Forget Obamas priest – what about McCains lobbyist?
McCain Adviser's Work As Lobbyist Criticized
Longtime uber-lobbyist Charles R. Black Jr. is John McCain's man in Washington, a political maestro who is hoping to guide his friend, the senator from Arizona, to the presidency this November. But for half a decade in the 1980s, Black was also Jonas Savimbi's man in the capital city. His lobbying firm received millions from the brutal Angolan guerrilla leader and took advantage of Black's contacts in Congress and the White House. Justice Department records that Black's firm submitted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act detail frequent meetings with lawmakers and their staffs and lavish spending by Black and his partners as they attempted to ensure support for Savimbi, whose UNITA movement was fighting the Marxist Angolan government. In addition to Savimbi, Black and his partners were at times registered foreign agents for a remarkable collection of U.S.-backed foreign leaders whose human rights records were sometimes harshly criticized, even as their opposition to communism was embraced by American conservatives. They included Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigerian Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre, and the countries of Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, among others. That client list is now the subject of a fierce attack from Democrats who are clamoring for Black, 60, to be fired as McCain's top political strategist. And the candidate's decision this month to impose a strict ban on lobbying for foreign governments by members of his staff has only intensified the scrutiny of Black's past.
For a man like McCain who likes to sell himself as Mr Clean, having a man as drenched in blood and human rights abuse like Black as your top lobbyist is stomach churning. I know McCain is sold as a war hero in America, I wonder if the Vietnamese civilians he bombed think he’s a war hero?