Saturday, May 17, 2008

McCain: Time To Come Clean About Your Lobbyists' Links To Homicidal Dictators

By Manifesto Joe

Sen. John McCain did a fair job in the past of selling himself as a "maverick" Republican -- you know, not one of those whose knees both jerk when Rush Limbaugh's right knee does. I have a vague yet fond memory of him calling Herr Lardbaugh "a circus clown."

But apparently ambition can get the best of people. Or perhaps they never were what they depicted themselves as. Amid all the volleys flying about in the presidential race, it came out early this week that McCain's campaign has been employing lobbyists who have worked for blood-stained foreign dictatorships, and for tidy sums.

The one they call Charlie Black is the senator's "chief political adviser," according to The Washington Post. Here's a current report on Charlie Black's experience as a lobbyist, from Progressive Media USA:

Black Enlisted to Improve Marcos’s Image. The Globe and Mail reported, “A politically well-connected U.S. lobbying firm is being paid nearly $1-million to help a Philippine client linked with President Ferdinand Marcos, and some analysts believe its task is to improve Mr. Marcos’ image.” “The firm, Black, Manafort & Stone Public Affairs, began a year-long contract with a client called the Chamber of Philippines Manufacturers, Exporters and Tourist Associations.” “Stanley Roth, who serves on the staff of a congressional subcommittee investigating Mr. Marcos’ business dealings in the United States, called the arrangement ‘just means of Marcos hiring a public relations firm.’ Under the terms of the contract, the suburban Washington-based concern is to be paid $950,000 plus expenses to provide ‘advice and assistance on matters relating to the media, public relations and public affairs interests’ as well as lobbying services.” [The Globe and Mail, 12/20/85]

Meet Charlie Black: lobbyist, political scientist, public relations man for homicidal dictators. As far as I can gather from the latest news dispatches, Charlie is still on the John McCain payroll.

But wait, there's more:

While Black Lobbied for Somalia, Siad Barre’s Army Killed 40,000 – 50,000 Civilians. The Associated Press reported, “The Somali army killed 40,000 to 50,000 unarmed civilians between June 1988 and January 1990, according to human rights group Africa Watch.” [Associated Press, 1/2/95]

Black Lobbied for Zaire’s Dictator. Black, Manafort, Stone lobbied for “Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire.” The “military dictator, Mobuto, was a $1 million-per-year Black, Manafort client until December 1990.” [Common Cause Magazine, Winter 1993; Department of Justice, FARA database, accessed 2/26/08]

There's actually much more than that, but space limitations compel me to keep things relatively brief. Just bear in mind that this is one of Mad Jack's main men.

Granted, there are now a couple of dudes who are no longer on The Straitjacket Express. They were the ones who had to fall on their swords. This is from a recent post on MSNBC:

Doug Goodyear and Doug Davenport, the two McCain aides who resigned from positions within the GOP contender's campaign, stepped down this weekend after Newsweek reported that their lobbying firm, Washington power player DCI Group, represented Myanmar's military junta in 2002 to the tune of $348,000.

It should be noted that Mr. Goodyear was, until his resignation, heading McCain's GOP convention team. That's not a small post to award someone without checking their background -- or perhaps figuring instead that no one important would ever know.

In 2008, we're in a political mode of Barack Obama having to give multiple speeches explaining that he differs markedly from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on crucial issues. So perhaps this calls for, at the very least, an explanation from McCain to the effect that he doesn't agree with lobbyists who promoted murderous dictators for pay. It seems appropriate and equitable for Mr. Black to get his walking papers, too. I'm sure he will prosper in his Faustian bargains for many years to come, so no one should worry.

Except maybe John McCain?

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

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