June 22, 2008

Well, since this guy's job is to get John McCain elected at all costs, is it a stretch to wonder whether he's actually hoping for one? It wouldn't be the first time someone mused about that being a good idea.


On national security McCain wins. We saw how that might play out early in the campaign, when one good scare, one timely reminder of the chaos lurking in the world, probably saved McCain in New Hampshire, a state he had to win to save his candidacy - this according to McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an "unfortunate event," says Black. "But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us." As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.

When it came out that Black lobbied for some of the worlds worst dictators, MoveOn put out this ad urging McCain to fire Black. I wonder if this is a fireable offense. I'm guessing not.

What's even worse, just like Black exploits the tragic death of Benazir Bhutto for political gain, CNN's Dana Bash is on the record saying that McCain echoed the same sentiment right after her death. Watch it here.

John Amato: Is Black hoping for an attack on US soil? He should be fired for saying this. Months ago he brought up the Bhutto assassination as an "unfortunate event." Gee, what an awful way to phrase that tragedy. How about it was a horrific blow to Bhutto, her family and the country of Pakistan at a critical time in their history. Instead---it's just an event, but a " positive event" for McCain's bid at the presidency. Let's take a look at Black's client list for a minute.

Charlie Black, McCain’s senior counsel and spokesman, began his lobbying career by representing numerous dictators and repressive regimes.

Black’s firm represented the governor of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. According to a 1985 report, the firm Black, Manafort & Stone earned $950,000 plus expenses for its work to provide “advice and assistance on matters relating to the media, public relations and public affairs interests.”1

Black’s firm lobbied on behalf of Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, earning $1 million a year for his efforts.2

Black’s firm lobbied on behalf of Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.3

Black’s firm represented Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida, earning at least $1 million for his efforts.4

Black’s firm has represented Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich state “best known for the outlandish brutality of its rulers.”5

Black represented Angolan rebel and “classical terrorist” Jonas Savimbi, a job that earned him $600,000.6 “We have to call him Africa’s classical terrorist,” Makau Mutua, a professor of law and Africa specialist told the New York Times. “In the history of the continent, I think he’s unique because of the degree of suffering he caused without showing any remorse.”7

In recent years his client list has also included the Iraqi National Congress8, Friends of Blackwater9, and the China National Off-Shore Oil Corp.10

Since 2005, BKSH has received more than $700,000 in fees from foreign entities.11

I think lobbying for brutal dictators and regimes has rubbed off on Charlie Black a little too much.

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