CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Convicted felon Tony Rezko. Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. And the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is hard to think of any presidential candidate before Barack Obama sporting associations with three more execrable characters. Yet, let the McCain campaign raise the issue, and the mainstream media begin fulminating about dirty campaigning tinged with racism and McCarthyite guilt by association. But associations are important. They provide a significant insight into character. They are particularly relevant in relation to a potential president as new, unknown, opaque and self-contained as Obama. With the economy overshadowing everything, it may be too late politically to be raising this issue. But that does not make it, as conventional wisdom holds, in any way illegitimate. MORE

RAOUL DUKE: This is right wing garbage, to start with Charles makes more of these issues then itraoulduke_1.jpg is worth. Then there is his comment “If a Republican candidate had launched his political career at the home of an abortion-clinic bomber – even a repentant one – he would not have been able to run for dogcatcher in Podunk.” is false, John McCain has fund raisers which have provided defense funds for assassins of doctors. These anti-choice radicals are domestic terrorist. Next, John McCain sat on the Board of The U.S. Council On World Freedom, which supported death squads responsible for kill nuns and priests and was trading arms with the Iranians. Then there is Sarah Palin, just last winter record opening remarks to Alaska Independence Party Convention, whose sole reason to exist is to secede from the Union. Now, the democrats could bring up these character issues but they will not add a nickel to 401 K, they will not open up the credit markets so I have a job in six months nor will they help secure health care for me and other Americans. MORE

abortionterror_1.jpgJEDREPORT:  McCain’s terrorism problem dates back to the early 1990s, when he sided with right-wing domestic terrorists and voted against tough new legislation cracking down on a wave of anti-choice domestic terrorism targeting women who visited abortion clinics, their doctors, and clinic staff. In both 1993 and 1994, McCain voted against the anti-terrorism measure. On each occasion, McCain was one of thirty radical anti-choice Senators to oppose the bill Fortunately, despite McCain’s opposition, it passed the Senate by a 69-30 margin.

At the time, right-wing anti-choice extremists were terrorizing women, doctors, and clinic staff across the United States with thousands of acts of physical violence and threats of violence each year. The new legislation was necessary because in early 1993, the Supreme Court had ruled that even though the terrorism crossed state lines, the federal government could not protect clinics without a specific grant of statutory authority.

After Dr. David Gunn was murdered by an anti-choice terrorist outside the Pensacola Women’s Medical Services clinic, Congress finally passed the much-needed legislation giving authorities the tool they needed to protect women, doctors, and clinic staff from the ongoing threat of terrorism. Most Americans welcomed the new law — even including far-right conservatives such as Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. Nonetheless, John McCain stood by his extremist views and opposed the anti-terror bill. MORE


CARL BERNSTEIN:  Does John McCain “pal around with terrorists?” Certainly McCain’s continuing “association” and relationship with the convicted Watergate burglar and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy might suggest that is the case, if we are to apply the standards drawn by the McCain campaign. In 1998, Liddy gave a fundraiser in his Scottsdale, Arizona home for McCain’s senatorial re-election campaign — the two posed for photographs together; and as recently as May, 2007, as a presidential candidate, McCain was a guest on Liddy’s syndicated radio show. Inexplicably, McCain heaped praise on his host’s values. During the segment, McCain said he was “proud” of Liddy, and praised Liddy’s “adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.”

Which of Liddy’s “principles and philosophies” was McCain referring to? Liddy’s advocacy of break-ins? liddyspeedo.jpgFirebombings? Assassinations? Kidnappings? Taking target practice with figures nicknamed Bill and Hillary? During the same period that Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, Gordon Liddy was making plans to firebomb a Washington think tank, assassinate a prominent journalist, undertake the Watergate burglary, break into the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, and kidnap anti-war protesters at the 1972 Republican convention.

[More recently, Liddy said that] if ATF agents attempt to curtail a citizen’s gun ownership, Liddy counseled, “Well, if the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing bulletproof vests.” More recently, Liddy explained making the Clintons objects of shooting practice: “I did relate that on the 4th of July of last year, when I and my family and some friends were out firing away at a properly-constructed rifle range and we ran out of targets, and so we – I drew some stick figure targets and I thought we ought to give them names. So I named them Bill and Hillary, thought it might improve my aim. It didn’t. My aim is good anyway. Now, having said that, I accept no responsibility for somebody shooting up the White House.” MORE

WIKIPEDIA: In 1971, after serving in several positions in the Nixon administration, Liddy was moved to Nixon’s 1972 campaign, the Committee to Re-elect the President (officially known as “CRP” but to opponents known as CREEP), in order to extend the scope and reach of the White House “Plumbers” unit, which had been created in response to various damaging leaks of information to the press. At CRP, nixonbug.gifLiddy concocted several plots, some far-fetched, intended to embarrass the Democratic opposition. These included firebombing the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (where classified documents leaked by Daniel Ellsberg were being stored), kidnapping anti-war protest organizers and transporting them to Mexico during the Republican National Convention (which at the time was planned for San Diego), and luring mid-level Democratic campaign officials to a house boat in Baltimore where they would be secretly photographed in compromising positions with call girls. Most of Liddy’s ideas were rejected, but a few were given the go ahead by Nixon Administration officials, including the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office. Ellsberg had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. [6] At some point, Liddy was instructed to break into the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Hotel. MORE

LIDDY: Your experience in the Hanoi Hilton is remarkable. I mean, I put in five years in a prison [for masterminding the Watergate burglary, and associated crimes], but it was here in the United States, and they didn’t torture – the only torture that I had was being forced to listen to rap music from time to time.

McCAIN: Well, you know, I’m proud of you. I’m proud of your family. I’m proud to know your son, Tom, who’s a great and wonderful guy. And it’s always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon. And congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great. [via HUFFINGTON POST]


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