Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Monday, June 23, 2008



Fortune Magazine is running a profile on John McCain titled, "The Evolution of John McCain." McCain's chief advisor, Charlie Black, is interviewed in the piece. Below is a choice quote from Black on why he thinks another terrorist attack on US soil would help McCain win the presidency.

"On national security McCain wins. We saw how that might play out early in the campaign, when one good scare, one timely reminder of the chaos lurking in the world, probably saved McCain in New Hampshire, a state he had to win to save his candidacy" - this according to McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an "unfortunate event," says Black. "But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us."

As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.

Let me try to understand that comment. McCain's chief advisor thinks another terrorsit attack on America, where thousands more men, women, and children would die, would be "a big advantage to him" [McCain]?


The idiocy contained in that proposition stuns me. I hope the guy continues to advise McCain.

PS. Mr. Black, besides that being a monsterous statement that borders on insanity--actually not "borders" but is most definitely insane, why would it be more advantageous for McCain--and Republicans?

We would look at the awful event and understand that the Republicans failed keep America secure not once, but TWICE!!! It would forever expose how weak the Republicans are on security, not enhance their position.

9/11 happened 9 months into George W. Bush's presidency. There's no refuting it. Should another attack occur, as Mr. Black seems to hope, we'd have to run from anything remotely Republican and see them as incompetent guardians of America's safety.

Are all the people advising McCain as stupid as Mr. Black?




"One of the things I would do if I were president," McCain told a group of wealthy contributors, "would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullshit.'"

This from a guy who's supposed to have a lot of foreign policy expertise! The Shiites and the Sunnis have been at each other's throats for centuries, and McCain thinks talking tough will get them to stop. That's just the sort of reasoned, mature diplomacy and foreign policy sense that'll get the two religious factions to stop.

Just before the US invaded Iraq, John McCain stated that there was no emnity between the Shiites and the Sunnis, and that those who warned about how the two factions would begin to slaughter each other didn't know what they were talking about.

Foreign policy expertise.


In 2004, just three days before the presidential election, McCain argued that a recently-released video-tape by Osama bin Laden would prove “very helpful to President Bush”:

U.S. Sen. John McCain, campaigning in southwestern Connecticut on Saturday, said Osama bin Laden’s video message to Americans will likely energize President Bush’s re-election campaign.
“I think it’s very helpful to President Bush,” said McCain, R-Ariz., while stumping in Stamford for U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays. “It focuses America’s attention on the war on terrorism. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but I think it does have an effect.” [AP, 10/30/04]
In the 18-minute video, bin Laden declared that al Qaeda was still motivated to attack the United States again.

More recently, McCain indicated that the terrorist attack that killed Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto would help him politically, as CNN’s Dana Bash recounted on the Situation Room yesterday:

BASH: I was actually with Sen. McCain the very day that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. … He really did understand from that moment that this was something that he thought could help him in the race at that point to be the Republican nominee. In fact, at that event that very day I asked Sen. McCain if he thought it would help his political campaign and he said pretty much “Yes.” … So it’s not a secret that back then that Sen. McCain and his campaign thought it would help.

To be sure — unlike Black seemed to do — McCain in 2004 was not advocating a terrorist attack. Yet just like his trusted adviser, McCain — who claimed yesterday he “cannot imagine” why Black would say such a thing — has not hesitated to claim political advantage from acts of terror.

Source: Think Progress


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Black is a creepy guy and is always appearing in the news for some kind of controversial statement or connection.

I'd say that he's a ghoulish vampire but that would insult the cool vampires.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

One more thing. The "We haven't been attacked since 9/11" stuff is b.s.

They always over-look the anthrax attacks. They were terrorist attacks and the attack was using a WMD!!!

Patrick M said...

I'm just going to sit back and laugh here, because you've got to be worried you can't win if you're trying to attack McCain on this issue.

There are many things that John McCain annoys me on. One area where I have no doubt he would hand Obama his ass is in matters of national security. I could see McCain ordering things blowed up. Spectacularly. I can't imagine Obama doing that.

I know that's simply put, but we're talking visceral reactions. And if this country was attacked in October, McCain would be elected in November. Consider that the country would run to a warrior in those times, no matter what his stands on other issues are.

shaw kenawe said...


You've got it backwards on this.

Why would the country back another Republican if there were another attack?

You believe the American people would support a party that was so ineffective that it failed to protect us, not once, but twice, actually 3 times, [Handsome is correct].

Being a "warrior" doesn't confer automatic strength on a candidate.

I can stand the question of John McCain's "warrior" bona fides on its head by stating that if it mattered so much, the American people would be favoring McCain over Obama by double digits.

PS. The Republicans don't think much of warriors anyway. I remember how Max Clelland was vilified by the Republicans [they smeared him by insinuating that he was a supporter of bin Laden] in the 2002 elections.

And we know what the Swift Boat Liars for Bush did to John Kerry.

The Republicans don't admire men who, like Kerry, volunteer for combat duty,--only the ones, like McCain, who have an R. after their name.

Oh yes, and that bit of inconvenient truth--John McCain graduated at, what fifth or fourth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy--and he wasn't going to be considered for the rank of admiral, as were his father and grandfather.

As we've come to learn, being a "warrior" isn't the only thing one needs on one's C.V. in order to be a strong leader. Ask Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

Let's just wait and see who will hand whom his "ass."

Handsome B. Wonderful said...


I don't accept your premise. Who led America and by extension our allies through WWII? A Democrat--FDR.

Who defeated the Japanese and ended the war in the pacific? A Democrat--Harry Truman.

So this smoke screen that's been floating around for the past 8 years that Dem's are (excuse my French) pussies is just plain false.

It's absurd to think that Obama would just sit on his hands should we get hit again with a terrorist attack. Of course he'd react and wouldn't hesitate to drop bombs on anyone responsible. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

shaw kenawe said...


FDR, Truman, and JFK faced down our enemies, and beat them. Clinton won in Bosnia.

We were attacked on George W. Bush's watch. Remember the attack on the US Marines in Lebanon during Reagan's admin.? And he said he'd never leave Lebanon? Then, um, he left? Two months later?

The Republicans talk the talk on security, but the Democrats actually do the heavy lifting.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: I'm not speaking for positions, I'm speaking about perceptions by the swing voters. Even if every point you made was valid, it would still not change that (think Dukakis in the tank).

And despite our shared dislike for McCain (for radically different reasons), there are plenty of parts of the conservative base that will vote for him just because of the threat of terrorism.

As for John Kerry, he's the one who chose to come back from Vietnam and paint the picture of his fellow soldiers as murderers and rapists. Come to think of it, that's the same line we hear from the farthest reaches of the left today. Definitely not coincidence.

HBW:I noticed you cited the Democrats of WWII stock. These were liberals, yes, but they were hawkish liberals who did what it took to win.

You know as well as I that the peace movement really got its legs in the late 60's. There have been 2 Democrat presidents since then: Carter and Clinton. Interestingly (as I had to look it up), Clinton did essentially what Bush is doing now in Iraq: nation building. Luckily it worked. And I say luckily, because if they hadn't wanted peace, nothing would have worked. And I'm sure glad Carter wasn't faced with a determined enemy. Let's just look what he did with Iran when they were in there infancy as our enemy.

Now as for what Obama would do if we were attacked, I'm pretty sure he'd grow in the job. Whether he would succeed, I can't answer. But we're dealing with perceptions now, and they're finicky.

Look at Bush pre-9/11: The narrative was that he was an idiot. And this was the swing perception after he was elected. That changed when we were attacked and Bush had to step up. And we haven't been attacked since.

And about the anthrax thing (targeting the MSM and Democrats): It really didn't impact us the same way exploding planes, collapsing buildings, and falling bodies did. Again, I'm dealing with perceptions.

Shaw (again): We were attacked on Bush's watch because that's when they were ready. On that one, nobody comes out clean. our leaders failed to recognize the threat properly.

Now as for the GOP doing the heavy lifting, it starts with Lincoln. That was a hard war to prosecute, because we didn't do that well for a while. And need I remind you of the victory in the Cold War (Reagan) and the first Gulf war (HW Bush).

The point is, since the peace movement, we've been 50/50 on Democrat Presidents.

Again, you're preaching to someone here that knows a good chunk of history and has a strong position. The people who will really choose Obama or McCain won't read any of this, and will vote with something other than their brain. So step back and take off your partisan POV and see what the perception of the unthinking is. It might look differently than you normally see things. I know it does for me.

libhom said...

Black's comments make me wonder a bit. Could it possibly be that the Bush regime is planning a terrorist attack if "Keating Five" McCain looks likely to lose?

I know it seems unlikely, but there is nothing you could put past the Bush regime. Black's comments make me nervous.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...


As for the anthrax, are you suggesting that there is a sliding scale when it comes to terrorist attacks?

That the smaller the body count the less important it is and not technically an attack?

I just don't think that we can afford to be selective when it comes to recognizing terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism.

Theses people faced fear, terror death and injury (some have permanent damage now)--from a WMD of all things.

I thought that the Bush administration was supposed to keep us safe from WMD?

So we don't find any WMD in Iraq but ironically get attacked on our own soil by WMD and we don't know who did it?

So you can say that the anthrax terrorism wasn't as big a deal but it is still an attack on Americans.

Therefore the Republicans can't honestly say that we haven't been attacked since 9/11. It's disingenuous and misleading to make that claim and they've been getting away with it for too long.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I forgot to say...

As for perceptions, that might be the perception amongst many but it's a false perception. It is the perception of many because in large part due to the GOP rhetoric.

Shouldn't we try to change that perception seeing as it is misleading at best?

Patrick M said...

Libhom: Let me guess, Bush engineered 9/11 so he could get Iraqi oil, right?

As for the anthrax, are you suggesting that there is a sliding scale when it comes to terrorist attacks?

Hand: In terms of public perception, yes. Scary thought? I know.

But you do have a point on the anthrax attack. While I surspect that it was an inside job, it's something that seems to have faded away without explanation.

I'll have to look into it.

As for changing perceptions, it's really a moot point as far as Bush is concerned, unless you're a historian. As for McCain, it matters only if you are on a narrative that all Republicans are liars. And that would be as bad as me going on about all Democrats being liars (even if they are) because of Bill Clinton.

What matters now, is the future. No matter who wins, for me it's bleak.

Shaw Kenawe said...

It's been a hectic week.

I have some interesting information I'll post that may shed light on why exactly we went into Iraq instead of staying in Afghanistan where the perpetrators of 9/11 were hiding out.

PS. The death toll in Afghanistan, as of this month, is the highest since the war began there.

And the "surge" has been successful insofar as it brought the levels of violence back to 2005levels, which were horrendous.

Iraq is still a violent, chaotic, nonfuctioning country engaged in a civil war.

The surge tamped down some of the violence, but I still don't see any significant progress to where the Iraqis can actually govern themselves.

See my posts on why this may be so.