8:22am UK, Thursday October 23, 2008

Footage of John McCain being interviewed as a bedridden prisoner during the Vietnam War has been released by the French national archive.

The video portrays the Republican as a hero but the message may be tarnished as he is filmed smoking a cigarette.

In the footage an emotional and shirtless McCain passes a message to his wife saying he will get well and loves her.

He also describes being shot down over Hanoi in 1967, and parachuting into a lake.

At times, when speaking of his family, McCain's lower lip trembles and his voice breaks.

"I was on a flight over the city (Hanoi) ... and I was bombing and I was hit by a missile or anti-aircraft fire, I'm not sure which," he said, adding that his plane "went straight down".

After landing in the lake, McCain said he "was picked up and taken to the hospital, where I almost died".

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/US-...00810415126616