tv Q A CSPAN February 16, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
>> coming up tonight on c-span, a former air force pilot who talks about his book, leading with honor. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> this week on q&a, lee ellis discusses his five and a half years in north vietnam as a prisoner of war. >> lee ellis, go back to november 7, 1967, at 4:00. what happened? >> i was in my 53rd combat mission in vietnam. and were we rolled in working with a group that had
called us in and said that they needed some bombs on gunners. we rolled into do that and there were two of us on the f-four phantom. airplane came off the at 4000 or 5000 feet. burstlly, the airplane into several pieces. we were tumbling, end over end. there was smoke in the cockpit and i could not commute it with my partner. -- communicate with my partner. i knew i had to get out and i was well trained. i was about to eject over enemy territory that we had to bombing for a couple of years. there was no other choice and i pulled a handle. everything worked automatically and perfectly. it blew the canopy and blew me 50 feet in the air. me,eparated the seats from
which automatically pulled the d-ring. it was less than 2.5 seconds from when i pulled the handle. there was a lot of shooting going on at the ground and they were shooting at our wing man with a nest of guns. there was a good number of militia down there that were protecting a strategic target. a lot of shooting going on. the wonderful training that i had in the air force and the military, they do a great job of training, i was unfazed by the fact that i was in enemy territory and i had bullets going by my parachute. what was on my mind was even eating capture. there was a river to the south, and i thought that if i could get to the river, i have a life raft and i'm only 1.5 miles from the gulf of top can. i can make it there and the navy can pick me up.
unfortunately, i did not have enough altitude to slip my parachute. the old parachutes did not slip area well. -- very well. that is what i did and it took them a couple of minutes to capture me. i made a radio call and call for the wing man. i said that i was on the ground and i was 200 meters north of the river. star strafing at 300 and i am heading south. after the war, i met with the pilots and the plane. -- in the plane. to not strafe because they did not think they could should that accurately. it was a good call because they were all around me. within two minutes, i was captured. >> how may times have you flown over north vietnam? fox 53. >> what was the purpose of the flights?
>> we were in the northern part of vietnam, 70 miles north of the dmz and had been flying all types of missions. thehe time i got there, in summer of 1967, they had changed our mission to only fly on reconnaissance over the southern part of north vietnam. we were flying the ho chi minh trail and the main highways. we were flying the riverway to stop the trucks that were hauling supplies to the viet kong. -- >> how old were you? once i was 23 and turns 24. - turned 24. 23 and i had fun with various people.
-- i had flown with areas people and some new guys with the squadron to check them out. that day, i was flying with a guy named ken fisher. unfortunately for him and fortunately for me, i could not have had a better guy with me. he was a guy of great courage, mentally, physically strong. he ended up being an incredible leader for me. >> where is he today? >> he is retired in tampa florida and playing golf. >> how close are you? >> very close. we do not play golf. we are very close. >> where were you at that point? >> i was 200 meters north of the floodplain anda a bushy area. scrubby bush.
just like the paratroopers are taught to do and we were taught to do, i had hit all the points and had no injuries from the parachute. i had injuries from coming out of the airplane, the straps had hit me in the back of the head. they were not serious. i was thinking about making the call to get their heads down so that i could escape. that did not work and they are closing in on me. i am thinking, unpaid. -- evade. they taught us that the people who capture you are the least trained to capture pows and maintain them. your best chance to escape is then. i thought that these are rookies and i pulled out my combat masterpiece. i ran like this and said, get away and get back. i fired a round over their head.
they did not flinch. they raised their rifles like this and one of them reached in their pocket and pulled out a comic book that some of them carried in their pocket. it had drawings and vietnamese fanatics. the drawings show them capturing -- phonetics. the drawings show them capturing an american pilot. one of them said, surrender, no diet. hands up. hands up. that was the best advice i would get that day and i went hands up. they did not shoot me and pounced on me. >> what was your level of fear? >> i did not have any fear. i was not aware of any fear. my adrenaline was going.
i did not notice fear until they started stripping everything and all of my clothes off. once the cold the survival best off and they could not -- they did not know much about zippers. they started cutting. i was afraid that i was going to get cut. they pulled away my survival best and my flight suit. vest and flight suit. was having so much fear that, by the time i was in my jockey shorts, i was in shock. >> where was the pilot? >> we had to pilots. landedpilots and he half a mile away. they caught him in the parachute before you get the ground. -- he hit the ground.
>> how many years were you in a p.o.w. camp? >> five years. >> what was the first one you want to? -- went to? >> would call that a halfway house or a holding station. it was a bamboo barn building with bamboo cages in its that they kept us in until they got enough people to haul in a truck. generally, we were called and tied up in the back of trucks. was before land camp the hanoi hilton. >> where was the hanoi hilton? >> it is in downtown hanoi stop it is a bit steel with 15 foot high walls. with a 15 foot high
wall. that showssome video the outside of it. this network went over there in 1992 on a pow mia trip with john kerry and john mccain. you can see this. we were not allowed inside of it. how many cells were there and what did it look like? ofit was like being inside -- part of it was like a prison. you see the broken bottles on top of the wall and the electrical wire around it. inside of it was like a compound. ande are various sections two large buildings. holdsis a cellblock that pows in a different area. there is a larger part of it
cells withrge vietnamese prisoners in it for several years. they emptied it out and put 330 pows, back into the and back into the seven rooms where the vietnamese prisoners were. when they were afraid that the united states would write -- raid downtown hanoi, that's where we were. ask you about him after we see this. that is the main reason you are in town. >> shut off from all communications. dumb, i guess. loyalty, that is another thing. we were as loyal as we could be to each other and it meant a great deal.
for myself and everyone will play the same thing, -- will wel you the same thing, loved our country more than we ever wanted to and the flight meant a great deal to us. god had a great meeting to us -- meaning to us. >> who was he? >> robinson reisner. and was awn migs hotshot pilot. he was on the cover of time magazine in 1965. he was shot down and captured in september of 1965. in october of 1965, they andized that he was famous that they had somebody famous. they realized that he was exercising leadership as a
senior ranking officer in the camp and came after him in a big way. that is when the big, bad torture started in 1965. when i got there in 1967, he had been the reigning senior ranking officer. we called him the sro. what an incredible leader to us. he was an inspiration and a tough leader. he led by example and, like denton, stockdale, other great leaders, they other went -- they always went first. they thought that if they could break them, we would follow. that was what was so amazing about this experience. seeing this extraordinary leadership, the courage that enabled him to lean into the pain of their fears and do the right thing to the best of their ability. i use the term, who was he, on purpose.
>> he died six weeks ago and we were having his funeral tomorrow. >> what did he do for the rest of his life? >> he came back and continued his career as a brigadier general in a tactical flying world. an inspirational leader and retired in texas. he was part of the texas war on -- s for a wild insert served.d him and met him in the camps. he was the first american i was able to communicate with, face to face, and it was covert ozaki provide inspiration and he had just came out of 10 months in total darkness. , the passingalled of the night, and it is about
the passing of that long night of darkness. he was in solitary confinement for more than four years of his p.o.w. time. we had covert communication. >> what does that mean? >> we were not allowed to openly communicate with other cells. when you are in solitary confinement, they wanted to have you isolated and so that you could not have teamwork. they had him in solitary confinement an awful lot. we would torture and risk our lives -- we were tortured and risk our lives to communicate in that way. he gave me basic guidance and told me to resist and take torture to the point of having mental or physical damage. give as little as possible. pray every day. go home proud.
we had a mission statement. return with honor. >> when you think back on the first couple of months in the what. present, -- prison, is the first thing you think of? >> scared, cold. it was winter time and it was cold. hungry. scared. we had interrogations and it was not long before we had to put our foot down and say no. they wanted us to fill out a biography and i refused. i went through torture, through torture, my other cellmates winter torture. three times a day, they had propaganda. in, theyl that we were speaker and three times a
day, we got propaganda. it felt that they could convince us that we were right and -- they were right and we were wrong. if we did not have a good attitude and make propaganda for them, we were going to suffer and might not ever go home. i did not believe they could keep us there and i did not believe that the u.s. government would let us stay there. on the other hand, these are communists, desperate to win their costs and be victorious. i did not know what they would do. >> explained what it is like to be cold and why you were cold. >> this was a bastille prison. it is a fairly high ceiling and, in the wintertime, there is no heat, and in the summertime, there is no air. it is damp and cold. cold, unless you
do not have any warm cloth es. we had some blankets and we got another one. irs of thin pajamas and a little cotton sweater. i would wake up at 4:30 in the morning, cold, hungry, and hadn't eaten since 4:00 in the previous day. it was cold. >> what kind of food were you fed? >> six months of pumpkin soup. not much pumpkin. a thin cabbage soup. and, three months of what you would call sewer-green soup. it is like chopped up the lead ds. it's -- lily bu we would have a cup of rice or a
that was the humane torture. they may you torture yourself in a position of stress on your knees with your hands over her head. irons. after hours and hours of that, your body starts quivering and shaking. you cannot do that anymore and you fall over and get some rest. i was able to do that for quite a while and he put a guard on me. they would catch me and i would put my hands back up. we would go through round after round of this. they put a guard on me to stay with me. they determine if they are going to escalate until i said that i would do it. that is what i figured out and that is what i did. >> how long were you tortured and how much weight did you lose? >> it was a similar type thing. in theclose to 20 pounds
early years. 155-160 and i went down to 130. >> how sick were you? >> i stay pretty healthy. i got the flu. there was one time that and i went through the camp. i got jaundice and hepatitis -- pink eye went through the camp. i got jaundice and hepatitis. it was one of those fluke things. he got typhoid fever and did not make it. >> i want to run some video and ask you if you have heard this person or the speaker. -- the american
to our sense here to fight the war -- who are sent here to fight the war. i want the gis to resist. they do not take part of the fighting best in the fighting -- in the fighting. it is difficult. our job is to make them believe that the world they -- war they are fighting is not just and is against the vietnamese people. the vietnamese people want to be free and they should not be here. >> hanoi hannah. >> she taught me that her son was in san francisco and working and going to school. what impact did she have? >> humor.
she provided humor. pretty well educated. i was the youngest guy in the camp. most of the guys were pretty well educated. is, why youay, "g notg in a war that does matter to you." we're this every day. she provided good humor for us when she mispronounced words, english words. like, she was reading a list of people who were killed in action. those who died and not for the fatherland. she had one person from chicago 3. this was back when illinois was abbreviated "ill." she was quoting somebody who was
said, and, a middle-aged lady from detroit said. that became some fun. people would say, how did you know that? and they would say, i heard it from a middle-aged lady in detroit. it must be true. >> what did they do to the prisoners of war that worked? ore propaganda effort torture effort that had a negative impact? >> yeah. >> if you look at the lessons to the future, what would you suggest works? >> there were few people who side with them. there were 4-5 out of 400. one percent. >> you are talking about american military people who
sided with them. >> is that what you're talking about? you are talking about the guys in the battlefield. some of those guys -- some of those guys were not sound about who they were and got in that situation and were afraid. they reverted to survival and were taking care of themselves to survive and go home. they rationalize that we should not have been in this war. remember the teachers at the universities who were anti-war in the national relations classes. they put it together with the propaganda and said that we should not have been there in the first place. that is fine if you are in the streets of chicago or washington. when you wear the uniform, you cannot just change her mind. -- your mind.
>> where did the kernel rank in the camps? >> there were four of us in there for nine months. one of them was the lieutenant colonel. within a few months, we noticed that he was starting to talk like them and sounds like hanoi hannah. a softer version. agreeing with them that we should not be there and the bombing was not the best thing and all of this kind of stuff. here is a first lieutenant looking a lieutenant colonel in the face and saying, i don't think you need to be talking and thinking that way. and 8-10 pageote description of how some of the military operated in his world. fisher, who i was flying with and the second ranking guy in the cell, he said that he
should take command of the cell and relieve him. will you support me? we said, absolutely. room,e came back in the he was relieved of command in order to comply with the code of conduct. he said, well, this is not a declared war and it is every man for himself and i do not think that the code of conduct applies. >> what happened to the relationship? >> it was kind of icy. we had to tolerate and live and let live. he went to another camp and we never saw him again. we heard from other pows that he continued to collaborate and ratted on them for communicating. they put him in a key corner room where the covert communications had to go around his corner to go down the other hallway. he ratted onelp,
the guys for communication. is he alive? -- >> is you live? -- he alive? >> i would assume so. we try to court-martial him. not in thed it was best interests of the country in the war was over. if we court-martial him, it would be a trial of the war and movie stars with a lot of money would pump money into his case. it was not worth it. they gave him a letter of censure. and john mccain was in our studio. i want to get your reaction to this. >> this is where john mccain was kept. >> how long? do you know?
charge ofot in prisoners. >> was he here by himself? [indiscernible] >> edit a bit. the windows were all bricked over and the only ventilation came from some small holes. >> when he said the windows were there with bars on it, that was not true. >> it had been there. but, they kept is isolated. second of all, there was never i saw inshelter that the 2.5 years in prison nor, did we go to any bomb shelter. we would have to be together and they did not want that to happen. >> he wrote the forward for your
book. to know each other when we went back to the camp. after the agreement was signed up by thehey lined us capture date because that was the way they were going to release us over the span of two months. captured 11 been days apart and we were in the same group. we were together in the camp. they had to open the doors and we walked around the courtyard and were together. we walked and talked for a couple of months before we came home. we work together on our reunion and we coordinated one reunion and he coordinated the other. we see each other at reunions occasionally and i have been to his office in the last few years to see him. he was kind enough to write the
forward to the book. , how many total pows were there during the war? >> there were 650 at the end of the war that came out of southeast asia. wereich, about 500 aircrews that were up in the hanoi area. of those, about 350 were there for more than five years. it was like two groups. there were people who were there for longer than five years and the bombing stopped in 1968. it did not resume for 2-3 years. there is a big gap where there were no p.o.w.'s coming into the system. we were wondering when somebody was going to take some action to get us out of here. there are were two groups. >> how many died in captivity? >> i do not know.
, theres i do know about were nine who were alive and did not come back. a couple were tortured to death. a couple got very ill, that sort of thing. there are 2-3 that died after capture. the local populace killed them before they got to hanoi. there were others in laos that we do not know. >> this next video is a man with end up as a united states senator after he was a p.o.w.. i -- p.o.w. i want to talk about him. > denton was released from prison. he was a spokesman for the group of returning pows and was asked to make a statement. to serve ourored
country. we are profoundly grateful to our commander-in-chief and our nation for this day. god bless america. >> god bless america! >> where were you around the time that that happened? had you already touched down? >> no. i was still sitting in prison in hanoi and we came out in three urrge groups -- i am sorry, fo groups. those were the old guys who had been there 7.5-8 years. harris, about eight
years. some of those guys had been there for six years. thinking had been there for seven years. ton had been there for seven years. he gave the first words and he is a gifted speaker. done great leadership and courageous leadership over the years in solitary confinement for more than four years. he was a good spokesman for us and it worked out well. but explain what solitary confinement really means. solitary and what find it really means. what would it be like if we were in solitary confinement? what would the atmosphere be like what mark >> you would be all alone. the turnkey would open with a guard with a wife. there is a pocket.
-- buckets. that is your bathroom. liters of water in a pitcher. they would come by and pick up the bowls and spoons. another p.o.w. will be watching -- washing. other than that, interrogation. that is not a good thing. it depends on what you are in solitary for and how long you are going to be there. they can be fairly often. >> was there a light on in the cell? >> yes. there is one lightbulb hanging down from the ceiling. not a very bright light. sometimes, they turn those off in the daytime.
they always burned all my lawn. >> did you have a chair? >> i never sat in a chair, except in interrogation, for 5.5 years. >> why? >> there were no chairs. p.o.w. cells have no chairs. you sit on a concrete or wooden slab. i never sat in a chair. there was a stool. our heads would always be lower than the interrogator. they are sitting in a regular chair and we are sitting in a stool. , that meansture that they are more important. >> you talk about the value of your religion in this atmosphere. explain how important that was. >> yeah. i grew up in age from christian home. i went to -- in a strong
christian home. i had a strong foundation of faith. i am from athens, georgia. a little town called commerce is where i went to school. i had all the adventures of growing up on a farm. faith -- you know, when you're alone -- first of all, as a fighter pilot, you are confident, cocky, you can do anything. that sort of stuff. when you depend on your enemy to keep you alive, feed you, have a roof over your head, you know you are not powerful and it puts things in a different perspective than in america, when you are driving down the freeway and enjoying hot air and water. we did not have anything but the basics.
my relationship with god was very important and so was prayer. everybody prayed. room of four guys, we did not talk all day. there might be total silence for 30 minutes or an hour. we were waiting for the next event to happen. somebody is sitting over there in meditation or prayer. you shut up and you cannot disturb them. there was a lot of that going. we would ask for a bible and they would not give us one. the communists did not like religion. >> somebody wrote down the bible and memorized it? had memorized verses and we would pass those around through our communication system and memorize more. and the chi minh died american national league of families got organized, there was a lot of pressure on the
north vietnamese for better treatment. >> 1969? >> they put a lot of pressure and the new leadership came in. the bad publicity, they did not like. the new leadership cut out most of the day stay torture and it was rare for somebody to be twittered after that. that.tured after they went to a live and let live policy. we were for a bible and in a big sell after a raid. one guy -- two guys could go out and copy a chapter out of the minutes on a piece of paper and bring it back into the room and we would share that. cell, we had amy guy in charge of church service
and he was a good speaker. it was interesting and there was some fabulous homilies there and myself from grizzly old firefight it's -- fighter pilots. there was one guy, i did not know it at the time, but one of the guys was thinking about committing suicide. the only time i had heard about that was this particular individual and he gave a speech -- my buddy gave a little sermon that day about how blessed we were and look around, we have lost buddies on the battlefield and we still have two hands, to wo eyes. we are doing pretty good. >> here is a familiar face from the 1992 campaign. another prisoner of war. along in thise
20th century and we have become litigious. we believe that somebody owes us an explanation, an apology, a payback, for something that is not quite right. when you talk about warriors who -- that theen alive government owes you a blow-by-blow description about their demise, there has never been a war in history where a government can do that. the government owes us an explanation for what happened to a guy who was last seen alive on the battlefield -- i mean, can anybody see that as a possible reality? was rossl stockdale perot's running mate.
he was a senior ranking officer in the camps and a commander in the navy. what did he do that showed leadership? one period, he was the ranking officer. stockdale was running the show. >> where was the zoo? >> that was the old film studio on the south side of town. it was another camp where a couple hundred guys were for a quite -- for quite a long time. a lot of people were beaten and tortured. knewto stockdale, they that he was a big fish, also. he was a senior naval officer and they tortured him a number of times, over and over. they wanted him to make propaganda and propaganda movies. he said the policy, like
reisner, same policy. we are going to resist them and not collaborate with them. we are going to do our very best. when they wanted him to be in this movie, he cut a reverse mohawk in his stealth. they said that he was not getting out of this movie. and lefta cap on him him in a room with a milking stool. he took the milking stool and beat his face black and blue, until his face was all swollen and they could not use them in the movie. >> how much was he tortured? what's a lot. a lot. >> what kind of impact did it have on him? >> he was in the ropes and he was beaten. pretzel? are tied and
the elbows are tied. they would throw you on the ground and step on your elbows. they would keep pulling them and pulling them until your elbows touch. it is an unnatural act. >> did it happen to you? >> it did not. >> once the elbows were tied, one guy is behind you and lifting up on your arms behind your back and one guy is in front of you with his foot under her head, pulling that up. up your armshing over your head and tie you in that position. --was a terrible, terrible >> had people get through that? -- how do people get through that? >> mental toughness. there is no way they can make
you do something. wouldale, reisner, they eventually give in. they would eventually given. -- give in. they would try to get them to back off, they usually would not. you giving at a point where you can outsmart them. in at a point where you can outsmart them. we wanted to give in before we ever really gave in. >> what is the story of paul galante? >> he was a cell mate of mine. he got their 1.5 years before me and had been through a lot of the old stuff that i had not been through back in 1966. he was a real veteran.
they were trying to do a propaganda thing with them and they brought him into a cell. it was well organized and they were going to take a picture of him for propaganda purposes. he sat down on the end of his cell and, in order to outsmart them and show his defiance, he put both figures down between his legs and gave them the bird. that picture is taken by a photographer and was on the cover of life magazine that year. fingerstoshopped the out. >> did he have any retribution? >> i cannot tell you. i have forgotten. there was always retribution if they figured it out. ed torture.k
tured him, he was blinking morse code. know about that. they probably would have killed him. and whatid you find have you done? >> 24.5 years. >> what was your last rank? >> full colonel. leadershipo organizations. we had 800 officers going through in a .5 week officer week officer 8.5 leadership course. my parents were getting old and they had sacrificed a lot for my air force career. and ran the rotc program for 2.5 years. that was a great experience.
after my flying career, and i had a great flying career after i came back, i was in leadership development and for the last 16 or 17 years, i have been a leadership consultant. i worked to make the book focused towards leadership. leadership that we experienced was so remarkable that we may that see this example of much great leadership under such difficult circumstances again in my lifetime. thatw much do you find people know about the vietnam war today? >> all the people remember a lot remember a lot a number people do not know a lot. it is natural and they are looking forward, and not back. vietnam veterans are getting proper recognition. they did not get it when they
came home. the p.o.w.'s did. most veterans were spit on or uniformo wear their because the antiwar movement was ulgar. they are being accepted and the veterans have done well. some have had homelessness and drug problems. gains -- economic success, mayor success, -- marriage success, career success , we have outperformed the general society. always want to fly and when i got into the university of georgia, i got into the rotc and it was smooth sailing. >> i want to ask you about some of the names that you labeled your vietnamese caretakers in the p.o.w. camp.
-- dumb-dumb. >> he was a big roots and dumb as dirt. and dumb as dirt. you had to name people and places. cellblocks are named after las vegas casinos in the 1960's. you had to name the guards. guards.b was one of the the first time i got to the hanoi hilton, i was given a pair of pajamas and had my first back in two weeks. by thesea little stool guys who had written on the truck with me. and immaculately fitting uniform, puts his hands
up at this and looks around. is in the fire. i almost laughed in his face. if that had not been such a situation, i would have. he memorized american idioms. he -- >> how often would you take your and putt or honey pots it under the door. >> not very often. we did it a few times. >> explain what you did. >> we had a guard who was bothering us. they could not get to us. they did not trust the guard with the key. they would yell at us and irritate us. they would trash talk us.
they would open up our portable to look in and do that. to pull the said lid underneath a honeypot and sit under the door. the next time he opens the door, he gets a sniff of the honeypot. he opened up the porthole and left. tpea?o was swee >> he was our turnkey. he was a good guy. there was a guy across the hall and he brought him back. lockedmed him in and it. he looked in and saw that there were five guys and not four. he would moan.
he grabbed him and put him across the hall. party campmmunist meetings -- like revival --and he had confessed what he had done -- and he had confessed what he had done. he was missing some stripes. >> did anybody pop one of the guards? >> one guy did. he was a big football player-type. they were messing with him and he hauled off and hit one. the hit him in the back of net with an ak-47 and he had some serious long-term injuries from it. >> here's a video on somebody you might recognize coming back from the p.o.w. camps. >> yeah.
>> recognize any of those people? >> yeah, that is the guy across the hall. that guy looks familiar. >> that is you. >> i started growing my fighter pilot mustache again. >> is the eyebrows that are rather strong. but yeah, i always have -- >> where are you? >> the philippines. remember theu details of those days -- how much do you remember the details of those days? >> some. >> were you ever bitter? >> i was when i was there. i hated the communists. communism is built on a lie.
>> is that your family? >> no. all those people were there and had worn our bracelets. they came out and hugged us. we just let them. we have not seen any females in seven years. it was nice. --acted the bitterness thing back to the bitterness thing, have you been back? cruise from on a hong kong to hanoi. i saidterness issue, that the last couple of years were more live and let live. it was a time for us to decompress and give us an opportunity to have less ptsd. we came home physically and
mentally well because of the live and let live. better food, better treatment, no torture. we had time to think about what our future look like when we got home. we were smart enough to know the bitterness would never hurt them. us.ould only hurt it only takes that much bitterness to ruin your life. why should we go home to bitterness? layer being and washed away of anger and bitterness. i do not think any of us lost all of the anger. i think most of the bitterness. my anger is with communism. it is built upon and intellectual life and can only exist where there is a gun. >> when that ship goes to hanoi, what are you going to do? >> i don't know. i can go in like a torres.
i have the mental ability to turn off all of motions when i need to. i can go in and be like a tourist. i do not know if i will do that or go in and celebrate being free. i have no idea what is going to happen. >> what is located at the hanoi hilton area now? and think there is a hotel some office buildings. they have a small museum. that is what i hear. a lot of the guys have gone back and have been well received through vietnam. some of my friends have been back three or four times and enjoyed going back. we were well treated by people and they said a lot of nasty things about the russians. >> really? >> how could it be that the vietnam people would greet us friendly and have a negative impression of the russians? >> i think because russians are russians and americans are
americans. we are naturally people who want to help people and the russians do too, -- the russians do, too. not communists. >> did you worry that you are killing human beings when you were dropping bombs? >> not for long. i was a warrior and it was war. they were on one side and i was on the other. that is the bad thing about war. how many of the 500 or so american pows in northern vietnam are still alive today? >> 65-70%. if there were 400 of us there that were there for five years, there are 280 of us still alive. >> how often do you see them? >> some of them i see every
year, some of them i have not seen at all in 20-30 years. >> we are out of time. lee ellis, the book is called reading with honor. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> for free transcripts or to give us your comment about this program, visit us at you and day.org. q and a is also available as a podcast.
>> tonight on c-span, david cameron answers questions about flood relief in southern england. lawsuitalks about his on the obama administration's privacy rights violations of american citizens. right toons and the vote. then, another look at you and day. from the british house of commons, this is half an hour. >> order. ell, we got through the lots and the principals of present and house is expectant and we can move on to questions to the prime minister. >> number one, mr. speaker.