The latest attack was launched Tuesday, when the McCain campaign accused the Los Angeles Times
of suppressing a videotape it obtained of a 2003 banquet where then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama is alleged to have spoken of his friendship with Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian scholar and activist. The campaign has demanded
that the paper release the tape.
McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said, "The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job — make information public."
L.A. Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan wouldn't discuss the decision not to release the tape in detail stating, "When we reported on the tape six months ago, that was our full report." The papers readers' representative Jamie Gold wrote, "Over six months ago the Los Angeles Times published a detailed account of the events shown on the videotape. The Times is not suppressing anything. Just the opposite — the L.A. Times brought the matter to light."
Within the six months since the story was published
, the McCain campaign had not previously demanded the video. Now in what could be the best bet at the McCain/Palin ticket providing an "October Surprise" the campaign is piling on
with other media outlets for release of the video.
On Wednesday, Sarah Palin brought up the "radical connection" in a campaign speech. In attacking Barack Obama Palin stated, “It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years.” According to Palin, Khalidi, a professor at Columbia University, is a former spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) a charge Khalidi denies.
However Palin and the McCain campaign has kept a few things back from the public when they launched this latest attack. During the 1990s, while serving as chairman
of the International Republican Institute
(IRI), John McCain distributed several grants
to the Palestinian research center. The center was co-founded by Rashid Khalidi and one grant was worth half a million dollars. Apparently the association extends back as far as January of 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as its chairman.
The Huffington Post
has uncovered a 1998 tax filing
for the McCain-led IRI group that shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. It is listed on page 14 of the filing and listed under: Grant Number 5180; Titled, West Bank: CPRS. How hypocritical is John McCain in criticizing Barack Obama for associating with someone, years after McCain himself funded to the tune of half a million dollars through a group that he chaired?
Of course there is nothing wrong with John McCain through IRI, helping a Palestinian group conduct research in the West Bank or Gaza. However, it does display another example of the double talk that has been pervasive in the Arizona Senators messages. This latest example may lead to Senator McCain having some of his own explaining to do as he tries to make sinister Rashid Khalidi's ties to Barack Obama.
The attack by the McCain campaign is the latest of embarrassing episodes by a campaign that is appears to be on the verge of imploding.
Only six days remaining until Election Day and the "Double Talk Express" rides on.