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McCain Fundraiser Funded Columbian Terrorist Organization

McCain Fundraiser Funded Columbian Terrorist Organization

Nico Pitney
Huffington Post
July 2, 2008

The co-host of a recent top-dollar fundraiser for Sen. John McCain oversaw the payment of roughly $1.7 million to a Colombian paramilitary group that is today designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Carl H. Lindner Jr., the billionaire Cincinnati businessman, was CEO of Chiquita Brands International from 1984 to 2001, and remained on the company’s board of directors until May 2002. Beginning under his tenure, Chiquita executives paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (known by the Spanish acronym AUC), which is described by George Washington University’s National Security Archive as an “illegal right-wing anti-guerrilla group tied to many of the country’s most notorious civilian massacres.”

Following a Justice Department indictment last year, Chiquita admitted to illegally funding the paramilitaries and agreed to pay a $25 million fine. Chiquita’s payments to the AUC began in 1997 and lasted seven years; roughly half of the funds came after the group was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department in 2001.

According to the Justice Department, the payments “were reviewed and approved by senior executives” of Chiquita, who knew by no later than September 2000 “that the AUC was a violent, paramilitary organization.”

Late last week, Lindner co-hosted a $25,000-per-person fundraiser for McCain and the Republican Party in the wealthy Indian Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. The event raised about $2 million; Lindner also serves on McCain’s Ohio Victory Team.

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GOP senator: McCain roughed up Nicaraguan

Washington Times
July 2, 2008

One of John McCain’s Republican colleagues says he saw the presumed GOP presidential nominee roughly grab an associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and lift him out of his chair during a diplomatic mission to the Central American nation in 1987.

A former McCain aide who was along on the mission said he doesn’t recall an incident like the one described by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

Cochran said he saw McCain, who has a reputation for being hot tempered, rough up an Ortega associate during a trip to Nicaragua led by former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas.

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McCain wants much larger U.S. military
http://www.reuters.com/article/burningIssues/idUKN0119815920080702