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McCain - Palin: Unethical conduct and lies

By Chattanooga Times Editorial Page  Posted by Matthew Hine (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Given the deceitful distortions and inherent lies the McCain-Palin team, and particularly Mrs. Palin herself is telling about Senator Obama's record, it should be no surprise that Governor Sarah Palin was found last Friday to have acted unethically under Alaska law by abusing her power as governor.

The finding is the result of a bipartisan investigation approved by the Republican-controlled Alaskan legislature into Governor Palin's firing of Alaska's state safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, for refusing to bend to her pressure - and pressure from her husband Todd and her staff - to fire her former brother-in-law from his job as State trooper.

Contrary to what Ms. Palin and Senator John McCain are telling voters to gloss over her unethical conduct, the inquiry into her unethical behavior didn't originate with Obama supporters and Democrats. It began on a bipartisan vote by Alaska's legislature in June, more than a month before Senator McCain made his surprising decision to select Mrs. Palin as his running mate.

The legislature's independent investigator's 263-page report made public last Friday ended a months-long investigation and related hearings. It concluded that Governor Palin wrongfully exerted pressure to fire trooper Michael Wooten, and also allowed her husband to use state resources and records, including the governor's offices and access to records, in the effort to have trooper Wooten fired. The report noted that Mrs. Palin, her husband and various staff members pressured Commissioner Monaghan, himself a Palin appointee, and his aides more than three dozen times in calls and meetings to get trooper Wooten fired.

Mrs. Palin's abuse of authority - and her and Senator McCain's cavalier dismissal of the investigation's findings suggest the same sort of shameless pattern of unethical standards seen often lately in the Mcain-Palin team's repeated and deliberate distortions of Senatory Obama's record. Such campaign tactics are worth pointing out again in the wake of research by, an independent, non-partisan organization, and other media research.

Mrs. Palin, who has become Mr. McCain's chief surrogate for attacking Mr. Obama, last week accused Mr. Obama of voting against funding for American troops in Iraq, thereby "increasing the risk on their lives." She is claiming that Mr. Obama, in her words, "said that our troops in Afghanistan are just, "-air-raiding villages and killing civilians." She told Fox news his remark was "reckless" and, in her mind, "disqualifies someone from consideration for the next commander-in-chief." A recent McCain ad similarly asserts that Mr. Obama voted "repeatedly" against financing American troops.

All these claims so distort Mr. Obama's statements and votes that they effectively amount to lies.

Mr. Obama's vote against a war funding bill without a withdrawal timeline is more honestly comparable to Mr. McCain's own vote against the Democratic funding bill that contained a withdrawal timeline. After that initial legislative skirmish, both men voted for the funding bill that passed. Mr. Obama, moreover, has voted almost a dozen times in favor of war funding since 2005, even though he opposed the war from the beginning.

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Similarly, Mr. Obama's "air-raiding" remark followed president Bush's similar statements about disastrous air-raids in Afghanistan, and came actually in an appeal for more resources for the Afghan war.

President Bush had apologized for the errant raids to Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the time (August 2007) and shared his concerns regarding casualties among innocent civilians in American air raids. I fully understand the agony and the sorrow that Afghan citizens feel when an innocent life is lost," President Bush told President Karzai. "I know that must cause grief in villages and heartbreak in homes. We share those concerns."

Senator Obama subsequently remarked, "We've got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops, so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there." In the context of widely acknowledged events in Afghanistan then, that was an appropriate response.

Attacks on opposing candidates' policies are common practice in campaigns. Deliberate distortions of opponents remarks in ways that fundamentally change their meaning, however, is unprincipled and grossly deceitful. Senator McCain and Mrs. Palin obviously should know the difference. Voters who know better can only assume that they simply do not care that they are telling blatant lies.

Reposted with permission.

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