Washington Post, 9 February 1988:

Nicaraguan rebel leaders, scrambling for a survival strategy in the wake of congressional refusal last week to appropriate new aid funds, pleaded today for independent financial contributions from U.S. supporters to two private foundations based in Washington.

The contra leaders said Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole recently contributed $500 to rebel coffers, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) donated $400.

1987 HRW report on the Contras:

''They still engage in selective but systematic killing of persons they perceive as representing the Government, in indiscriminate attacks against civilians or in disregard for their safety, and in outrages against the personal dignity of prisoners,'' the report said. ''The contras also engage in widespread kidnapping of civilians, apparently for purposes of recruitment as well as intimidation.''

More below.

HRW report cont.:

The escalating brutality of contra practices leads Americas Watch to conclude that disregard for the rights of civilians has become a de facto policy of the contra forces.

If you do a search for "Contras" and "McCain" in Lexis-Nexis, Google News Archives and/or the NYT archives, you'll find a lot of stories about McCain's support for this particularly savage group of terrorists.

Here's a verbatim quote from the straight-talker himself:

Historians will look back and view the vote that cut off military and humanitarian aid to the contras as a low point in United States history.


Another NGO compiled a year's worth of Contra atrocities, which included murder, rape, torture, maiming children, cutting off arms, cutting out tongues, gouging out eyes, castration, bayoneting pregnant women in the stomach, and amputating genitals.

An eyewitness to a Contra raid in Jinotega province said: "Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off and their eyes poked out. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit."

Well, McCain is a surelya a decent enough man to realize that illegally selling weapons to the fundamentalist regime of Iran, illegally giving the proceeds to the Contras, and illegally destroying related documents is wrong, right?

Oh, wait:

One of the key figures in the Iran-contra scandal is now endorsing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but is McCain endorsing him back?

This morning the McCain campaign helpfully circulated a column Oliver North had penned in the Washington Times, extolling the senator's virtues, under the heading "In Case You Missed It: Oliver North on John McCain."
That prompted The Trail to ponder a simple question: Is McCain pleased to receive North's endorsement, given the fact that the failed GOP senatorial candidate was convicted in 1989 of shredding documents, accepting an illegal gratuity and aiding and abetting in the obstruction of Congress?
The McCain campaign's response? "We'll let the comments in the release stand," wrote spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker in an e-mail. "Thanks."

Glad to know that McCain is going for the felon vote as well as the foreign terrorist vote.

Originally posted to Daisy Cutter on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 06:05 PM PST.

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