McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra case
- 10-07-2008, 06:24 AM
McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra case
Interesting read this morning.......
McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra case
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
24 minutes ago
GOP presidential nominee John McCain has past connections to a private group that supplied aid to guerrillas seeking to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua in the Iran-Contra affair.
McCain's ties are facing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago.
The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe.
The council's founder, retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, said McCain became associated with the organization in the early 1980s as McCain was launching his political career in Arizona. Singlaub said McCain was a supporter but not an active member in the group.
"McCain was a new guy on the block learning the ropes," Singlaub told The Associated Press in an interview. "I think I met him in the Washington area when he was just a new congressman. We had McCain on the board to make him feel like he wasn't left out. It looks good to have names on a letterhead who are well-known and appreciated.
"I don't recall talking to McCain at all on the work of the group," Singlaub said.
The renewed attention over McCain's association with Singlaub's group comes as McCain's campaign steps up criticism of Obama's dealings with William Ayers, a college professor who co-founded the Weather Underground and years later worked on education reform in Chicago alongside Obama. Ayers held a meet-the-candidate event at his home when Obama first ran for public office in the mid-1990s.
Obama was roughly 8 years old when Ayers, now at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was working with the Weather Underground, which took responsibility for bombings that included nonfatal blasts at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. McCain's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, has said that Obama "pals around with terrorists."
In McCain's case, Singlaub knew McCain's father, a Navy admiral who had sought Singlaub's counsel when McCain, a Navy pilot, became a prisoner of war and spent 5 1/2 years in North Vietnamese hands.
"John's father asked me for advice about what he ought to do now that his son had been shot down and captured," Singlaub recalled in one of two recent interviews. "I said, 'As long as you don't give any impression that you care more about him than you care about any of the other prisoners, he won't be treated any differently.'"
Covert arms shipments to the rebels called Contras, financed in part by secret arms sales to Iran, became known as the Iran-Contra affair. They proved to be the undoing of Singlaub's council.
In 1987, the Internal Revenue Service withdrew the tax-exempt status of Singlaub's group because of its activities on behalf of the Contras.
Elected to the House in 1982 and at a time when he was on the board of Singlaub's council, McCain was among Republicans on Capitol Hill expressing support for the Contras, a CIA-organized guerrilla force in Central America. In 1984, Congress cut off CIA funds for the Contras.
Months before the cutoff, top Reagan administration officials ramped up a secret White House-directed supply network and put National Security Council aide Oliver North in charge of running it. The goal was to keep the Contras operational until Congress could be persuaded to resume CIA funding.
Singlaub's private group became the public cover for the White House operation.
Secretly, Singlaub worked with North in an effort to raise millions of dollars from foreign governments.
McCain has said previously he resigned from the council in 1984 and asked in 1986 to have his name removed from the group's letterhead.
"I didn't know whether (the group's activity) was legal or illegal, but I didn't think I wanted to be associated with them," McCain said in a newspaper interview in 1986.
Singlaub does not recall any McCain resignation in 1984 or May 1986. Nor does Joyce Downey, who oversaw the group's day-to-day activities.
"That's a surprise to me," Singlaub said. "This is the first time I've ever heard that. There may have been someone in his office communicating with our office."
"I don't ever remember hearing about his resigning, but I really wasn't worried about that part of our activities, a housekeeping thing," said Singlaub. "If he didn't want to be on the board that's OK. It wasn't as if he had been active participant and we were going to miss his help. He had no active interest. He certainly supported us."
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Questions or Comments
- 10-07-2008, 01:52 PM
Its amazing how the APs reaction to dirt on Obama is not to run a story on it, but to try to dig up dirt on McCain.
10-07-2008, 02:04 PM
It's because the so called dirt on Obama is old hearsay. This unfortunately for John McCain is public record. The fact is though it's all part of the chess game being played on both sides for the hearts of the undecided. I have always felt that all politicians are full of crap, we as individuals pick the ones we believe are full of less of it. We can read and research all we want but we really know very little of the absolute truth, so the game continues.
10-07-2008, 02:50 PM
10-07-2008, 04:06 PM
10-07-2008, 04:09 PM
Imo, That whole Iran Contra scandal was pretty much glossed over at the time under the cloak of invincibility that Ronald Regan enjoyed.
10-07-2008, 07:41 PM
Hearsay: unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge: I pay no attention to hearsay.
If Obama loses, I wonder if all the non-Fox News networks will be in mourning.
10-07-2008, 08:50 PM
10-07-2008, 09:00 PM
the Ayers issue is a bit of a stretch. I mean lets be serious, Obama was what 8 when Ayers was involved in his activities? So they sat on a board together, I am sure there are people we have all been involved with on one level or another that we are not completely fond of who and what they were.
This whole thing on both sides is silly, as neither is really taking a stand on the economy. Which is issue #1, but they are refusing to address it. I will give Obama a bit more credit has he has dealt with it more, and McCain was foolish enough to state that as President he would have considered vetoing the bailout bill, which he voted for 12 hours before. He is reaching for straws here
10-07-2008, 09:54 PM
10-07-2008, 10:04 PM
10-07-2008, 11:21 PM
10-07-2008, 11:22 PM
10-09-2008, 12:14 PM
10-09-2008, 12:50 PM
Yet another case of news outlets deciding what is news.
10-09-2008, 12:57 PM
10-09-2008, 12:58 PM
10-09-2008, 01:08 PM
Nobody has said Obama was planning bombings. They've said that Obama's political career was launched by an extreme, left wing admitted terrorist.
10-09-2008, 01:09 PM
The "Max Headrooms" on Fox have a stated agenda against Barack Obama, the talking heads on MSNBC appear to have an agenda for Barack Obama.
People listen to who they feel is credible with credibility being in the eye of the beholder so "news" to you is non-issue news to me. And so it goes.
The true issues that Americans are facing day in and day out are what matters and John McCain has not resonated with the people he's trying to get to and Barack Obama , in spite of all the mud that's been slung at him (brushing his shoulders off) has.
I stated in another thread that John McCain regained some of my respect for him in the way he went after the issues in the debate the other night rather than toilet politics. I still think that he inside is a man of principle, the boys now pulling his strings, not so much.
10-09-2008, 01:10 PM
10-09-2008, 01:14 PM
What about Sarah Palin's husband membership in a terrorist organization? Or McCain buddy advocating violence against government officials?
10-09-2008, 01:17 PM
I really thought he should have brought up the Ayers and dwelled on Fannie and Freddie a more during the debate.
10-09-2008, 01:59 PM
By STANLEY KURTZ
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.
The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them.
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago's public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation's other key body, the "Collaborative," which shaped education policy.
The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.
One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.
CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children's education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama's alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections.
The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC's first year. He also served on the board's governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.
The Obama campaign notes that Mr. Ayers attended only six board meetings, and stresses that the Collaborative lost its "operational role" at CAC after the first year. Yet the Collaborative was demoted to a strictly advisory role largely because of ethical concerns, since the projects of Collaborative members were receiving grants. CAC's own evaluators noted that project accountability was hampered by the board's reluctance to break away from grant decisions made in 1995. So even after Mr. Ayers's formal sway declined, the board largely adhered to the grant program he had put in place.
Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.
For answers to board issues, read the Suggestion and News forum at the bottom of the main page.
10-09-2008, 02:19 PM
I hate to say this but Mr. Colmes is set up as the Washington Generals to Hannity's Harlem Globetrotters as Hannity's mouth is MUCH bigger and are you sure about O'Reilly, I beg to differ. I'll give you Olberman and Maddow on MSNBC other than that, it's open to interpretation imo.
10-09-2008, 02:47 PM
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