was on Democracy Now! on 10/30/08 and the sheer gall behind the "accusation" made me laugh aloud. The contradiction is ineffably amusing. [All emphasis mine]:
McCain Faults Obama for Ties to Professor He Once Funded
On the Republican side, Senator McCain has revived an old attack on Obama by bringing up his alleged ties to Palestinian American professor Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi teaches Arab Studies at Columbia University, where he also heads the Middle East Institute. The McCain campaign has cited few allegations against Khalidi aside from the fact that he is a Palestinian and supports Palestinians’ right to resist Israeli military occupation. Speaking last night on CNN’s Larry King Live, McCain criticized the LA Times for refusing to release a video of Obama appearing at a 2003 event honoring Khalidi.
Larry King: “Speaking of newspapers, there is the LA Times.”
Sen. John McCain: “Yeah.”
King: “They apparently—your campaign says that they’re suppressing videotape of a 2003 banquet when Barack Obama praised Palestinian activist and scholar Rashid Khalidi. What’s this all—what is this?”
Sen. McCain: “Why shouldn’t they—”
King: “Why would the paper suppress this?”
Sen. McCain: “I have no idea. If they have the tape, they ought to make the American people aware of it, let them see it and make their own judgment. Frankly, I’ve been in a lot of political campaigns, a whole lot. I’ve never seen anything like this, where a major media outlet has information and a tape of some occasion—maybe it means nothing. Maybe it’s just a social event. I don’t know. But why should they not release it? And why shouldn’t the Obama campaign want it released?”
King: “Is this Palestinian some sort of terrorist?”
Sen. McCain: “We know that at that time, the PLO was a terrorist organization.”
King: “He was PLO?”
Sen. McCain: “Yeah, yeah—that’s what the allegation is, Larry. I haven’t seen the tape. So—but we should see the tape to make it—the American people make a judgment.”
McCain went on to compare Obama’s appearance at the dinner to appearing at a “Neo-Nazi” event. The LA Times says it won’t release the tape because of a promise made to the source who provided it. Khalidi has never worked as a spokesperson for the PLO. McCain’s attack on Khalidi marks the latest in a series of efforts to disparage Obama because of real or concocted ties to Arabs and Muslims. Khalidi is a respected scholar who has called for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in accordance with a majority of public opinion in the US and worldwide. The so-called Khalidi “controversy” also comes as a surprise in light of McCain’s own previous ties to Khalidi’s work on behalf of Palestinian rights. During the 1990s, McCain chaired the International Republican Institute when it gave several grants to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies.
Labels: McCain, Presidential race 2008, republicans