The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

27 March 2008

Talk Radio Likely To Pounce On McDermott - Saddam Ties


Kooky Congressmen Fingered In Saddam Payment Scheme

Providing fresh ammo for hosts nationwide today, a longtime talk radio target has been implicated in a scheme that saw ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein fund his pre- invasion "fact- finding" trip to Iraq.

Kooky Seattle Congressman- For- Life "Baghdad" Jim McDermott has been fingered as one of three Democrat representatives whose 2002 Iraqi holiday was apparently funded by the regime, according to the Washington Post and many other news agencies late Wednesday:

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused a Michigan nonprofit executive of funnelling money from Saddam Hussein to pay for a 2002 trip to Iraq by three House Democratic lawmakers, according to the Associated Press.

The AP says the dates of the 2002 Iraq trip correspond to those of an infamous visit to the country by Reps. David Bonior (Mich.), Jim McDermott (Wash.) and Mike Thompson (Calif.). Their trip, which came in the heated run-up to the war, sparked controversy and drew heated criticism from many war supporters who suggested that they were doing the public relations bidding of Hussein.

Referring to the true source of the trip's funding, McDermott's spokesman told the Associated Press: "Obviously we didn't know it at the time."

According to the travel database maintained by CQ Moneyline, McDermott took a trip to Baghdad and Basra as well as Amman, Jordan, from Sept.25-Oct. 1, 2002. The trip -- which cost $5,040 -- was funded by a group called LIFE for Relief & Development. The Moneyline database does not contain any filings by Thompson or Bonior for the trip, though their visit was documented in the press at the time.

"LIFE was founded in 1992 by concerned Iraqi-American professionals in response to the humanitarian crisis that developed in Iraq as a result of the 1991 Gulf War conflict," according to the group's Web site.

According to a Post story written at the time of the trip, the congressmen were part of a delegation organized by the Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq, a project of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, as well as Life for Relief and Development.

Interestingly, the mainstream media now seems slightly less willing to cover for the three Democrats, as it did then. Perhaps the smoking gun evidence has proven a bit too overwhelming this time around.

The best defense they can come up now with is to claim the three didn't know about Saddam's role, but it's unlikely the public will believe that.

Seattle- based newspapers, however, are continuing their traditionally- supportive stance, with the Seattle Times posting its headline with a question mark: "Did Iraq's spy unit pay for McDermott's trip?" And the rival Seattle Post- Intelligencer has so far chosen not to highlight the story at all.

Between his key role in the "tapegate" scandal and extreme positions on issues, McDermott has long proven an easy target for talk radio, both in the Northwest and nationwide. He's even dabbled in the medium himself, working as a guest host and regular visitor to Seattle- based programs.

Don't count on Seattle voters to remove their civic embarrassment anytime soon, however: it remains one of the nation's most extreme- left cities and some of its citizens aren't likely to see a problem with McDermott's ties to the murderous dictator.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.

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  • Scandal! Heads should roll! Why George W. Bush Administration's State and Treasury Department VETTED this trip should be thoroughly investigated!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 March, 2008 20:13  

  • anyway: Republican with ties to Al queda, where is the media coverage of this one?

    A former Republican congressman from Michigan who has dedicated himself to building ties between Christians and Muslims was indicted in federal court yesterday for alleged ties to an Islamic charity that sent money to suspected terrorists.

    Mark D. Siljander, who served more than two terms in the House in the 1980s and later ran as a Republican candidate for the House from Northern Virginia, was charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

    The indictment alleges that he lied to the FBI about his work on behalf of the Islamic American Relief Agency, which the Treasury Department designated as a terrorist organization in 2004.

    The case appears to be unique in accusing a former member of Congress of conspiring with a designated terrorist group, said Justice Department officials and national security experts. The allegations also are unusual because they involve a former politician with strong Christian support who is charged for his connections to alleged Islamic militants

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 28 March, 2008 10:58  

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