Michael Goldfarb calls any questions about the cross-in-the-dirt story desperate smears:
Those desperate to discredit Senator McCain's record will have to impugn his fellow prisoners as well. 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."
Here is how Swindle describes it to Byron York:
"I vaguely recall that story being told, among other stories."
Convinced? The answer as to why McCain never mentioned this in his first account or for a quarter century since and didn't even recall it when asked to recount memories of three separate Christmases in captivity is dismissed with the usual gambit:
It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.
Ben Smith notes:
The easiest way to knock this down would be with an instance of McCain mentioning it between his captivity and 1999.
Somehow I doubt that will happen, don't you?