As Sean Hannity, Rick Davis and John McCain step up their personal attacks on Barack Obama, a funny thing happened on the way to the smear fest. It seems John McCain has some prior associations he would rather not have revealed. I mean real ones. Check out this group.
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.
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.
Oh, my. Playing the Guilt by Association Game doesn't seem to be a good idea for McCain with friends like those.
Paul Begala tried to warn him on Meet the Press:
MR. BEGALA: Well, no. Obama was—he was asked about this in a debate in a primaries with Hillary Clinton sitting there; George Stephanopoulos of ABC asked him about it. He answered it. He pointed out that the despicable acts this guy committed were committed when, apparently, Barack Obama was eight years old. And, and I think Governor Palin here is making a strategic mistake. This guilt by association path is going to be trouble ultimately for the McCain campaign. You know, you can go back—I’ve written a book about McCain. I had a dozen researchers go through him. I didn’t even put this in the book. But John McCain sat on the board of a very right-wing organization. It was the U.S. Council for World Freedom. It was chaired by a guy named John Singlaub, who wound up involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. It was an ultraconservative right-wing group. The Anti-Defamation League, in 1981, when McCain was on the board, said this about this organization. It was affiliated with the World Anti-Communist League, the parent organization, which ADL said, “has increasingly become a gathering place, a forum, a point of contact for extremists, racists and Anti-Semites.” Now, that’s not John McCain. I don’t think he is that. But, but, you know, the problem is that a lot of people know John McCain’s record better than Governor Palin, and he does not want to play guilt by association or this thing could blow up in his face.
This excuse doesn't seem to fly either.
The McCain campaign, in a statement to Politico, defended the efforts of the council. Brian Rogers, a spokesman, said that the Senator "disassociated himself" from the group "when questions were raised about its activities, but that in no way diminishes his leadership role in ensuring that the forces of democracy and freedom prevailed in Central America."
But Singlaub "does not recall any McCain resignation in 1984 or May 1986," the Associated Press reported early Tuesday, "nor does Joyce Downey, who oversaw the group's day-to-day activities."