14 thoughts on “John McCain, Vietnam, Iraq, and Iran

  1. Democrats.com, the Aggressive Progressives – 500,000 strong and growing!

    House Votes TODAY (Thursday) on Iraq $165B – Call NOW

    Late Wednesday, House “Democratic” Leader Steny Hoyer announced a deal with George Bush to give him $165B more for Iraq without bringing a single soldier home. And Hoyer wants the Democratic Congress to pass the bill today (Thursday) – before the 68% of Americans who oppose the disastrous occupation get ourselves organized.

    So please pick up the phone right now and tell your House Representative to vote NO on wasting $165 billion more in Iraq.

    Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your House Representative (not Senators) by name, or find your House Representative’s name and direct dial by entering your address on the right side:

    On May 15, your passionate calls persuaded 149 Representatives to vote NO, and we shocked Steny Hoyer by winning that vote 149-141. We can win again if you call today.

    Don’t accept any excuses from your Representative. If (s)he says (s)he is voting yes to fund new GI college benefits, flood relief, and unemployment benefits, tell your Representative those programs have overwhelming support and should be passed separately, not combined with $165B for Iraq. Tell your Representative you will only accept a NO vote on Iraq funds.

    After you call, share your Representative’s response with your neighbors by logging in to Democrats.com. (If you’ve never created a Democrats.com login, be sure to provide your voting address so we can find your Congressional District.) Then click:
    Look in the “Congressional District” section for a post on “Iraq $165B Vote.” If you see that post title, click the link and add a comment about your call to your Representative. If you do not see that topic, please create a post with that title by clicking the [Post] link right next to “Congressional District.”

    While you’re visiting http://democrats.com/local, we hope you’ll get to know your progressive neighbors by clicking the [Neighbors] link. And if you’d like to keep up with posts by your neighbors, click the [RSS] link to subscribe through your favorite blog reader.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik


  2. John McCain’s Skeletons

    by Srdja Trifkovic

    Chronicles Online, Wednesday, June 18, 2008 http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/?p=636

    The mainstream media is catching up with Chronicles.

    On Tuesday, June 17, the Chicago Tribune published a major article exposing Sen. John McCain’s connection with the Reform Institute (RI), a Washington think tank founded in 2001 ostensibly to promote transparency and accountability in government. But behind the scenes, the paper says, the Institute’s practices have been at odds with its reformist message and “with McCain’s political identity as an enemy of special interests.” This discrepancy may be a revelation to the Tribune subscribers, but not to the readers of Chronicles.

    The Tribune article focuses on five red flags:

    * Donations to the RI of $200,000 in 2003-2004 from a cable company with business before the McCain-led Senate Commerce Committee.
    * The role of Rick Davis, a veteran Washington lobbyist who was president of the Institute 2003-2005 and who is now McCain’s campaign manager.
    * The fact that “three members of the institute’s inaugural four-person board worked on McCain’s 2000 campaign.”
    * The manner in which McCain has benefited from a stream of special-interest gifts to the RI–almost 5 million dollars through 2006–similar to the “soft money” he has scorned.
    * The Institute’s use of the same Alexandria, Va., office building as McCain’s PAC, his Senate campaign committee and Davis’ lobbying business.

    Our subscribers have probably seen the July issue of Chronicles by now. It includes an article on McCain I wrote last month (“The Dream Ticket”), which contains all the significant information presented in the Tribune feature. It also reveals some interesting additional details–such as the close connection between McCain and George Soros, and the role of a Mexican open-immigration activist on McCain’s staff–which are inexplicably missing from the Tribune article, and which are essential to understanding John McCain:

    The point of contact [between McCain and Soros] was campaign-finance reform, and the channel of support was the Reform Institute, founded in 2001 and headed by the Arizona senator until 2005, when he resigned in order to prepare for another presidential bid. The RI was initially funded by Soros’s Open Society Foundation and by Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s Tides Foundation. They were excited by the McCain-Feingold bill because it had the capacity to limit private groups’ ability to challenge the institutionalized leftist bias of the mainstream electronic media with “issue ads”–such as those Swift Boat ads that inflicted so much damage on John Kerry in his subsequent presidential bid. […]

    When the Reform Institute opened shop under McCain’s chairmanship in July 2001, Mrs. Huffington–a close associate and confidante of Soros–was on its advisory committee. The Institute was a pseudo-think tank designed to keep McCain’s staff assembled and gainfully employed in anticipation of another presidential bid. Its offices were in the same building in Alexandria as his election committee, his PAC, and the lobbying firm of his 2000 campaign manager, Rick Davis. The Institute hired three other key campaign staffers: legal counsel Trevor Potter as legal counsel, finance director Carla Eudy as finance director, and press secretary Crystal Benton as–communications director.

    The Constitutions and Legal Policy Program of Soros’s Open Society Institute donated “above $50,000” to the RI while McCain was at its helm. In addition, the OSI distributed $300,000 in grants to different groups that defended McCain-Feingold from threatened legal challenges during its passage through Congress in 2002.

    Last April, McCain tried to distance himself from his benefactor, with his old/new campaign manager Davis describing Soros as a “liberal mega-donor” who wants to “buy this election.” The performance was as convincing as George H.W. Bush decrying the influence of “those Washington insiders.” What matters is that McCain has not given back any money to Soros. He has not returned the $200,000 that the Reform Institute received in donations from Cablevision in 2002 and 2003 either, when McCain was on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It was undoubtedly coincidental that, in a letter to the FCC written at that time, McCain supported Cablevision’s proposal for the introduction of a more profitable cable pricing scheme.

    The Reform Institute has promoted another important pillar of Soros’s agenda: open and unlimited Third World immigration. […] This is not to say that McCain’s support of illegal immigration correlates exclusively with the money he is getting from Soros. By all accounts he is an “honest” amnesty enthusiast. His man in charge of immigration reform at the RI was, until two years ago, one Juan Fernandez, who holds dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship and is a former member of Vicente Fox’s cabinet in charge of Mexicans abroad. This man believes that anyone of Mexican ancestry, even after going through the motions of becoming an American citizen (as he has done), remains a Mexican forever and should “think Mexican first.” Such a one should never contemplate–let alone accept–assimilation as an option. Dr. Fernandez now serves as John McCain’s Hispanic Outreach Director and is seen as a potential Cabinet-level appointee in a McCain administration.

    It is entirely possible, probable even, that the publication of the Chicago Tribune feature on John McCain and the Reform Institute a week after the July issue of Chronicles was mailed to our subscribers is coincidental. It does not seem incidental, however, that the paper chose to ignore significant information about McCain’s links to Soros, the OSI, or Huffington–information that was most unlikely to remain unavailable to the story’s authors and their editors in the course of its writing. It is far more likely that the omission was deliberate: it reflected the unwillingness of this once-great newspaper to publicize the connections of these actual or potential supporters of Sen. Obama with his GOP opponent. There is precious little to choose between the two, of course, but the Chicago Tribune editorial board thinks otherwise.


  3. Dear IVAW Supporter,

    Every day, more and more soldiers and veterans are saying enough is enough and standing up against the occupation of Iraq. Speaking up and resisting is one of the most effective ways to put an end to the war, but it also involves serious risks for the men and women who choose to do it.
    Canada makes a historic move to support war resisters

    On June 3rd Canada’s Parliament passed a motion to support U.S. Iraq War Resisters in Canada. This recommendation calls on the government of Canada to “immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members…to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and…the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions…against such individuals.”

    Camilo Mejia, chair of the IVAW board of directors, wrote a letter thanking the people of Canada for supporting war resisters – you can read it on our website.

    Now, you can help make sure that this historic motion is implemented!

    Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley, and prime minister Stephen Harper and ask them to fully implement the resolution in support of U.S. Iraq War objectors and allow them to stay in Canada.

    Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley
    phone 613.996.4974
    email finley.d@parl.gc.ca

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper
    phone 613.992.4211
    email pm@pm.gc.ca

    PFC James Burmeister needs your support now

    To get an idea of what war resisters in Canada are facing if they’re deported back to the US, just take a look at the case of PFC James Burmeister.

    James was injured in Baghdad when his humvee was caught in an IED explosion. Along with the physical wounds from this attack, James suffers from PTSD as a result of his combat missions, which included providing cover fire for “bait and kill” teams. After being diagnosed with PTSD and possible traumatic brain injury, James went AWOL, moving to Canada rather than face another deployment. In March of 2008, he decided to return to the US and turned himself in to the Army at Fort Knox.

    Last week the Army decided to charge James with desertion. James will face a Special Court-Martial, a bad conduct discharge (which would prohibit him from having access to any veterans medical benefits for the rest of his life), and up to 12 months of prison. The date of James’ court martial is expected to be set next week.

    Here’s how you can help:

    1. Contact Fort Knox Public Affairs Officer Constance Shaffery at 502-624-7451 or contance.shaffery@knox.army.mil and let the Army know that this is unacceptable and that James should be discharged immediately.
    2. Attend a Press Conference at Fort Knox, KY on Saturday, June 21, at 11am.
    Contact Anita Dennis at 859-948-4274, anitadennis@msn.com, for more info.
    3. Write to James and give him words of support and encouragement.
    PFC James Burmeister
    HHC – Building 298, Gold Vault Road
    Fort Knox, Kentucky 40121, USA

    Matthis Chiroux: building support in Congress for resisters

    Last Sunday, IVAW member Matthis Chiroux was due to report to his unit in South Carolina to prepare to leave for Iraq. Instead, Matthis was at the IVAW DC Chapter house, standing alongside his dad on Father’s day, stating publicly that he would refuse his orders to deploy to Iraq.

    Matthis has been working with other members in Washington DC to gain support from members of Congress. Read IVAW member Kris Goldsmith’s account of their work on Capitol Hill and find out how you can support Matthis on our website.

    (Also, check out Matthis’ interview on Democracy Now!)
    Winter Soldier in the Northwest

    IVAW members across the Northwest gathered recently to continue the Winter Soldier hearings. Eighteen IVAW members testified before over 800 supporters before leading them into the streets to demand an end to the occupations. You can watch video, listen to audio, and read more coverage of the event on our website.
    With your help, war resisters can fight to end this war

    For those of us who have experienced this war, watching it drag on day after day, month after month, year after year is incredibly frustrating. IVAW gives us a way to stand together and amplifies our voices at a time when the media often seems have forgotten that there’s a war going on. You can stand with us by supporting James, Matthis and our brothers and sisters fighting deportation in Canada, by making a donation to the IVAW legal fund. You’ll help us support their fight, and the soldiers who see their example and are inspired to join this struggle. Please make a donation today.

    Kelly Dougherty
    Former Sergeant, Army National Guard
    Executive Director
    Iraq Veterans Against the War


  4. Posted by: “Jack” miscStonecutter@earthlink.net bongo_fury2004
    Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:12 am (PDT)

    From: Greg Palast

    Are they going to Steal 2008? Don’t worry: it’s already stolen. But you can steal it back. Ted Rall and I have teamed up for one of the first ever series of hard-edged investigative journalism – in ‘toon form. Steal this strip … and pass it on: VOTE THEFT FOR IDIOTS – PART 1 … Go to http://www.GregPalast.com to see the Palast/Rall comic strip.

    And if your in LA and New York, don’t miss the opening of the film that pulls down the pants of the Ohio election, “Free For All.” Follow John Ennis into the colon of American democracy, Ohio 2004. It’s funny as hell – oddly, democracy’s death can tickle your funny bone while laying out the story of the latest quadrennial vote heist. Watch the trailer here.

    This film will be available online at http://www.freeforall.tv on July 4th — for downloads, for DVDs, and for FREE streaming! (Please also check out our new line of hip shirts!)

    We are holding some advance screenings in LA & NY. If you would like to attend, please RSVP — with which screening you would like to attend — to hollywoodnt@mac.com. (And it won’t cost you — these screenings are FREE for ALL!)

    Seating is limited; if you cannot attend we intend to hold more screenings soon.


    Monday, June 23rd, 5 p.m.
    Pioneer Theater
    (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B)

    * Special Guest MARK CRISPIN MILLER will join the director John Ennis after the screening.

    Wednesday, June 25th, Midnight
    Bowery Poetry Club
    (308 Bowery, between Houston & 1st St.)

    * The Palast Investigative Team and Downtown Art Star Rev. Jen will join the director John Ennis after the screening.


    Thursday, June 26th, 7:30 p.m.
    Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills
    (100 N. Crescent Drive at Wilshire Bl.)

    * Q&A with the director John Ennis after the screening.

    Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, is a Nation Institute/Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for investigative reporting. Sign up for his investigative reports, films and ‘toons at http://www.GregPalast.com

    Ted Rall is author of Silk Road to Ruin, the graphic diary of oil wars in Central Asia. Get the Palast and Rall books, signed, as a gift, for your tax deductible donation to the fund for investigating the 2008 election at http://www.PalastInvestigativeFund.org


  5. See also:

    Posted by: “Compañero” companyero@bellsouth.net

    Sat Jul 5, 2008 10:23 pm (PDT)


    Background on Cindy McCain’s drug addiction

    Harold Pollack argues that Democrats should refrain from trashing Cindy McCain for her history of drug addiction

    There’s no shame in being a recovering addict–or an active user for that matter, provided your habit isn’t hurting other people. However, Cindy McCain chose to feed her addiction in particularly loathsome ways.

    When you’re as rich and well-connected as she is, there are ways to feed a prescription drug habit that don’t involve pressuring your underlings to commit crimes on your behalf.

    Cindy McCain stole drugs from a medical charity. It doesn’t get much lower than that. Worse still, she used her employees’ names to obtain drugs, and even enlisted some her her staff to pick up those prescriptions on her behalf. She also used the DEA numbers of multiple physicians who worked for the American Voluntary Medical Team to obtain drugs, often without the doctors’ knowledge. (Cf. Laura Silverman’s excellent reporting on the McCain
    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/content/printVersion/161307 drug scandal

    Doctors can be bankrupted and even prosecuted for irregular prescribing patterns. So, McCain was risking the futures of multiple families when she ordered hundreds of pain pills on the sly. One of the doctors who worked with McCain at AVMT lost his license to practice medicine over the diversion scandal.

    Cindy McCain’s self-indulgence ruined lives. She has publicly apologized for taking the drugs without permission, but I’m not aware of any apologies for pressuring her employees to risk their futures to feed her addiction.

    Ironically, part of her diversion from criminal prosecution involved joining Narcotics Anonymous–which stipulates that an addict must make amends to those she has harmed. That’s not a step Cindy appears to have taken to heart in her dealings with her former emplyee, Tom Gosinski, the main whistleblower in this case.

    Gosinski alleges that Cindy fired him from AVMT for knowing too much about her drug habit. Gosinski also tipped off the DEA to McCain after he left the charity. He came forward in part because he was afraid that Cindy had filed prescriptions in his name, a suspicion that turned out to be justified.

    When he sued Cindy for wrongful dismissal, she levied spurious accusations of blackmail against him.

    Cindy McCain let Gosinski go in January 1993, ostensibly because AVMT couldn’t afford to pay him. Gosinski alleges that she fired him because he knew too much about her drug addiction and her penchant for pilfering pills from the charity. Gosinski filed a wrongful dismissal suit against McCain in January 1994, just ahead of the 1-year statute of limitations.

    The entire basis of the extortion complaint was a letter from Goskinski’s lawyers asking for a $250,000 settlement. McCain and her spokesman lied to the press when they claimed that Gosinski threatened to take the case to the DEA if he didn’t get the settlement. In fact, he went to the DEA months before he filed the lawsuit.

    Frankly, the character of a First Spouse is rock-bottom on my list of desiderata for a presidential candidate.

    As Harold says, we should abide by the norms of our moral universe, if we decide to bring up Cindy McCain’s history of addiction. I would argue that our morality requires us to call out double standards where we see them. The mere possibility that Michelle Obama uttered the word “whitey” was enough to send the whole country into a tizzy for several days. Yet, nobody seems to care about the fact that Cindy McCain enlisted her employees to help her steal Vicodin from her own charity.

    This whole episode underscores the rock bottom Republican truth: There are two sets of rules. One for the rich and powerful and one for everyone else.

    Comments (25)

    McCains Delinquent On Tax Bill
    By Eric Kleefeld – June 28, 2008, 9:26PM

    This isn’t exactly the kind of story that speaks positively of John McCain’s ability to manage the public’s finances.

    Newsweek http://www.newsweek.com/id/143775/ is reporting that John and Cindy McCain failed to pay taxes on a California property for the past four years.

    This is especially odd considering that the McCains are worth an estimated $100 million, and could easily afford to pay the bill.

    After a reporter inquired about the bill with the McCain campaign, they immediately sent San Diego County a check for $6,744.42 — and even then, they’re still short by $1,742.

    This is not the first unflattering report about the McCains’ finances, by the way. Two weeks ago, it was reported
    06/report_mccains_have_over_10000.php that they were carrying a six-figure credit card debt, compared to the Obamas being debt-free and actually saving up a similar amount for their daughters’ college funds.
    Comments (67)

    Report: McCains Have Over $100,000 In Credit Card Debt
    By Eric Kleefeld – June 13, 2008, 10:57AM

    In an interesting peek into John McCain’s personal finances, it turns out that John and Cindy McCain — in spite of their personal wealth — are carrying well over $100,000 in credit card debt.

    The Hill took a look at the latest Senate financial disclosure forms
    http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/mccains-report-more-than-100000-in-credit-card-debt-2008-06-13.html and found that a joint card held by the two has between $10,000 and $15,000 in charges, while a card that is solely in Cindy’s name has between $100,000 and $250,000 in debt. Another card for a dependent child has between $15,000 and $50,000 in charges.

    This is despite Cindy McCain having sold a property in California for a profit of more than $1 million. Barack Obama, who has become wealthy in recent years thanks to book royalties, did not report any financial liabilities.
    Comments (52)

    McCain Campaign Falsely Accuses DNC Of “Attacks” On Cindy McCain
    By Greg Sargent – June 18, 2008, 12:10PM

    The McCain campaign is charging that the Democratic National Committee “attacked” Cindy McCain this morning — and argues that this is at odds with Barack Obama’s recent insistence that family members be “off limits.”

    There’s only one problem: The DNC isn’t attacking Mrs. McCain at all.

    In an email blasted out to the media this morning, the McCain camp noted that the DNC had sent to reporters this article
    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB121374837867082729-lMyQjAxMDI4MTEzNzcxNDc4Wj.html about Mrs. McCain.

    “When will Sen. Obama do as he promised and `speak out against’ Howard Dean and the DNC for their attacks on Mrs. McCain — or at least demand they stop?” McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers asked in the email.

    I received the DNC’s email this morning, too. And nowhere in the email does the DNC attack Mrs. McCain. The article http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB121374837867082729-lMyQjAxMDI4MTEzNzcxNDc4Wj.html
    that the DNC drew attention to reported that the McCain campaign had failed to reimburse Mrs. McCain for a flight in her company’s private jet to New York City, where she attended a fund-raiser for her husband. The article quotes two Republicans criticizing the campaign for this.

    The entire email from the DNC consists of criticism of the McCain campaign — not Mrs. McCain.

    The McCain camp is trying to argue that the DNC’s circulation of the piece is at odds with Obama’s claim http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/394137.aspx that he “would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue.”

    Is the DNC making a “campaign issue” of Mrs. McCain? In a sense, yes.

    But Mrs. McCain herself isn’t really the issue. It’s the campaign’s failure to reimburse her. The same story could have been written about anyone else the campaign had failed to reimburse. And it’s absolutely false of the McCain campaign to say the DNC is “attacking” her.


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