It seems all the accusations McCain and his campaign cronies have been making against Barack Obama these past few weeks are turning out to be more and more a projection of their own campaign and its members. Earlier this week, I pointed out in my recent post, Obama, Ayers & The UnAmericanization Of Sarah Palin, what I felt were some very interesting facts about Sarah Palin and husband Todd and their connections to seemingly “unAmerican” organizations and people, that were ultimately far more worrisome than their thin accusations of opponent, Barack Obama.
Let’s start with John McCain’s wife Cindy McCain who, in an act of ignorant and blind projection, accused Barack Obama earlier this week of running “the dirtiest campaign in American history.”
Just today, the Huffington Post’s Murray Waas reported:
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.
The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein’s government.
During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil. Timmons, Vincent, and Park stood to share at least $45 million if the business deal went through.
It seems that although Timmons told investigators that he did not know that either Vincent or Park were acting as unregistered agents of Iraq, Vincent’s own claim to a federal prosecutor suggests otherwise:
Q: And when you returned to the United States, did you tell anyone about your visit with Saddam Hussein?
A: I told Bill Timmons and Tongsun Park.
Q: Why did you tell Bill Timmons about your visit with Saddam?
A: To let him know that we were talking to the leader of Iraq, and in essence we have access and assure him that any messages we were relaying between Iraqi and Tariq Aziz and anyone else, it was being transmitted to the president, Saddam Hussein, in Iraq.
Time Magazine’s Michael Scherer describes Timmons as:
…a Washington institution, having worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations as an aide for congressional relations and having assisted the transition teams of both Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George W. Bush in 2000. He was also a senior adviser to both Vice President George Bush in 1988 and Senator Bob Dole in 1996.
Timmons is the chairman emeritus of Timmons and Company, a small but influential lobbying firm he founded in 1975 shortly after leaving the White House. According to Senate records, he registered to lobby in 2008 for a wide range of companies and trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, the American Medical Association, Chrysler, Freddie Mac, Visa USA and Anheuser-Busch.
His registrations include work on a number of issues that have become flashpoints in the presidential campaign. He has registered to work on bills that deal with the regulations of troubled mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, a bill to provide farm subsidies and bills that regulate domestic oil-drilling.
Scherer goes on to suggest:
By tapping Timmons, McCain has turned to one of Washington’s steadiest and most senior inside players to guide him in the event of a victory — but also to someone who represents the antithesis of the kind of outside-of-Washington change he has recently been promising. One Republican familiar with the process said the decision to involve Timmons could become a political liability for the campaign’s reformist image, especially in the wake of the controversies over the lobbying backgrounds of other McCain staffers, including campaign manager Rick Davis. “It’s one more blind spot for Rick Davis and John McCain,” the person said.
Murray Waas, in his research into Timmons’ involvement, spoke to an investigator who worked on the U.N. investigation of the oil-for-food program, in which various individuals were found to have paid illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein. The investigator told him:
Timmons clearly should have or did understand that he was the possible recipient of oil contracts from the Iraqi government because of his lobbying and back channel diplomatic efforts on behalf of Saddam: “He would have to be the most naive person in the world to believe that was not the case,” the official told me. “I guess William Timmons is just a natural born oilman. He is either deceiving himself to rationalize what he has done or taking the rest of us for fools.”
Ironically, at the time, John McCain was one of the most outspoken critics of the oil-for-food program.
It’s starting to seem like the tenuous links John McCain desperately tries to make between Barack Obama and his past “connections” can’t hold a candle to the reality of what lies just beneath the surface of McCain’s own campaign and the people he has not only chosen to be connected to, but has consciously made a decision to engage as his own advisors and right-hand men.