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.