Chi. Tribune columnist and Ayers critic says McCain should answer for Liddy

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman has gotten some media attention for criticising Barack Obama over his association with Bill Ayers. Odd, then, that Chapman's repeated criticism of John McCain for his cozy relationship with Gordon Liddy hasn't gotten nearly as much attention.

Chapman has a new post on the Tribune's web site spelling things out:


Liddy, who worked for President Nixon's campaign, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple crimes in burglarizing the Democratic National Committee office in the Watergate building--part of a broader plot to steal the 1972 election through sabotage, illegal spying and other dirty tricks. He even planned the murder of a journalist, though that idea was overruled. Bombings? He proposed the firebombing of a liberal think tank.

Liddy, now a conservative radio host, has never expressed regret for this attempt to subvert the Constitution. Nor has he developed any respect for the law. After the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, he endorsed the shooting of federal agents: "Kill the sons of bitches."

Yet none of this bothers McCain. Liddy has contributed thousands of dollars to his campaigns, held a fundraiser for McCain at his home and hosted the senator on his radio show, where McCain said, "I'm proud of you." Exactly which part of Liddy's record is McCain proud of?

While Obama has gotten lots of scrutiny for his connection to Ayers, McCain has never had to explain his association with Liddy. If he can't defend it, he should admit as much. And if he thinks he can defend it, let him.

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