It’s time for fairness, dammit. We have heard all we need to know about Barack Obama and Bill Ayers (really – there isn’t much to know). When will John McCain open up about the true extent of his relationships with questionable characters: Let’s see, the list seems to be growing… bankster Charles Keating… bigoted cleric John Hagee… and the one who troubles many people most: Watergate plumber, ex-con, federal agent foe, violent-militia adviser, right-wing radio yahoo (who named firing-range targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton), and at least onetime Hitler fan G. Gordon Liddy.
John Wilson at OpEdNews, offers his view of the GOP presidential candidate’s double standard when it comes to scrutinizing the relationships of his opponent, but not his own:
…[O]n Letterman, here’s what McCain said.
DL: But did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?
JM: I met him, you know, I mean…
DL: Didn’t you attend a fund raiser at his house?
JM: Gordon Liddy’s?
“I met him”? “I met him”? And when you’re asked about attending a fundraiser at his house, you don’t answer? You don’t admit that Liddy hosted a fundraiser for you in 1998? You just say, “Gordon Liddy’s?” as if you don’t know what Letterman’s talking about?
After the commercial break, McCain quickly tried to explain himself:
JM: I know Gordon Liddy. He paid his debt. He went to prison, he paid his debt, as people do. I’m not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy. And his son, who is also a good friend and supporter of mine.
DL: But you understand that the same case could be made of your relationship with him as being made with William Ayers.
JM: Everything about any relationship that I’ve had I will make completely open and give a complete accounting of. Senator Obama said that he was a guy who lived in the neighborhood. OK, it was more than that.
Note this: McCain said that Liddy’s son is “also a good friend and supporter of mine.” That means McCain is saying that Liddy himself is friend of his. Contrast that with Obama, who has never called Ayers his friend (David Axelrod described them as “friendly,” which is much different).
Liddy did go to prison for Watergate. Does McCain mean to say that it’s okay to pal around with criminals so long as they’ve served time in prison? (Ayers, by the way, did turn himself him; he was never convicted of a crime due to technicalities. Would McCain claim that it would be okay to hang out with Ayers if he had spent time in prison?)
But Liddy’s never served any time in prison for urging the murder of federal law enforcement officials, or for plotting the assassination of a newspaper columnist, or for encouraging the murder of possible burglars, or for illegally using firearms despite being an ex-felon. So by McCain’s logic, Liddy has never paid his debt for those actions.
McCain claims, “Senator Obama said that he was a guy who lived in the neighborhood. OK, it was more than that.” It was. As Obama actually said: “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis.” There’s nothing false about that. According to a McCain TV ad, “Obama’s blind ambition. When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers. When discovered, he lied. Obama. Blind ambition. Bad judgment.” The Washington Post fact checker concluded, “The McCain campaign is distorting the Obama-Ayers relationship, and exaggerating their closeness. There is no evidence that Obama has ‘lied’ about his dealings with Ayers.”
But you could make the same exact argument that when McCain said about Liddy, “I met him,” it was definitely “more than that.” If somebody hosts a fundraiser for you, do you honestly describe your relationship as “I met him”? McCain, unlike Obama, was lying about his relationship. McCain, unlike Obama, was actually defending an unrepentant terrorist.
by John Wilson at OpEdNews: Why Is John McCain Defending an Unrepentant Terrorist?
Then there is this, from Media Matters:
Liddy has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in “if necessary”; plotting to murder journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a “gangland figure” to murder Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap “leftist guerillas” at the 1972 Republican National Convention — a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis. — from “Why is the NY Times continuing to ignore McCain’s “own Bill Ayers”?”
A little more info comes from a May 2008 HuffPo piece:
[T]he Chicago Tribune is pointing out McCain’s own radical associations with G. Gordon Liddy:
How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy’s home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator’s campaigns–including $1,000 this year.Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as “an old friend,” and McCain sounded like one. “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of your family,” he gushed. “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.”
For those who are unaware, Liddy helped plan the Watergate break-in that would cost Nixon his presidency and landed Liddy a four-year jail sentence.
But Liddy’s career of inflammatory statements and actions exceed his Watergate actions.
Liddy, on Vitenam:
“I wanted to bomb the Red River dykes [sic]. It would have drowned half the country and starved the other half. There would have been no way the Viet Cong could have operated if we had the will-power to do that.”
Liddy, advising Branch Davidians how to defend themselves from ATF agents during a radio show:
“If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they’re wearing flak jackets and you’re better off shooting for the head.”
Liddy, on the impact Adolf Hitler had on him as a child:
When he listened to Hitler on the radio, it “made me feel a strength inside I had never known before,” he explains. “Hitler’s sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body.”
Once more, with feeling: Here is what McCain said to his “old friend” when he appeared on Liddy’s radio show in November 2007: “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of your family,” he gushed. “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.”
Daily Kos sums it up pretty darn well:
Let’s review: Barack Obama served on a school reform board funded by an ally of Ronald Reagan, along with a number of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. John McCain accepts money and enjoys sitting down for interviews with a man who is a convicted felon, who plotted murders and bombings, who advocated killing federal agents, who named his shooting targets after a President and First Lady/Senator, and who tingled when he listened to Adolph Hitler speak. And John McCain praises his: …adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great. Exactly which candidate “is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America”?
McCain is “old friends” with a violent, unrepentant domestic terrorist. Unlike his debunked charges against Obama, this is fact. The US needs to hold the Republican presidential nominee accountable for not coming clean. The best way: Protect the US. Deny McCain the presidency he needs so badly that he gave up whatever integrity he had for it.