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A McCain – Khalidi Connection?

October 29, 2008

No, not so much.  Some hay is being made over the fact that the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is chaired by John McCain (and has been since 1993), gave money ( almost $500,000) to the Center for Palestine Research and Studies (CPRS), which was co-founded by Rashid Khalidi in 1993.  All of this is true – however, there are more details to the story.

Khalidi did co-found the CPRS, but he did so with six other people, so he was not the “main guy” and is not on any list of trustees I have been able to find and is certainly not a trustee now.  Additionally, Jake Tapper with ABC News reports that the IRI tells him the funds were “de-obligated in 1999.

According to its web site, the IRI did some public opinion polls in the West Bank and Gaza in the early 90s, in cooperation with CPRS but more recently the IRI has worked with the Development Studies Program (DSP) at Birzeit University.

So, the IRI gave a half-million dollars to the CRPS and then took it back and they did some opinion polls with the CPRS in the early 90s.  Maybe someone at the IRI knew of Khalidi and his associations and maybe not – maybe they didn’t know he was connected with the CPRS.  Hell, there’s lots of people I don’t like who founded groups or companies I do business with and I just don’t know it.  I use Apple computers, but I don’t agree with their donation of $100,000 to fight Proposition 8 in California.

I want to hear more from the IRI on this, but I also want to see the video of Obama partying with Khalidi and talking about all the times they hung out together.  Being the chair of a group who gave funding to another group for some studies is, to me, much different from being personally acquainted with and having many private dinners and meetings with a single person who has or has had terrorist ties.

Growing up, the people you spent your time with said much about you and your character.  I didn’t hang around with people who did drugs or vandalized property or any other illegal activity because I didn’t agree with that sort of thing and I didn’t want people to think I was involved in that activity.

In high school, I severed ties to a guy I’d known since kindergarten and whose grandmother lived behind my house because he turned into the druggie/thief/vandal type that I tried to avoid.  I didn’t want to, because he was my friend – but I did the right thing and I am thankful for that now.  I still supported the high-school we both attended and was still in band with him, but I ceased “hanging out” with him away from school activity. I made that decision and I now have a much better group of friends that I can count on for help and support.

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