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McCain: Fire Charlie Black

John McCain's chief adviser, lobbyist Charlie Black, worked for some of the world's worst dictators—mass murderers, terrorists, and tyrants. Our new video calls on McCain to fire Charlie Black.

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Documentation

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DOCUMENTATION:

John McCain says we're fighting in Iraq to plant "the seeds of democracy..."

"...we must see this conflict through to the end. That means correcting our mistakes, building on our progress, and helping to plant in the most dangerous region in the world the seeds of democracy that will influence its neighbors." [Op-Ed by Senator John McCain, Arizona Republic, 3/19/06]

... but the firm of his "chief political adviser" Charlie Black...

Senator McCain's "chief political adviser," Charles R. Black Jr., served as chairman of one of Washington's lobbying powerhouses. [Washington Post, 2/22/08]

made millions lobbying for the world's worst tyrants...

Two of Sen. John McCain's top advisers and fundraisers' lobbying firms have been paid more than $15 million by foreign governments since 2005. The firms of McCain senior adviser Charlie Black, who until recently was the chairman of Washington-based BKSH & Associates, and campaign co-chairman Thomas G. Loeffler, who heads the Loeffler Group in San Antonio, received millions of dollars lobbying the White House, Congress and others as agents of nearly a dozen foreign clients in recent years. [Washington Times, 4/11/08]

...Ferdinand Marcos, who executed thousands of his own citizens in the Philippines...

A politically well-connected U.S. lobbying firm is being paid nearly $1-million to help a Philippine client linked with President Ferdinand Marcos...The firm, Black, Manafort & Stone Public Affairs, began a year-long contract with a client called the Chamber of Philippines Manufacturers, Exporters and Tourist Associations on Nov. 15, official records show. Under the terms of the contract, the suburban Washington-based concern is to be paid $950,000 plus expenses to provide 'advice and assistance on matters relating to the media, public relations and public affairs interests' as well as lobbying services. [Globe and Mail, 12/20/85]

Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly was registered as a lobbyist for the Chamber of Philippine Manufacturers, Exporters and Tourism Associations. The firm charged a $950,000 annual fee from November 1985 to November 1986. [Department of Justice, Foreign Agents Registration Act, Online Records]

The Black, Manafort partners have woven such an intricate web of connections that the strands become entangled at times. Lobbyist Kelly served as finance chairman of the National Democratic Institute, a public-interest organization established by Congress to promote democracy in underdeveloped countries. The institute recently sent observers to try to ensure a fair election in the Philippines. Yet Kelly's firm, for a reported $900,000 fee, represents Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, who stands accused of having stolen the vote. [Time Magazine, 3/3/86]

In 1992, a jury trial ruled that Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos was responsible for human rights violations tortures, disappearances and summary executions between 1972, when he declared martial law, and 1986, when he was overthrown. [Associated Press, 6/16/94]

Marcos ruled the Philippines for 20 years, during which tens of thousands of activists were either summarily executed or went missing, according to rights groups. [Agence France Presse, 2/6/05]

...Zaire's Mobuto, who publicly hanged his opponents and looted his country's vast mineral wealth...

Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly was registered as a lobbyist for the Government of Zaire. The firm charged a $1 million annual fee from July 1989to July 1990. [Department of Justice, Foreign Agents Registration Act, Online Records]

...the outgoing dictator, Mobuto Sese Seko, who plundered the country's wealth, jailed protesters, and executed adversaries... [Boston Globe, 5/18/97]

"Mr. Mobutu almost singlehandedly invented Zaire, even giving the country its name in replacement of the colonial name, Congo. But his personal appetite for luxury and wealth spawned a system of official corruption so rapacious that he leaves behind a country in ruin, where revenue from lucrative mines has been squandered or squirreled away in foreign bank accounts." [New York Times, 5/17/97]

"Challengers, both imagined and real, often paid with their lives, like the four former Cabinet ministers whom Mr. Mobutu had publicly hanged before 50,000 spectators six months after he took office." [New York Times, 5/17/97]

...and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, a mass murderer, who covered Angola with landmines.

Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly was registered as a lobbyist for UNITA in Angola. The firm charged a $600,000 annual fee from September 1985 to September 1986; a $200,000 annual fee from September 1986 to September 1987; a $600,000 annual fee from September 1991 to September 1992; and a $15,000 monthly fee from January 1994 to June 1995. [Department of Justice, Foreign Agents Registration Act, Online Records]

"When Savimbi came to Washington last month to seek support for his guerrilla organization, UNITA, in its struggle against the Marxist regime in Angola, he hired Black, Manafort. What the firm achieved was quickly dubbed 'Savimbi chic.' Doors swung open all over town for the guerrilla leader, who was dapperly attired in a Nehru suit and ferried about in a stretch limousine. Dole had shown only general interest in Savimbi's cause until Black, the Senate majority leader's former aide, approached him on his client's behalf. Dole promptly introduced a congressional resolution backing UNITA's insurgency and sent a letter to the State Department urging that the U.S. supply it with heavy arms. The firm's fee for such services was reportedly $600,000." [Time, 3/3/86]

Black called Mr. Savimbi, the brutal Angolan leader whom President Ronald Reagan promoted as a freedom fighter but many Democrats derided as an ally of apartheid South Africa, "a great pleasure to work with." [New York Times, 4/13/08]

"Angola has been bled enough. Thousands of children have been crippled by land mines, most planted by Unita. Mr. Savimbi is no democrat or 'freedom fighter.' He is a warlord, ruling by machete and gun, who is credibly blamed for the massacre of civilians." [New York Times Editorial, 4/14/93]

Charlie Black said he didn't do anything wrong.

Black said he never took on work for foreign figures "without first talking to the State Department and the White House and clearing with them that the work would be in the interest of U.S. foreign policy." [washingtonpost.com, 5/13/08]

John McCain should tell Black he did. Call John McCain and tell him to fire Charlie Black.