What about McCain’s Terrorist Sympathizer Pals?

I know Gordon Liddy, he’s paid his debt, he went to prison, he paid his debt, as people do. I’m not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy.

Frankly, I’m underwhelmed with David Letterman’s performance last night. Yeah, yeah, Letterman actually put McCain on the spot about his ties to Gordon Liddy. But Letterman didn’t have the proper rejoinder to McCain’s claim that Liddy has paid for his crime–that (like Ayers) Liddy has no remorse for those crimes.

Does he regret burgling the offices of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and setting in chain the resignation of a President? A vein twitches angrily on one of his scales, but he replies in a level voice, "No."

Letterman should also have pointed out that the only reason Ayers didn’t "pay his debt" is because the federal government was engaging in the same kind of illegal surveillance that McCain has supported under the Bush Administration and so couldn’t convict Ayers.

But since Letterman did bust McCain for Palin’s claim that Obama "palled around" with terrorists, plural, it’s probably worth pointing out the number of terrorists McCain pals around with. 

The media has already talked about McCain’s ties to John Singlaub and the US Council for World Freedom, which had ties to Nazi collaborators and right-wing death squads. McCain claims to have resigned the board in 1984–though he remained supportive until 1986. And he attended the group’s events after the time, in 1984, when Jack Anderson (whom Gordon Liddy plotted to kill) exposed the group’s ties to far-right radicals.

A news article and two documents tie McCain to the council in 1985, a year after he says he resigned. The group’s Internal Revenue Service filing in 1985, covering the previous year, lists McCain as a member of the council’s advisory board. In October 1985, a States News Service report placed McCain, Rep. Tom Loeffler, R-Texas, and an Arizona congressman at a Washington awards ceremony staged by the council.

This was McCain palling around with right-wing extremists who served as a front to supply funds to terrorists. 

And then there’s Carl Lindner, the CEO of Chiquita during a period when it was knowingly providing material support to terrorists in Colombia, first FARC and then AUC. McCain palled around with Lindner in July at a $25,000 fundraiser in Ohio.

[In July], Lindner co-hosted a $25,000-per-person fundraiser for McCain and the Republican Party in the wealthy Indian Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. The event raised about $2 million; Lindner also serves on McCain’s Ohio Victory Team.

And McCain championed a land swap in Arizona for Lindner–back when Chiquita was funding FARC.

In the late 1990s, McCain promoted a deal in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest involving property part-owned by Great American Life Insurance, a company run by billionaire Carl H. Lindner Jr., a prolific contributor to national political parties and presidential candidates.

So in the 1980s, the 1990s, and as recently as July, McCain has palled around with people who showed no regret for having materially supported terrorists. 

McCain’s argument about Ayers is obviously illogical. He says "all you need to know" is that Ayers was unrepentent in 2001 about his activities. Of course, what he doesn’t say is that most of Obama’s interactions with Ayers took place before that statement (they continued to serve on the Woods Foundation together until 2002, but their other interactions all preceded that). 

All you need to know, in other words, is that McCain is sliming Obama with a statement that Ayers made after most of their interaction was over. Yet McCain has a consistent history of palling around with right wing terrorist supporters–even after they express no regret for having done so.

  1. perris says:

    I’m with you marcy, I think letterman was pretty unprepared for the questions he planned on posing to mccain and the obvious response mccain was going to have.

    But at least letterman did ask and did do some follow up…his peers might want to take notice

    what I DID notice was how mccain groveled, man he looked like a beaten old man, not the image you want to project when running for president

  2. azportsider says:

    ”The media has already talked about McCain’s ties to John Singlaub and the US Council for World Freedom, which had ties to Nazi collaborators and right-wing death squads.”

    Possibly, EW, but not nearly enough.

  3. Ishmael says:

    “And then there’s Carl Lindner, the CEO of Chiquita during a period when it was knowingly providing material support to terrorists in Colombia, first FARC and then AUC”

    Obviously, if Senator McCain had taken the time to actually go and visit Colombia recently, he would have known this! Oh, wait…..never mind!

  4. Ishmael says:

    Juan Cole notes that McCain actually sent $400 of (Cindy’s?) money directly to the contra right wing death squads in Nicaragua in 1988, even when it was clear that they were not the “freedom fighters” Reagan claimed them to be.


  5. drational says:

    I wasn’t expecting Letterman to be a journalist or a partisan. He is a comedian. So I was not too disappointed.

    The Palin plural terrorists is Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Since the coffee was held in the couple’s home, according to the GOP Obama is associated with both of them.

    OT, but please look at the internals of Rasmussen’s latest Ohio polling….
    They are push polling ACORN and vote fraud:

    But only 53% of Ohio voters are now Very Confident that the votes will be properly counted and the right candidate declared the victor. Another 34% are Somewhat Confident in the outcome.

    Forty-five (45%) say people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote are likely to vote on Election Day. Just 28% say it’s more likely that some who are eligible will be denied the chance to vote.

    Late Wednesday, Ohio’s attorney general filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of blocking a lower court ruling that could prevent thousands of Ohio voters from voting on Election Day.

    With this pro-GOP questioning, they are tied 49-49, but the last poll without the ACORN questions Obama was up 49-47.

    Rasmussen is sneaky.

  6. skdadl says:

    I believe that the actual 2001 quote from Ayers is

    “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough,”

    That’s not the same as “I wish we’d bombed more,” which is what McCain has claimed before and says in that clip. And I believe Ayers has recently explicitly denied that that’s what he meant (not that that’s much help in reasoning with McCain).

  7. mkls says:

    Letterman opened the discussion.
    And the Google trends indicate that “Gordon Liddy” was the top search item last night.
    Letterman created an opening. And I don’t think it’s his last word either. Look how he eviscerated McCain after his non-appearance. Carefully, day after day, slightly deeper each day.
    He’ll never paint more than an impression — he’s no EW, after all — but the appetite for more information is, at long last, out there.

  8. Leen says:

    EW In I believe it was 1983 or 4 I was able to ask Gordon Liddy a question when he was paid to be a guest speaker here at Ohio University at Memorial Auditorium. I asked him if he had ever killed anyone. His answer “not with my own hands” This is no bull shit.

    I was also able to change a sign that night that the university had hanging up over the college gate. The sign said “Liddy Live Tonight” Simple to change…. crossed out the V added S “Liddy Lies Tonight” (always carry my sign making magic markers)

    Several Professor friends helped me up to the sign.

    Hope the Diane Rehm show mentions the Iraq War Vets protesting and being arrested outside the debate. What a way to treat our Vets…Ignore them and then endlessly cover Joe the Not Plumber.

  9. PJEvans says:

    Republicans believe in remorse, rehabilitation, and redemption – but only for themselves. The rest of us – the vast majority – are unsalvageable, in their opinion.

    And they claim to be Christians.

  10. Leen says:

    On the Diane Rehm show this morning Joe the Plumber was said 17 times that I could count, I believe they said it more often. Chris Matthews reported that Joe the Plumber was said 32 times during the debate. No mention anywhere on the MSM (that I have heard) and very little coverage on those Iraq Vets Against the War who were arrested outside of the debate in the progressive blogosphere. Ignore the war Ignore the Vets this is the new way since the campaigns started close to two years ago. Pathetic.

    Joe the Plumber is the new Lipstick on Pigs. Enough!

  11. Neil says:

    Video of Letterman quizzing McCain on Gordon Liddy

    The one in the post is no longer available. This one has been seen by CBS and they’ve decided to allow it so long as they get the advertising revenue.

  12. Leen says:

    Chris Matthews challenged one of McCains people about McCains unwillingness to use the debate to tone down the dangerous rhetoric on the “paling around with terrorist” rhetoric. Matthew was pissed about McCains unwillingness to tone this crazy talk down

    who is the real McCain

    Chris Matthews stayed on this for at least half of the hour last night.

    • dosido says:

      I am happy to see someone in MSM (besides KO) who is outraged about this. I’m going to check out your link. Thanks Leen.

  13. siri says:

    yeah, well, THAT’S what we need in this country right now!
    A “that’s all you need to know” president, after the “i don’t know jack shit and you don’t need to either” president of the last 8 years!

    And Obama wants to put his cabinet meetings on CSpan.

    do it today, now, if you can!!!!!

  14. Leen says:

    Damn good news..whee hee.

    Ohio Republicans were just handed a defeat by the Supreme Court for the voter registration controversy:

    The Supreme Court is siding with Ohio’s top elections official in a dispute with the state Republican Party over voter registrations.

    The justices on Friday overruled a federal appeals court that had ordered Ohio’s top elections official to do more to help counties verify voter eligibility.

    Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, faced a deadline of Friday to set up a system to provide local officials with names of newly registered voters whose driver’s license numbers or Social Security numbers on voter registration forms don’t match records in other government databases.

    We will have video shortly of Pete Williams explaining the decision on MSNBC.


  15. bell says:

    connecting a candidate to terrorists to lessen their position or likely votes is a regular formula of the far right wing.. the fact obama didn’t do the same by giving back to mccain and palin what they like to dish out always strikes me as incomplete.. maybe i am missing something..

    • dosido says:

      What people are referring to as the “high road” is really Obama stepping out of it and saying “see? here’s what they are trying to do. They’re trying to fool you.”

      He is educating people on the use of rhetoric. Like when he said during the debate, your use of this charge says more about your (losing) campaign than it does about me. It put the mud right back on McCain. That said, the campaign put out an internet documentary on the Keating 5 and if people are interested they can find it.


  16. Pectopah2 says:

    It would be interesting to compare the amount of damage the weatherman cost the US taxpayers, versus how much damage Keating caused the US taxpayers, keeping in mind that unlike Obama, McCain was in a position to stop Keating, but refused.

  17. Gitcheegumee says:

    McCain Still Receives Big $$$s from Keating S&L Figure Linked to BCCI and Organized Crime
    Posted by leveymg in General Discussion
    Thu Aug 21st 2008, 06:18 PM
    A lot of people are familiar with S&L crook Charles Keating’s illegal contributions to John McCain in the 1980s. What most don’t know, however, was that Keating was implicated in the BCCI takeover of a number of S&Ls, including his own. With me, so far?

    Carl Lindner, an Ohio billionaire with CIA and underworld connections who owned Chiquita Bananas, was Charles Keating’s original partner, banker, and mentor. Lindner got Keating wrapped up with schemes involving the usual cast of BCCI characters, shady Saudi bankers, the Bush family, and Iran-Contra money laundering. Keating was always a sort of pass-through guy, without any real money of his own. But, a lot of money flowed through Keating to McCain and his wife, Cindy, in an Arizona real estate scam. Lindner who was recently convicted of financing Right-wing death squads in Colombia, is still giving big, dirty campaign checks to McCain. Now, that’s a story that the American people need to hear.

    leveymg’s Journal – THE CRIMES AND COVERUPS OF JOHN McCAIN, “REFORMER” Jun 3, 2008 … Like the Bush Family, McCain had his Hand in the BCCI and S&L Scandals McCain claims that his involvement in the Keating S&L scandal wasn’t …
    http://journals.democraticunderground.com/… – 48k

    McCain Backer’s Firm Pleaded Guilty To Funding Terrorist Group In Colombia …Jul 2, 2008 … Late last week, Lindner co-hosted a $25000-per-person fundraiser for McCain and the Republican Party in the wealthy Indian Hills …
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/02/m… – 146k

  18. masaccio says:

    I know about Liddy. In the mid-90s, we were operating a talk radio station, which ran G. Gordon Liddy’s show. We sold it in about August, 1994, and the buyer took over operations pending closing. It was about that time Liddy said something like if the ATF comes after you, aim at the head, there’s no armor. I called the lawyer for the buyer and asked them to fire Liddy because that was anti-American and a disgusting example of encouraging violence. The buyer, a right-winger, was thrilled with Liddy, and kept him.

  19. ekunin says:

    WShen Letterman asked McCain “What happened?”, McCain replied, “I screwed up.” Letterman should have followed up with, “Would you say you used bad judgment?” Curious to see what McCain would have said.

    I agree Letterman could have been more pointed. Perhaps he’s hedging his bets just in case the guy becomes president.