Friday, May 16, 2008

Will Joe Knollenberg call for cutting off public funds to McCain's campaign?

Our good friend John McCain has done another flip-flop on the American public. Two years ago, in an interview he called for negotiating with Hamas. Joe Knollenberg has called for cutting off funding for The Carter Center recently because of Carter's visit to the Middle East and talking to Hamas. So, it seems to me, Knollenberg, with the revealing of this interview, should call for the cutoff of all public funding for John McCain's campaign, and since McCain has violated his own campaign finance law, by using his public funding as collateral for a loan, urge the bank where the loan was obtained to call in the loan of $4 million.

Two years ago, in an interview with James Rubin for Sky News, Sen. John McCain expressed a willingness to negotiate with the terrorist group Hamas -- the very group that McCain has been relentlessly using to smear Sen. Barack Obama over the last several weeks.

Rubin has written an op-ed in Friday's Washington Post about his exchange with McCain, and The Huffington Post has obtained exclusive video. Here's the key excerpt:

RUBIN: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCAIN: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

As Rubin adds:

Given that exchange, the new John McCain might say that Hamas should be rooting for the old John McCain to win the presidential election. The old John McCain, it appears, was ready to do business with a Hamas-led government, while both Clinton and Obama have said that Hamas must change its policies toward Israel and terrorism before it can have diplomatic relations with the United States.

Even if McCain had not favored doing business with Hamas two years ago, he had no business smearing Barack Obama. But given his stated position then, it is either the height of hypocrisy or a case of political amnesia for McCain to inject Hamas into the American election.

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