John McCain's pit bull running mate Sarah Palin is launching full-scale attacks to tie Barack Obama to former 60s radical William Ayers - already debunked as nonsense by major media outlets. Before opening the Pandora's Box of scandals, Palin should have taken a closer look inside McCain's own closet of skeletons.
First, there is the Keating Five scandal. McCain enjoyed a long friendship and other dealings with Charles Keating, who was responsible for the largest Savings & Loan collapse in U.S. history. McCain was investigated for attempts to influence the Federal Trade Commission to make favorable judgments for Keating and his Savings & Loan banks.
Then there is McCain's association with an ultra right-wing group called the U.S. Council for World Freedom (USCWF). As revealed on NBC's "Meet the Press this morning, McCain sat on the board of USCWF, a group led by retired Major General John Singlaub who was later indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal. This is a complicated story, but stick with it...
USCWF was founded as the Council Against Communist Aggression. They chaged their name in 1980 but maintained a close affiliation with the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), their parent organization. The Anti-Defamation League characterized the WACL this way: “[WACL] has increasingly become a gathering place, a forum, a point of contact for extremists, racists and Anti-Semites.”
The USCWF was almost entirely funded Joesph Coors, of the Coors Beer family, and a slew of oil barons including oil fortune heiress Tarlton "Topsy" King, Scott Parrott of the Parrott Oil fortune, John Howell of Howell Instruments, Burt Hurlbut of First Texas Royalty and Exploration Co, and Dallas oil tycoon Harry Lucas.
The USCWF, in conjunction with the WACL, supported the contra forces in Central America after the U.S. Congress cut off all military support in 1984. Singlaub helped establish a company called GeoMiliTech Consultants Corporation (GMT) a Washington-based arms trading company. In 1984 it is believed that Singlaub organized a shipment of weapons, ammunition and C-4 explosives to the Contras. In January 1985, Singlaub went to South Korea and Taiwan to obtain money and weapons for the Contras. Singlaub also procured $5.3 million of Eastern bloc arms for the Contras through GMT. In addition to arms dealings, Singlaub developed a large military plan called the "Rainbow Mission" which involved the invasion of Nicaragua by Americans and Contras. The plan was approved by General Oliver North.
Singlaub was indicted in 1986 and 1988 over USCWF activities in support of the contras. McCain was listed as board member until 1986; the organization was disbanded in 1987.
This makes Obama's tenuous association with Ayers (they sat on a board in Chicago that raised money for schools) look like the nonsense it is. McCain sat on the board of a radical right-wing group whose leader was indicted in Iran-Contra. The group worked under the radar to fund and arm counter-revolutionaries in another country.
A word of advice for McCain-Palin: Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw boulders at their opponent. If guilt by association is how they're judging Obama, then McCain has more dirt on his hands than a child making mud pies.