Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Begala Was Right, and Clarification

It was just two days ago when Paul Begala said (on "This Week") that he'd learned some rather disturbing information with regard to John McCain's former alliances that he intentionally left out of his book. Well, as Sarah Errorcuda said, it's time to put the heels on and take the gloves off.

Hot off the presses is this article detailing McCain's ties to, and involvement with, the U.S. Council For World Freedom, and its parent organization, the World Anti-Communist League.

The Republican party likes to paint Obama with the brush of "guilt by association". Well, maybe they should do a couple of self-portraits while they're at it.

Some highlights from Pete Yost's article:

In the 1980s, McCain served on the advisory board to the U.S. chapter of an international group linked to ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America.
The U.S. Council for World Freedom aided rebels trying to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua. That landed the group in the middle of the Iran-Contra affair and in legal trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, which revoked the charitable organization's tax exemption."

"The council created by retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub was the U.S. chapter of the World Anti-Communist League, an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. After setting up the U.S. council, Singlaub served as the international league's chairman."

McCain's tie to Singlaub's council is undergoing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Obama for his link to Ayers, a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago. Over the weekend, Democratic operative Paul Begala said on ABC's "This Week" that this "guilt by association" tactic could backfire on the McCain campaign by renewing discussion of McCain's service on the board of the U.S. Council for World Freedom, "an ultraconservative right-wing group."

In two interviews with The Associated Press in August and September, Singlaub said McCain became associated with the organization in the early 1980s as McCain launched his political career. McCain was elected to the U.S. House in 1982.

The White House-directed network's covert arms shipments, financed in part by the Reagan administration's secret arms sales to Iran, exploded into the Iran-Contra affair in November 1986. The scandal proved to be the undoing of Singlaub's council.

The Latin American affiliate was kicked out of the league. At the time, Singlaub told the columnist the Latin American affiliate had "knowingly promoted pro-Nazi groups" and was "virulently anti-Semitic."

Wow, that's some pretty heavy stuff.

A clarification is in order, however. Based on what little was available a couple of days ago, I misattributed the McCain-Singlaub connection to the Iran half of Iran-Contra. So Singlaub wasn't selling arms to the Iranians. Instead, he was arming right wing death squads in Nicaragua. And John McCain sat on the board of the organization doing so. My bad.

Really, if smarmy elitist jerkoffs like Tucker Bounds want to play guilt by association, I'll cally our Ayres and raise you one Singlaub. I'm pretty certain that sitting on the board of an organziation neck deep in Iran-Contra during the 1980s is far more damning than sitting on a non-profit school improvement board with a guy whose criminal transgressions took place while you were in the 2nd or 3rd grade. Ayers never actually killed anyone -- how many Nicaraguan deaths did John McCain's U.S. Council for World Freedom directly fund?

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