. NO to pro-choice VP!)
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To: flyfree

“It doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility that McCain or his biographer, Mark Salter, picked up the tale that this happened to Solzhenitsyn elsewhere and embellished it for their own purposes.”

Unless the lefties can prove that this happened to Solzhenitsyn, I would assume that it is they who are lying—not McCain.


15 posted on 08/19/2008 1:57:45 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: flyfree

Daily Kos aint worth 2 bits to me. Bunch of stupid left wing wackos that should be deported to a gulag. Most will once Obama becomes president.


16 posted on 08/19/2008 1:59:51 PM PDT by jimbobaby
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To: HD1200
The guard would have been tracked down and shot by the Communist North Vietnamese for 1) being a Christian and 2) helping an American POW survive prison camp!

Not true. Over years in prison, McCain would have been guarded by hundreds of NVA. It would be impossible to figure out who it was with no more description than this.

Insofar as the issue is a Christian in the NVA, it's not far fetched at all. After a long period of French rule, there was a substantial Christian minority in Vietnam.

17 posted on 08/19/2008 2:03:29 PM PDT by colorado tanker (Number nine, number nine, number nine . . .)
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To: flyfree

Next we’ll hear that McCain never was a prisoner of war, he was a guest of the NV govt. After all he stayed in the Hanoi Hilton, and we all know Hiltons are very nice hotels. And how could he afford staying in one for years on a pilot’s salary? Only if he was working with the commies could McCain stay there that long. Now that it’s been proven fact that McCain is a traitorous commie, I expect Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews to push this story right up to election day.


18 posted on 08/19/2008 2:06:39 PM PDT by Hacklehead (Crush the liberals, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the hippies.)
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To: flyfree

Obama has been nailed in ‘Obama Nation’ on a lot of stuff he wrote in his book, like his supposed story in Life magazine about the black man who tried to whiten his skin. Total fabrication. Now the Obama-cons are desperate to accuse McCain of the same thing, even if they have to make it up themselves.


19 posted on 08/19/2008 2:07:44 PM PDT by Spok (Whatever you say about McCain, it must be admitted that he's no B. Hussein Obama.)
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To: mnehrling
Not to mention McCain mentioned this seven years before Solzhenitsyn’s first book was in the US.

The Gulag Archipelago was published in the West in 1973 or 1974. I remember reading it at that time. 'Seven years before' would have been 1966 or 1967, before or while McCain was a POW. Do you mean a different book by Solzhenitsyn?
20 posted on 08/19/2008 2:09:11 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko (et numquam abrogatam)
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To: Mike Fieschko

I worded that poorly and my years where off (five instead of seven). I was thinking of the third volume of The Gulag Archipelago which was released here in 1978 and was what folks where originally using to accuse McCain.


21 posted on 08/19/2008 2:13:50 PM PDT by mnehring (http://www.heyobamababy.com/obama_baby_cool_cat.htm)
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To: flyfree

If the left keeps this up they will sucessfully run everyone in the center off with their insults and outright lies. Keep talking folks and watch for those tiny bluespots you will have created on the electoral map come November!


22 posted on 08/19/2008 2:24:23 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: mnehrling

Partly my mistake as well. I had forgotten that there was such a long time between the volumes appearing. Funny, it doesn’t seem that long ago. :-)


23 posted on 08/19/2008 2:24:54 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko (et numquam abrogatam)
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To: flyfree
So now we know, this never happened to Solzhenitsyn, and there’s no way McCain could have picked it up from his works.

Well, that proves it. Never happened to Solzhenitsyn. So it couldn't have happened to McCain.

24 posted on 08/19/2008 2:26:20 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: bcsco

You know, Georgia. The 58th state.


25 posted on 08/19/2008 2:37:36 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero
You know, Georgia. The 58th state.

Yep. Obama will announce it at the convention.

26 posted on 08/19/2008 2:41:01 PM PDT by bcsco (Contact McCain today. NO to pro-choice VP!)
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To: ModelBreaker; Chieftain; Hacklehead

The irony of this is that McCain’s ‘cross story” is NOT the issue.

The issue is that McCain has values and ethics and character that have stood the test of time! They were there when he was a POW and he has the SAME ethics, values and character NOW!

I wouldn’t care if McCain was delusional with torture and pain during that time and “hallucinated “ the Cross episode.
It doesn’t matter. And THAT is what the left doesn’t get when they go after “the story”.

Next thing you know they will say that somebody before Jesus did the ‘writing in the sand when an adultress was brought forth” first and Jesus just stole the idea!

What matters is the real life experience of McCain and his character that comes through a hundred of his ‘stories” and more so , his actions.


27 posted on 08/19/2008 2:48:19 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (GOD BLESS GEORGIA! SAVE GEORGIA, OUR ALLY, NOW!)
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To: mnehrling
**Not to mention McCain mentioned this seven years before Solzhenitsyn’s first book was in the US.***

I read “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denesovich” back in 1963 or ‘64.

28 posted on 08/19/2008 3:17:09 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie
Next thing you know they will say that somebody before Jesus did the ‘writing in the sand when an adultress was brought forth” first and Jesus just stole the idea!

Funny you should use that example. There are only three passages in the bible that were not in the original documents. The passage about the prostitute and let he who is without sin . . . is one of those three. In most bibles, if you check, you will find that fact footnoted.

It was added hundreds of years later.

29 posted on 08/19/2008 3:25:38 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: T. Buzzard Trueblood
The leftist 'Rats and their liberal fellow-travelers slobber like Pavlov's dogs at any and every opportunity to somehow ridicule or discredit the Christian faith of anyone
Especially when it collides with their own faith in the dictatorship of the proletariat.


*BIG* Bump! You got that right!
30 posted on 08/19/2008 3:29:28 PM PDT by mkjessup ("People are going to begin to wonder if Russia can be trusted!" - SecState Maddy Rice, well DUH!!!!)
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To: flyfree
Of course we all know that clinton really did make a cross out of stones on a deserted beach because there just happened to be a photographer there. Just like when the clintons were all alone and dancing on another beach. Darn those paparazzi.
31 posted on 08/19/2008 3:34:16 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: flyfree

Liberals might want to sue the guard for violation of separation of Church and State: the camp was government property. Liberals would never allow the display of the cross on the ground at an American school.


32 posted on 08/19/2008 3:51:24 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
See subsequent posts. I was thinking of third edition of the Gulag.
33 posted on 08/19/2008 4:04:21 PM PDT by mnehring (http://www.heyobamababy.com/obama_baby_cool_cat.htm)
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To: ModelBreaker

HA! didn’t know that...there you go.


34 posted on 08/19/2008 4:06:47 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (GOD BLESS GEORGIA! SAVE GEORGIA, OUR ALLY, NOW!)
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity

OT, but
“ There are only three passages in the bible that were not in the original documents. The passage about the prostitute and let he who is without sin . . . is one of those three. In most bibles, if you check, you will find that fact footnoted.”

That story belongs right where it is. Augustine noted it was sometimes omitted from texts because of ‘prudery”—most likely because the pharisees are hinting in that chapter that Jesus was illegitimate (since there was known to be something unusual about his birth—like, why did his parents sneak away to Bethlehem after his wife was pregnant before their marriage?)

Had Jesus said the woman taken in adultery should have been punished, then their next remark would have been, ‘So, how about your own mother, then?’

John’s gospel and John’s Revelation parallel one another (portraits of the Bridegroom and the Bride), and that story is paralleled in Revelation (where the accusers in both books are cast out).


35 posted on 08/19/2008 4:09:17 PM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
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To: flyfree

PWNED KOS! socialist liar radicals.


36 posted on 08/19/2008 4:26:36 PM PDT by JSDude1 (It;s only a protest vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd-pissant)
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To: flyfree

Interesting... Is there nothing the left won’t try? They are getting pretty dang desperate aren’t they? (and I couldn’t be happier, really...).


37 posted on 08/19/2008 9:04:46 PM PDT by LibertyRocks (LR's BLOG: http://libertyrocks.wordpress.com)
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