Daniel Eran Dilger
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Terrorist Criminal Links to the Presidential Candidates

Daniel Eran Dilger
Unflattering associations between a presidential candidate and terrorist activities have cast a fog over an election where campaign issues have regularly taken a back seat to negative personality attacks. What’s really going on?
Republican candidate for Vice President Sarah Palin has attempted to dust off the association between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, who back in the late 60s and early 70s was a member of a radical youth movement known as the Weather Underground.

Protesting the Vietnam War and its expansion into Laos, Ayers blew up statues and planted bombs at the Capitol and the Pentagon, where damage resulted in a water leak that delayed aerial bombing for several days. Charges against Ayers were later dropped due to police misconduct and illegal wiretaps. The Weather Underground dissolved after the end of the Vietnam War in 1973, and Ayers turned himself in in 1980.

Ayers later apologized to Richard Elrod, who was injured in the “Days of Rage” rioting that preceded the Weather Underground’s radical efforts to use bombs to violently but ineffectually attract attention to the violence in Vietnam. But Ayers told the Chicago Tribune, “we weren’t terrorists,” in 2001 interview about his Weather Underground past.

“The reason we weren’t terrorists is because we did not commit random acts of terror against people. Terrorism was what was being practiced in the countryside of Vietnam by the United States.” Ayers also wrote, “I condemn all forms of terrorism — individual, group and official” in a condemnation of the September 11 terrorist attacks. “Today we are witnessing crimes against humanity on our own shores on an unthinkable scale, and I fear that we may soon see more innocent people in other parts of the world dying in response.”

Whether Obama?

In the three decades since, Ayers went on to become a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The McCain campaign, along with Hillary Clinton, worked hard to associate Ayers’ violent activist past with Obama, something that Obama has obviously worked equally hard to discount. Obama was 8 at the time of the Weather Underground violence, and has described Ayers’ violent activism as “detestable acts.”

The New York Times recently reported on the connections between Obama and the “rehabilitated” Ayers. The paper cited Bradford A. Berenson, “who worked on the Harvard Law Review with Mr. Obama and who served as associate White House counsel under President Bush” as noting of Obama, “I saw no evidence of a radical streak, either overt or covert, when we were together at Harvard Law School.” Berenson is a McCain supporter.

It also cited Tom Hayden, the founder of Progressives for Obama, who described the attempts to link Obama and Ayers as “typical campaign shenanigans.”

Obama and ’60s Bomber – A Look Into Crossed Paths – NYTimes.com

What About McCain?

While Ayers was setting off explosions in the turbulent early 70s in violent protest of the war, John McCain was dropping bombs on urban areas. After being shot down, McCain was subjected to horrific torture over two years, during which he compromised his military “Code of Conduct” to provide North Vietnam details including “the name of his ship, the number of raids he had flown, his squadron number, the target of his final raid,” and the fact that he was an admiral’s son, and therefore an ideal prisoner of war to protect, as his father was “now directing the war effort as commander in chief of all U.S. forces in the Pacific.”

McCain was therefore both involved in state sponsored terrorism for the US as well as collaboration with the Communist North Vietnam government; he now says he wouldn’t engage in diplomatic talks with North Korea in order to avert another war, because of its status as being part of the Bush administration’s “Axis of Evil.”

Does McCain’s role in Vietnam qualify him to lead the US? Or does his grievous psychological wounds from POW captivity and from blowing up civilians in his role as a soldier in an unpopular and discredited war just make him less qualified to defuse modern complex problems facing the nation using diplomacy?

What about McCain’s more recent associations with supporting President Reagan’s counterrevolutionary terrorism in Central America in the 1980s? What about his support for an illegitimate war built upon lies in Iraq, which has caused the unnecessary death of thousands of American soldiers, injury and disability for tens of thousands of US soldiers, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians?

McCain continues to support this war, and has spoke of occupying Iraq for “a hundred years” if necessary while at the same time joking about bombing Iran and making rash judgements about the potential for pulling the US into a war between Georgia and Russia. Does McCain’s sloppily expressed penchant for violence compare in any way or scale to the tenuous efforts to link Obama with Ayers’ violent past?

Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone
Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain

McCain’s Scandalous Friends

McCain is also closely connected to a 1970’s criminal of his own, except in McCain’s case the criminal served prison time for his involvement in the Watergate scandal and the burglary on Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers revealing to the American people the truth about the Vietnam War. McCain’s criminal associate is G.Gordon Liddy, but McCain doesn’t just know of the man, he has accepted campaign contributions from him and even appeared on his radio show, where he described Liddy as an “old friend” and praised Liddy for his “adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.”

In addition to breaking into the offices at Watergate and of Ellsberg, Media Matters notes that Liddy acknowledged he was prepared to kill people during the burglary “if necessary.” He also admits “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.”

More recently, “In 1994, after the disastrous federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, he [Liddy] gave some advice to his listeners: ‘Now if the [US] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing bulletproof vests. … Kill the sons of bitches.’”

McCain’s campaign told the Charlotte Observer in 2000 that “Liddy’s character will appeal to many voters because he was following orders from President Nixon and kept silent afterward,” in connection with a planned speaking engagement at a McCain fundraiser. While Ayers can describe his disastrous attempts at activism through violence as a mistake made in his youth as a reaction to the violence in Vietnam, Liddy can’t. Liddy betrayed the nation as an experienced adult, and continued his terrorist threats–commonly expressed by many right leaning talk show hosts–into the present. McCain’s unabashed support for Liddy is also a stark contrast to Obama’s repudiation of Ayers’ behavior thirty years ago.

Media Matters – Why is the NY Times continuing to ignore McCain’s “own Bill Ayers”?
With friends like these … — chicagotribune.com

McCain’s Keating Five Scandal.

In addition to his friendship with Nixon’s Watergate thug, McCain is of course also tied to previous economic scandals and catastrophes, starting with cozying up to Charles Keating and accepting gifts and money to deflect regulators from looking into Keating’s S&L before it collapsed at taxpayers’ expense.

Keating, a former Navy pilot turned anti-obscenity crusader, funded about a third of McCain’s original campaign for congress. Keating expected favors in exchange for his support. Add in a housing boom associated with complex new financial instruments and low interest rates, and you have a prophetic picture of today’s financial crisis, right down to the multi-billion bailout that resulted.

Keating used the five senators to pressure regulators “to withdraw the equity risk regulations. These regulations required S&Ls involved in direct lending to set aside additional cash reserves in case there were big losses.” When that effort failed with regulators, McCain pushed for ‘voluntary’ rather than mandatory guidelines, according to a report by Mother Jones. Regulators referred the case to the Justice Department. The court recommended that the government seize Keating’s S&L to stop its fraudulent lending, but it continued for another two years; Keating’s S&L pushed thousands of elderly investors into high risk securities that failed and took their life savings down with them.

After the scandal broke, Keating told the press, “One question, among many raised in recent weeks, had to do with whether my financial support in any way influenced several political figures to take up my cause. I want to say in the most forceful way I can: I certainly hope so.” He ended up spending four years in federal prison before being freed on a technicality.

McCain defended his actions, saying “I have done this kind of thing many, many times” for other constituents. He compared what he did for Keating to ”helping the little lady who didn’t get her Social Security.” McCain eventually admitted, ”The appearance of it was wrong. It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.“

A Senate ethics investigation looked into what role McCain played in the scandal along with the four democrats who were also involved. McCain emerged from the scandal with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, but later described the period as the lowest point of his life, a significant phrase for someone who had suffered tortured as a prisoner of war.

Today at noon, the Obama campaign is releasing a documentary on McCain’s involvement with Keating, noting the Keating Five Scandal is ”eerily similar to today’s credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules.“ The Keating Economics site introduces the video saying, ”And in both cases, John McCain’s judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.“

MotherJones Blog: Remember the S&L Bailout? John McCain Hopes You Don’t
Keating Economics

McCain and Osama Bin Laden.

McCain’s slack ability to decipher right and wrong and his poor judge of character go beyond Liddy and Keating. In August 1998, a week after two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by terrorists, killing 200 people and 12 US citizens, Senator Joe Biden told the Washington Post that Osama bin Laden, who was suspected of funding the bombings, was ”one bad mother“ and that criticism of Clinton’s strikes as being a political distraction from efforts to whip up a sex scandal were ”preposterous.“

In the same article, McCain said he ”criticized the administration for ignoring problems other than bin Laden. […] I cannot say that they’ve been neglected because of Monica Lewinsky, but I can say unequivocally that they have been neglected.“

Biden asked, ”what in the hell does it do to us around the world for leading American officials to even suggest that?“

Washingtonpost.com: Clinton Accused

A month later, McCain appeared in Mother Jones, where he was asked, ”You not only have had combat experience in Vietnam, but you were also a prisoner of war. When you look at terrorism right now, with people like Osama bin Laden, do you have any reservations about watching strikes like that?“

McCain replied, ”You could say, Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that’s depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before. And where there is a parallel with Vietnam is: What’s plan B? What do we do next? We sent our troops into Vietnam to protect the bases. Lyndon Johnson said, Only to protect the bases. Next thing you know…. Well, we’ve declared to the terrorists that we’re going to strike them wherever they live. That’s fine. But what’s next? That’s where there might be some comparison.“

McCain not only failed to recognize the threat bin Laden posed as a funder of terrorism just three years before 9/11, but he actively downplayed efforts to follow the bin Laden money trail while he fretted that Clinton’s air strikes and investigations into the funding of terrorist attacks would result in another Vietnam. However, as soon as Bush entered the presidency, McCain was all for the invasion of Iraq and seizing its oil under the name of bin Laden, despite their being no connection between 9/11 and bin Laden’s terrorism financing and Iraq.

McCain still fails to see much interest in bin Laden while hoping to keep the US embroiled in Iraq in a Vietnam-style quagmire that costs America $10 billion per month. While promising to go to the ”gates of hell“ to find bin Laden, McCain reined in the hyperbole by saying that he wouldn’t target bin Laden if he crossed the Pakistan border.

John McCain – Mother Jones

What About Palin?

McCain has passed the Ayers torch to Palin. She recently referenced the New York Times article that found no connection of substance between Ayers and Obama (pointedly saying they ”do not appear to have been close“), and instead claimed that Obama ”is not a man who sees America as you and I do — as the greatest force for good in the world. This is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.“

While that was simply a lie, Palin has her own problems with an associate who fails to see America as ”the greatest force for good in the world.“ That would be her husband, who remained a member of the Alaska Independence Party between 1995 and 2002. Palin herself addressed the party earlier this year in a welcome message as governor, and attended their convention in 2000.

The Alaska Independence Party seeks to secede from the United States; its founder, Joe Vogler, makes comments such as, ”The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government,“ and ”I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.“

How can Palin seriously question Obama’s view of America, based on a desperate reach of casual association, when she herself sleeps with a man connected to a party with an official hatred of the US, a party she herself associated with and warmly welcomed on video earlier this year, saying ”We have a great promise: to be a self-sufficient state,“ and, ”Good luck on a successful and inspiring convention. Keep up the good work, and God bless you“?

Sarah Palin and the Alaska Independence Party

Palin’s Scandalous Friends.

Palin is also closely associated to preacher Larry Kroon, who warned her fellow members of the Wasilla Bible Church this summer that God would ”strike out His hand against“ the United States and possibly ”raise up a revived, prosperous and powerful Communist Russia with a web of alliances across the Middle East.“

In June, Palin got on stage with the preacher of Wasilla Assembly of God, Ed Kalnins, and credited him with supporting her political campaign, telling the audience, ”He was praying over me. He’s praying, ‘Lord make a way, Lord make a way…’ And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m gonna do, he doesn’t know what my plans are, and he’s praying not, ‘Oh Lord, if it be your will may she become governor,’ or whatever. No, he just prayed for it. He said, ‘Lord, make a way, and let her do this next step.’ And that’s exactly what happened. So, again, very very powerful coming from this church.“

Kalnins keeps his partitioners inline with reminders that voting against who they are told to vote for would send them to hell. Criticism of President Bush’s handling of Katrina had the same fate. ”I hate criticisms towards the President,“ Kalnins said, ”because it’s like criticisms towards the pastor — it’s almost like, it’s not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That’s what it’ll get you.“

How does modern day mind control terrorism and threats of eternal torment compare to violent extremism that occurred thirty years ago during war hysteria? Palin asserts that Obama is supposed to be linked in some way to Ayers’ radical youth as a war protester, but Palin herself has been steeping in radical fundamentalist mind control gibberish her entire life. It has given her a hateful, narrow perspective of the world, and causes her to see complex and delicate political negotiations as simple events orchestrated by God that can best be addressed by fear campaigns, torture threats, and the replacement of reason and diplomacy with fundamentalist rhetoric and God-based policy decisions.

Palin’s Pastor: God Will Damn America
Pastor: GOP may be downplaying Palin’s religious beliefs – CNN.com
Palin and Her Pastors – Harper’s Magazine
Palin’s Church May Have Shaped Controversial Worldview

Palin’s $22 Million Investment in Sudan.

While McCain saw no problem with bin Laden funding terrorism, Palin sees no problem in her own state funding genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Palin put on a show in the vice presidential debates where she claimed to have taken action to divest Alaska’s holdings in Sudan. The problem is that Palin was not only taking credit for the efforts others had made, but that her administration actively fought against the divestments so that they didn’t go through.

It was Alaska state representatives Les Gara, a Democrat, Bob Lynn, a Republican, who co-sponsored a resolution to force the $40 billion Alaska Permanent Fund to divest itself of millions in holdings related to Sudan.

In contrast, according to a report on official transcripts by ABC News, it was Palin’s own deputy revenue commissioner Brian Andrews who shot down the resolution, testifying that, ”the legislation is well-intended, and the desire to make a difference is noble, but mixing moral and political agendas at the expense of our citizens’ financial security is not a good combination.“

After the resolution failed to pass, Palin told a reporter in April, ”We have a moral responsibility to condemn the genocide in Darfur. I commend the actions of the Senate State Affairs Committee and I hope the entire legislature gets a chance to weigh in on this matter.“

”’At the last minute they showed up’ and supported the divestment effort, Gara said. But by then the legislative session was almost over, and there wasn’t enough time to get it passed,“ the article noted. It also pointed out that McCain ”has been a strong supporter of Sudan divestment efforts, and has urged Americans to liquidate their holdings in companies who do business there. He was criticized for that position when it was revealed in May his wife Cindy held $2 million in investment funds owning shares of Sudan-linked companies. She sold those holdings following a reporter’s inquiries.“

ABC News: Record Refutes Palin’s Sudan Claim

Hear the One About the Issues?

What credibility do McCain and Palin have in claiming an association between Ayers and Obama when both of them are saturated in anti-American radicalism, count well-known criminals and terror mongers among their close associates, take a weak and hypocritical stand on the funding of genocide, and demonstrate a world view that oscillates between arrogantly naive and wildly irrational?

A month ago, McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis told the Washington Post, ”this election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.“ Davis also noted, ”we are in the worst Republican environment since Nixon in 1972. We take that seriously. We get the joke.“ The problem for the McCain campaign is that there’s nothing funny about that joke for the American people.

McCain Manager: ‘This Election is Not About Issues’ – The Washinton Post

Other articles on current events:
Obama-Biden, McCain-Palin: Scandals by the Numbers
Terrorist Criminal Links to the Presidential Candidates
The Big Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Attack
Osama Bin Laden’s Dream of US Economic Collapse
You Know the Drill?
Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain
Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech

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1 LuisDias { 10.07.08 at 2:54 pm }


luisdias: you’ve proven that you can attack people pretty well, but still fail to add anything constructive to the argument.

Yeah, sorry for the heavy trolling. I’ll slow down a bit.

2 gus2000 { 10.07.08 at 4:29 pm }

jdoc, please don’t address me any longer in your posts. I am through wasting my time reading them.

3 jdoc { 10.07.08 at 6:10 pm }

@gus2000: shame you have no desire to be objective.

4 jdoc { 10.07.08 at 6:38 pm }

@LuisDias: Great post. I think you and Nelson are approaching the real truth to the economy, and the future in general. I’ve seen a similar set of stats today (different numbers), which promoted the same idea- both will increase debt somehow, someway. The key is which will spur consumer confidence the most (both domestically and abroad). The only disagreement I have (obviously) relates to which sector would serve the economy better, and how far-reaching the tax-cuts should go. I believe that consumer spending would be spurred by keeping the current tax-cuts (more disposable income), and by NOT increasing the capital gains tax (at least)- that would be much better for investors. Also, we need to incentivize more people to produce (I personally think that income tax in general is a big disincentive, but I realize that this is a bit of a radical philosophy at this point in time). Giving away freebies will not encourage people to want to maximize production.

5 Rolling Ball { 10.07.08 at 7:02 pm }

Hey Dan,

I know a number of bloggers that no longer allow comments, because they feel the unrelenting bickering turns off a large chunk of readers. What are your experiences with this? Do you feel the long-winded “Oh, look at me!” comments are effectually turning away readers? What benefits and challenges have the comments presented for Roughly Drafted? I’m not suggesting the comments feature be removed. I’m just curious about your stance on the topic.

I think a number of readers assume this is an Apple and technology blog. What is your mission for Roughly Drafted? How accurate is the Apple/tech assumption?

[Most websites that don’t have comments have stated that the reason they don’t is because they don’t want to have to go through and vet all those comments for abuse or have to answer every troll. While I certainly experience that, I think that failing to provide a forum for feedback is really just arrogant.

My goal is to start intelligent conversations, not to propagate my views as the only ones with any merit. Of course, that also means having to police comments to make sure none are slipping out through my spam filter, containing people who publish things are misleading, and doing my best to point the conversation to interesting topics rather than just angry, unproductive arguments. I think the vast majority of people commenting on my site are adding real value; they bring up interesting ideas, add lots of supporting facts, present their own expertise and round out my own experiences. I have no interest in turning that kind of conversation into a monologue. ]

6 billiam { 10.08.08 at 12:24 am }

Dan wrote: “Does McCain’s role in Vietnam qualify him to lead the US?”

McCain never claimed it, alone, did. He said his experience helped forged his character. Being a POW gives you a perspective on what it’s like to rely on others, to see different sides in dire situations and learn to dig deep to find the strength to get though something tough. If you don’t think that forges one’s character than you’re an idiot. I’m not using that word simply to insult. I’m using it for its actual meaning – someone who is stupid and clueless.

Dan: “..Or does his grievous psychological wounds from POW captivity and from blowing up civilians in his role as a soldier in an unpopular and discredited war just make him less qualified to defuse modern complex problems facing the nation using diplomacy?”

Your parents must be proud to have raised a person with so little respect for those who served. You can disagree with everything McCain believes (and it’s clear you do) but to say that because a war is unpopular its soldiers are therefore less worthy of something than a soldier who participated in what you consider and honorable war is shameless. Again, your parents must be proud.

[Perhaps my parents would respect my ability to express an idea that wasn’t lockstep with goose stepping nationalism as a religion. Don’t conflate honor for veterans with installing an angry embittered old man with serious personality problems in the chair with nuclear codes.]

7 LuisDias { 10.08.08 at 5:33 am }

If you don’t think that forges one’s character than you’re an idiot. I’m not using that word simply to insult. I’m using it for its actual meaning – someone who is stupid and clueless.

Priceless!! :D

8 erikmar { 10.08.08 at 2:25 pm }

Finally, someone who can recognize that accusations of terrorism, if we’re honest, cannot be restricted only to official enemies. here’s the definition, according to the US Code:
So it’s logically possible that the US, too, is a purveyor of terrorism; the historical record would seem to indicate that in fact we’re the world’s leading purveyor of state terrorism, and have been for a long time. And that’s not taking into account our activities which are more properly classified as International Aggression, the worst of all crimes according to the UN Charter, which we still officially recognize and incorporate into the Constitution (as an extant international treaty). Ribbentrop was executed at Nuremburg in 1946 for his role in enabling the crime of International Aggression; would logic not require similar judgements against all the presidents, Secretaries of State, Secretaries of “Defense”, etc., who performed similar roles in our invasions of Vietnam, the Domincan Republic, Grenada, Iraq, etc.?

9 Rolling Ball { 10.08.08 at 3:34 pm }

Thanks for the response to my inquiry, Dan. I have a similar stance on the matter. Your writing is appreciated, no matter if I do or don’t agree with your opinions. Roughly Drafted has brought to bear numerous issues that beg for examination and response. Keep it up.

Sorry for being off topic, everyone!

10 NormM { 10.08.08 at 6:25 pm }

David Brooks, a conservative commentator and disciple of William F. Buckley, said today about Obama: “He’s phenomenally good at surrounding himself with a team. I disagree with them on most issues, but I am given a lot of comfort by the fact that the people he’s chosen are exactly the people I think most of us would want to choose if we were in his shoes.”

(see “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvxQwNqZSOQ”)

So I don’t think that it’s important for us to try to debate fine points of economics here. Obama is intelligent and rational and surrounds himself with the best and brightest. That’s a pretty good prescription for not doing ignorant and stupid things. Issues get simplified during a presidential race. What I care about is that knowledgeable and smart people will be in charge when it counts.

11 nelsonart { 10.08.08 at 6:54 pm }


Like Bill Ayers?

[You keep talking about Ayers, but the guy is now a professor, and Obama has worked next to him; he’s not on the Obama campaign, he’s not an advisor, and he’s not someone Obama speaks about as close friend. Are you guilty of the past crimes of everyone you have ever worked with?

Now look at who McCain puts in his circle and who he associates with, and who he takes advice from: anti-science dingbats, unabashed racists, Watergate goons, terror mongers, and well known criminals like Keating.

You can desperately cling to your one associate personal attack and your one preacher, but McCain is connected to far more dangerous elements and HE WAS PART OF THE KEATING FIVE, not simply associated with people who did something wrong in the past. McCain himself! His running mate isn’t just connected to graft, but is HERSELF EMBROILED IN ONGOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS. She and her husband are both close to the anti-American AIP. Are you really such a simple fool, or are you just a shameless hypocrite?

By harping on a personal attack, you’re demonstrating what’s wrong with McCain: he has no substance in his campaign. He doesn’t know what to do with the economy. All he has is fear itself. And you’re falling for it, as a simpleminded gullible ditto that gobble up pandering.

Fortunately, the rest of the nation isn’t as stupid as you when they realize their money is on the line. McCain is losing badly, and his crotchety disdain and lack of respect for his opponent is only going to cause him to be buried by a bigger landslide.]

12 LuisDias { 10.08.08 at 7:34 pm }

nelsonart, that was totally uncalled for.

13 nelsonart { 10.08.08 at 8:35 pm }

I agree. Someone should ask Obama about that.

14 nelsonart { 10.09.08 at 1:47 am }

Personal attacks aren’t my gig. I can appreciate your passion. It’s hard when your champion rubs elbows with terrorists. That Ayers is now a professor is an abomination of justice, but that’s another story.

Fine, you like Obama and anyone who likes McCain is an idiot. My worldview is a bit more nuanced than that.

I agree that McCain has some unsavory friends as well. But it’s about personal convictions and perhaps morals and judgment. I would be surprised if McCain went to a known terrorists home for any reason. Dirty politicians and terrorists aren’t even in the same category.

While that issue stands, I’m certainly capable of evaluating both candidates on other issues. But I don’t simply dismiss this issue out of hand because Obama has other views I agree with.

15 danieleran { 10.09.08 at 2:20 am }

@nelsonart: Your worldview hasn’t demonstrated any nuisance whatsoever. You repeat catchphrases and speak in generalities that paint the world in simpleton shades of good and evil.

Your characterization of Ayers is ridiculous. Someone who made extremely bad decisions as a youth in a world turned upside down by the mass carpet bombings of civilians during the Vietnam War is in your mind hopelessly irredeemable and remains a “terrorist” 40 years later? And anyone who comes within ten feet of this person is tainted? You are being a ridiculous fool to fall for this pandering populist smear.

It’s not ‘liking McCain’ that makes you an idiot, it’s picking up an illegitimate torch and running with it as if it makes you a hero, when it really just indicates you have no ability to think rationally.

McCain supported terror himself. He was thick into the association of radical nazi sympathizing “anti-communists” who pursued terrorist attacks in Central America against democratically elected governments that neocons knowingly, falsely portrayed to be communist and allied with Russia.

Remember, that’s not kids setting bombs for attention, but DEATH SQUAD TERRORISTS, the REAL KIND OF TERRORISTS who target mass killings of civilians to create fear, just like the radical Saudis funded by bin Laden who caused 9/11.

You represent a party that uses the word TERRORIST to refer to everything from non-violent protestors to kids with a box cutter from work in their trunk, but which incites hatred (like Palin) and condones actual terrorist political attacks in this country (typically right wing separatist and abortion bombers) while pursuing a worldwide campaign of state sponsored terror. Real terror.

And after all that you parrot off “Ayers” like a mindless robot, as if it some brilliant smoking gun or a clever insight. I pity you.

16 billiam { 10.09.08 at 10:45 am }

Daniel wrote:
“Someone who made extremely bad decisions as a youth in a world turned upside down by the mass carpet bombings of civilians during the Vietnam War is in your mind hopelessly irredeemable and remains a “terrorist” 40 years later? And anyone who comes within ten feet of this person is tainted? You are being a ridiculous fool to fall for this pandering populist smear.”

When that terrorist says he’d do it again and writes to the NYTimes that he regrets he didn’t do enough, that person is still a terrorist 40 years later. Is David Duke still a racist even though he hasn’t called anybody a nigger for 10 years? Of course he is. Ayers has made it a point to TELL the world via the NYTimes that he has not changed.

Obama is not guilty because he came within 10 feet of Ayers. But it speaks directly to Obama’s judgement when he continued to stay on a board with this guy. If David Duke was in my son’s Boy Scout troop and I only saw him every other month or so, I’d STILL put my son in another troop. It’s called having dignity.

You write very eloquently, Daniel, but your worldview is that of a 7th grader. You are morally lost.

17 nelsonart { 10.09.08 at 11:48 am }


Your last post leaves me stunned. You defend Ayers and condemn McCain and then ‘call me out’ on the carpet for bringing up his name and questioning Obama’s judgment?

Perhaps I see an unrepentant, treasonous criminal in a different light because I’m not a far left liberal and can’t dismiss his bombing career as merely misguided youth (nearing 30 when he bombed the pentagon).

Ayers should be rotting in prison. McCain is a war hero. Obama’s associations are fair game in that it shows his judgment and offers some insight into his tolerance to work with… questionable characters.

Lastly, some things in my view are simple and black and white. I’m comfortable with labeling Ayers as a terrorist, due to his actions at nearly 30 years old. Some crimes are worse than others and deserve a sticky label. Try equating Ayers and McCain verbally to your acquaintances and friends and see what kind of response you elicit.

18 Rolling Ball { 10.09.08 at 12:28 pm }

Can we get some definitions squared away?

What does the word “terrorism” mean?
“the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion”

By the official definition, it is fair to label Mr. Ayers a terrorist. However, what is the definition of “terrorism” in the context of 2008 and the US Government’s general application of the word?

According to the Homeland Security Fact Sheet on its National Strategy (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/homeland/index.html): terrorism represents violence, specifically islamic extremism.

The FBI defines terrorism into two categories: 1) International Terrorism and 2) Domestic Terrorism. “International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state.” “Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States (or its territories) without foreign direction, committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” (http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/jarboe021202.htm)

What does the word “violence” mean?
The first (primary) definition:
1 a: exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse (as in warfare effecting illegal entry into a house) b: an instance of violent treatment or procedure


Given the definitions of terrorism, I come to the conclusion that Dr. Ayers can fairly be labeled a 1970s domestic terrorist. It is not fair, though, to categorize him in the same class as international terrorists – origins from abroad, intentions of bodily injury.

In modern conversation, the term “terrorism” refers to the definition of “international terrorism.” For proof on that, Google “terrorism,” and you’ll find thousands of websites using the term in that way.

Domestic terrorism was employed in the form of the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

The McCain campaign is seeking to associate Senator Obama with international terrorism by linking him to a former domestic terrorist from the 1970s. This association is apparent, and it is not accurate. The McCain campaign employs intelligent political strategists, and I am confident their intention is to associate Senator Obama with international terrorism. The campaign strategists understand “terrorist” means “islamic extremism terrorist” to most Americans. The grassroots approach to labeling Senator Obama a Muslim, which he is not (http://isbarackobamamuslim.com/), is also an intentional association with international terrorism.

The McCain campaign believes that if they can associate Senator Obama with the word “terrorist” in any way, he will be associated with the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This approach is defined as “fear mongering.” It is the same tactic used by the Nazis over the citizenship of Germany.


Dr. Ayers is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the College of Education. His interaction with Senator Obama has been through anti-poverty groups, like the Woods Fund of Chicago (http://www.woodsfund.org/site/epage/61420_735.htm). Please read the NYTimes’ investigative report on this topic (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/us/politics/04ayers.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin).

Senator Obama and Mr. Ayers have interacted in support of quality education for underprivileged children and communities. Their association has nothing to do with events from the 1970s.

19 LuisDias { 10.09.08 at 5:48 pm }

Rolling Ball, an excellent summary that rebuts the complete moronic attack by the GOP against Obama. I do pity the people that fall to these traps over and over again.

Rove had said in this year that throwing the kitchen sink would not make the GOP win this time, because Barack was different. He was right. I hope these kinds of stupid tactics that only manage to persuade the hard-core republicans have an end in this election.

And Nelsonart, no, Obama doesn’t have to explain anything. It’s McCain who has to answer this simple question. If Ayers is so damned important, why doesn’t he confront Obama on it?

Answer: ‘Cause he’s a coward. He knows fully well that if he presses Obama too much to give an answer, he will give it, and it will blow McCain away as the stupid snitchy idiot from the classroom who made the shittiest snitch ever.

20 nelsonart { 10.09.08 at 6:09 pm }


We’re still waiting for answers from Obama.
It’s not a personal attack.
It’s a legitimate question to ask someone who’s running for President.

21 Rolling Ball { 10.09.08 at 6:23 pm }


This thread of comments has gotten very long and complex. Would you mind creating a short list of concise questions that you would like answered about Senator Obama? It would give us all an opportunity to analyze whether or not the information is available. It would also be a good list for submission to the Obama campaign. If the voters have serious questions about a candidate, I feel we might be able to get them answered (too optimistic?). However, we need to be careful to analyze the questions, so that they are not baseless.

22 LuisDias { 10.09.08 at 6:32 pm }

nelsonart, of course you’re right, it’s not personal attack, it’s political assassination, and no Obama doesn’t have to answer snide attacks. If the question was so important, then why didn’t McCain asked him in the debate? If it was so important for the nation why didn’t the people on the audience ask him questions about it?

Of course it’s laughable that people insist that Obama should answer such a slime question, while Palin herself can’t even answer questions that WERE asked to her and DO matter to americans….

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